Microsoft Surface Studio vs iMac 5K

The Microsoft Surface Studio (left) vs the iMac 5K (right)

Is Mac better than PC? Or does PC outperform Mac? It’s the age-old debate.

In this article, we’ll pit two high-end, big-screen all-in-ones against each other – it’s the Microsoft Surface Studio vs iMac 5K. So if you’re in the market for a brand new, top-of-the-line computer, this should help you decide between two of the market’s top competitors.

Microsoft Surface Studio vs iMac 5K: Price

First up is price.

  • The 2017 iMac with a 5K monitor starts at A$2,699 from the Apple store. The highest end model retails for A$3,499.
  • The Microsoft Surface Studio starts at A$4,699 from the Microsoft store. The highest end model retails for A$6,599.

TIP: You can purchase select models of these computers from retailers such as JB-Hi-Fi, which often run 10% off discounts on Mac and Microsoft computers.

The iMac definitely wins in terms of cost effectiveness. Plus, there are smaller 4K iMacs available starting at just A$1,599.

But, is the Microsoft Surface Studio worth the extra money? Let’s answer this question by comparing the stats and features of the two computers.

Microsoft Surface Studio vs iMac 5K: Design

There’s no doubt about it – both the Surface Studio and iMac 5K are beautiful computers. Here’s an overview of the designs.

At first glance, the two computers look quite similar: sleek, modern and silver. Their screens are just about the same size, with the iMac being slight smaller with a higher resolution. The computers both weigh quite a lot at just under 10kg. And, both come with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Compare the designs: iMac 5K (left) and Surface Studio (right)

The Surface Studio does come out slightly ahead, with a thinner monitor, a touch screen display with a high level of adjustability, and the Surface Pen stylus.

That being said, if you’re not interested in using touch screen, the computers are just about equal in design.

Microsoft Surface Studio vs iMac 5K: Specs

Specs and hardware are arguably the most important factors to consider when deciding between the Microsoft Surface Studio and 5K iMac.

Before we get into it, keep in mind that Microsoft’s Surface Studio was announced late 2016, and the 5K iMac was announced mid 2017.

Here’s a quick overview of the Surface Studio’s and iMac’s specs.

The first notable difference is the processor. While the two computers were released just six months apart, the processors represent two different generations. Of course, the seventh-gen processor should result in a higher performance.

Both computers are available with an i5 or i7 processor. The higher end Surface Studios come with an i7 processor, whereas you can add an i7 processor to any iMac model for a couple hundred dollars.

The iMac and Surface Studio are available with between 8GB and 64GB of RAM. Again, the higher end Surface Studios automatically come with more RAM, whereas more RAM can be added to any iMac model if you’re happy to pay the extra.

Storage capacity is the same on both computers, and both offer fusion or hybrid drives to ensure optimal performance.

Microsoft Surface Studio vs iMac 5K: Additional Features

Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Here’s how the two computers’ additional features stack up.

The Surface Studio also features wireless Xbox One controller compatibility, which is a great addition if you’re a gamer.

Life-long Mac user? You’ll enjoy the new macOS Sierra operating system on the iMac 5K

Finally, the two computers run very different operating systems, each with their own advantages and shortfalls. The iMac runs macOS Sierra, and the Surface Studio runs Windows 10.

If you’re a life-long Mac or Windows user, you may want to stick with what you know. Plus, swapping to a new operating system can mean repurchasing your software, which is an additional cost to consider.

Microsoft Surface Studio vs iMac 5K: The Winner is…

The Surface Studio is a great option if you’re a full-time creative, otherwise we recommend the iMac

Although the Surface Studio is a powerful and impressive machine, if price is something you’re concerned about, you can’t go wrong with the iMac 5K. Unless you’re desperate to take full advantage of the incredible touch screen capabilities offered by the Surface Studio, it just isn’t worth the few thousand dollars extra.

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