Computers are kind of boring, right?
Whether you're a Mac fan or a PC person, I can hand you any laptop in the world, you can log into your Facebook and Google accounts, and do probably 90% of what you need to do. It means that, for a lot of people, one computer is pretty much interchangeable with any other.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
For the last two months, I've been using a Microsoft Surface Studio — a beautiful all-in-one PC, made with the goal of breathing new life into the tired old desktop computer.
It's Microsoft's first-ever desktop computer, following the well-received Surface Pro tablet and Surface Book laptop lines. Starting at $2,999, it's a piece of premium hardware that's not for everyone. Still, I'm here to tell you that for the last two months, this machine has put a grin on my face every dang day. Here's why:
This is the Surface Studio. It's got a giant, gorgeous 28-inch touchscreen display, and comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse. Just like this, it was enough to engender jealousy and admiration from coworkers.
It's a fabulous computer, with enough processing power to handle all the tabs, Slack chats, and Steam windows I have open. But luxury doesn't come cheap: The cheapest Surface Studio starts at $2,999; the tricked-out configuration I tested goes for $4,199.
Some more notes on the Surface Dial:
1. It's super-satisfying to turn, and uses rumble feedback to really give you a visceral "click" when you turn it or push it in.
2. I didn't end up using it much in my day-to-day use. It's neat, but the novelty of using it to change the volume of my music or scroll up and down in Google Chrome wears off really quickly.
3. In theory, the Surface Dial adheres to the Surface Studio's screen when it's in the tablet mode, using a tacky surface on the Dial's underside. But if that bottom of the Surface Dial gets dusty or covered in crumbs, it won't stick to the screen as well. Just, um, trust me on this one.
4. It still works when it's not attached to the screen. Just, you know, see point #2.