Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ vs. Surface Studio 2: What is

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(Pocket-lint) – Despite its impressive design, the Surface Studio 2 is really starting to show its age. At its core, it’s powered by a processor that launched more than five years ago, so it’s easy to see why it needed an update.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what Microsoft did with the launch of the Surface Studio 2+. It might not be the dramatic overhaul some were hoping for, but the internal upgrades mean it should feel like a very different machine compared to its predecessor.

So what exactly has changed with the new Surface Studio? We’ve got it all covered here.



  • Both: 637.35 x 438.90 x 12.50 mm up to 9.56 kg
  • Surface Studio 2+: 3x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB 3.1, 3.5 mm audio, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Surface Studio2: 1x USB-C, 4x USB 3.0, 3.5 mm audio, card reader, Gigabit Ethernet

Aesthetically, the Surface Studio 2+ is almost indistinguishable from the previous model. Dimensions and weight are identical, but when you look at the back, things get a little more interesting.

Microsoft has given the IO a much-needed update, which includes three Thunderbolt 4 connections. In comparison, the Surface Studio 2 only had one USB 3.1 Type-C port, which is very unusual in 2022.


We’re happy to see that the 3.5mm audio port is still present, but unfortunately the card reader has been removed. Of course, you can connect an external card reader, but there is something to be said for the simplicity and cleanliness of an integrated solution.

Wireless connectivity is improved on this model, offering Wi-Fi 6 instead of Wi-Fi 5, as well as Bluetooth 5.1 instead of 4.1. This will greatly improve the experience of wireless devices, increase the range and stability of the connection.

Screen, speakers and webcam

  • Both: 28-inch 4500 x 3000 PixelSense display (192 PPI)
  • Both: 1080p webcam with Windows Hello, 2.1 stereo speakers
  • Surface Studio 2+: Support for Dolby Vision and Atmos, two remote studio microphones.

Moving on to the display, things are very much the same with the specs being almost identical to the last generation. The only noticeable difference with this model comes from the addition of Dolby Vision support. How noticeable that difference will be remains to be seen, but it’s good that there’s at least a step up in display technology.

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The speakers also appear to be the same, with the only difference being a new Dolby Atmos certification. The webcam specs also remain the same, offering 1080p FHD video and Windows Hello facial recognition support.

One piece of hardware that seems to have changed, however, is the microphones used. Microsoft describes the new microphones as remote studio microphones, not much has been said about them so far, but they should improve the quality for video conferencing.

Hardware and performance

  • Surface Studio 2+: 11th Gen Intel Core i7 11370H, Nvidia RTX 3060
  • Surface Studio 2: 7th Gen Intel Core i7 7870HQ, Nvidia GTX 1060/70
  • Surface Studio 2+: 1TB SSD and 32GB DDR4
  • Surface Studio 2: 1TB/2TB SSD and 16/32GB DDR4

The biggest changes are seen internally with an upgrade to an 11th generation Intel core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060. This is a huge leap in performance. Microsoft claims the new processor is more than 50% faster than the Surface Studio 2 chip.

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The graphics card supports ray tracing if you want to play around, but you’ll probably be most interested in its rendering time improvements for video editing, animation and 3D work. In general, the RTX 3060 is about 70% faster than the GTX 1060, so the performance will be quite different from the older Surface Studio. However, it should be noted that this is a laptop-class RTX 3060, so full performance from the RTX 3060 should not be expected.

Microsoft has simplified the configuration of the Surface Studio 2+, it will only be available with a 1TB SSD and 32GB DDR4 memory. There were more options available with the Surface Studio 2, but it simplifies the buying process so we can understand the decision.

However, there is one decision that we can’t quite get a handle on. The point is that this product uses an 11th generation Intel processor, while the rest of the Surface line uses the latest 12th generation Intel chips. Considering it’s the biggest and most expensive model in the range, the choice to use anything other than the latest and greatest processor leaves us confused.


Surface Studio 2+ is, as the name suggests, an iteration rather than a reimagining. The chassis and screen are largely the same, so if the Surface Studio 2 won you over, we’ve no doubt this new model will too.

However, it’s been so long since Microsoft updated this particular product that the difference in performance is night and day. If you’re considering buying a Surface Studio, you should definitely go for the latest model. The previous generation ran on such old hardware that we would only consider it if it was available at a good price.

It’s not just performance, the addition of Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, along with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, shouldn’t be overlooked.

So while Microsoft didn’t reinvent the wheel with this one, it brought a great product into the modern age – and we’re glad it hasn’t been forgotten.

Written by Luke Baker. Edited by Britta O’Boyle.

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