Microsoft's family of Surface devices has a new member: The Surface Studio, an all-in-one flexible desktop computer running Windows 10. It's Microsoft's first-ever desktop PC, coming on the heels of its Surface Book, its first-ever laptop.
"It's going to seem familiar, but it's going to feel different," said Microsoft Head of Surface Panos Panay at a Wednesday event in New York City announcing the new computer. Microsoft's unveiling comes just one day before Apple is expected to refresh its Mac desktop and laptop lineup.
Among the standout features of the Surface Studio: A flexible hinge that allows the desktop to fold down nearly flat, which could be a draw for artists, architects and other creatives. As with other Surface devices, the Studio is compatible with the Surface Pen, Microsoft's stylus accessory.
Microsoft is also launching a new accessory alongside its all-in-one: the Surface Dial. As its name implies, the Dial is a knob that users can stick right onto the Surface Studio's screen to change certain controls. Users can also leave it off-screen to perform tasks like flipping through pages. The dial will also be available for the Surface Pro 4 tablet and Surface Book laptop, Microsoft says.
Panay says the Surface Studio has the thinnest LCD monitor ever built, at just 12.5 millimeters thick. The chrome arm supporting the display is meant to disappear into the background so that the screen pops, says Panay. The all-in-one has a 28-inch touchscreen with 13.5 million pixels. It also includes Cortana and Skype integration.
"What you saw today is the magic we can create when we take that most malleable of resources, mix it with hardware innovation, and birth new computers and new computing experiences," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
The Surface Studio is available for preorder starting immediately. It starts at $2,999 for a version running an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage space. The most expensive version is $4,199, packing an Intel Core i7, 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. In this price range and with the flexible hinge and Dial accessory, the Surface Studio is aimed squarely at creative professionals.