Microsoft on Wednesday announced its first desktop PC, the Surface Studio.
It’s an all-in-one computer, designed to compete with Apple’s iMac. The PC is geared toward professionals, and it has high-end specs designed for tasks like video or photo editing.
It’s an attractive device, too, held together with a forged aluminium enclosure. It has a super-thin LCD screen.
The “arms” that hold up the computer’s screen are made of chrome that reflect the environment, giving the impression that the screen is floating. All of the guts — processor, graphics, fans, etc. — live inside the base, and only a single power cable sticks out the back.
But the real surprises are the adjustable display and a new accessory called the Surface Dial. The display can lie nearly flat on the table, giving graphics artists the ability to draw and work.
The Surface Dial can be placed on the screen to bring up colour palettes and other options. It will work with other Surface products — the Surface Pro and Surface Book — but you won’t be able to use it on the screens.
Microsoft says a “zero-gravity” hinge makes it simple to put the screen in any position you want. The display accepts pen input, too, using the same Surface Pen that debuted with the Surface Pro tablet.
The Surface Studio has a 28-inch touch screen display with 13.5 million pixels. The screen has a feature called TrueColor that helps accurately represent colours. You can also change viewing modes for better video or photo editing.
The Surface Studio has a feature called TrueScale that mimics documents and objects in real life. For example, documents appear to be the same size as if they were printed.
A built-in microphone lets you control Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, with just your voice using the command “Hey, Cortana.” It’s similar to the way you control Amazon’s Echo speaker.
The Surface Studio starts at $2,999 and will be available for preorder October 26. The most powerful model will cost $4,199. Only a limited number will be available in time for the holidays this year.