To compile its fourth “Psychology of Passwords” global report, the password management company commissioned the market research firm Lab42 to survey 3,750 professionals across a wide variety of industries in the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore, France and India.
According to the report, while 92 percent of respondents are aware that using the same password or a variation of it is a risk, 65 percent still reuse passwords across their accounts. Although consumers have a solid understanding of proper password security and the actions they need to take to minimize risk, they still pick and choose which information they apply that knowledge to.
LastPass also found that most users acre creating passwords that leverage personal information that could possibly have ties to public data such as a birthday or home address. Despite the fact that 79 percent of respondents agreed that compromised passwords are a problem, over half still rely on their memory to keep track of passwords as opposed to using a password manager.
More time online equals greater risk
As the pandemic has led to people spending more time online, 91 percent of respondents said that they have created at least one new account this year. In fact, 90 percent of those surveyed now have up to 50 online accounts that they need to remember the passwords to.
LastPass’ report also revealed that almost half (47%) of respondents did not change their online security habits while working remotely with 44 percent admitting to sharing sensitive information and passwords for their work accounts during that time. This means that almost half of employees have engaged in risky password behavior while working remotely and IT admins are taking this into account when designing their organization’s hybrid work policies.
The kind of account also comes into play when consumers create passwords as 68 percent said they create stronger passwords for financial accounts while only 32 percent said they would create strong passwords for their work-related accounts.
VP of product management at LastPass, Dan DeMichele provided further insight on the report’s findings in a press release, saying:
“Our latest report showcases the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic amid the increased time we spent online – which has in turn, increased our vulnerability to potential hackers. As we continue to grow our online presence, we need more robust protection for our online information. One way to combat this is by investing in a password manager which can be used to store your personal and digital information safely. As a business or IT lead, adding an additional layer of security, including multi-factor authentication or single sign-on options, will help to ensure that your employees are the only ones accessing their information.”
The Surface Go 2 is Microsoft’s new affordable Windows 10 tablet. While the company’s Surface lineup of devices are usually high-end (and expensive) showcases for Windows 10, the original Surface Go showed that Microsoft could turn its hand at affordable devices as well, and that’s a legacy the Surface Go 2 continues.
At $399/£399/AU$547, the entry-level model of the Surface Go 2 is aimed at people who liked the look of the Surface Pro 7, but couldn’t afford (or justify) its high asking price.
This is the kind of price point that pitches it against budget laptops and Chromebooks. It’s certainly an attractive price, but there are a few caveats. First, this configuration only comes with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and an Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y dual-core processor.
That’s pretty under-powered, and that 64GB of storage will feel incredibly tight after you’ve installed a few apps. You can get Surface Go 2 configurations with a bit more powerful spec (such as 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage), which certainly helps, but no Surface Go 2 configuration is ever going to break any records when it comes to performance. Also, once you start upping the specifications, the Surface Go 2 starts to become more expensive – and thus less competitive for people looking for a bargain.
The other thing to note is that while you might see photos of the Surface Go 2 with the Type Cover, which not only protects the screen, but includes a keyboard and touchpad for turning the Surface Go 2 into a laptop-like device, these are not included with the tablet. Instead, you need to buy them separately, and that again adds to the overall cost of the product.
When it comes to design, though, we can’t fault the Surface Go 2, really. Considering the price, it’s got a solid and attractive design, and it’s thin and light enough to easily carry around with you and use with one hand.
There’s not a huge amount of ports, but the selection is decent enough, with a USB-C port that can also charge the unit. It also has a proprietary charging port as well.
As for performance, the Surface Go 2 was never going to blow us away, but with the version we had it was a competent day-to-day device. If you stick with Windows 10 S Mode, where you’re limited to the lightweight apps from the Microsoft Store, you won’t have much issues with it.
However, by switching to Windows 10 Home (which is free to do), you can install more complex applications, and it’s here where the Surface Go 2’s limited hardware becomes apparent. For causal use, it’s fine, but rule out gaming and any intensive tasks like video editing.
