Can The Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ Beat Apple Mac Studio or iMac?

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Can The Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ Beat Apple Mac Studio or iMac?

Apart from the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Pro 9 tablet, Microsoft also launched the Surface Studio 2+. Unlike the other Surface-branded portable devices, this is a powerful, stationary workstation aimed at creators, designers, and gamers. It is not meant for casual usage, and the price hints at the end-users Microsoft is targeting. Although the refreshed Surface Studio 2+ can perform highly demanding computing tasks, is it better than the Apple iMac or the Mac Studio series with M1 SoC?

 

The Surface Studio 2+ indicates Microsoft wants to capture the market currently cornered by the Apple Mac Studio and the sleek iMac all-in-one desktop. The latest, all-in-one from Microsoft has the hardware and the accessories needed to transform a mundane work desk into a powerful workstation. Let's look at the specifications, features, price, and availability of the Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ desktop PC.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ Specifications and Features

Microsoft launched the first edition of the Surface Studio 2, the "flexible" all-in-one desktop, about four years ago. Needless to mention, it has been a long wait. The Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ has a rather strange name as fans were expecting Surface Studio 3. Nonetheless, the newly launched desktop PC with an integrated mini-PC and display is certainly an upgrade over its predecessor.

The Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ features a 28-inch PixelSense screen, which is mounted on a flexible hinge. This feature allows the large, touch-screen display to quickly and effortlessly transform into a digital canvas. The hinge connects the display to a dock that not only holds all the hardware but also doubles as a stand for the entire desktop PC.

 

The Surface Studio 2+ packs Intel's H35 11th-gen CPU and NVIDIA's RTX 3060 graphics. Microsoft claims the CPU makes the device 50 percent faster than the Surface Studio 2. It is not immediately clear why Microsoft is not offering Intel's 12th-gen processors which pack up to 16 cores in the HX variants. The previous iteration of the PC had NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. The 2022 model has NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060. As the name clearly implies, the GPU supports ray tracing.

The 11th Gen CPUs from Intel aren't slow by any stretch of the imagination. And these powerful processors will work with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD. Incidentally, there are no expansion slots to add some more storage. But Microsoft has finally added Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and the display supports Dolby Vision HDR.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ Price And Availability

The base variant of the Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ starts at $4,300 (approx. Rs. 3,50,000). Microsoft's Surface Pen, Keyboard, and Mouse combo pack cost $300 (approx. Rs. 24,500) extra. Coupled with the peripherals, which are essential to unlock full functionality, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ costs $4,500 (approx. Rs. 3,70,000).

Interested buyers can pre-order the premium all-in-one computer directly from Microsoft. Availability is restricted to select markets, but Microsoft has assured it will start shipping from October 25, 2022.

Can A Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ Beat Apple iMac or Studio?

Back in early 2021, Apple fully ditched Intel's powerful, but resource-hungry CPUs, and started embedding its own SoCs within the iMac lineup. It has been close to the two-year anniversary of the M1 iMac, and rumors are rife about an iMac Pro. In its currently available iteration, the M1 iMac is a capable desktop computer, but in terms of raw computing power, the M1 chipset isn't powerful enough to beat Intel CPUs.

Even the M1 Pro might not be enough to beat the HX variants of Intel's 12th-gen chips, but the M2, and more importantly, the M2 Ultra, could be game-changers. If the upcoming iMac or the Mac Studio get the latest chipsets, they could turn the devices into powerful workstations. If that happens, the 2022 Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ won't be an easy choice to make.

With the M1 Ultra CPU, which is essentially two M1 Max chipsets clubbed together, the M1 Mac Studio is a beast. Currently, the combo of the base models of M1 Mac Studio and Studio Display collectively cost $3,600 (approx. Rs. 2,96,000). It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to the Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ not just in terms of hardware but also price.

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