Yesterday Microsoft held a hardware event for their Surface line of products in New York City. Microsoft elected to not provide a livestream because the company is simply not as cool and awesome as Apple. Comparatively, Apple’s annual September iPhone keynote was streamed on Twitter.
The team from Redmond is forever chasing the taillights of Cupertino.
The only Surface product I was interested in was the top-of-the-line machine the Surface Studio. I’ve already got a Surface Pro 4 and I’m not keen to replace that anytime soon, especially since the industrial design is still the same on the new Surface Pro 6. I guess I’m not likely to buy a Surface Studio either since I’m very much using the 2017 5K iMac I just bought last year.
It’s nice to look at nice things you can absolutely afford to buy but choose not to.
The original Surface Studio debut two years ago to critical acclaim of its brilliant screen that serves as a monitor and a Wacom-style creative surface when its hinged down in its most flat position. I quite enjoy doing scribbles and jotting down notes with the Surface pen on my Surface Pro 4, and I can only imagine how incredible the experience would be on that vast 28-inch canvas.
However great the display on the Surface Studio was utterly undermined by the lackluster internals. Due to design constraints, Microsoft had to use mobile/laptop parts for better packaging and less heat. That in it of itself is not a problem because Apple have done the same in the iMac line since forever. The issue in Microsoft’s execution with the Surface Studio is that they used one-generations old CPU and GPU chips instead of the latest available; the machine was already out-of-date at launch.
Not to mention the lack of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, and the slow hybrid SSD hard drive.
So I was eager to see how Microsoft would remedy this glaring flaw at yesterday’s event, and the answer is they absolutely did not. The new Surface Studio 2 indeed received the welcomed spec bump, but shockingly not to the current 8th generation Intel processors and Nvidia RTX20XX graphics. Instead it once again utilizes previous generation chips: 7th generation Intel and Nvidia GTX10XX. Like the original model, Surface Studio 2 is being launched with obsolete components.
There’s still no USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 in the new model, too. Overall it’s a very disappointing showing from Microsoft. After two years, this was all they could’ve come up with?