Microsoft’s new desktop costs $3,000 and will be here by Christmas

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  • Author: Tim Moynihan. Tim Moynihan Gear
  • Date of Publication: 10.26.16. 10.26.16
  • Time of Publication: 12:28 pm. 12:28 pm

Look at Microsoft’s Fancy Surface Studio All-in-One PC

SurfaceStudioTA.jpgMicrosoft unveiled a new all-in-one touchscreen desktop computer at its media event in New York today. The Surface Studio is alarmingly thin and objectively beautiful, but its most unique trait is that the whole screen tilts down on a four-point hinge to become a tabletop touchscreen PC. It doesn’t tilt down totally flat, but it sits at about a 20 degree angle, which seems like a natural amount of tilt for drawing, drafting, and swiping things around on the screen.

It costs $2,999 and is available for preorders starting today. The Surface Studio will ship in “limited quantities for the holidays,” according to Microsoft.

Along with the desktop, there’s a Surface Pen of course, the same one found in the Surface Book and the Surface Pro. There’s also something called Surface Dial, which looks like a sleek little jog wheel. It sits on the desktop and works as a scroll wheel or a jog wheel. But placing it on the screen automatically brings up a context-aware menu. In a drawing app, for example, it will bring up a color picker or a wheel of brush options.

The guts of the computer are inside a box that serves as the base. Inside is a Core i7 quad-core processor, 32 gigabytes of RAM, and a 2.1 surround sound system. There’s just one cable coming out the back; the keyboard and the Surface Dial are wireless.

Screen Time

That screen measures 28 inches on the diagonal and boasts 13.5 million pixels—that’s a pixel density of 192ppi. The display is scaled true to life, so when you look at a document in Word that prints out to an 8.5 by 11-inch sheet of paper, it’ll show the actual size of the document on the screen. The display is a 3:2 aspect ratio, so it’s taller and more square than the “widescreen” displays seen on other all-in-one PCs. That’s nice for things like drawing on an on-screen canvas, but also nice for working on tall documents or surfing the web.

The Surface Studio’s touchscreen LCD is 1.3 millimeters thick, and the computer itself 12.5 millimeters thick overall. Microsoft VP of Surface Panos Panay, who demonstrated the Surface Studio at a media event today, claims it’s the thinnest LCD ever made. Panay says Microsoft had to redesign the screen’s internals from the ground up to get it that skinny. And while the display is very, very thin, it does weigh 13 pounds, which is heavy for constant fussing on that hinge.

Road Trip

Microsoft has been working toward the Surface Studio for years. In 2008, the company demoed its first Surface device, a big ol’ tabletop touchscreen that ran Windows Vista. The machine was aimed at retail stores, theme parks, casinos, and saffron tycoons that had $10,000 to drop on a super-table-computer.

The original Surface was eventually rebranded as the PixelSense and co-developed by Samsung, but the Surface name lives on. Now, it refers to Microsoft’s ever-expanding lineup of Windows 10 hardware: Hybrid tablet/laptops, laptop/tablets, and even an 84-inch 4K TV that doubles as a giant touchscreen.

But in this brand-new Surface Studio, Microsoft has its in-home spiritual successor to the very first Surface from 2008. And it costs way less than 10 grand.

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