When the Microsoft Surface Studio was released, it was only a matter of time before similar products would emerge on the market. Dell teased a Surface Studio competitor back in 2016 with its own dial-like contraption to help creative professionals get their work done. At CES this year The Dell Canvas was announced, a massive tablet that is aimed towards professionals.
Dell insists that their Canvas is not a clone of the Surface Studio, but more akin to a Wacom Cintiq with a Surface-like Dial they are calling a “Totem”. Each totem uses four touch points for location and a button for actuation. These are not battery powered according to the literature and do not require Bluetooth pairing.
Unlike Microsoft’s offering, the Canvas is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Dell’s decision to not include computer internals make it more of a “portable” device able to attach to any existing rig you may have. Dell expects the Canvas to be used as a secondary monitor; although, you can’t actually stand the screen upright, only angle it slightly off your table.
When I say “portable” it is only in jest, as the display is 27 inches with bezels that make it seem much larger than that. The Dell Canvas has a matte IPS panel, with a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio at a 2560×1440 QHD resolution. Although that is nowhere near the impressive 4500×3000 resolution of the Surface Studio‘s display, Dell says that it chose a lower resolution so that the monitor would work better with more computers; since graphics chips won’t have as much work to do just powering the monitor, they’ll be able to put more power toward what you’re actually trying to make.
The Spec Rundown:
- 2560 x 1440 resolution
- IPS panel with matte finish
- 1.07 billion colors
- 20-point multi-touchscreen
- 1000:1 contrast ratio
- 280 nits brightness
- 27 ” screen size
- 100 % Adobe RGB coverage
- 2048 pressure levels and tilt recognition
- 1.5 and 10 degree angles
It is true that the Dell Canvas doesn’t meet the high bar set by the Surface Studio, but it is also more versatile (you are not stuck with a fancy display and last gen internals). The demo at CES was running off the new XPS 15 paired with a curved ultra-wide monitor.
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Dell seems to be filling a void that was felt by creatives who were upset at Apple’s lack of innovation, and is offering quality products with clean aesthetics. Dell is aiming at spring arrival, to coincide with the Windows 10 Creators Update, with a price tag of $1,799.