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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Surface Pro 2 Review for Photographers
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Showing posts 1 - 14 of 14, (reverse)
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11/06/2013 12:48:42 PM · #1
After a week or so, here's what I know.

ETA: 2 weeks and I've killed it. Seems like the video card or mobo died. Happily MS sent me an extra unit by accident, so I'll be fixed up in a couple of days when I get back home from Thanksgiving...

1. The 64/128GB - 4GB RAM model is very fast, and very nice. However, Photoshop can and will kill it like this:
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_923864.jpg
Yeah, really... Photoshop will chew on the neckbones of 4GB of RAM. I was easily able to get it to throw a memory error, with only one photo open, and using a complex brush.

2. The 256/512GB - 8GB RAM model is impossible to find, expensive, extraordinarily fast, and very nice. Photoshop lives on it nicely alongside Office 2013, a VM or Gotomypc session, and with a movie or music running, along with a small session open in Capture One Pro 7.... Not a light load, but this thing will do it.

3. I LOVE the battery life - 8 hours isn't a joke or crazy high advertising figure.

4. I wish it had more processor power, but I understand.(see #3 above)

5. There are two keyboards, but you only want the type cover. The touch cover is basically horrible, at least, if you know how to type. For some folks I'm sure it would be fine.

6. The type cover was/is back ordered, so I learned to use the on screen keyboard after a few days of hating the touch keyboard cover. It's surprisingly good, but covers up WAY too much screen.

7. You'll need to install a driver to make the Wacom tablet input work right.. Which is admittedly annoying. What isn't annoying is the inclusion of an eraser function on the pen.

8. The tablet/stylus input is really good. No tilt, but pressure sensitivity is good, if a bit light (super light lines are harder to get, but heavy lines are easy, compared to a regular Wacom tablet)

9. Turn off all the scaling shit. Yes, you'll have to learn to poke the screen REALLY precisely, and you'll need excellent eyes to read things in HD on a 10" screen, but the scaling shit takes up tons of real estate and makes lots of apps work funky. (chrome is unusable in scaled mode when trying to use the touch screen)

10. Screen protectors, and a leather portfolio case are really good ideas, at the price of this thing, I'd prefer it to last a while, and I've little doubt that I'll be toting this baby everywhere. (I can use it with the hotspot on my phone, and it's really great for on-the-go work).

..

So... I'm in love, I've drank the M$ Koolaid, and I'm done for. Took em 20 years to get me on board, but dammit, they've won me over finally.

Message edited by author 2013-11-28 22:56:59.
11/06/2013 05:32:23 PM · #2
tease.
11/06/2013 06:43:01 PM · #3
Well... I have a Surface Pro 2 in my hands now. It was not the 256GB/8GB RAM model that I ordered (total stock error), but I did just get the 128GB with 4GB of RAM version for $100 off sticker, and with a non-limited return policy, so I'm booting it up now.

First observation: Built like a tank. Keyboard snaps onto it with a very happy little click.

11/06/2013 08:07:49 PM · #4
I think it ATE him: no word in 90 mins. Someone call the NM Law Enforcement pronto. No, wait... Belay that... Bad things might happen. Godspeed, Cory, wherever you are...
11/06/2013 08:10:57 PM · #5
He's still waiting for it to boot up....
11/06/2013 08:22:21 PM · #6
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I think it ATE him: no word in 90 mins. Someone call the NM Law Enforcement pronto. No, wait... Belay that... Bad things might happen. Godspeed, Cory, wherever you are...


Laughed out loud! :-)
11/06/2013 08:29:16 PM · #7
ROFL. Yep. ATE me. :)

Nah, the real situation is that Schlake called me to go pick up a 600mm f/3.5 lens because it wouldn't fit in his car.

That, and I had to sign up for and install Adobe Creative Cloud... Still downloading.. 23% as of this writing.

So far, the major disappointment is that the pen has only a single button, not the up/down like I would have expected from Wacom. Accuracy is very good though, and pressure sensitivity seems good, can't report much until I get PS up and running... Also going to install and test the real machine killer, Capture One Pro..
11/06/2013 11:53:24 PM · #8
As I read this I'm using the same thing, which my husband won in a poker match.