Battery life, though, is brilliant, with it lasting over eight hours on a single charge in our tests. This long battery life, along with its thing and light design, and cheap price tag, makes it an ideal device for students who need something to carry around campus, or for anyone who wants an easily portable device that they can sling in a bag without worrying.
Here is the Microsoft Surface Go 2 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 1.7GHz Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y (dual-core, 2MB Cache) Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 (integrated) RAM: 8GB RAM Screen: 10.5-inch PixelSense (1,920 x 1,280) Storage: 128GB SSD Ports: 1x USB-C, combi audio jack, Surface Connect port, Surface Type Cover port, microSSDXC card reader Connectivity: Intel Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth Camera: 5MP 1080p Windows Hello front-facing camera, 8MP 1080p rear-facing camera Weight: 1.2 pounds (0.55kg) Size: 9.65 inches x 6.9 inches x 0.33 inches (245mm x 175mm x 8.3mm; W x D x H)
Price and availability
As with the original Surface Go, the Surface Go 2 is an affordable device from Microsoft, and is aimed at taking on Chromebooks when it comes to appealing to students.
This actually makes it a more interesting device than other Surface products, which usually aim for premium and high-end markets. By delivering a good looking, good performing device at a price point far more people can afford, Microsoft is doing something its rivals like Apple and Google often neglect.
The Surface Go 2’s starting price is a very reasonable $399/£399/AU$547. That gets you a device with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and an Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y dual-core processor.
That’s the kind of spec you’d find in ultra-cheap laptops or Chromebooks, but for a Windows 10 machine, it’s quite weak. The 4GB RAM is just about passable, but don’t go expecting to fire up loads of intensive applications at the same time. That 64GB of storage, however, is going to fill up incredibly fast, especially with Windows 10 installed.
So, if you’re planning on doing light day-to-day tasks, like browsing the web and writing up documents, while sticking with Windows 10 S Mode (which limits the apps you can install on the device to only ones from the Microsoft Store, which are usually very limited), then this model should do the job fine. But for anyone with more ambitious plans for the Surface Go 2, you’ll need to go for a more powerful model.
The good news is that there are plenty of customization options, that could help you get a Go 2 that’s more suited to your needs.
However, the price also climbs quite a bit. So, to double the RAM and storage to 8GB and 128GB respectively, you’ll be looking at paying $549.99/£529/AU$879. This will give you a much smoother experience and a bit more room to store files and documents. It’s also the model we were sent for this review.
In the UK and US, you can also get a model with a more powerful Intel Core M3, which is still a low-powered processor designed for thin and light mobile devices that prioritise battery life and portability over performance.
This comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD for $629.99/£619. Strangely, this model isn’t currently available in Australia.
There’s also the same model as above, but with built-in LTE connectivity, which allows you to insert a SIM card and use mobile cellular data for connecting to the internet. This is a really handy feature that means you don’t need to rely on Wi-Fi hotspots when out and about. As long as you have a strong enough signal, you can get download speeds that are just as fast – if not faster – than public Wi-Fi, and it’s more secure as well.
This model will set you back $729.99/£719/AU$1,199.
To get the full Surface Go 2 experience, you’ll also want to buy the Type Cover. This clicks on magnetically to the Surface Go 2, and as well as protecting the screen, it features a built-in keyboard and touchpad. This turns the Surface Go 2 into a laptop-like device, and makes it a much better product for working on. Many people will find this an essential add-on, but you need to pay extra for it – $99/£100/AU$149 to be precise. This is for the standard black cover.
If you want a stylus, then the Surface Pen costs another $78.99/£100/AU$139.95. So, as you can see, this cheap and affordable Surface device can quickly become expensive when you start boosting the spec and adding features many people will feel should be included by default.
There is some good news for owners of previous Surface devices, as their existing Type Covers and Surface Pens will work with the Surface Go 2. So, if you already have them, this makes the Surface Go 2 a lot more affordable.
However, unless you’re happy with the lowest end model, and are going to use it just as a tablet, you’ll find that the Surface Go 2 isn’t quite the bargain it first appears.
