Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio 2 has improved chips and ports

Microsoft showed off its new high-end convertible laptop, the Surface Laptop Studio 2, at its launch event in New York City. The Laptop Studio 2 keeps the overall aesthetic of its predecessor, including a pull-forward 14.4-inch display that makes it a more touch-friendly device, but adds some welcome power-user features.

Starting at $1,999, the Studio 2 runs on Intel’s 13th generation chips — specifically the i7 H class — with an Nvidia RTX 4050 or RTX 4060 GPU. It features an Intel Neural Processing Unit, or NPU, which is the first Intel NPU in a Windows PC. (There were rumblings that Microsoft would make the chip itself, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.) You can configure it with 2TB of storage and 64GB of RAM. All in all, Microsoft says it’s “the most powerful Surface we’ve ever built” and promises twice the performance of the previous device.

The Studio 2 also offers some great new connectivity options: it has two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a microSD card reader, and the Surface Slim Pen 2. Additionally, there is a new customizable and highly responsive haptic touchpad. Microsoft calls it “the most comprehensive touchpad on any laptop.”

In on the edgeReviewing the original Laptop Studio, Dan Seifert praised the device’s many big ideas: It’s a great-looking computer that adds useful functionality without compromising its essential laptop-ness. However, it fell short on two obvious fronts. It doesn’t have enough ports, its performance doesn’t match its price, and its battery doesn’t last long. Microsoft seems to have gone after those flaws.

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The story of the day — and the year — for Microsoft was certainly AI: Much of the company’s launch event was devoted to Copilot rather than hardware. The company introduced two new Surface models, though: the Surface Go 3, designed to be a lighter and more portable way to access all the cool AI stuff, and the more powerful and creator-focused laptop Studio 2.

Microsoft’s hardware future is suddenly in a murky place, however, as devices chief Panos Panay announced Monday that he’s leaving the company after nearly two decades. He’s led both Windows and Surface in recent years, and is one of the people making the company’s vision for multi-use devices so hard. (Bane was supposed to be the star of today’s event, but he pulled out of the show after his departure was announced — Brett Ostrum, president of the Surface product group, made the announcements instead.) Yusuf Mehdi, the new president of Windows and Surface, may have different ideas about where Microsoft should go.

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