Microsoft Floor Laptop computer Studio Evaluation: Excessive-Finish Hybrid

Ever for the reason that Floor vary debuted a decade in the past, Microsoft has specialised in hybrid gadgets. The unique Floor Professional pill might develop into a laptop computer of types due to an elective keyboard, however the firm has experimented with totally different type components within the years since.

One other new one was added to the combination in 2021 within the type of the Floor Laptop computer Studio. Reasonably than detaching the keyboard totally, it has a versatile hinge that allows you to transfer the show between three key positions. It’s not the primary time we’ve seen a design like this, however its introduction here’s a clear sign of intent from Microsoft.

However does it do sufficient to persuade inventive execs away from an iPad Professional or Mac? Or can it even tempt customers? I spent a number of weeks testing the Floor Laptop computer Studio to seek out out.

Design & Construct

New 3-in-1 design works nicely however has its limitations
Nice video calling options
Restricted port choice

The Floor Laptop computer Studio replaces the Floor Ebook as Microsoft’s high-end hybrid laptop computer, adopting a really totally different type issue within the course of. As an alternative of a laptop computer with totally removable show, the display on the Laptop computer Studio may be pulled ahead in entrance of the keyboard or lay flat on high of it.

This technically makes it a 3-in-1 system, though you lose the pliability of utilizing the display as a standalone pill. You’re additionally restricted to those three fastened positions, in contrast to on convertible laptops with 360° hinges. I discovered this notably problematic with the show pulled ahead in Stage mode, which isn’t probably the most pure angle for watching movies – however there’s no method to alter it.

Nonetheless, that was the one actual situation the place I discovered the design to be a limitation. The system is superb in common Laptop computer mode, whereas Studio mode works nice for handwritten notes utilizing the brand new Slim Pen 2 stylus. My every day workflow doesn’t contain shows, however I think about Stage mode is far more efficient right here.

It’s additionally extraordinarily simple to maneuver between the totally different modes. Inside a few seconds, the Laptop computer Studio can really feel like a complete new system, one thing that’s not potential on many rivals.

However with the system closed, you wouldn’t essentially know this performance is offered. The premium aluminium alloy construct is one thing we’ve seen on Floor gadgets numerous occasions earlier than, whereas a Platinum end is your solely possibility. I’d have favored to see some different colors, however this minimalist aesthetic is typical of {hardware} designed for enterprise use.

Nonetheless, you’ll discover a few design quirks when trying carefully. The primary is a protracted break up throughout the again of the system – that is how the show stays connected when it’s transferring between positions.

The opposite is a big base which extends from the underside of the system, giving it an uncommon dual-level design. That is presumably to enhance stability (which is superb), however it means the system is chunky at 17.88mm thick.

Microsoft has put the house across the base to good use, although, with massive speaker grilles on the left and proper aspect. You’ll additionally discover sturdy magnets across the entrance, designed as a safe storage location for the Slim Pen 2 stylus. This doubles as a charging station, making it simply accessible but nonetheless out of the best way when not required.

However the Floor Laptop computer Studio isn’t simply thick, it’s heavy too. The i7 mannequin I examined is a hefty 1.82kg, whereas i5 variations aren’t far behind at 1.74kg. That’s heavier than most 14in laptops, so not as transportable as you may be anticipating.

Nonetheless, probably the most disappointing design selection for me is the port choice. Not solely has Microsoft caught with Floor Join as the principle charging methodology, it’s joined by simply 2x USB-C (with Thunderbolt four help) and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On a tool this thick, there’s actually no excuse for the shortage of USB-A ports, and there’s loads of room for an HDMI too.

Nonetheless, it’s significantly better information on the subject of the webcam. The 1080p sensor delivers clear, crisp video calls, whereas twin studio mics make sure you may be heard loud and clear. With an adjoining IR sensor, it means the Laptop computer Studio helps Home windows Hi there face unlock.

It’s quick, dependable and simple to arrange, however stays your solely biometric unlocking methodology. Microsoft has once more determined towards a fingerprint sensor, whereas the Floor Ebook 3’s rear digicam has additionally been sacrificed. Neither are deal-breakers, however I’d nonetheless anticipate them on such a premium system.

Keyboard & Trackpad

Respectable keyboard, however might do with extra journey
No fingerprint sensor
Spectacular trackpad, however Slim Pen 2 offered individually

The Floor Laptop computer Studio has a big, full-size keyboard, though Microsoft has opted towards together with a separate quantity pad. I choose this design, each aesthetically and functionally.

