Considering surface pro 7

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,806
Re: Considering surface pro 7

I have a Surface Pro 7 with the i5 Icelake CPU and 8gb RAM. I bought it for travel--the iPad pro was useless for me for image processing--and now use it in some fashion for something everyday, even if just reading the digital newspaper and email. I am very fond of the device to the point where I find reasons to use it.

You need the keyboard to use the Surface fully as touch controls are not as convoluted or responsive as on the touch only iPad. The Surface is a Windows computer with touch enabled, big difference. The keyboard can be a little wonkey but you will want it anyway. Mass storage can be augmented with a microSD card of any size--I use that to transfer raw images from a Nikon Z because XQD cards are stupidly expensive. FIle transfer times are what they are but I set it and forget it.

If you carry a mouse with your work laptop you can use that on the Surface. The power brick is reasonably petite.

With a keyboard and mouse the Surface is adequate for text based, business type applications in and of itself, if you can live with the screen size. I do, did, all kinds of things with it on the road as my one and only laptop. The main problem with keyboard based productivity for me is the occasional wonkiness of the keyboard but you learn its wonks.

If you want to draw you need to invest in a high end pen, like a Microsoft brand--many of the cheapo pens on Amazon are just awful. I am by no means a digital artist but with a good pen complex drawing on PS layers is very doable--maybe not as sophisticated as the truly nifty Apple pen but those with the talent and know how achieve high end results. A pen can be used as a mouse but there's a learning curve.

The resolution and gamut of the screen are comparable to an iPad but the Surface is quite a bit heftier. The higher resolution makes text sharp. Being a Windows machine it is not geared for passive consumption like an iPad. The Icelake processor is low power so quite battery efficient and cool-I get 5-6 hours of interactive use on a charge. I have only used the i5--its adequate, as is the 8gb of RAM, for how I work. I assume the I7 with more RAM may seem faster for some tasks but I doubt there will be much difference for text based activities, like in every Windows machine.

On the Surface I use PS CC to convert raw images to jpegs for internet distribution when wifi is available. It speeds things up to stay in 8 bit sRGB world rather than the 16 bit ProPhoto I would use on a desktop. I also like to use on1 which would not work on the Surface for a very long time but they seem to have fixed that. I never use Lightroom so no opinion.

When travel again resumes I might see if I can get by with just On1 on the Surface.

If Microsoft revamps the line with either Tiger Lake or Ryzen 5000u parts you might want to wait and see. They should be significantly faster and have better battery life. I could be tempted to upgrade if there are enough improvements without massive price rises.

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Nikon D70 Nikon D3300 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Nikon Z6
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