The design of the Surface Go 2 is pretty much identical to the original Surface Go, which means it’s essentially a slightly smaller and lighter version of the Surface Pro. As far as budget devices around this price point go, the design is solid with some premium touches.
The dimensions are 9.65 inches x 6.9 inches x 0.33 inches (245mm x 175mm x 8.3mm) for the Surface Go 2 tablet itself. That’s the same as the previous model, and at 1.2lbs (0.55kg) it’s slightly heavier than the original.
Those dimensions makes it slightly smaller than the iPad Pro 11, it’s biggest rival from Apple. That has dimensions of 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23, which means Apple’s device is slightly thinner, and at 1.04lbs (471g), the iPad Pro 11 is noticeably lighter as well.
Still, the iPad Pro 11 is a more premium product that’s over twice the price of the base model of the Surface Go 2.
One noticeable change with the design of the Surface Go 2 compared to its predecessor is it now has a larger 10.5-inch display (the original has a 10-inch display). That bump in size also comes with a bump in resolution (1920 x 1280 versus the Surface Go’s 1,800 x 1,200), which means the Surface Go 2 doesn’t lose any of the sharpness by going for the larger display. In fact, it now has a slightly higher pixel density of 220ppi (pixels per inch).
It keeps the 3:2 aspect ratio, which means it’s slightly higher than standard 16:9 widescreen screens. The extra vertical space may come in handy for document creation, and as a tablet, the aspect ratio feels quite normal, though in laptop mode you’ll likely notice the difference. When playing widescreen videos, it also means you get black bars above and below the footage.
Port-wise, you get an audio jack for headphones, USB-C port and proprietary charging port on the right-hand side. That charging port is magnetized, which means the charger snaps easily into it. The good news is that the USB-C port can also be used to charge the tablet, so you can use a charger from another device, rather than relying on the Surface Go 2’s charger. It’s a nice, convenient, feature.
Along the bottom of the Surface Go 2 is another magnetized port – this time, it’s to easily snap the Type Cover, if you have one, onto the Surface Go 2. As with previous models, this works well, so there’s no fiddling around to attach the case, and the Go 2 detects the keyboard and touchpad straight away. It’s also easy to remove the Type Cover when you’re done with it, but it keeps its grip so it won’t accidentally fall off.
The power and volume rockers are on the top of the screen, and around the back is a rear-facing camera and a fold-out kickstand. This lets you prop it up on a desk or surface. However, it’s still tricky to use the Surface Go 2 as a laptop-like device on your lap, as there’s still no support between the keyboard and the screen.
The Type Cover is a nice bit of kit, made from a sturdy, yet attractive, material, and the keys are decent enough to type on. The touchpad remains a little on the small side, though.
Still, it makes it more comfortable to write on, compared to the touchscreen. Of course, you can also plug in a USB-C keyboard or attach a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse easily as well.
Due to the relatively low-powered components in the Surface Go 2, you shouldn’t expect a powerhouse. If you stick with Windows 10 in S Mode, and only use apps from the Microsoft Store, then even the basic model should do fine – though we do worry about that 64GB storage limit.
With 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD, Windows 10 and its built-in apps ran fine. However, if you want to leave S-Mode and go to full Windows 10, which allows you to run any program designed for Windows 10, you’ll start to see the Surface Go 2 starting to strain.
Things like unzipping big compressed files can take a little while, and we’d suggest you forget about running any intensive video editing apps either.
As you can see from our benchmark results, the Surface Go 2 isn’t going to be able to play any but the most basic games either. Of course, you’re unlikely to buy this thinking it’s a gaming device, and you can at least play some casual games from the Microsoft Store if you need a break from work.
So, for basic tasks, the Surface Go 2 runs fine. It’s a similar level of performance we’ve seen in Chromebooks at this price point, but the Go 2 has a slight edge thanks to its ability to switch to full Windows 10, giving you a much wider range of apps to choose from, compared to Chrome OS on Chromebooks.
