Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Microsoft

Microsoft Announces Ultra-Thin, Pixel-Dense Surface Studio Touchscreen PC (arstechnica.com) 197

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft's first Surface-branded desktop PC now exists, and it is called the Surface Studio. The PC features a 28" display with 13.5 million pixels, which means the display is roughly 63 percent denser than a "4K" screen at 3840x2160 resolution. That screen is also an astonishing 12.5mm thick. The specs we know so far: an integrated 270W PSU, 2TB "rapid" hard drive (meaning, hopefully, an SSD portion in a "hybrid" configuration, but that is not yet confirmed), 32GB RAM, a quad-core Skylake CPU, and a Windows Hello-compatible front-facing camera. In his demonstration of the device, Panos Panay, Microsoft's head of Windows hardware, held up a piece of paper to demonstrate "true scale" resolution density, so that holding that paper up to the screen would offer like-for-like comparability. He also showed off live color gamut switching, which visual designers will clearly appreciate.Update: 10/26 17:59 GMT: FastCompany has an in-depth story on Surface Studio and how it was conceived.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Announces Ultra-Thin, Pixel-Dense Surface Studio Touchscreen PC

Comments Filter:
  • GPU? (Score:2, Informative)

    by caferace ( 442 )
    Nothing about the GPU? That's ... lame.
    • Re:GPU? (Score:5, Informative)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @12:40PM (#53155805)
      The linked article says it's got somewhere between a GeForce GTX 965M and 980M, so slightly old kit, but some of the best available as far as mobile GPUs go.
      • Re:GPU? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Misagon ( 1135 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @01:22PM (#53156171)

        There are three models. The i5/8GB and i7/16GB models has GTX 965M w/ 2GB mem.
        The i7/32GB model has a GTX 980M w/ 4GB memory.

        Note that NVidia's mobile GPUs in that generation (900-series, "Maxwell" architecture) are lower-specced chips than the non-M desktop chips.

        Meanwhile, there are laptops out with NVidia's next generation of GPUs (10-series, "Pascal") and those do not have different chips in the mobile GPUs, they are only binned and clocked slightly lower, not as a significant difference.

      • I am also disappointed it has no USB type C or Thunderbolt considering the cheapest model is nearly $3000!

        All the new phones starting with the Nexus 6P all use this interface for fast charging and file transfer. I could see or not care if this was a $1600 device, but for $3,000 it should come with top end graphics and I/O ports

  • This probably means a laptop hard drive with a bit of flash, complete with all the performance impact that it entails. Computers should either be all flash (for speed) or should have a real desktop HD to provide usable capacity (i.e. 6 TB+). Any other design is a silly compromise that won't make anybody happy—either too small or too slow (or both).

    • Re:2 TB Hard drive? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @12:51PM (#53155895)
      Hybrid drives are fine provided the operating system knows that it's dealing with one and can exploit that fact by keeping the commonly used files in the flash memory and rarely used files or those large files that can be streamed quickly enough from the spinning disk stored on that part of the drive.

      However, as this seems to be a professional type device, they should be building in a different solution that involves some kind or RAID storage. Or perhaps they just assume anyone with a brain or the past experiencing of an untimely disk failure already has an external setup so why bother baking it into the system.
      • they should be building in a different solution that involves some kind or RAID storage

        That's so 1995. These days it's about NASes, USB-Cing their way to the Clouds.

    • I suggest that computers need flash, period. For just the IOPS alone. Even for normal "computing".

  • by khz6955 ( 4502517 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @12:44PM (#53155843)
    Distrowatch [distrowatch.com] putting the fun back in computing.
    • Distrowatch [distrowatch.com] putting the fun back in computing.

      It has a gigantic, ultra high resolution display that accepts a pressure sensitive pen. What are you really going to run in Linux that doesn't waste those features?

  • by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @12:45PM (#53155847) Homepage Journal

    Touch my screen and I'll break your finger off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You seem really cool and fun.

    • Touch my screen and I'll break your finger off.

      Oh wow, you're going to be breaking a lot of fingers including your own very soon. Stop being so touchy about the subject.

      • Touch my screen and I'll break your finger off.

        Oh wow, you're going to be breaking a lot of fingers including your own very soon. Stop being so touchy about the subject.

        I'm touched by your concern.

    • While I wouldn't go quite that far, I do keep a spray of screen cleaning fluid near my desk. At one point, a colleague famous for leaving fingerprints on screens around the office (some people can only read things they point at, apparently) touched my screen, and was mightily surprised when I immediately sprayed both the screen and his finger...

  • I actually think this sounds like a pretty nice, well spec'd out machine.... but then I saw the price tag!

    $4,199 for the high-end config?