Message edited by author 2013-11-06 23:53:48.
11/07/2013 12:41:52 AM · #9
Originally posted by Ozzie:

As I read this I'm using the same thing, which my husband won in a poker match.


Right now, I'm reflecting on the quiet life I live...my "friends" don't steal my gear, and I get my tablets by driving to a fruit themed store at the mall, and handing a credit card to a hipster wearing a blue t-shirt. I can't decide if I'm missing out or not...
11/07/2013 12:48:15 AM · #10
Originally posted by Ann:

Originally posted by Ozzie:

As I read this I'm using the same thing, which my husband won in a poker match.


Right now, I'm reflecting on the quiet life I live...my "friends" don't steal my gear, and I get my tablets by driving to a fruit themed store at the mall, and handing a credit card to a hipster wearing a blue t-shirt. I can't decide if I'm missing out or not...


You missed the obvious... I brought home, and just disassembled and reassembled, a 100lb HUGE lens. I think you're absolutely missing out. :D (BTW, my back hurts now... :) ..)
11/21/2013 12:26:42 AM · #11
Ok. First post updated, but I'll include it here.

After a week or so, here's what I know.

1. The 64/128GB - 4GB RAM model is very fast, and very nice. However, Photoshop can and will kill it like this:
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_923864.jpg
Yeah, really... Photoshop will chew on the neckbones of 4GB of RAM. I was easily able to get it to throw a memory error, with only one photo open, and using a complex brush.

2. The 256/512GB - 8GB RAM model is impossible to find, expensive, extraordinarily fast, and very nice. Photoshop lives on it nicely alongside Office 2013, a VM or Gotomypc session, and with a movie or music running, along with a small session open in Capture One Pro 7.... Not a light load, but this thing will do it.

3. I LOVE the battery life - 8 hours isn't a joke or crazy high advertising figure.

4. I wish it had more processor power, but I understand.(see #3 above)

5. There are two keyboards, but you only want the type cover. The touch cover is basically horrible, at least, if you know how to type. For some folks I'm sure it would be fine.

6. The type cover was/is back ordered, so I learned to use the on screen keyboard after a few days of hating the touch keyboard cover. It's surprisingly good, but covers up WAY too much screen.

7. You'll need to install a driver to make the Wacom tablet input work right.. Which is admittedly annoying. What isn't annoying is the inclusion of an eraser function on the pen.

8. The tablet/stylus input is really good. No tilt, but pressure sensitivity is good, if a bit light (super light lines are harder to get, but heavy lines are easy, compared to a regular Wacom tablet)

9. Turn off all the scaling shit. Yes, you'll have to learn to poke the screen REALLY precisely, and you'll need excellent eyes to read things in HD on a 10" screen, but the scaling shit takes up tons of real estate and makes lots of apps work funky. (chrome is unusable in scaled mode when trying to use the touch screen)

10. Screen protectors, and a leather portfolio case are really good ideas, at the price of this thing, I'd prefer it to last a while, and I've little doubt that I'll be toting this baby everywhere. (I can use it with the hotspot on my phone, and it's really great for on-the-go work).

..

So... I'm in love, I've drank the M$ Koolaid, and I'm done for. Took em 20 years to get me on board, but dammit, they've won me over finally.

Next experiment - tethered shooting with the 1D and Capture One Pro..
11/28/2013 10:57:39 PM · #12
Killed it. Dead mobo or video card most likely.
12/26/2013 07:35:42 PM · #13
Excellent.

I have the version 1 128/4gb still going strong runs Lightroom fine, the pen is slightly out of phase though that can be annoying but I do love the portability of the thing, I use a separate bluetooth keyboard for the times i need to actually use one.

Any tips Cory about the pen?
12/27/2013 12:23:39 AM · #14
Yeah for sure - first things first, you need to install the correct driver, go to Wacom's driver site, choose "Tablet PC" from the drop down and download/install, which will enable pressure sensitivity.

Then, after you get it enabled, go to your control panel and adjust it to be a bit less sensitive.

Edge sensitivity sucks, but that just makes using it on menus a bit tricky..

FYI - got a new replacement for my busted surface, and it's been fine so far. Great system, very sexy.

My only real complaint is that it's too small, but I'm used to working on a 55" monitor, so I'm probably biased rather strongly. Also, JBL Micro Wireless speakers are awesome.
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