As long as you set your expectations appropriately, then you should be reasonably happy with the performance of the Surface Go 2 as a budget device. The newer Intel processors offer a performance boost from the original, and for day-to-day tasks and schoolwork, it does a fine job. Meanwhile Windows 10 S Mode is more useful than it used to be – as there’s a better selection of apps available on the Microsoft Store.
There are still noticeable absences from the store, however, which means you may want to switch from S Mode to full Windows 10. It’s free to switch, though you can’t switch back. You need to do a full install. Also, you can’t switch one user account to Windows 10 and keep the rest in S Mode. All accounts will then be moved to full Windows 10, which means you lose some of the parental controls and security features.
While we have some reservations around the performance of the Surface Go 2, there’s one area were it does really impress us – battery life.
In the PC Mark 10 battery life test, which replicates regular use, including video calling, document creation and web browsing, the Surface Go 2 lasted 7 hours and 40 minutes. That’s a pretty good length, and means the Surface Go 2 can last a whole work or school day without needing a charge.
Our own battery life test, where we loop a 1080p, the Surface Go 2 managed an impressive 8 hours and 25 minutes. So, if you’re doing a lot of travelling and want to use the Surface Go 2 to unwind with a few videos, this will last most long haul flights with ease.
Buy it if…
You want an affordable Windows 10 tablet The Surface Go 2 is one of the best budget Windows 10 tablets around thanks to its low price and excellent build quality.
You’re a student Thanks to the Surface Go 2’s price, portability and flexibility, it’s a fantastic choice for students.
You’re after a Windows 10 device for kids The Surface Go 2 is a good choice for kids as well. Windows 10 S mode offers plenty of parental controls, and they can’t download apps from the internet, offering improved security.
Don’t buy it if…
You want a budget laptop While the Surface Go 2 is a brilliant budget Windows 10 tablet, if you want to use it as a laptop, it means you need to pay extra for the Type Cover. This raises the price above some brilliant budget laptops that you’d be better off buying.
You want a powerful device The Surface Go 2, especially at its base configuration, is not a powerful device, which means you need to make sure you keep your expectations in check. If you’re after something powerful that can also play games, this isn’t it.
You want the cheapest tablet out there If you’re after the absolute cheapest tablet out there, then there are much more affordable Android tablets that will do what you need for a lot less. You miss out on Windows 10, but Android has more apps available than the Microsoft Store.
HP launched a wide range of new Windows 11laptops and Ultrabooks two weeks ahead of the official launch of the OS. But the HP Spectre x360 16 is the star of the show.
The HP Spectre x360 16 is aimed at creatives and includes a 4K OLED 16-inch touch display and keyboard and as always can be converted to a digital canvas. It also comes with some solid features and hardware such as a 5 Megapixel IR camera, an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, and on top of that boasts a 17-hour battery life.
The HP Spectre x360 16 has been launched via the official HP website for a starting price of $1,639, and will be expected to be available at Best Buy later this fall.
The HP Spectre x360 wasn’t the only laptop revealed. HP announced a whole range of laptops and desktops, all powered by Windows 11. The new operating system officially launches on October 5, which means all of these HP devices have been announced much earlier than we would expect.
Microsoft just launched its own Surface products ahead of the launch of Windows 11, with the most prominent being the Surface Laptop Studio. But even Microsoft’s own Windows 11 devices are only available for preorder – they won’t actually ship until October 5. So it’s pretty safe to assume that if you want one of these new HP devices, you’ll have to wait until at least early October – and probably a bit later.
Scientists, engineers, astronauts and more need to collaborate across cloud platforms to help NASA achieve its mission “to discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity”.
CEO and co-founder of Box, Aaron Levie provided further insight on the company’s partnership with NASA in a press release, saying:
“NASA is leading the way on how government agencies are leveraging modern technology to better engage with stakeholders and improve mission outcomes. NASA’s incredibly important mission, powered by its cloud and modernization strategy, and in partnership with companies like Box, is poised to help the agency bring agility to mission delivery, while ensuring the privacy and security of sensitive data. We are thrilled to support NASA advance space exploration missions.”
