The new Surface devices have officially dropped along with the release of Windows 11. As you might expect, they come with Microsoft’s latest operating system installed. Reviewers around the web have started receiving the hybrid devices, and the scores are in.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio Reviews
Personally, the device that has me the most excited is the Surface Laptop Studio. Between the exciting design and the high-end specs available, it just looks like a laptop that’s worth buying.
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Gizmodo called the Surface Laptop Studio “an artist’s dream,” citing a “first-class keyboard and touchpad.” While reviewer Sam Rutherford loved it, the biggest issue they had was the price. “Studio’s biggest downside is that it ain’t exactly cheap, starting at $1,600 for a Core i5 CPU with integrated graphics, and going up to a minimum of $2,100 if you want that discrete RTX 3050 Ti GPU,” said Rutherford.
Tom’s Guide said, “this is what Windows 11 was meant to run on,” and gave the Surface Laptop Studio a four out of five. It sounds like one of reviewer Alex Wawro’s most significant issues is the ports. “Ports are sparse and inconveniently placed,” said Wawro in the review.
D. Hardawar with Engadget liked the Surface Laptop Studio, giving it an 84 out of 100. They said, “Microsoft has learned from the mistakes of the Surface Book—well, most of them.” Engadget also mentioned the limited ports as a negative, but the publication also cited it as “pricier than competitors with more powerful hardware.” On the positive side, the publication noted fantastic battery life, a great 120Hz screen with Dolby Vision, and a flexible screen hinge.
CNET also liked the Surface Laptop Studio, giving it an 8 out of 10. Reviewer Lori Grunin said, “The tablet positioning on this laptop is a lot more convenient than on a typical two-in-one.”
As long as you’re prepared to spend a lot of money on your next laptop, it sounds like the Surface Laptop Studio is a fantastic option to consider.
An excellent laptop for artists
Surface Pro 8 Reviews
In addition to the innovative Surface Laptop Studio, Microsoft also released a more traditional device in the Surface Pro 8. As Microsoft has had many years to refine the Surface design, it sounds like the Pro 8 is a fantastic device.
Starting with The Verge, Monica Chin’s review really sells the device: “This is the best Surface Pro we’ve seen in years.” Chin gave it an 8.5 out of 10, which is quite an impressive score. According to the review, the modern look seems exciting, and the 120Hz display is great to have. As is always the case with Surface devices, Chin cited the limited port selection as a major drawback.
CNBC also took a long look at the Surface Pro 8, and writer Todd Haselton said, “It’s a big update to the Surface Pro 7 in every way, with newer processors, a larger screen, and better pen input.” The review also pointed out that the keyboard is almost essential, meaning you’re going to need to spend an extra $180 on one to make the most of the device.
PCMag also wrote an in-depth Surface review in which reviewers Matthew Buzzi and John Burek said, “Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 doesn’t revolutionize the iconic 2-in-1, but it delivers the most noteworthy update in years, with a larger display, an attractive chassis redesign, and improved performance.” The hybrid device received a 4 out of 5 from PC Mag, which is considered excellent on the publication’s scale. Like other reviewers, the price and lack of ports were the primary drawbacks.
Microsoft nailed it
Surface Go 3 Reviews
For those looking to save some money, Microsoft also released the Surface Go 3 on October 5, 2021. It starts at $399, which is substantially cheaper than the other Surface devices that hit the market today.
CNN dug into the affordable Surface Go 3, and reviewer Michael Andronico said, “while the Go 3 is the cheapest Surface with a starting price of $399, it’s not necessarily a great value.” As the Go is more akin to an iPad, it’s only natural for comparisons to be made. In the review, Andronico said, “Microsoft’s mini Surface works well enough for everyday tasks, but it can slow down under a heavy load and isn’t quite as fast as the cheaper $329 iPad or the similarly priced $499 iPad Mini.”
The Surface Go 3 didn’t do quite as well with PCMag as the Surface Pro 8, though it still got a decent 3.5 out of 5. Tom Brant noted that “Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 is the best budget Windows 2-in-1 tablet, but its performance and value are a bit below expectations for a third-generation product that competes against Chromebooks and the Apple iPad.”
Wired‘s Eric Ravenscraft also reviewed the Surface Go 3 and cited battery life as a major drawback. “Windows 11 feels at home on Microsoft’s budget tablet, as long as you have a charger handy,” Ravenscraft said. Ultimately, the tablet got a middling 6 out of 10 from Wired, so it’s decent, but it won’t blow you away.
The cheap one
Windows 11 and Surface Devices Are Here
If you’re in the market for a new laptop or hybrid device, it looks like this generation’s Surface devices are solid. The affordable Surface Go 3 seems to be the weakest of the new hardware, but at $399, you could definitely do worse if you want the whole Windows 11 experience.
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