Windows Surface Pro - Anyone using one?

Started Mar 4, 2013 | Questions thread
Brian Miller
Regular MemberPosts: 437
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Re: Windows Surface Pro - Anyone using one?
In reply to CAcreeks, Mar 5, 2013

To the OP:

I've had my Surface Pro for nearly a month.  I've used every version of Windows except Vista since DOS 3.0 (joke) on a Compaq Deskpro, and this is the most fun and excitement I've felt about a computer for a long time.   If one looks on other forums besides DPR, (reddit, theverge, winsupersite, etc)  there is a lot of interest in the Surface Pro, particularly from young people and students, who seem to understand this is a new kind of device.  Many traditional reviewers (often Mac-oriented) can't seem to find a category for it, since it falls in between/overlaps with tablets and laptops.   As a hybird, something like lablet or deskltab might seem appropriate.

As David Pogue, reviewer for the NYT said, "Get it? It's not an iPad, it's a computer."

Which it is, a fully desktop-capable (up to three monitors) fast i5 64-bit system that you can literally hold in one hand, with a keyboard or as a pure touch, stylus-enabled tablet.

CS6 is not yet fully touch-enabled, (but will be soon via Wintab or MS api) but the full version runs just fine.  Informed opinion finds the SP to be better than a 12" Cintique.  Sketchbook Pro and Artrage are fully touchable, with more applications coming soon.

So I'm not sure of the point of VNC, when you can just run PS on  your large desktop monitor(s).  (note that Intuous (see DPR) is announcing a tablet to run their product, presumably without a separate computer).

CAcreeks wrote:

Digitizer is an awfully fancy-schmantzy name for a pen.

There's a huge difference between a "pen" on a capacitive screen like the iPad, which is no better than a finger, and a fully-digitized screen (not the pen) with a 1024-level pressure sensitive pen, like on the Surface and the next generation of hybirds.  Read reviews by artists and you'll see why they are excited by the Surface and similar products.

Yes, I think eventually it will work great. I tried it at Best Buy. At this point the software really isn't there. Office 2013 is somewhat touch enabled, but not completely. The parts that really need to be touch enabled (dialog boxes) are not yet. Also the ribbon is even bigger than before, taking up a lot of valuable screen real estate. When creating a Word document you can see only a few lines of text. The rest of the screen is merely decorative.

You need to go back to Best Buy and play around some more.  I have one line of menu and the rest of the screen for entry in Word 2013.  While you are there, try OneNote in Office and you'll understand why not all pens are the same.  This is a killer app for college students (super handwriting recognition, ability to enter math formulae and draw molecules, access and share notes with classmates on Skydrive, etc).

Biggest problem with the Surface is that there is no way to rotate the screen with the keyboard attached. The Zagg keyboard for iPad is able to rotate! Also I prefer the iPad's 4:3 screen.

Either detach it (watch the commercial) or fold it (type/touch cover) under the machine. Or get a Bluetooth Wedge keyboard.  But 16:9 seems to be our HD future, even the new Canon low-light movie CMOS is 16:9.

Illustrator would be a better fit for the "digitizer" than Photoshop. Adobe has an iPad version, Photoshop Touch (Wired review here) but nothing like it on the Surface, yet.

Why would we want one, when you can run the full version on a real, non-phone, OS? (The stylus works as well as a mouse and the more touchy stuff will be here soon).

On the plus side, the Surface seems really good if you bring it to work, or your studio, where you have a large monitor and a mouse. The 1980x1080 display has a goodly number of pixels, and it can drive a very large monitor as a 2nd display.

Yeah, exactly.

I'm thinking about using the Pro as a front end to my desktop via VNC. The heads down approach with the digitizer, being able to with a large archive locally in the desktop, and the larger amount of Ram in the desktop, would be my reasons for wanting to do this. Anyone set something like this up and does using the digitizer translate well via VNC or a like program?

Wow, VNC instead of Remote Desktop?!? What is the desktop you are connecting to, Linux?

I kind of hate Remote Desktop because it messes up my monitor configurations and applications, but isn't it a lot faster over the wire than VNC?

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