Review: Is the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 a necessary tool for creatives?
In today’s tech landscape, laptops are increasingly tailored to meet individual and specialised needs. If you’re a professional video editor or avid gamer, for example, you’ll likely seek out a high-performance machine capable of handling demanding tasks with ease.
This New Year presented me with the opportunity to explore the Microsoft Surface. Having previously used the Surface Pro 7+, I had a relatively okay experience but encountered issues with battery life, weight, and portability. Despite being a different device category with distinct features compared to the previous one I used, I was curious to see if the Surface Laptop Studio 2, in Platinum, would impress me with its overall performance. Keep reading for my review.
Apart from its minimalist silver aluminium facade, which is sure to appeal to design enthusiasts, one of the things that caught my attention was its weight, coming in at a hefty 1.98kgs. Additionally, the device was notably thick. For someone who needs to carry a laptop daily, it’s crucial to note that this might not be ideal for creatives who are frequently on the move. Nonetheless, its primary focus is functionality, offering various modes to accommodate different working styles—whether as a laptop or a tablet—thanks to its dynamic woven hinge. It boasts a vibrant 14.4-inch PixelSense Flow touchscreen, which undoubtedly delivers stunning visuals, and its responsiveness to touch and movement is precise.
As a loyal Macbook user for many years now, adjusting to Windows took some time. However, after overcoming a few learning curves, I began to appreciate the robust hardware offered by the Surface Laptop 2 Studio. It boasts 13th Gen Intel Core processors on the Intel Evo platform, accompanied by up to 32GB of RAM, delivering twice the graphics power and lightning-fast performance for tasks like multitasking, graphic design, and video editing. Watching video content is also very pleasing to the eyes.
With up to 1TB of SSD storage, it offers ample space for storing large files and projects, making it an excellent choice for videographers and video editing enthusiasts. Whether you’re editing high-resolution footage or rendering 3D models, the Surface Laptop 2 Studio effortlessly handles every task with precision and ease. Despite its impressive capabilities, as someone who primarily uses a laptop for everyday writing and sending out emails, I realised that not everyone might need such high performance in their daily lives.
As mentioned previously, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 offers various modes tailored to different tasks—use it as a laptop for everyday productivity, switch to tablet mode for watching and creating content on the go, or opt for the studio mode for drawing and sketching. This is where the Surface Slim Pen 2 comes in handy. The combination of a responsive touchscreen and the high-tech pen allows for seamless work and lets you get creative without constraints, all while maintaining precision and control. Moreover, there’s an integrated storage space for charging the pen beneath the keyboard, eliminating the need for an external charger. However, it’s important to note that the Surface Slim Pen 2 is sold separately at RM559, so do not expect your device to come with one readily.
One aspect of the review that I wanted to work out the most was the battery performance. Based on my past experience, I’ve noticed that the Surface battery tends to drain quickly after non-stop usage. While Microsoft has made some improvements in this regard, there is still much room for further enhancement. A single charge provides approximately six to seven hours of continuous usage for expected daily tasks such as watching YouTube videos and movies, and writing articles, falling short of the advertised 15-19 hours of battery life. However, the fast-charging feature allows for quick recharging when necessary, which helps solve this problem.
Overall, there’s no denying that the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Studio is a versatile, powerful, and high-performing device from which creative professionals will benefit, for sure. However, in my opinion, its substantial weight and relatively weak battery performance, which limit its portability and make it more suitable for stationary use rather than on the go, are rather hard to justify, given its hefty price tag that starts at RM12,199. So do take these points into consideration when you’re in the market for a new laptop.
Find out more about the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 here.
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