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Microsoft's Surface Studio vs. Apple's iMac With Retina 5K Display: All-In-One Specs, Price And Features Comparison

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Microsoft's first all-in-one desktop PC Surface Studio has just been unwrapped. That said, the burning question that's probably on a lot of people's minds now is, how does it fare against Apple's iMac?

Before getting into the comparison, it should first be pointed out that the Microsoft challenger is getting into the ring with the top-of-the-line iMac with Retina 5K display, not the 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display.

Now that that's out of the way, here's a quick look at the two devices that should help clear up the key differences between them.

Display: From The Pixels To Color Accuracy

First up, the Surface Studio measures 28 inches and pushes out a 4,500 x 3,000 resolution, clocking in at 193 ppi. On the other hand, the iMac has a 27-inch screen with 5,120 x 2,880 pixels, and that equals to 217 ppi.

In terms of color accuracy, it's still unclear at this point, and the results will come in only when the new Microsoft machine starts rolling out. At any rate, the two support sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces, and they can switch without a hitch.

Performance: What Powers Their Capability Of Carrying Out Everyday And Intensive Tasks

As for what's under their hoods, the high-end Surface Studio is crammed with an Intel Core i7, 32 GB worth of RAM, a 2 TB SSD/HDD hybrid and an Nvidia GTX 980M, while the iMac is loaded with an Intel Core i5, two 4 GB RAM modules, a 2 TB Fusion Drive and an AMD M395X.

On this front, things are looking grim for the iMac, but it should be mentioned that it can be configured to pack in 32 GB of RAM and a 3 TB Fusion Drive. However, even with all that, it's still more or less behind the competition, as the AMD GPU won't hold much of a candle to the GTX 980M.

That doesn't mean the Nvidia card in the Surface Studio is a sight for sore eyes, though, as the GTX 1080, GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 have been making their way to laptops, particularly the 2016 Razer Blade Pro.

Nevertheless, the GTX 980M is still the latest mobile graphics card that Nvidia has in store.

Design: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Which AIO Is The Sleekest Of Them All?

Right off the bat, the Surface Studio has a relatively thin touch screen because all those components are placed in the base, whereas the iMac sports a thicker screen because that's where Apple put all the innards of the device.

Why did Microsoft do that? It's because its AIO has a "zero-gravity hinge" that allows it to transform into a drawing tablet. Meanwhile, the iMac is pretty basic: It only tilts within its established height.

Clearly, the Surface Studio is the cream of the crop in this segment.

Peripheral Devices: Doodads That Complement The AIO Hive

Of course, both the Surface Studio and the iMac have the standard keyboard-mouse combo. However, the former has a Surface Pen and Surface Dial to boot, which can be used to pull up menus and scroll. This goes without saying, but that toolset is ideal for digital artists, designers and whatnot.

Just to be clear, the Apple Pencil won't work on the iMac in case anyone's wondering.

Price: Which One Needs The Prettier Penny?

All that technology shoved into the Surface Studio doesn't come cheap, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that it starts at $2,999 and tops out at $4,199. For the record, it's already up for preorder.

The iMac isn't exactly the most affordable AIO either, holding customers back by $2,299. As a reminder, that's the top variant.

Verdict: Glory Goes To The AIO In The Arena

To boil things down, the Surface Studio comes out on top in terms of design, input devices and performance, particularly how it's faster because of the lower resolution and better graphics card.

Well, this comparison might be seen as a bit unfair since the Surface Studio is a lot newer after all, but the results might change depending on whether or not Apple is going to unveil spec bumps to the iMac at its October event.

However, as things stand, the Surface Studio wins over the iMac — for now, at least.

What do you think of Microsoft's new AIO? Hit us up in the comments section below and let us know.

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