Microsoft Surface Studio Vs Apple iMac: Australian Specs And Pricing Compared

What's the difference between the Microsoft Surface Studio and Apple iMac with Retina 5K display?Image: Microsoft and Apple

Last week, Microsoft launched the Surface Studio, an all-in-one PC that is aimed squarely at creative professionals. Apple has already secured a large portion of that market with its iMac desktops but the Surface Studio is a formidable competitor. So how do they stack up against each other? Here's a detailed breakdown of the specs and the pricing for the Microsoft Surface Studio and the latest Apple iMac with Retina display.

Microsoft Surface Studio And Apple iMac Retina 5K: Specs

Microsoft Surface Studio only comes in one size (28-inch screen) while the iMac with Retina 5K display line carries a 21.5-inch and a 27-inch version. For the sake of this comparison, we'll only be looking at the 27-inch iMac.

It's also worth noting that both Microsoft and Apple have been using older CPUs and GPUs for their newest products. Click here for our previous article that explains why this is the case.

Surface Studio iMac 27-inch
OS Windows 10 Pro macOS Sierra
Dimensions Display: 63.74cm x 43.89cm x 1.25cm  Base: 25cm x 22cm x 3.22cm Display: 51.6cm x 65cm 0.5cm (edge)  Stand depth: 20.3cm
Weight 9.56kg 9.52kg
CPU Intel 6th generation Core i5 or i7 Intel 6th generation Core i5 or i7
GPU One of the following:

  • i5 Intel 8GB: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 memory  

  • i7 Intel 16GB: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 memory  

  • i7 Intel 32GB: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GDDR5 memory
One of the following:

  • AMD Radeon R9 M380 graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory  

  • AMD Radeon R9 M390 graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory  

  • AMD Radeon R9 M395 graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory  Configurable to AMD Radeon R9 M395X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
Storage Rapid Hybrid Drive options: 1TB or 2TB One of the following (all configurable up to 3TB Fusion Drive or up to 1TB SSD):

  • 1TB (7200-rpm) hard drive  
  • 1TB Fusion Drive  

  • 2TB Fusion Drive
Memory 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB RAM 8GB (two 4GB) of 1867MHz DDR3 memory; four user-accessible SO-DIMM slots (configurable to 16GB or 32GB)
Display 28-inch (diagonal) PixelSense display with 4500 x 3000 (192ppi) resolution with sRGB, DCI-P3 and Vivid Color Profiles, Individually color calibrated display. Also has 10-point multitouch. 3:2 aspect ratio. Supports Pen enabled and Zero Gravity Hinge 27-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K display with IPS technology; 5120‑by‑2880 resolution with support for millions of colours
Wireless Wi-Fi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking, and IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible  Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology  Xbox Wireless built-in WiFi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking and IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible  Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
Camera/Video/Audio
  • Windows Hello face sign-in camera  

  • 5.0 MP camera with 1080p HD video (front)  

  • Dual microphones  

  • Stereo 2.1 speakers with Dolby® Audio™ Premium  

  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • FaceTime HD camera  

  • Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display  

  • Up to two 4096-by-2160 external displays or one 5120-by-2880 dual-cable external display  

  • Support for extended desktop and video mirroring modes  

  • Stereo speakers  

  • Dual microphones  3.5mm headphone jack
Connections & Expansions
  • 4 x USB 3.0 (one high power port)  

  • Full-size SD card reader (SDXC) compatible  

  • Dual microphones  

  • Mini DisplayPort  

  • 3.5mm headphone jack  

  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 4 x USB 3.0  

  • Full-size SD card reader (SDXC) compatible  

  • Dual microphones  

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 2 ports: Mini DisplayPort/Support for HDMI, DVI, VGA and dual-link DVI  

  • 3.5mm headphone jack  

  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
Security
  • TPM chip for enterprise security  

  • Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
Kensington lock slot
What's In The Box
  • Surface Studio  

  • Surface Pen  

  • Surface Keyboard  

  • Surface Mouse  

  • Power cord with grip-release cable
  • iMac with Retina 5k display  

  • Magic Keyboard  

  • Apple Magic Mouse  

  • Lightning to USB Cable  

  • Power cord

Pricing

Microsoft Surface Studio prices start from US$2999. Prices vary depending on the configuration you choose. Here's the price list for the base configurations. The official Australian prices have yet to be released so we've done a currency conversion based on today's exchange rates:

  • 1TB storage with Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and 2GB GPU memory: US$2999 (AU$3918)
  • 1TB storage with Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM and 2GB GPU memory: US$3499 (AU$4572)
  • 2TB storage with Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM and 4GB GPU memory: US$4199 (AU$5486)

The 27-inch Apple iMac with Retina display prices start from $2799. Prices vary depending on the configuration you choose. Here's the price list for the base configurations:

  • 1TB hard drive storage with Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and 2GB GPU memory: $2799
  • 1TB Fusion Drive storage with Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and 2GB GPU memory: $3099
  • 2TB Fusion Drive storage with Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and 2GB GPU memory: $3599

You can buy the iMac over at the Apple Online Store.


Comments

    Imitation and flattery indeed! "Hello, I'm a Mac!" "And I'm a PC....really!"

      Hey as long as you're improving on a stagnant design, why not?

    The iMac doesn't come with a keyboard?

      It's not like you need a keyboard when you have a touchscreen......oh wait...

      In all seriousness, all other specs aside, just comparing Surface's $3500 model against Mac's $3600 has them beat. I mean with online storage, NAS, portable drives the storage difference is easily made up considering the performance beef up you get with the Studio.

      Entry models are a different story however. I think in the Surface range we are now seeing Microsoft go toe to toe when it comes to the 'premium' and design markets.

        Hi Wraith,

        There was an error with the pricing for the Studio which has now been corrected. Really sorry about this!

        Spandas

          also under

          under camera/video/audio you put "Up to two 4096-by-2160 external displays or one 5120-by-2880 dual-cable external display" under mac, but forgot to mention display port and the pcs ability to support several 4k monitors at the same time. (need apples vs apples #lol)

      Under 'What's In The Box' It says 'magic keyboard' so i'm gonna say it does?

    Hybrid drive massively turns me off. Even the hybrid in my Xbox shits me vs an SSD.

    @negativezero iMac does come with a magic keyboard.

      I assumed so but it's not mentioned on the 'what's in the box' bullet points where the Surface keyboard is and Apple are the sort of company that could try and get away with not including one and charging extra for it so wanted to check.

        Hi negativezero,

        Very sorry about that. Just fixed up the What's in the box? table. Also added in Lightning to USB cable.

        Cheers!

    It seems to me that you are comparing USD prices for the Surface and AUD prices for the iMacs, Not really a true comparison...

      Hi iTzMattrix,

      Terribly sorry about this. I have clarified this in the pricing section and have converted to price to Australian dollars.

      Cheers!

      Spandas

    As far as I can tell, those prices are for the surface Studio the US prices...the Apple prices are from the Australia Apple store, but the Microsoft prices are from the US store...

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