Surface Studio: Here's what's packed inside Microsoft's designer PC

iFixit's teardown of the new all-in-one device shows just what Microsoft has managed to fit into its high-end all-in-one desktop.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

A teardown of Microsoft's Surface Studio gives an inside look at the hardware.

Image: CNET

Taking apart Microsoft's new Surface Studio shows that some elements -- like the storage -- can be upgraded, but others -- including RAM, CPU and GPU -- are soldered in place, according to the teardown by iFixit.

Microsoft's all-in-one desktop system is aimed at designers, and Microsoft surely hopes to lure away some creatives who have until now been mostly Apple customers: the Surface Studio can either be used upright like a standard PC, or pushed flat to operate like a drafting table.


The Surface Studio, torn-down.

Image: iFixit

The new PC is definitely not cheap (it starts at $2,999), but it comes with a pretty serious set of specs. These include a 28-inch adjustable PixelSense Display with 4,500-by-3,000-pixel resolution and "a whole sensor array worthy of the Federation, including: facial recognition sign-in camera with IR projector (probably), 5MP camera, and two microphones," said iFixit.

The repair guide company gave the all-in-one device a rating of five out of ten for its ease of repair. The base of the Surface Studio is easy to open and home to several modular components -- including the standard SATA hard drive and M.2 SSD, which can be replaced without disassembling the display.

"It seems there is indeed a complete storage upgrade path for your $3,000-4,000 desktop machine. As there should be," said iFixit.

The entire display assembly can be replaced as a piece "without dismantling the display or the base." iFixit added: "It looks like a simple display replacement is one of the easiest jobs on the Studio. Good news for any folks prone to being a little hamfisted with their Surface Dial."

However, iFixit found that the RAM, CPU, and GPU are soldered to the board and cannot be upgraded. "You may want to think twice about that 8GB configuration," it warned.

iFixit also noted that a few of the components embedded in the display -- buttons, front sensors, and speakers, for example -- will be difficult to replace if they fail.

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