    I thought everyone was throwing a huge fit about the insane pricing for Apple's Mac Pro "trashcan" workstation? Yet it's been offered since the end of 2013 in a configuration with a 3.5Ghz 6 core Xeon processor (not just a Pentium 4 desktop class CPU) and Dual FirePro AMD graphics w/3GB of VRAM per card, for $200 less than this! (Yeah, it "only" has 16GB of RAM instead o

    • This more competes with the 27" iMac that is $2300, and is nowhere near those specs. Overpriced sure, but not out in crazytown compared to the Mac.

      • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @02:24PM (#53156659) Journal

        Except it really doesn't. You can configure iMac 27" 5K to have a 4GHz 4-core CPU, 2TB "fusion" drive (probably same hybrid thing Microsoft has here), 32GB RAM, and a Radeon R9 M395X with 4GB VRAM for $3400.

        That's basically the same machine, except with an Apple logo and OS X instead of Microsoft logos and Windows 10, and no touchscreen. And, the bit that makes the touchscreen even remotely useable was patented by Apple 6 years ago [core77.com] so Microsoft didn't even come up with that - they can just use it through the cross-licensing agreement that the two companies share.

        Is the touchscreen and Windows 10 really worth $800?

        • It is if you design mobile sites and want to test touch functionality.
        • Well, you're paying for what we computer people call "The Microsoft premium". As we all know, Microsoft's products aren't just designed to be powerful, but to have a design aesthetic that makes them just a little bit special compared to the competition. Apple has always been known for their powerful, but pedestrian, beige or gray thrown together boxes, with no thought given to how a device should look or feel or its usability. Whereas people buy Microsoft not just for the quality, but to own something a li

        • Is the touchscreen and Windows 10 really worth $800?

          If you draw for a living it's worth far more than $800.

        • That's basically the same machine, except with an Apple logo and OS X instead of Microsoft logos and Windows 10, and no touchscreen.

          It's not just a touchscreen though, it's a digitizer that supports an active stylus as well.

          Is the touchscreen and Windows 10 really worth $800?

          Well that depends, if you need a touchscreen with an active stylus for the work you're doing then yes, if not then probably not.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      I suppose you're largely paying for thin there. I can get a similarly speced Dell Precision with a touch screen and a 2TB SSD for about $1000 less (With Linux preiinstalled.) The Apple Trash Can is competing in the workstation arena, though, and I just did a monster VR desktop build and was having trouble breaking 4 grand with it. Although it would have been a lot easier if I were trying to put a Xeon or dual Xeon in it. The amount of labor I put in to building it myself probably would have tacked another $
      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

        I suppose you're largely paying for thin there. I can get a similarly speced Dell Precision with a touch screen and a 2TB SSD for about $1000 less (With Linux preiinstalled.) The Apple Trash Can is competing in the workstation arena, though, and I just did a monster VR desktop build and was having trouble breaking 4 grand with it. Although it would have been a lot easier if I were trying to put a Xeon or dual Xeon in it. The amount of labor I put in to building it myself probably would have tacked another $1000 or so onto the price.

        Given that you'd be able to use that (Apple) machine for upwards of 10 years if you wanted to, the price isn't particularly unreasonable. My first aluminum mac pro from 2005-ish is currently serving as an asterisk box for a friend of mine who has a small business and needed a PBX system, and the machine is still plenty capable of doing that. It wasn't even ridiculously expensive for a dual Xeon workstation at the time -- I don't think I could have built one for less money back then.

        Thing is, it's not just a touch screen. It's a wide-gamut, high resolution pen digitizer. I don't even know of any available that would directly compare to it, but the QHD (1440) 27" Wacom Cintiq will run you around $2600 and it is just a display, and with lower specs. If Wacom made this display it would probably cost $4K by itself.

        If you just want a touch-screen PC this isn't for you. This is aimed directly at the professionals using iMacs in film, animation, graphics, and arts.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      Um... The Mac Pro doesn't come with a screen, which is where the majority of the cost goes here.
    • The price for a Wacom screen of that size is about $2800 [amazon.com], and that one's only 2560x1440. $1400 for a decent-specced computer in that form factor is about what you'd pay with anyone else.

    • Only a few 5k monitors out there and they are over 2,000$
    • plus $2,800 for the touch/digitizing display.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyhjUFcXgo0

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @01:05PM (#53156027)
    Does it require the Windows 10 data harvesting to be enabled?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can disable it. But it will harvest your data anyway.

