While I have my reservations about the company behind the Microsoft Studio, I can’t ignore the quality of what’s on offer. I love the Surface Pro 4 and think it is changing how we view laptops and tablets. From these first impressions, I think the Microsoft Studio may do the same for all in one computing.

Microsoft Studio specifications

So what is Microsoft Studio? While it might sound as though it’s a productivity suite, it is actually a complete all in one PC. It uses a 28 inch PixelSense display, Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPU with 2GB of RAM. There is also a core i7 version with 16GB or 32GB of RAM and a GTX 980M GPU with 4GB of RAM.

The Studio also has a TPM chip, Windows Hello, 5 megapixel camera, 1080p HD camera, Dolby 2.1 sound, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, SC card, reader and an Ethernet port.

Those are some decent specs aside from the graphics. The Intel chips are 6th generation, the RAM is plentiful and the screen looks amazing. The overall design is pretty good too and will certainly give the iMac a run for its money.

The PixelSense display has some decent specs of its own. The 28 inch touchscreen supports multitouch and is capable of 4500 x 3000 resolution at 192 PPI. That is plenty detailed enough for most uses, even using it in an actual studio.

The downsides? The first is that the hardware isn’t upgradeable. Apparently the processor, GPU and RAM are soldered onto the motherboard so you won’t be able to upgrade them. That’s a shame but a compromise you have to deal with if you want an all in one.

The second downside? The price. Currently the i5 is listed at $2,999 and the i7 at $3,499 for 16GB of RAM or $4,199 for 32GB. That’s quite steep by any standards. Despite that, Microsoft said they have already sold all their pre-order stock. For that you get the Microsoft Studio, a Surface pen, Surface keyboard, mouse and power cord. You also get Windows 10 Pro and a 30 day trial of Office 365.

Not quite an all in one

Usually, the monitor chassis of an all in one houses the hardware too, making it well, all in one. The Microsoft Studio doesn’t do that. Instead, the monitor is just that. A monitor and at 12.5mm thick, there are no room for hardware. The internals of the Studio are instead housed in the base.

It is still tiny and allows a little more freedom with the screen. The base and stand allow you to use it as a traditional monitor and also as a design pad thanks to its ability to hold steady at 20 degrees. Used alongside the new Surface Dial, it turns the Studio into a productivity powerhouse.

The Microsoft Studio will be released early 2017.