Microsoft puts content creators in its sights with release of new Surface devices


posted Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 2:06 PM EST


Microsoft held a Windows 10 event yesterday, at which it unveiled a slew of products, software and announcements. The headliner for the event was the new Surface Studio, a sleek new style of desktop computer that aims directly at professionals in the design industry, a market typically dominated by Mac computers.

The Surface Studio's specifications are appropriately strong, in order to handle resource-intensive graphics applications. The foundation of the computer is a 28" diagonal display that features a 3:2 aspect ratio, rather than the conventional 16:9 wide-angle display. The screen features a display resolution of 4500x3000 pixels, at 192 pixels per inch, and offers Adobe sRGB, DCI-P3 and Vivid Color Profiles. Further, the screen has a 10 point multi-touch capability and supports both a digital pen and Microsoft's fancy new device, the Surface Dial (which we'll cover next).  The hardware under the hood is also solid: customizable with either a 6th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, between 8GB and 32GB of RAM, and graphics options max out with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 memory. The Surface Studio is available for pre-order now, starting at USD$2,999.


Also announced at the Event is the new Surface Dial. The Surface Dial is a new peripheral device designed to work in tandem with a mouse or pen. Essentially, it allows the user a convenient method to access different tools available within the various content design applications. The Dial operates with a click and turn functionality, allowing you to (as examples) change the orientation of an image, change the tone of a color, or change the size of a brush. With a target price of US$99.99, the Dial is slated to ship in 2017, and even ships free with a Surface Studio if you pre-order before December 1.


The last device announced by Microsoft at its press event was the new Surface Book, "the latest member of the Surface Book family" moving closer to the style of a notebook than previous Surface Pro tablet devices. The Surface Book features the same processor options as the Surface Studio (Intel Core i5 and i7) but uses solid-state hard drives instead of a hybrid rotational hard drive. The Surface Book is compatible with the Surface Dial.

Microsoft also announced an update to Windows 10 in the form of the Creators Update. This update features a large push into 3D, with a new Paint 3D app for creating imagery in three dimensions; similarly, PowerPoint offers the ability to add 3D models into presentations. The Creators Update also features support for VR headsets produced by HP, Lenovo, ASUS, Dell and Acer.

For a summary of all the announcements made at Microsoft's press event, you can click on this link.