> MacBook Pro and its Touch Bar represents a rather smaller step forward than Microsoft's touchy Surface Studio workstation.
Yes and no. Much of the functionality of the Surface Studio has been previously available from the likes of Wacom, but apparently MS have nailed the hardware implementation. For example, there is less stylus to cursor parallax on the Studio than there is on the Wacom kit. However, as a product it only really shines for some types of work. The 'Dial' part is fun, but isn't yet supported by the likes of Adobe - though of course Photoshop is already well-geared to stylus input (because of years of people using Wacom screens and tablets).
The Touchbar is more general purpose, and is likely to se`ll more units than the Surface Studio. This in turns means that it will be adopted by more 3rd party developers, including Adobe Photoshop. 'Under the bonnet', the Touchbar includes a ARM-based SoC with secure enclaves inaccessible to MacOS, making it suitable for the fingerprint scanner, encryption keys and control of the webcam. This itself isn't a new concept - Microsoft tried having an auxiliary low power display with access to some laptop function years ago - but no hardware vendors could be arsed to implement it, and the rise of smart phones soon rendered it largely redundant.