Dell has taken a huge chunk of inspiration from its rival Microsoft and is all set to release what looks like a remake of Microsoft’s Surface Studio desktop PC along with all its accessories, including their very own version of the Surface Dial and a touch interface.
The revelation was uncovered at the Adobe Max conference in San Diego during a promotional video from Dell revealing their own take on the Surface Studio PC. Dell would like you to know this isn’t a copy, and that they’ve been working on the idea for over three years now. What they call the Smart Desk (working title) will be formally announced during the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The teaser, however, didn’t reveal any specs or pricing of the device but from what we can make out, it’s similar to a PC with two screens (including a touch display) and additional input stylus, like its very own Surface Dial-like hardware to draw on the enormous display. Adobe is most likely an active partner and the collaboration on workflows and layouts seem to be going well in the favor of Dell.
The Smart Desk design does look more complex than the Surface Studio, as the Surface Studio is a desktop-tablet hybrid with a clever and artistic dial interface best for sitting at a comfortable angle for long periods of touch interaction. Meanwhile, the Smart Desk is a blend of a Surface Studio-like tablet with a conventional computer monitor. While Microsoft’s creation is a desktop PC that converts to a high-definition touch and pen input slate, Dell has the two separated, projecting the interactive parts of an application on the tablet portion of the device with results are displayed on a regular monitor.
“Our thoughts naturally transfer to paper. But there’s a gap between what comes naturally and how we create digitally,” the video explains. “Dell has changed that.”
Another thing to notice is the absence of a keyboard and mouse , so the stylus is the only option left for input. It is still unknown how designers will react to the lack of keyboard input that comes handy in most situations.
As far as we can speculate, Microsoft will only be flattered by the supposed inspiration Dell has derived from their Surface Studio. Moreover, Windows chief Terry Myerson was, in fact, favoring the idea of allowing partners to utilize their technologies to incorporate them in their own hardware which could result in an overall improved version of the original.
Dell in a press release has described their Smart Desk as a “workplace of the future concept”, but has refrained from mentioning any pricing details whatsoever. From what we gather, they are waiting to see the consumer response for the Surface Studio to consider releasing their creation at a competitive rate.