|Image borrowed from Microsoft Store|
Why the Surface Book? Especially after being a Mac user for a while? Features that appeal to me from a photography and art (drawing) perspective, especially the quite beautiful display and the solid pen computing features. Both of these are quite good and, when coupled with apps like Photoshop, provide a much more complete experience that I would get from, say, an iPad Pro. At the end of the day, the iPad Pro, while an excellent option, is still hampered by the relatively weak photography tools in comparison to the full-fledged Photoshop.
In any case, this is not a full review by any stretch, but I wanted to touch on the likes/dislikes so far...
- Windows 10 - Hey, I have to hand it to Microsoft here, the changes from Windows 8 are distinctly for the better. There are some behaviours that I would prefer to be better, but in general, this is looking really good.
- The display is, really, very good. Crisp, clear, with great colour, and bright. I like the 3x2 form factor of it too as it lines up with standard photographic proportions.
- Responsive, the extra graphics horsepower shows, especially in Photoshop, despite the fact that this is only dual core versus the quad core that was my iMac.
- The pen. Yep, the pen is good. While not quite as sensitive as the pen for my Cintiq (which is also attached to it), it's still 1024 pressure levels and is highly effective in the uses I need it for.
- Windows "Hello" is fantastic! If you're not familiar, it basically uses the front camera and an IR sensor to enable logging in based on your face. I love it and it works well and pretty fast. The IR helps to ensure a real face and not just a photo.
- Some nice service integrations, such as Netflix, are done well. This is where the tablet side kicks in.
- The tablet separation is really well done, it can be triggered from the keyboard or from a system tray icon.
- More space on my desk at home.
Needs Some Work
- Touchpad behaviours. Let's be clear, Apple does the touchpad functionality better than anyone and I'm guessing a few patents are kicking in to make the Windows variant less than ideal. Fortunately, I also have a Wacom Intuos which gives me back the three finger drag and natural scroll.
- Integration into online services for notifications. I've closed the gap using Chrome for most, but it would be nice if it was more integrated. Now, I may have just missed this, so if you know, point it out. :)
What I Miss
- Mobile device integration. I realize that this more on Apple than anything else, but there is definitely a better coupling when it comes to mac OS and iOS than it is for Windows. I knew that going in though. :)
- Decent command line.
- Window control buttons on the other side! Sorry, just got used to it.
- Thunderbolt. USB 3 is very good, Thunderbolt is better and faster.
All in all, I'm happy with it so far. Here's a desk shot:
Yes, I have an Amazon Echo (actually, I have 2 of them) and, yes, they work in Canada. Amazon really just needs to get over it and start selling them here so I can update my weather settings.