Oct 29, 2013

| Surfacing...

Ok not an art review yet but my Type Keyboard has just arrived and I'm actually typing this post with it. It's been a few days but I honestly didn't have much time to play with the Surface, though Photoshop CC and the Wacom drivers are now installed and everything is working just fine!
To begin with I just have to say that I absolutely love it, it's a beautiful yet very well made tablet PC, in fact it's probably one of the best tablet ever made (so far of course), and I include commercial ones like the iPads. You can check some reviews online but you definitely need to use and feel it to understand. The construction is impressive, it doesn't weight that much, roughly about the same as my friend Anthony's most recent Macbook Air.
However, despite the pleasant Windows 8.1 discovery for browsing around (my 1st time using W.8.1), I couldn't use - or wanted to use - Photoshop without the keyboard, I can't seem to be able to use the touch with my version, btw the pen is a piece of crap and doesn't look like it belongs to the same family. It is too light, feels horribly cheap, has only one button and I still can't configure it to open my brushes (middle-click usually for me). So I ordered a Wacom Bamboo Feel stylus and I'm sure things will easily be better.
Now the display is amazing, full HD very clear and sharp, the colors are beautifully rendered and apparently pretty accurate too. There is a down side to it though, because in such a small screen things can look rather small, especially in a software like Photoshop or After Effects, the windows are super tiny and that's when you can't use your fingers anymore :) you get used to find your way with the pen which is really precise. There is almost no space between the tip of the pen and the screen thanks to the optically bonded digitizer, but there is an apparent "lag" or distance from the tip and the cursor despite spending time calibrating the whole thing. But if you're used to work on a Cintiq then the Surface is even better in this area. As soon as you start painting it works great and the pressure sensitivity is exactly what I was expecting, good enough for a mobile digital sketchbook and I am not missing the 2048 levels of the Cintiq Companion here, nor the tilt really.
Here are some shots of the keyboard cover, it is quite something and works well, feels nice and has already improved my productivity a lot, you could certainly use the tablet without it but don't forget this is a powerful tablet PC too and typing on the screen gets rapidly annoying, same goes for working with most traditional software. You can ask me any questions in the Comments section below.
By the way I've found these 2 specialized websites which give a lot of really useful information about the Surface:

7 comments:

Rattlecan said...

Thank you for this review. I've been struggling to find a replacement for my ageing HP touchsmart that isn't going to bankrupt me. I never even considered the surface but I will have to go and find a store to have a play with one. Which particular model did you get the nvidia or Intel i5?

Yan cyr-haschigk said...

oh nice, j'espère que le stylus de wacom vas bien marcher!

Thierry Doizon said...

Rattlecan, I got the Surface Pro 2 with 8 Go of ram and 256 Go SSD, it has the i5 Haswell processors. It is an excellent product - and if you think about it - priced really well too, better than a small laptop + Wacom Intuos package.

Rattlecan said...

Precisely my thinking. No point paying for a laptop then all the extras on top of it. Thanks for the reply :)

Cale Dt said...

Can you produce full finish and refine professional artwork with it ? Or does it still lack a little bit of something ?

Thierry Doizon said...

Hi Cale Dt, You could easily produce finished artworks, though it may be easy to dock it and plug it to a larger monitor if you prefer. Remember it's a PC and has enough power to handle large files.

Josh Bowman said...

Hey man, you should check out a windows app called 'Art dock', it adds a completely customisable touch bar that you can drag around the screen.
check it out here:
http://surfaceproartist.com/blog/2013/12/4/exclusive-surface-pro-artist-artdock-makes-photoshop-a-touch-friendlier