Advancing space exploration
Since 2017, NASA’s Johnson Space Center has been using Box to power secure collaboration and critical processes for its Flight Operations Division with the aim of advancing space exploration missions.
More specifically, the government agency selected Box to provide a secure collaboration space for internal content classified up to SBU and ITAR levels and to allow it to reduce unauthorized file sharing systems while reducing threat exposure through greater network controls.
At the same time, NASA has also deployed Box Relay to streamline the Flight Operations approval process for new official policy, work instruction and governance documents. The government agency even relies on Box to manage versions of documents that support International Space Station operations.
NASA isn’t the only government agency that has partnered with Box though as the US Air Force, USDA, Forest Service and Farm Production and Conservation, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Justice and the DC government all use its solutions in their day-to-day operations.
If a newly leaked benchmark is any indication, the Intel Core i9-12900K is going to be a veritable powerhouse of a processor, beating out even a 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990X.
The new leak comes courtesy of Twitter leaker REHWK, and shows the results of a CineBenchR23 benchmark running Intel’s flagship Alder Lake CPU, the 8+8-core Core i9-12900K. If valid – leaked benchmarks always need to be taken with a huge helping of salt – this would be the first mainstream consumer processor to breakthrough the 30,000 point barrier on CineBenchR23 with a multi-core score of 30,549.
While the AMD Ryzen 9 Threadripper 2990WX also clears the 30,000 mark (30,054), AMD’s Threadripper processors are designed for high-end workstation PCs like those used in creative content production like animation, music, video, and game development. It is definitely on the Pro end of the CPU spectrum, especially considering its $1,800 price tag when it launched in 2018.
An Intel Core i9 on the other hand, as Wccftech notes, is on the high end of the consumer desktop market and comparable to an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. They put the Intel Core i9-1200K’s performance about 7% better than the Ryzen 9 5950X, which they note scores about 28,500 points in CineBenchR23 (we haven’t been able to independently verify this score ourselves).
Featuring only eight Golden Cove performance cores with 16 threads, and eight single-threaded Gracemont efficiency cores, beating out a 32-core, 64-thread monster like the 2990WX would be quite a feat.
Make no mistake, the Intel Core i9-12900K is going to be a premium chip targeting the PC enthusiast more than your average consumer. Intel’s current flagship CPU, the Core i9-11900K has an MSRP of $539 (about £390, AU$710), so it isn’t cheap by any means, but it is definitely within the budget of a serious PC builder.
And if this benchmark is any indication of the quality of the CPU architecture being cooked up for Intel Alder Lake chips, then Intel could definitely be pulling off a coup at exactly the right time.
Analysis: Intel Alder Lake could be exactly what Intel needs to get back on track
There’s no question that Intel has had a rough go of it in recent years. After years of CPU market dominance with its Core processor line, Intel started seeing its advantage slip several years ago with the introduction of AMD’s Ryzen series processors.
That’s what makes Alder Lake feel like such a make-or-break moment for Intel right now. Intel is expected to launch its Alder Lake-S desktop processors as early as November, and AMD isn’t expected to have its answer to Alder Lake – its Zen 4 processors – for an entire year or even longer.
Zen 4 might turn out to be even better than Alder Lake in terms of performance, but Alder Lake will also be the first to support PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM, while AMD Zen 4 is only known to support DDR5. It’s PCIe 5.0 support remains an open question.
Worst still for AMD, the late release of its Zen 4 processors mean it might not actually be competing with Intel Alder Lake at all, it’s real competition might be Intel’s 13th-generation Raptor Lake processors, which could launch less than a year after Zen 4.
We’ll have to see what AMD has in store for its 3D V-Cache technology, which it is expected to introduce for its Zen 3 chips sometime before the release of its Zen 4 processors. Whether it will be enough to keep up with Intel (assuming this benchmark and another recently leaked Ashes of the Singularity benchmark hold up), will be an interesting question as we head into 2022.
