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Old 07-15-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
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Windows Surface Pro and other tablets?

So, my computer bit the dust after many years of faithful service. I'm in the market for a new computer and would really like something portable that can handle zbrush and photoshop mainly. I know the Surface Pro can handle Photoshop without any problems and I'm seeing some people over at Zbrush Central posting stuff done in Surface Pro with the aid of Art Dock. I would kill to be able to have a portable digital sketchbook and was wondering if there were other quality options to the Surface Pro. I know Samsung had one out earlier than the Pro and that some people liked it. I know that Wacom is coming out with their own version of a Surface-like tablet but there's no release date that I've seen. Plus, I need something like yesterday so waiting isn't a great option right now.

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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In terms of processing power it would be roughly equivalent to a six year old desktop (Core 2 Q6600 with 4GB of memory). The display is really tiny too, 10.6 inches. I think it would make a nice secondary machine for meetings, sketching, emails, but I certainly wouldn't want it as my only machine. If this will be your only machine get a desktop, or a laptop if you absolutely need the mobility.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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Also this. Doesn't matter how portable it is, you'd be stuck next to a power outlet all the time anyway. ZBrush will use all the cores so I'd be surprised if you could get over two hours on battery.

http://www.crn.com/news/mobility/24...eal-breaker.htm
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyphur
So, my computer bit the dust after many years of faithful service. I'm in the market for a new computer and would really like something portable that can handle zbrush and photoshop mainly. I know the Surface Pro can handle Photoshop without any problems and I'm seeing some people over at Zbrush Central posting stuff done in Surface Pro with the aid of Art Dock. I would kill to be able to have a portable digital sketchbook and was wondering if there were other quality options to the Surface Pro. I know Samsung had one out earlier than the Pro and that some people liked it. I know that Wacom is coming out with their own version of a Surface-like tablet but there's no release date that I've seen. Plus, I need something like yesterday so waiting isn't a great option right now.

Any suggestions?

It depends what you want from it.
Since the driver update SPro now supports pressure sensitivity in most apps, which makes it a lot more enticing than it was before.

It also costs, as a fully kitted solution, the same of the 13" cintiq, which means for on-screen painting on a budget it's currently hard to beat.

Wacom should come out with their solution some time before the end of the year. With Q3 just starting they might announce soon if it's in the next three months, if not, it means it will be for another quarter (I believe they can't announce outside of quarter). Either way it's not gonig to happen this month or the next is my guess.
Also, given how outrageously overprice the C13 is I doubt it will be anything under a couple grands (I'd guess they were waiting on Haswell and some other details to try and offer a long battery life solution).

IMO the SPro, for the money, and if you can deal with its shortcomings, is excellent bang for buck.

It's not, again IMO, a full PC replacement as it comes with some limitations, but for CPU centric things that benefit from multitouch and pen pressure on screen (ZBrush, Photoshop, Painter) I've been very tempted myself more than once.
The portability is a nice bonus, but as Olson said don't expect it to run in workhorse mode anywhere far from a socket for more than an hour and spare change. Still good enough for that hour or two outside in the park or at a cafe sketching away, which a workstation isn't quite suited to (unless you don't mind carrying around a diesel generator with you).
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:32 PM   #5
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99% of the time I'm not terribly far from an outlet. My main concern was the performance issue but it seems a number of people are using it quite well over at Zbrush forums and the guys from Penny Arcade are praising its accolades for Photoshop. I just haven't seen anyone personally using them in the wild for what I'm looking at it for.

I don't mind if it's not running at the head of the pack. I want something that I can sit on the couch with, sketch some concepts with, go into Zbrush and flesh those out. I don't plan on rigging, animating or any major high end rendering with it. I will probably build a higher end PC towards the new year for that stuff and importing into game engines and renderers. I even think if I repaired my old PC I could still do that since it was a bit of a hoss even when it bit the bullet.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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