Microsoft Surface Studio 2 for Creative Cloud
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The updated Microsoft Surface Studio 2 for Creative Cloud applications is a good choice for those looking for a fast desktop computer for graphic design, video editing, or illustration. Microsoft moved into the computer hardware business several years ago with the Surface products which provided a showcase of what is possible with their touch-focused operating systems. With the Surface Studio 2 they have updated their flagship dekstop computer, and it is ideal for creative professionals. The touch and pen input are appealing to Creative Cloud users, even those who may have previously worked on Apple's Mac line of computers.
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is a completely integrated computer and display. Think Apple iMac, only better. The Microsoft Surface Studio uses Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system, it is a fully touch enabled computer which can be used with either fingers or a digital pen, or a keyboard. The touch-display is a full 28 inches, much larger than most iMacs. The ultra-high resolution display includes 63% more pixels than are found on a 4K display, and shows detail at 192 ppi (pixels per inch). For comparison, a typical display uses between 72 and 96 pixels per inch. This large, high resolution display meets the needs of designers and Creative Cloud users trying to find a computer that makes it easier for them to do their creative work. It is well suited for working on a multi-page layout using InDesign, or using video and animation timelines with Premiere Pro or After Effects.
The system is useful for creative professionals in more ways than the high-quality display. The base of the display is a fully functional computer that uses the seventh-generation Core processors from Intel. Driving the 28 inch display is a dedicated GeForce GTX 1070 or 1060 graphics card, which contains either 6GB or 8GB of graphics of memory, depending upon the selected configuration. While this memory dedicated to the graphics card alone, another 16 GB or 32 GB of memory for the computer itself is provided, as is 2 TB of SSD storage, this is ultra-fast access to stored documents on what would have previously been stored on a hard drive. These are impressive specifications for any type of Creative Cloud work.
The design aesthetic of the system itself is likely to attract creative professionals. The system borrows from Swiss design principles and would likely please the likes of Dieter Rams, with a simple yet elegant form. While Apple has been getting rid of ports that creative love, the Surface Studio 2 has gone in the opposite direction with plenty of connectivity options. Photographers and will appreciate the full-size SD card reader, and everyone that wants to connect a separate display will like the ability to do so without a dongle using the mini DisplayPort connections, and four USB 3.0 ports. There’s even a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, despite rumors that headphone jacks were no longer needed. The forward facing camera is 5-megapixel which can be used with Windows Hello to log-in. For Skype and web conferencing, there are dual microphones. On the wireless side, the Surface Studio includes all major flavors of 802.11 for WiFi, as well as Bluetooth.
Surface Studio 2 for Photoshop and Illustrator
As a touch-screen device, input can occur via the Surface Pen, which works well with Illustrator and Photoshop for drawing and erasing naturally. As the display can be positioned to a 20 degree tilt, similar to a drafting table, designers can use the pen to draw and input directly on the display. With the powerful processor, large screen, and various input capabilities, the Surface Studio looks to be a good fit for Illustrator and Photoshop users. While others working with Creative Cloud apps will also find the computer a good fit, these apps benefit especially from the touch input. As these latest computers become more available, American Graphics Institute anticipates adding Surface Studio 2 systems to its classrooms for use in various Creative Cloud classes, including those available in Boston, as well as New York, and Philadelphia. For those that can't make it to these locations, courses are even available online.
Also worth noting is the Surface Dial, which remains available. The dial enables a scrolling interface that app developers such as Adobe use to enable additional functionality. Adobe is using this for access to various panels, colors, and font families, for example. Pressing the dial adds a menu on-screen which can be accessed through scrolling the dial to the left or right. Over all, the Surface Studio and Creative Cloud appear to be great partners for any creative professional.
About the author
Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute. He is the co-author of Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies and more than 10 other books on design and digital publishing. He served as publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which has sold more than one million books on topics relating to InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro and other Creative Cloud apps. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers designers, and large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he also delivers Google Analytics classes along with workshops on digital marketing topics. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for more than 20 years.