      Data harvesting is voluntary, but not optional.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Someone was wondering how come he was able to upload a personal file to OneDrive faster than his connection would allow. It turns out his file was already in the data harvesting system which is now fully unified with OneDrive to prevent duplication. OneDrive's upload/delete features are cheaply implemented as show/hide in the data harvesting system that they already have, so it is pure profit.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      No, but you must submit DNA sample at each login.
  • The device itself looks really sexy, no doubt about that.

    Looking more at the specs though it really seems more like a mobile device with a giant screen bolted on. It has as mentioned a 2TB laptop drive (probably) but even worse to me, the GTX 980M instead of the GTX 1080... if I'm going to go with a desktop over a laptop I really could use that extra boost (nearly twice as much processing power).

    Yes the 1080 card is damn large but so fast they should have built the base around it, the base could easily be

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      The dial can be used off-screen as basically a wheel of sorts, but the on-screen use adds the ability to show a digital control wheel around it which can be extremely practical. I think it's gonna be a net win over purely off-screen dials.
      • You could however easily have the on-screen digital control appear the moment you used the off-screen dial, which would be just as easy to use and then the overall control would be much smaller in terms of screen real-estate used.

        Something like a stylus is plainly useful (especially for a desktop monitor so you have no fingerprints) but the dial being tracked on-screen is something that is terribly cool to demo but I think will get almost no use in real life (except for demoing how cool it looks in action).

        • Yeah, in their announcement demo they showed the dial as a virtual dial when left on the desk. So I think it probably will function fully without putting it on the screen. Though they didn't cover this fully.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      The device itself looks really sexy, no doubt about that.

      Looking more at the specs though it really seems more like a mobile device with a giant screen bolted on. It has as mentioned a 2TB laptop drive (probably) but even worse to me, the GTX 980M instead of the GTX 1080... if I'm going to go with a desktop over a laptop I really could use that extra boost (nearly twice as much processing power).

      Yes the 1080 card is damn large but so fast they should have built the base around it, the base could easily be a bit larger without compromising the design.

      If the machine is an all-in-one desktop. it really doesn't matter how thick it is anyway. It takes up the same horizontal and vertical space on a desk whether it's 12mm thick or has a 6" box behind the screen. 99% of people are going to have it on a desk where it will have a foot and a half or more empty space behind it (mirroring the legroom under the furniture).

      • I would say vertical space matters a lot more for this unit than other all-in-one units, since the screen folds down to be almost flat there has to be room behind to do that - which limits the height or what is behind the screen area. But I still think there's enough height there the larger GPU could have been made to fit, with a large external power brick (which it probably has anyway because of the screen).

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "with a large external power brick (which it probably has anyway because of the screen)."

          Right in the summary they say internal 270W PSU.

  • If I was richer and didn't care about gaming I'd be on this. But it has one flaw that don't manifest until years later when you might want to upgrade. I bought a tablet PC 10 years ago andI loved it for painting in Photoshop, but as I tried to do more layered work it couldn't keep up. I really wish I could take the display off and plug it into my desktop.
  • Microsoft's first Surface-branded desktop PC now exists, and it is called the Surface Studio. The PC features a 28" display with 13.5 million pixels, which means the display is roughly 63 percent denser than a "4K" screen at 3840x2160 resolution. That screen is also an astonishing 12.5mm thick.

    When I hear "desktop" I think a CPU chassis separate from a monitor. So to say the screen is 12.5mm thick isn't very impressive in a world of sub-1cm thick smartphones. The summary should convey this is an all-in-one machine instead of a "plain" desktop, so that thickness is for the display and the PC hardware mounted behind it as well.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      The hardware's in the base, not in the screen. The screen is still very thin comparatively to basically any screen you can find out there, and that's in spite of requiring a much stronger structure than a 5" smartphone.
    • So to say the screen is 12.5mm thick isn't very impressive in a world of sub-1cm thick smartphones

      It is actually very impressive when you consider the number of sub 1cm thick smartphones which have bent in all weird and wonderful ways. My Surface Pro has a lovely bend in it too, and that's a common problem across the top edge which has less metal on it to expose the WiFi antenna. I think someone with brains realised that maybe thickness on a 28" device which people lean on while drawing may have a benefit.

      Speaking of. WTF is this so thing! It's a frigging desktop. Make it thick and durable.

  • How would people use back camera on this?

  • by bazorg ( 911295 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @02:25PM (#53156663) Homepage

    Too many full sized USB and Ethernet ports, legacy headphone jack, Escape key... lame.

  • Say it ain't so oh oh oh...

  • The hardware is neat, though of course the price is high. The dial, however, looks like a solution in search of a problem. I don't think it does anything you couldn't do with a gesture -- say, three fingers on the screen in a triangle, and then move them in the same way that you'd turn a dial. Like in Minority Report.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-u... [microsoft.com]

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

Working...