Microsoft’s latest premium notebook, the Surface Laptop Studio, borrows the best from Microsoft’s other products: the flexibility of the Surface Studio, the convenience of the Surface Laptop, and the power of the Surface Book. It might not be the Surface Book 4 we were expecting, but with a new pull-forward display, Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics, Thunderbolt, Windows Hello 2.0, and a high-refresh-rate screen, it’s both an interesting fusion of other Surfaces as well as a physical avatar for many of the new capabilities within Windows 11.
The Surface Laptop Studio won’t come cheaply, though. Microsoft has priced the notebook at $1,599.99 and above, with prices climbing to $3,099.99 for the most premium model. The Surface Studio Laptop is available for preorder beginning today, and will ship on Oct. 5.
Content creation improves via the new display
With the Surface Laptop Studio, Microsoft has simply swapped one iconic hardware design for another. The original Surface Book defied description. Though it was probably most often used as a traditional clamshell notebook, a detachable hinge allowed it to be used as a tablet. The drawback was that the tablet component lacked a kickstand, making the tablet a bit awkward to tote about and actually use, save for inking. The Surface Laptop, by contrast, is a simply a traditional clamshell notebook PC, and as our Surface Laptop 4 review shows, a pretty good one—even it faces some tough competition.
Microsoft’s new “dynamic woven hinge” on the Surface Laptop Studio solves that problem. In both its design as well as its name you can see how the Surface Laptop Studio has evolved from the design of the Surface Studio all-in-one. The Surface Laptop Studio operates in Laptop mode, but the 14.4-inch PixelSense display can pull forward into what Microsoft calls Stage mode, where the display is thrust forward, covering the keyboard.
Here, the Surface Laptop Studio looks very reminiscent of the HP Elite Folio, though it appears that the metal hinge may be able to support the display somewhat as it pulls forward. When fully pulled forward and pressed down flat, the Surface Laptop Studio can also operate in Studio mode for inking. PCWorld was offered a bit of hands-on time with the Surface Laptop Studio prior to the launch, and we can report that the hinge seems extremely sturdy, with additional support in the “pull forward” and Studio modes,
The “hybrid” concept extends to other aspects of the Surface Laptop Studio’s design, as well. For one, the Surface Laptop Studio is offered in just one size: a 14.4-inch display neatly combines the Surface Book’s former 13-inch and 15-inch form factors into a single “PixelSense Flow” touchscreen display with 2,400 x1,600 resolution and Dolby Vision HDR support. PixelSense Flow apparently refers to the new Dynamic Refresh Rate feature built into Windows 11. When enabled, the feature allows displays that support it to run at a higher refresh rate for smoother inking. In the case of the Surface Laptop Studio, the display can run up to 120Hz.
Nevertheless, that’s a step down from the Surface Book 3, which offered either 3000×2000 (267 ppi) for the 13.5-inch display or 3240×2160 (260 ppi) for the 15-inch option. At 201 ppi, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio appears to be trading pixel resolution for refresh rate—not unheard of, to be fair, in a world where 300Hz 1080p gaming laptops exist.
This, too, may indicate that Microsoft is fixing one of the Surface Book 3’s flaws: battery life. The Surface Book 3 lasted about 12 hours on battery—not bad at all, but not on par with previous Surface Books. Microsoft is claiming that the Surface Laptop Studio will yield between 18 and 19 hours of battery life, an untested claim that, if true, would outperform the Surface Book 3 by a substantial margin.
There, Microsoft’s port choice plays a role. The Surface Laptop Studio includes a Surface Connector, allowing it to take advantage of earlier chargers. (The Core i5 model includes a 65W power supply, however, while the Core i7 model includes a hefty 102W power supply.)
But the Surface Laptop Studio also marks Microsoft’s conversion to Thunderbolt, with a pair of Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports that can be used for charging or for I/O purposes. Essentially, a Surface Laptop Studio owner will have a choice between using an existing Surface Dock or investing in the small but growing ecosystem of Thunderbolt 4 docks.