Every key gives a good quantity of journey, though I hoped for extra from a tool of this dimension. It actually received’t rival mechanical keyboards and even Dell’s XPS line, however typing expertise is okay for most individuals. You additionally get three totally different settings for backlighting, whereas the F keys double as fast entry to many frequent features.

However with all this house to work with, I actually don’t perceive why Microsoft determined towards a fingerprint sensor. I respect the big palm rests, however the present format is hardly too cramped to accommodate it.

Certainly, there’s nonetheless loads of room for a big trackpad on the Floor Laptop computer Studio. Its haptic suggestions takes a little bit of getting used to, however it delivers a extra convincing navigation expertise than most rivals. In fact, there are many options, together with contact, mouse or pen enter.

The latter requires a stylus (such because the Slim Pen 2) to be purchased individually, however it’s price mentioning right here. As I discussed in my Floor Professional eight assessment, this has a flatter design than earlier Microsoft styluses, however this feels extra pure when taking handwritten notes or sketches.

It’s capable of detect many alternative ranges of strain sensitivity (4096, to be particular), and the 2ms latency provides it a pen-on-paper-like expertise. Magnetically attaching and charging beneath the trackpad is the icing on the cake. It is only a disgrace it is not included within the worth.

Display & Audio system

Nice 120Hz LCD show
Adaptive refresh charge function on the best way
Quad audio system are strong however unspectacular

With the Laptop computer Studio, Microsoft has opted for a display dimension we haven’t seen from a Floor system earlier than: 14.4in. It’s what the corporate describes as a ‘PixelSense Circulate’ show, however that is LCD and never OLED. I hoped for the latter on Microsoft’s costliest laptop computer, however it’s not an enormous difficulty.

The display itself has a decision of 2400×1600, which means it adopts the now-customary 3:2 facet ratio. Colors are vivid and vibrant, whereas the extent of element is superb. Solely a handful of individuals will want the next high quality show – that is a lot adequate for most individuals.

Figures again that up, with 100% protection of the sRGB color gamut, 83% of Adobe RGB and 87% of DCI-P3 in my testing. I additionally recorded a formidable max brightness of 532 nits, though outside utilization continues to be a wrestle more often than not.

However one of many massive benefits of the Floor Laptop computer Studio show is its excessive refresh charge. The system can output at each 60Hz and 120Hz, with the latter delivering silky-smooth visuals and glorious responsiveness.

Microsoft is engaged on a Dynamic Refresh Charge (DRR) function for Home windows 11, which permits the refresh charge to robotically alter relying on the state of affairs. Nonetheless, that isn’t out there on the time of writing, so that you’ll have to decide on between 60Hz and 120Hz.

The show is surrounded by an impressively slim bezel, and I respect Microsoft’s determination to make it the identical thickness on all sides.

You’ll additionally discover a whole of 4 audio system, which output by way of massive grilles on the left and proper underside. Audio is evident and crisp, however I hoped for further bass and a extra immersive sound. Nonetheless, one benefit right here is that the sound very hardly ever will get distorted, even at excessive volumes.

Specs & Efficiency

Nice efficiency on i7/RTX 3050 Ti mannequin examined
Cannot touch upon i5/Iris Xe
Loads of storage

The Floor Laptop computer Studio is Microsoft’s strongest laptop computer up to now, and it’s bought the internals to match. Entry-level configurations function an Intel Core i5-11300H processor and Iris Xe built-in graphics, however you possibly can pay extra for the Core i7-11370H and an RTX 3050 Ti GPU as an alternative.

It’s uncommon to see a Microsoft laptop computer with a discrete graphics card, even when it’s one in all Nvidia’s cheaper choices. Alongside a bumper 32GB of RAM on the mannequin I examined, efficiency is superb throughout the board. Nothing in my every day workflow – which incorporates internet shopping, electronic mail, Adobe Photoshop and multitasking – triggered any slowdown or stuttering.

I examined it as a productiveness system, however the Floor Laptop computer Studio can also be able to some gentle gaming. Don’t anticipate it to excel at AAA titles although, regardless of the Nvidia GPU.

This strong efficiency is mirrored within the benchmarks under:

Microsoft is beneficiant with its storage choices, partly attributable to an absence of expandable storage. The most cost effective mannequin has a 256GB SSD, however this may be configured all the best way as much as 2TB.

