Mi­crosoft Sur­face Stu­dio

Two PCs in one? Al­most.

APC Australia - - Technotes -

The Sur­face Stu­dio is big, ex­pen­sive and pow­er­ful. But is this a ma­chine for cre­ative pros, or a me-too en­try in the mod­ern wave of fash­ion­ably dis­pos­able hard­ware?

MA­JOR TECH SPECS

28-inch ad­justable Pix­elSense dis­play with 4,500 x 3,000 res­o­lu­tion (192dpi), sup­port­ing sRGB, DCI-P3, Vivid colour pro­files, plus 10-point mul­ti­touch 6th-gen In­tel Core i5 or i7 CPU, with 8GB, 16GB and 32GB RAM con­fig­u­ra­tion op­tions Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPU (paired with 2GB GDDR5), or GTX 980M (paired with 4GB GDDR5) 1TB and 2TB hy­brid stor­age op­tions 802.11ac Wi-Fi/Blue­tooth 4.0/Xbox Wire­less built in Sur­face Pen and Sur­face Dial≠

KEY FIND­INGS

We tip the Stu­dio on to its back and in­spect the base, hop­ing to find a way in. A strip of air vents bor­ders the bot­tom panel, and at each cor­ner, we find a round rub­ber foot, con­ceal­ing ≠ a Torx screw. The two on the front cor­ners are of the ex­tra-long va­ri­ety. As man­u­fac­tur­ers con­tinue the fight against vis­i­ble screws, we’re OK with this so­lu­tion — it’s cer­tainly bet­ter than glu­ing the en­tire thing shut. Screws jet­ti­soned, the heavy bot­tom cover still holds on by way of sev­eral clips. So we ap­ply a lit­tle suc­tion power to yank it free. Pulling the back cover off re­veals a myr­iad of com­po­nents. There’s a strict or­der of op­er­a­tions here. First out are two fans, but they re­main an­chored by wires with hid­den leads. That mid­frame will have to come out be­fore we can pro­ceed fur­ther. As we lift it away, it brings an at­tached speaker out with it, along with a third wire teth­ered to the motherboard. Fi­nally, we have ac­cess to some guts. We start with the high-pow­ered half of the hy­brid stor­age: a stan­dard, re­mov­able, 64GB SanDisk Z400s M.2 SSD. On board, we find two SanDisk 05466 032G 32GB NAND flash stor­age mod­ules, and a Sil­i­con Mo­tion SM2246XT SATA 6Gbps DRAM-less SSD con­troller. It’s time to re­turn to that huge 28-inch glass dis­play. Un­sure what kind of ad­he­sive lies in wait, we throw down a pair of iOpen­ers to soften it up. Many swipes of the iMac open­ing tool later, and we’re ready to call this glue the in-be­tween. It’s not the overkill tar of the Sur­face Pro, but it’s also not slice-it-down-the-mid­dle clean iMac ad­he­sive. It’s in be­tween. ≠ A bit of a strug­gle, but not im­pos­si­ble. Re­pairabil­ity Score: 5 out of 10 ≠ (10 is eas­i­est to re­pair). The base is easy to open and home to sev­eral mod­u­lar com­po­nents that can be re­placed with­out dis­as­sem­bling ≠ the dis­play. The en­tire dis­play as­sem­bly can be re­placed as a piece, with­out dis­man­tling the dis­play ≠ or the base. The RAM, CPU and GPU are sol­dered to the board and can­not be up­graded. You may want to think twice about that 8GB con­fig­u­ra­tion. ≠ A few com­po­nents em­bed­ded in the dis­play would be dif­fi­cult to re­place ≠ if they failed.

For­tu­nately, that dis­play is fairly easy to re­place if dam­aged.

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