There’s also a new Surface Slim Pen 2 hidden beneath the keyboard. Microsoft’s Surface Slim Pen 2 doesn’t come bundled with the Surface Laptop Studio, but there’s a new magnetic cubby underneath the keyboard that can be used to dock and charge the new pen. Microsoft’s Slim Pen 2 supports 4,096 levels of pressure, smooth inking, as well as a new haptic motor that simulates the feel of inking on different surfaces—which felt a bit gimmicky during our hands-on time.
There’s another small twist to the physical design: the thickness. The Surface Laptop Studio measures 12.7 x 9.0 x 0.7 inches—slightly thinner than a Surface Book, but also chunkier than the Surface Laptop 4, which measures 0.57 inches thick. That appears to be due to thermal venting around the bottom outside edges of the Surface Laptop Studio. That, plus any additional cooling needed for the RTX hardware, likely contributed to the extra depth. The Surface Laptop Studio also weighs between 3.83 pounds and 4.00 pounds—lighter than the Surface Book 3, but heavier than the Surface Laptop 4.
Windows Hello 2.0 boosts Teams calls, logins
If the pull-forward display improves inking for content creation, then Microsoft’s improvements in its camera and input system should improve your next Teams call—key changes considering that Teams chat will be front and center in Windows 11. For one, Microsoft included what executives are calling Windows Hello 2.0: the depth camera goes beyond the visible range to identify you, but the facial tracking is now smart enough to factor in beards, glasses, even surgical masks. Even better, the 1080p front-facing camera on the Surface Laptop Studio can now adjust for the lighting on your face, so that you’ll be in focus and well exposed.
Likewise, audio has improved. Microsoft drilled additional mics into the Gorilla Glass to more clearly pick up your voice, and the Surface Laptop Studio now includes quad Omnisonic speakers—two near you, two further back—plus Dolby Atmos sound for clear conferencing audio and music playback.
If you need to chat, the Surface Laptop Studio’s keyboard includes 1.3mm of key travel. That’s a big step down from the luxurious 1.5mm that the Surface Book 3 offered, unfortunately. On the other hand, the Laptop Studio now offers what’s known as an haptic trackpad—clickable all the way to the very top.
RTX hardware makes this a gaming PC
Throughout the past few years, the internal upgrades dominated the conversation of any new Surface. With the Surface Laptop Studio, both the internal and external improvements are worth talking about.
The Surface Laptop Studio is one of the first major PC platforms we’ve seen that uses Intel’s “Tiger Lake” H35 chip, a quad-core, 11th-gen CPU that Intel launched in January. The Surface Laptop Studio will ship in two configurations: a Core i5-11300H, and an Core i7-11370H. The H35 was designed for ultraportable gaming, with a target of over 70fps at 1080p resolution, generally at “high” graphical settings. That’s in line with the other major addition to the Surface Laptop Studio: A discrete GeForce RTX GPU from Nvidia.
Only the latter Core i7 model will ship with the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. When Nvidia launched these new GeForce GPUs this past May, the company noted that the new RTX 3050 Ti chips would come with a marked step down in gaming performance on traditional games, with roughly a third of the CUDA cores and half of the tensor cores found in the GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. The Dynamic Refresh Rate feature, too, will be used to enable smooth frame rates at up to 120Hz.
RTX hardware of any stripe qualifies the Surface Laptop Studio as a gaming machine, even if it’s more of an entry-level offering than we had previously hoped for.
Don’t forget about Windows 11
Microsoft didn’t overwhelm us with talk of Windows 11, but it’s definitely there. Remember, three key hardware features—Dynamic Refresh Rate, AutoHDR and DirectStorage, all take advantage of hardware features inside the Surface Laptop Studio. The Studio Laptop’s Dolby Vision display will support AutoHDR, and the Surface Laptop Studio’s SSD options—which go all the way to 2TB!—will support DirectStorage’s 1TB requirement.
We’ve included the Surface Laptop Studio’s basic features below, followed by the prices. Our earlier Surface Book 3 review includes those features for comparison.