We're seeing a lot of innovative new designs aimed at helping artists, video editors and other creative types get the most out of technology. The new Dell Canvas is one of those tools. It's a huge 27-inch combination of a drawing surface and a secondary display, designed to sit nearly flat in front of you, like a drafting table.

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It looks and feels a bit like Microsoft's big Surface Studio ($2,625 at Amazon) all-in-one, which folds its 27-inch screen down to a drafting table angle, but this isn't a full stand-alone computer. Instead, you connect the Canvas to your existing computer, and it works as a second screen for pen and touch input, while you can keep other things, like reference materials or even email, on your laptop or desktop's main monitor.

The built-in display is QHD, which means a 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution. In our brief eyes-on time with it, the display looked bright, but not too glossy, which is important, as your fingers may end up all over it.


The Dell Canvas 27 includes its own onscreen control dial.

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Like the Surface Studio, the Canvas also has a dial, and in fact works with the same dial APIs as the Microsoft version. But unlike the Surface Studio, the dial included here only works when it's touching the screen -- it's not a Bluetooth accessory, but the system will also come with a second mini-dial (for something like volume control, or example) and a stylus.

There's no set price for the Canvas yet, but Dell guesses it'll cost less than $2,000, and it should be available at the end of March.