ok me and bill are driving to your house right now with a surface pro in the backseat see you soon
yes bill gates is a personal friend of mine
I’m fully aware the Surface Pro has been reviewed a million times by every gadget blog ever. I was disappointed to find that, despite Wacom tech powering the Pro’s stylus, none of these blogs sought an artist’s opinion on the device. So I’m not going to rehash the specs or make any arguments about Windows vs OS X, as those all have been repeated ad nauseam.
I’ve had my eye on the Surface Pro for a while, for the same reason I’m sure many other digital artists have—it’s a tablet that runs a full version of Windows with a Wacom digitizer, all for a fraction of the price of a Cintiq Companion. Holy moly, right?
With the release of the Surface Pro 2, I was able to pick up a first-generation model at a really great discount, and I’ve been using it enough for professional work that I feel pretty confident articulating what I like and don’t like about the device.
There are some important things any artist interested in one of these things should be aware of:
In theory, if your stylus is close enough to the screen, no other input (like your big hammy hand) will register. When it works, its great. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
I use a smudge guard glove to fix it, although you could also turn off touch input in the device manager (but please don’t do that).
I won’t even pretend to have the color sense or perception necessary to have an informed opinion on the display colors, but it looks really nice and the pixel density is pretty amazing. The high resolution, however, comes at a cost.
Because that resolution is so high for a relatively small screen, all the UI elements in non-metro apps are so tiny they’re almost unreadable. It’s easily my biggest gripe, but now I just carry a small Bluetooth keyboard and use keyboard shortcuts for everything.
My first few days with it were kind of a pain. It just won’t work the way you want it to right out of the box. It takes finessing and finagling; there’s a command line code for more exact pen calibration, and you have to install Wacom’s newer driver to get pressure sensitivity to work in your most important programs.
Despite all this, I’m willing to put up with the hassles because I never intended for this to be my main work computer. If you’re an artist looking for an affordable first Cintiq, don’t get this.
Because my job requires me to travel, I wanted something super portable that could supplement the work I do on the full-size Cintiq in my office. For that, it’s perfect. For anything else, not so much.
If you have any questions about the Surface Pro or anything at all, my ask box is open.