Microsoft Surface Pro and photo editing? / OT.

Started Feb 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
Rick Baumhauer
Regular MemberPosts: 333
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Re: Microsoft Surface Pro and photo editing?
In reply to Donald Duck, Feb 16, 2013

Donald Duck wrote:

Rick Baumhauer wrote:

My gut feeling is that, if you're buying this to run desktop apps, you're better off with something more like a normal laptop, as all of the compromises that were made to make the Surface Pro a tablet don't really help you.

Your gut feeling contradicts my gut feeling. I preordered the Surface Pro, and I do own a small and powerful laptop, Vaio-Z, which costs 3x the Pro, and does not even weigh much more. The Surface Pro is a tablet and a PC. There are many tablets, and many PC's but very few devices which are both, and are good at it (no Atom CPU).

And if it works for you, great!

There aren't very many devices that are both a laptop and a tablet for a reason - it's very difficult to do a combination device that maintains enough of the good parts of each without really hurting the other. From what I've seen, the Surface Pro is not immune from this - it literally can't be used as a laptop (that is, on your lap), and the kickstand/keyboard cover combo only really works on a desk/table at a particular height (it also requires more surface area than a 15" laptop, even when used on a table). On the tablet side, it's hurt by needing to support desktop PC apps, which require an x86 processor that makes the Surface Pro thicker and heavier (but still with poor battery life), and by the decision to stick with a commodity PC screen ratio (16x9) that makes it cumbersome for reading in portrait orientation.

For the OP's purposes, I don't really see the 'tablet' portion of the Surface Pro providing much value, and there are plenty of comparably-priced laptops that are more practical in actual use. I can understand the desire to use LR/PS on something this size, but I don't actually see it working that well in practice - it can't replace a high-end laptop for color-critical work or performance, and there are much better options for downloading/storing photos while traveling when you're really going to process them on a desktop when you get home.

If I was looking for something to view and store photos while traveling (with minimal processing), I'd lean pretty heavily towards a Chromebook and a couple USB SSDs. It has a built-in SD card slot and two USB ports (one USB3, one USB2), and it has enough functionality to copy files from SD to two externals. Total price, with the USB SSDs, would be less than the low-end Surface Pro by itself.

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