Sometimes, when you get a new laptop – you just fall in love. It does all the things you never knew you needed it to do! And that has been my experience with my Surface Laptop Studio from the day I took it out of the box. Normally I’m sat at my desk working from home, or sometimes out and about at meetings or presenting at an event – but today I’m on a plane heading across the Tasman as I write this. And while I’m pretty uncomfortable in this small airline seat, I am grateful for the comfortable typing experience of this device. I am grateful that when I either finish writing this article or decide I hate it and need a break, that I can put this device into stage mode and cycle through a few new games I have just downloaded from Xbox Game Pass. Or maybe, I can even fold it down into studio mode to finish the drawing I have been working on for months but have never found the time to complete it – maybe a four-hour flight is finally the perfect time? Really – the world is my oyster here. And one more bonus – this device has up to 18 hours battery life, so not only do I have full confidence that it can make this full journey with me, but I also have enough confidence in its battery life that I’m charging my phone through the USB-C port on this device because the USB port in the back of the seat in front of my is broken. Typical!
So clearly, from this oddly specific situation I’ve found myself in which I have chosen to share with you – there is a lot to love about this device! Like I say, this isn’t exactly my typical work day. I make a lot of video content, always have at least 4 different massive PowerPoint presentations open and even though this is my work device, it’s also quickly become my favourite device for gaming on. Given my day to day demands, such as using large apps like Adobe Premier Pro, power is something really important to me in a device. But on those days where I do venture out of the house – it being lightweight and portable is something really important to me. I’m not a person to heavily focus on specs – I just like a device that works for me and does everything I need to do in a day without it freezing or freaking out on me. And while some days I’m headed straight for a meltdown, my Surface Laptop Studio has managed to handle everything I have to throw at it. There are a few different configurations of this device, so you can get the power that best suits you, as well as your budget.
On a more typical work day – I am on a lot of Teams calls, so I really appreciate that the camera and dual studio mics on this device work together to help me both look and sound my best. While the quality of webcam never used to feature near the top of my list for buying a new PC, it does now in 2023. Something cool about this device is the AI built into the camera that helps keep your picture consistent as you move around (something I do frequently as someone who exclusively talks a lot with their hands!) and also manages the lighting conditions in your space so you don’t just look like you are sitting in the dark. As mentioned, the form factor on this device is a real game changer. I’ve found using the different modes (laptop, stage and studio) has helped me to better focus on the task at hand and stay in the flow of working. I’ve got to rave about the keyboard comfort again – at 640 words in, this typing experience really is fantastic!
Haptic feedback is also a new experience that has been added to the Surface Laptop Studio. It is the first Surface device to feature haptic feedback in the precision track pad. This experience is actually really subtle, instead of there being a physical flex in the trackpad when you click, that feeling is all emulated through the haptic feedback. This was something I didn’t even realise until I was touching the trackpad, trying to get the device to respond when it was off and got nothing back. It’s a very cool seamless experience which may not sound that cool now – but when you try it out for yourself, I’m sure you will understand what I mean! The other introduction of haptic feedback is the Surface Slim Pen 2. I’ve been a huge believer in digital inking for a long time – I first started using Surface devices while studying at university, 10 years ago. I like handwriting notes because I feel like that helps them better stick in my memory, so I’ve now collected a decade of OneNote scribblings. The addition of haptic feedback into the Surface Slim Pen 2 is designed to help emulate that feeling of pen on paper or a brush on canvas. And my favourite addition of the Surface Slim Pen 2, is that is has a space underneath the lip of the Surface Laptop Studio where it can be connected and charged magnetically. Because it sits flush with the device and it has a strong magnetic connection, I have yet to accidentally knock the pen off the device and lose it - and I have lost many a Surface pen into the abyss or going through airport security over the years! The Surface Laptop Studio is a device that I have always been excited to start up each day, it even smiles back at me as it signs me in with Windows Hello facial recognition. For me, the deciding factors that make this the right device for me, is the perfect mix of power, portability and a great form factor. Formfactor really came in where I consider where I will be using this device the most, and while 90% of the time I am at my desk working from home, I need a device that is equally suitable when I’m at an event, on a plane or in a hotel room. Given a lot of my time is spent at a desk, the laptop formfactor really works for me. However, adding in the fact I like to handwrite notes and draw on my device, the tablet element is also crucial to how I like to use my device throughout my day.