Overall, while both of these Surface devices are superb, we think that the Surface Pro 8 will be the better option for most users because of the fact it’s more portable and costs less while still offering excellent performance. If you’re in need of something that can do it all with innovative hardware and some of the best specs on the market, though, the Surface Laptop Studio will be right up your alley.
Surface Pro 8 vs. Laptop Studio: Portability or power?
Both the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Laptop Studio are premium devices outfitted with premium hardware and features, but the Surface Laptop Studio generally edges out its sister device in many respects. Its H-series 11th Gen CPUs are a cut above the G-series ones in the Surface Pro 8, and its NVIDIA RTX GPUs crush the Surface Pro 8’s Intel Iris and Intel Xe integrated graphics. Both devices can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM, though the Surface Laptop Studio has an additional option for a 2TB SSD that the Surface Pro 8 does not. It’s also got four speakers as opposed to the Surface Pro 8’s two, and it even has a 2-3 hour advantage on battery life. Finally, the hinged design of the Laptop Studio is incredibly beneficial and allows you to use it as a laptop, as a “staging” device for gaming and movies, or as a full-blown studio workstation.
|Surface Pro 8||Surface Laptop Studio|
|GPU||Intel Iris Graphics
Intel Xe Graphics
|Intel Iris Plus
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
NVIDIA RTX A2000
|Display||13-inch 2880×1920 (267 PPI) PixelSense Flow 120Hz touch display||14.4-inch 2400×1600 (201 PPI) PixelSense Flow 120Hz touch display|
|Audio||Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos||Quad speakers with Dolby Atmos|
|Biometrics||Windows Hello-compatible camera||Windows Hello-compatible camera|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 4
1x Surface Connect
1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
|2x Thunderbolt 4
1x Surface Connect
1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
|Battery||Up to 16 hours||Up to 18-19 hours|
|Dimensions||11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches||12.7 x 9.0 x 0.7 inches|
|Weight||1.96 pounds||Up to 4 pounds|
So why, then, are we recommending the Surface Pro 8 over the Surface Laptop Studio? Ultimately, it’s because the Laptop Studio having the hardware edge doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a device most people will use to its fullest potential. It may be the most powerful Surface ever made, but does the average laptop user really need that power? Generally speaking, most people use their laptop for general productivity, web browsing, movies, and (maybe) light gaming. The Surface Laptop Studio is overkill for these activities — most people will be better off with the thinner, lighter, and more affordable Surface Pro 8 (which still offers excellent performance). The Surface Laptop Studio is ideal for specific types of users, such as those that do more serious gaming, use 3D rendering programs, edit visual media, or develop software.
Notably, the Surface Pro 8 also has a few advantages of its own. Its display is a bit sharper than the Surface Laptop Studio’s thanks to its higher PPI (pixels per inch) count, and it can also be configured with LTE if you want to stay connected on the go. It’s also more compact and is easier to carry around thanks to its smaller dimensions and weight.
Surface Pro 8 vs. Laptop Studio: Which is a better buy?
Both the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Laptop Studio are among the best Microsoft Surface PCs ever made, but if we had to recommend one over the other, it would be the Surface Pro 8. Its thin and light design, lower cost, and excellent performance make it a phenomenal option for the average user. It strikes the perfect balance between portability, power, and price.
If you’re in need of a device with top-of-the-line CPU and GPU power or something that can transform into a workstation-friendly form factor, however, don’t overlook the Surface Laptop Studio. It may be more expensive and a little more cumbersome compared to the Surface Pro 8, but its absolutely worth it if you’re planning to put the extra horsepower and flexibility to good use.
For other excellent options, don’t miss our coverage on the best Windows laptops available.
Surface Pro 8
The perfect all-around laptop
The Surface Pro 8 offers premium performance and a lower price in a thin and light package, making it the better overall choice for most people. However, people who need serious GPU power and don’t mind opting for something a bit heavier will love the Surface Laptop Studio.
Best heavy duty
Surface Laptop Studio
Bring in the big guns
The Surface Laptop Studio is nothing short of a beast, and its perfect if you need the best CPU and GPU power around. The innovative hinged display also makes the device incredibly flexible. However, it’s pricey and is harder to take on the go, too.
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