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Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ hands-on: More power, but still not enough

Still, we wish it had a 12th-generation Intel CPU.

The Surface Studio 2+ wasn’t the update we had been hoping to see after four years, according to its initial specifications. Maybe if I spend some time with it, I’ll change my mind. Instead of this year’s (far superior) 12th-gen CPUs, I might be content with an Intel CPU from the previous generation. I used the Surface Studio 2+ for a while during Microsoft’s hands-on event at its NYC store (or “Experience Center,” as the firm prefers). It’s true that the computer is quite fast, but it really need to be much faster.

Surface Studio 2+ hands-on

Microsoft made no design changes to the Studio 2+; it still includes a 28-inch PixelSense panel that can be quickly transformed into an easel-style perspective. According to Microsoft’s Ishmael Adams, a senior designer on the Surface team, the firm was eager to include much faster hardware for this edition. Sadly, he claims, when the company started redesigning the Studio 2+, Intel’s newest CPUs weren’t yet available. We found the 12th-gen processors to be speedier and more energy-efficient, so it’s a bummer. But hey, at least the RTX 3060 GPU is now available, and a Thunderbolt 4 connection offers the possibility of connecting an external GPU.

Because to its 2017-era technology and exorbitant pricing, the Studio 2 has been a worse machine to purchase over the past few years. Hence, it’s pleasing to see a new model with improved internals at the very least. Most creatives may use the Studio 2+ for several years at a time. Yet it would be much more future-proof if it used a 12th-generation Intel CPU. I don’t believe it is too much to ask for a computer that starts at $4,300.

Notwithstanding its internal flaws, the Studio 2+ is nevertheless a visually appealing all-in-one Computer. Although Dell and HP have offered some AiO rivals, no one has worked as hard to create a really distinctive desktop experience. Like it did with the Studio Laptop, perhaps Microsoft will be able to provide a less expensive Studio gadget in the future.