Unboxing the Microsoft Surface Studio

I pre-ordered the new Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface Studio computer when I saw the commercial for it for the first time.  It just jumped out at me for some reason, which was strange since I have been a Mac user for the past 10 years.  But, quite honestly the Surface Studio looked like something Apple should be putting out. And after two months of waiting for it to come in, I finally got it this week and decided to do an unboxing.

Below are a few of my initial thoughts about the unboxing experience.  It’s not a review, since I haven’t had it long enough, but a few things that have jumped out at me so far.  Embedded here is the video from earlier this week if you’re interested in checking it out.

Microsoft Surface Studio Unboxing

Best Up-and-Running Experience of Any Windows Machine I’ve Had

It’s been 10 years since I bought my last Windows machine, and quite frankly I didn’t think I’d buy one again.  That is until I saw the Surface Studio.  So besides the design and specs, I was curious to see how easy it would be to get up and running right out of the box. And I was pleasantly surprised at just how fast and easy it was. It was literally as easy as plugging it in and turning it on.  It’s an all-in-one device so there’s only the power cord.  It took a couple of seconds to boot up and I was off and running.  It easily found my wireless network and connected to it with ease. The mouse, keyboard and pen — all wireless — started working automatically without having to go through the tedious pairing exercise.  Although you do have to pair the Surface Dial to the Studio.  But this is a way better experience getting this up and running than what I previously remember with my old Windows machines.

The 27-inch Touchscreen is Gorgeous

The display is probably the biggest reason I wanted one of these things, and it doesn’t disappoint.  In fact, when I pulled the Surface Studio out of the box, the display — which was initially lying flat over the top of the computer, slowly began to rise up due to the spring system in the zero-gravity hinge that connects the display to the computer. That was cool, but the real fun came when that 27-inch, 4500X3000 13.5 million pixel screen came on.  Everything just looks better on it. Not only when you’re watching movies, but with so much screen you can have tons of things open.  And with the pen you can sign documents and email them off without having to print and scan them. So it’s like having a really big iPad because you can touch, swipe and everything else you do with a tablet device.  Plus, the sound quality is great on top of that.

It Packs Some Nice Power for Its Size

As you can see in the unboxing video, the actual computer has a small footprint.  Part of the reason it’s able to pack so much power in that little box is they are using components that were built for laptops and not full-blown desktops.  Also, some of the components like the graphics card aren’t the latest and greatest now available on the market.  And there’s not a lot of upgrades you can make to the Studio because of the way it’s designed, but I have seen where you can upgrade the hard drive to improve overall performance.  So these tradeoffs are important to consider, because many performance tests of the Studio show it’s probably not the machine to buy if you’re into gaming.  But so far for me, I haven’t had any issues at all with running things like Adobe apps including Photoshop and Premiere for video editing and graphics, respectively.

Final First Thoughts

I’m really liking it so far. The design reminds me of an Apple product.  Being able to lower the display to make it work like a drafting table is great, particularly when you want to get hands on and do creative work.  The Surface Dial gives you a whole new way to interact with applications, but it’s taken me a little time to get used to it.  But I think once I do, it will be even more efficient as well as more fun to use.  And having a 27-inch touchscreen at my disposal makes it feel like I’m having more fun while I’m working.  But this machine isn’t for everyone.  It’s expensive and it’s not built for maximum performance.  However it’s a nice combination of good power and great design.  And so far, I’m enjoying my first new Windows machine in a decade.

Image: Microsoft

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Brent Leary Brent Leary is the host of the Small Business Trends One-on-One interview series and co-founder of CRM Essentials LLC, an Atlanta-based CRM advisory firm covering tools and strategies for improving business relationships. Brent is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author, speaker and award-winning blogger.