Surface Studio puts the iMac on notice

The refreshed Surface Book i7 wasn't the only sleek, high-end system Microsoft trotted out at the company's Windows event this morning. The company unveiled its first desktop all-in-one system, the Surface Studio. The Studio appears to tweak the form factor of Apple's iMac and add extensive touchscreen input, much like the Surface Book does versus the MacBook Pro.

All models sport a 28", not-quite-5K 4500x3000 display with ten-point multi-touch input and extensive Surface Pen support. This panel can switch between sRGB and DCI P3 color gamuts on the fly for easy proofing of work that may be displayed in a different color gamut for its final output. The hardware components are stashed in the base of the unit, connected by a "Zero Gravity" hinge that allows the screen to lay nearly flat on the user's desk. The Studio's base spec level includes an unspecified sixth-generation Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M card with 2GB of memory, and a 1TB SSD. The apex model ups the ante with a sixth-generation Core i7 CPU, 32GB of memory, a GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB of memory, and a 2TB SSD.

An optional Surface Dial rotary input device interacts with the touch screen to offer additional software functions in supported applications. Microsoft's demo prominently features a color palette springing onscreen when the Dial is touched to the screen.

That fancy display, hinge, and hardware specs don't come cheap. The base model is priced at $3000, while the top-of-the-line model will set buyers back $4200. Microsoft is taking preorders now, and expects to have units in customers' hands on December 15. The Surface Dial goes for $100 and should be available on November 10.

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