Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio Gets Dynamic Refresh Rate Support

Posted on May 26, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Hardware, Microsoft Surface with 5 Comments

Microsoft has started rolling out the May 2022 updates for its Surface Laptop Studio (via The Digital Lifestyle). The new bits finally enable the Dynamic Refresh rate feature that Microsoft has been testing with Windows Insiders for quite some time.

The Surface Laptop Studio has a 120Hz screen, and Dynamic Refresh Rate lets the device set the refresh rate dynamically depending on the task at hand. For example, the display will refresh at 60Hz for basic productivity tasks such as writing emails and documents to conserve battery life. However, the Surface Studio display will switch to a 120Hz refresh rate when inking and scrolling to provide a smoother experience.

Microsoft previously explained that DRR support is app dependent, and the feature doesn’t apply to games. Windows 11 apps that support DRR include Office, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Photos, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe Illustrator. DRR is a system-level feature on Windows 11 and it’s supported on PCs with displays that support Variable refresh rate (VRR) and a refresh rate of at least 120Hz.

The May 2022 updates for the Surface Laptop Studio should also improve the touch experience, as well as performance and stability for the Surface Dock and Surface Pen. As usual, the new bits are rolling out gradually so it may need to wait a bit before seeing them in Windows Update.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio Gets Dynamic Refresh Rate Support”

  1. wolters

    This is great news. I love my Surface Laptop Studio but battery life hasn't been good...I applied the firmware and applied the variable rare so will see how it goes.

  2. dallasnorth40

    I've had a different experience. Battery life on my Laptop Studio has been great. Pretty much all day on a charge depending on what I'm doing. This upgrade should make it even better. I have no complaints. Also, it took about three weeks before the 80% Battery Saver enabled. I was happy to see that since I keep it attached to a Surface Dock on most days and was worried that keeping it plugged in so much would be a problem.

    • benhaube

      I have a Lenovo ThinkPad X1, and the Vantage software that Lenovo uses for device firmware updates and settings has a similar feature. You can set the battery to stop charging after whatever percentage you want. I like it because, like you, my laptop spends a lot of time connected to the Thunderbolt dock at my desk. I did not know that the Surface devices had a similar feature. My husband had a Surface Pro 4, and I don't remember seeing that on there. I guess it must be a relatively recent addition.

  3. derylmccarty

    My battery life is okay too, and I keep it plugged into Surface Dock 2 all day. But not at night. Still, Smart Charge (no more than 80% charge) came on in 24-36 hours. I put the setting on no smart charge which stayed around for about a week. The new system which does not allow for no smart charge via the Surface app, but instead says charge to 100%. After a few days it reverts to 80% but gives me enough time to grab the LS on the run in the morning to work or play away from a Dock. My real problem now is that for the first 2-5 days after DL and install of a 25xxx-series DEV update, DNS is not recognized or is not able to be read. Both wifi and ethernet connections are visible and connectable, and CONNECTED through Comcast, but my LS does not know where to go even for Bing or Google. When I open Outlook to do mail (multiple addresses) the machine syncs, DLs all the mail, then says, nope not connected. But I can read the mail. Then after a few minutes it may switch on, sync trash, new mail, or storage and then it goes back off. Ok, I lied, spam never fails to sync.

  4. wspaw

    The problem with my Surface Studio Laptop is that I cannot set the refresh rate of an external monitor to anything above 30Hz. I can get 120Hz or variable on the internal display, but no more than 30Hz on any monitor connected via dock or Thunderbolt, regardless of the monitor's max refresh rate, type of cable, etc....

    And I'm using an external 4K monitor 80% of the time. So, I get to choose between the excellent refresh rate, but irritatingly low resolution of the smallish internal display and the great resolution and real estate, but really low refresh rate with my external display.

    Serious trade-offs.

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