As we hoped, Microsoft unveiled a new Surface Laptop Studio 2 during its September Surface event in New York City.
This is a big deal because the original Surface Laptop Studio is Microsoft's coolest laptop in ages, thanks in part to its versatility and unique sliding screen. The new Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 builds on that success, upgrading the same unique chassis with more ports and even more powerful components under the hood.
At the same time, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 is the first Microsoft laptop to ship with a dedicated VPU AI accelerator inside, which should make it a more effective platform for Microsoft's nascent Windows 11 Copilot virtual assistant.
Factor in the Surface Laptop Studio 2's expanded port selection and big battery life claims and you start to see why this could be a compelling sequel that looks ready to deliver the same unique versatility of its predecessor, albeit at a premium price.
Here's everything we know about the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 so far.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2|
|Price||$1,999 to start|
|Display||14.4-inch (2400x1600) 120Hz PixelSense touchscreen|
|CPU||Intel 13th Gen Core i7-13700H|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050-4060|
|Storage||512GB - 2TB SSD|
|Ports||Thunderbolt 4/USB-C x2, USB-A, microSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Camera||1080p Surface Studio Camera w/ IR camera|
|Battery life||16-19 hours advertised, depending on config|
|Dimensions||12.72 x 9.06 x 0.86 inches|
|Weight||4.18 lbs (integrated graphics), 4.37 lbs (Nvidia GPU)|
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Price and availability
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 is available for pre-order right now from Microsoft's website, with units slated to start shipping out October 2.
The Surface Laptop Studio 2 has a starting price of $1,999, and for that you get the basic model with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and no discrete Nvidia GPU.
Expect it to get significantly more expensive as you upgrade the internals, to the point that a Surface Laptop Studio 2 tricked out with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, the maximum amount of RAM and storage costs upwards of $3,000. Oh, and the Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus ($129) isn't included.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Design
Microsoft doesn't appear to have made any radical changes to the design of the Surface Laptop Studio, and that's a good thing.
Like its predecessor, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 sports a unique sliding hinge on the back of the display which lets you slide it down over the keyboard. It also has areas where you can magnetically attach a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus (not included) to charge.
It also has new ports, including a USB-A port (finally!) and a microSD card reader which could come in handy for quickly pulling files off memory cards. These ports join the existing pair of USB-C ports which were all we got in the original Surface Laptop Studio.
One small but notable change is that the haptic touchpad on the Surface Laptop Studio 2 has been improved over its predecessor, and Microsoft claims to have worked with special needs groups to enhance its functionality.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Display
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 sports a 14.4-inch PixelSense touchscreen (with HDR!) that slides down over the keyboard.
Lke the screen on the original Surface Laptop Studio it's a 120Hz (2,400 x 1,600 pixels) display that you can "tent" over the keyboard like an easel instead of laying it flat, which makes it useful for digital art creation and other activities which might benefit from your touchscreen being propped up like an easel.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Performance
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 will be the first Microsoft laptop to ship with an NPU (short for "Neural Processing Unit") inside. That means the Intel Core i7-13700H CPU the consumer-grade Studio 2 laptops ship with will be augmented with a special Gen3 Movidius 3700 VPU AI accelerator from Intel.
What that special chip does is awfully complex, but put simply it helps out with computing tasks that are now often grouped under the umbrella of "AI" in marketing presentations. We're talking not just visual tricks like Windows Studio Effects during video calls but also on-device inference when using AI-like virtual assistants like Windows 11 Copilot.
We don't yet know what kind of a difference this extra Intel VPU will make on the performance of the Surface Laptop Studio 2, and we can't wait to find out.
Microsoft has also confirmed the laptops can be purchased with laptop-grade Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000 series GPUs inside, specifically the RTX 4050 and 4060.
That should give these transforming laptops some extra versatility as gaming machines and mobile video-editing platforms. Some even more powerful versions of these cards (the RTX 2000 Ada professional GPUs) will be available inside Surface Laptop Studio 2 models aimed at professional creators and designers.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Camera
Microsoft's Surface Laptop Studio 2 will ship with a 1080p webcam and an IR camera so you can log in with your face via Windows Hello, just like its predecessor.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Battery life
Microsoft makes big promises about the battery life of the Surface Laptop Studio 2, claiming that we should expect up to 19 hours of use on the basic model with no Nvidia GPU and up to 18 hours on models with such a GPU.
The only exception is the big mammoth Studio 2 units with a top-of-the-line 2TB SSD and one of the discrete Nvidia GPUs, as those are only advertised as lasting up to 16 hours on a full charge. Of course, we'll have to get some of these laptops into our testing lab to verify how accurate these claims are!
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Outlook
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is one of my favorite laptops the company has ever made, so the fact that it's shipping a sequel is pretty exciting.
While the laptop is likely to cost a pretty penny if you get one tricked out with the best Nvidia GPU and SSD, not to mention 64GB of RAM (a massive amount for a Microsoft laptop), the potential of the Surface Laptop Studio 2 is similarly massive. What I love about its predecessor is the way it showcases all the cool ways you can use Windows 11—as a PC, as a tablet, as a digital art canvas, as a gaming console—in one device, and it does it all pretty well.
If the Surface Laptop Studio 2 can do a similarly good job of being useful, powerful and versatile, it might be one of the best laptops of the year. Stay tuned for our hands-on impressions and (eventually) a full review!