Not one to fall behind its competitors, Microsoft has unveiled a new high-spec all-in-one PC as part of its popular Surface range.
The Surface Studio boasts a 28-inch ‘PixelSense’ display – which its makers claim is the thinnest ever built – as well as a 2TB hybrid hard drive, integrated speakers and an NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU). Perhaps the most noteworthy inclusion, however, is the unfamiliar-looking puck-like control device.
Dubbed the ‘Surface Dial’, this new input device allows users to control their computers in a variety of unique ways. It can either be used flat on a desk, like a conventional keyboard or mouse, or placed directly against the screen. It also works with the Surface Book, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 4 for off-screen functions.
In a post on its official blog, Microsoft says: “Surface Dial is a new way to interact with your Surface Studio – change drawing tools like ink colour, thickness, and other controls without interrupting your creative flow.
“And real-world tools, like the ruler or colour picker, appear when you place Surface Dial directly on the screen.”
Another prominent feature is the Surface Studio’s hinge, which comprises two arms attached to a small but sturdy base. This mechanism is designed to make it easy for users to switch between using the device flat – perhaps for drawing – and having it upright in a more conventional computing position.
The mechanical flexibility fits in with a number of other designer-focused features, including the Surface Pen and True Scale, which allows it to display print products in actual size on the screen. Speaking at the official product launch event, Microsoft’s Surface vice president, Panos Panay, said: “One inch on the screen is one inch in real-life.”
The Surface Studio is now available for pre-order and will arrive in US Microsoft Stores from October 27. A European release is expected early in 2017. Prices will start at $2,999 (approx. £2,412).
For a demonstration of the Surface Studio and its new Surface Dial input device, click to view the following video and skip to the 2 min 5 secs.