Software program

Home windows 11 Professional out of the field
Handful of additional safety/administration options
Performs nearly identically to Home windows 11 Dwelling

Not like Microsoft’s different laptops, the Floor Laptop computer Studio runs Home windows 11 Professional out of the field, because it’s primarily designed for creatives and executives utilizing it in a enterprise setting. There are a number of further safety and administration options in comparison with Home windows 11 Dwelling, however these aren’t actually related to customers. Most individuals received’t discover a distinction between the 2.

However Home windows 11 basically is sort of a departure from Home windows 10 – particularly visually. There’s a method to roll again to Home windows 10, however I wouldn’t suggest doing that after you purchase the Floor Laptop computer Studio. Nearly each function you want continues to be right here, and Microsoft is usually including new options to Home windows 11.

These embrace some it omitted with the introduction of the brand new OS, however Home windows 10 is unlikely to get any extra options of notice. Home windows 11 feels just like the place to be transferring ahead.

Battery Life & Charging

Battery capability 56.3Wh-58Wh
Would not fairly hit Microsoft claims, however battery life nonetheless strong
Respectable charging speeds

Microsoft says the battery within the Floor Laptop computer Studio can vary from 56.3Wh to 58Wh, which is typical for a laptop computer of this dimension. Nonetheless, the corporate has made some massive claims about how lengthy it’ll final – as much as 18 hours on the Core i7 mannequin I examined, or 19 hours on Core i5 variations.

Whereas I couldn’t fairly attain these heights in testing, battery life continues to be spectacular. In our 720p video loop check, I recorded 15 hours and 22 minutes on a single cost. This was with the brightness set to 120 nits so not essentially reflective of real-world utilization, a full working day continues to be nicely inside attain.

A software-based battery saver mode can assist if you happen to’re working low, however charging speeds are strong too. Utilizing the charger included within the field (Microsoft doesn’t quote a particular wattage), I reached 20% battery in 15 minutes from off. By 30 minutes, this was 37%, whilst you’re round 2 hours 15 minutes for a full cost.

Not dangerous in any respect, however you will want to make use of the proprietary Floor Join port for the quickest speeds. It attaches magnetically, however can simply be displaced with any important motion. I want Microsoft totally embraced USB-C for charging.


As you may already know, the Floor Laptop computer Studio doesn’t come low cost. It begins at £1,449/US$1,599.99 for a mannequin with an Intel Core i5 processor, Iris Xe built-in graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

Nonetheless, costs climb steeply from there. The Intel Core i7/RTX 3050 Ti configuration I examined (16GB RAM /1TB SSD) will set you again £2,479/US$2,699, whilst you will pay much more for double the storage.

Reductions look like comparatively frequent, however that is greater than most customers can be keen to spend on a brand new laptop computer. It may be a distinct story for enterprise customers, however you possibly can nonetheless discover higher worth for cash elsewhere in our enterprise laptop computer chart. Different 2-in-1 gadgets additionally supply extra flexibility.

Bear in mind, the Floor Slim Pen 2 you see in some pictures is an elective accent – it prices an additional £119.99/US$129.99. In the end, worth is the principle motive to not purchase the Floor Laptop computer Studio.


The Laptop computer Studio is a compelling new addition to Microsoft’s Floor vary, however it doesn’t get every little thing proper.

I’m impressed by the performance out there in all three modes, however some will miss the additional flexibility afforded by the Floor Ebook. Nonetheless, a slick design makes switching between them really feel seamless.

It additionally helps Microsoft pack in additional energy than the Ebook 3. Whereas it was introduced earlier than 12th-gen Intel laptop computer chips have been official, combining Tiger Lake CPUs with an RTX 3050 Ti GPU yields a pleasant efficiency increase.

Different highlights embrace a formidable 120Hz show (with adaptive refresh charge on the best way), strong battery life and an excellent video calling expertise. Nonetheless, a restricted port choice and no fingerprint sensor take the shine off the expertise.

At these costs, these shortcomings are troublesome to disregard. However let’s hope extra firms experiment with type components like this sooner or later.

Microsoft Floor Laptop computer Studio: Specs

14.4in 2400×1600 LCD show, 120Hz refresh charge (adaptive)
Intel Core i5-11300H/i7-11370H processor
Intel Iris Xe/Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU
16/32GB RAM
256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD storage
Home windows 11 Professional
10Mp rear digicam
1080p digicam with Home windows Hi there help
Quad stereo audio system with Dolby Atmos
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
As much as 19h battery life (i5), as much as 18h (i7)
1.74kg (i5), 1.82kg (i7)

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