Any Surface Pro 4 Users?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sfwalter, May 9, 2016.

  1. sfwalter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    First of all I am long time die hard Mac fan but lately I have been thinking about getting a Windows machine, mainly the Surface Pro 4. Specifically I'm looking at the 8gb, 256 i5 for $1200 new.

    Why am I even looking the Microsoft Surface Pro 4? I'm a serious photographer who takes about two or three one week vacations a year usually to national parks. I would like to be able to preview, do some light editing, and backup my photographs while in the field. Plus I love the idea of sitting on the couch at home using a pencil to edit my photos.

    Backing up images in the field - I don't know of a good way on an iPad Pro to do this. I want to be able to connect an external SSD drive and backup all my raw files.

    Preview and editing - It would be nice to use the desktop version of apps instead of the scaled down mobile versions. I keep hearing that the new iPad Pro has desktop class cpu performance. However what I don’t see is desktop class apps.

    I would probably only use the Surface Pro 4 for my photography needs while traveling. At home I would still use my iMac.

    Am I crazy to even consider the Surface Pro 4? If you have a Surface Pro what do you think of using it inside the Apple ecosystem?
  2. kenoh, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016

    kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    I got a SP3 last year for precisely the same reasons as you. Wanted to edit on holiday couldn't be bothered with the nuances of a tablet for editing and didn't want to get the tremors from the thought of not having a computer for 2 weeks couple times a year.

    I find mine OK, not amazing. Screen is nice.. but to be honest it is sat here charged and dusty. I still prefer my MBP..

    Nothing wrong with it, very capable device, nice screen reasonable battery but Meh....
  3. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    I hade a surface pro 3 and a surface 3. They both got returned. They were fantastic machines, but my macbook pro was just better.
  4. I7guy macrumors Core


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    We have an sp4. On vacation I take my laptop and sp4 loaded with canon software and back up my pictures daily. I can edit and offload them into the cloud or social media or whatever.

    Even if I lose my camera I still have the pictures.

    The sp4 is a fantastic device. My son has a MacBook Pro and tbh I prefer my windows laptop. To each their own.
  5. MacRy macrumors 601


    Apr 2, 2004
    I bought a Surface Pro 3 for exactly the same reason and I love mine. I've been a long time Apple convert and I love my MacBook but I can honestly say that I haven't touched it since getting the SP3. Portability is key for me and it's so much lighter than my MacBook Pro and I also love being able to use the pen to edit my photos. Admittedly it can occasionally get a bit bogged down in Lightroom but I only have the 4Gb version so that could be the issue. It's a great machine and I thoroughly recommend one.
  6. Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    I love my Surface clone (aka 2-in-1. I think 'Surface' is going to become synonymous with '2-in-1's in the same way 'iPad' means 'tablet' to a lot of people). I have now ditched my Macbook and Android tablet as I stopped using both once I got it.

    OneDrive syncs files really well with my Mac (I actually find it the best of all the synching apps eg Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud), and Lightroom CC allows for synching of work too if you are subscribed.

    I've found I use the pen a lot less than I expected, but I have found my method of browsing the screen has changed massively. I now use a combination of touch and mouse to navigate. Going back to a regular non-touch laptop is really confusing!

    Another unexpected bonus has been when boarding a crowded train (ie no seats available, common in rush hour tube rides in London). I unpack the Surface, pull off the keyboard and continue working in tablet mode whilst standing up - no worries about having to sync data between laptop and tablet (not possible underground as I have no cloud connection) to continue working on the same file or worrying about having to use cut down tablet apps to work with.
  7. kingtj macrumors 68030

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    My office just decided to standardize on the Surface Pro 4 for employees getting issued Windows machines. Since I work in I.T. - that meant I got one of my own to "eat the dog food" and give it an honest test as my primary work computer. (Somewhat annoying since I've been using a Mac instead.)

    So far? I find it's a perfectly good Windows 10 PC on my desk when attached to the dock and a couple of big external displays, a USB full size keyboard and bluetooth mouse.

    When I eject it from the dock to use it on the go, I'm much less impressed. Battery life is "ok" but definitely not as good as a Macbook Air or an iPad. I find the keyboard type-cover is fairly decent, but the whole contraption is still more cumbersome to work with on the go than a traditional notebook. (For example, if you're on an airline in coach seating, there's a good chance the food tray in front of you won't even be deep/wide enough to support the SP4 with keyboard. If part of it has to hang off the edge, it's not going to work well. You may as well forget that plan and put the whole thing in your lap instead.)

    Kudos to MS for some of their ideas for their pencil. (Love how it has a clickable "eraser" button that launches Cortana with a double-click, OneNote with a single click, and actually works as an eraser. Also like the "AAAA" batteries it takes, because it's easier than fussing with trying to recharge it when it runs low like you do with Apple's pencil.) But that said, I don't find I use it a lot. I'm no artist, but I thought I might take more handwritten notes on the go with it, etc. But ultimately, I guess I'd rather just type my notes than hand-write them.

    It also seems to still have some software driver glitches/issues. I've noticed some graphics corruption in FireFox web browser on an external display when scrolling a web page up/down.

    I think it's as good an attempt at a Windows tablet PC as you're going to find on the market today. But for my use, I still get more done carrying my iPad Pro to/from the office each day (especially since it has LTE cellular built into it). I like the fact iOS is "instant on" and has a bunch of dedicated single purpose apps focused on things I want to do during my commute (read USA Today or my local newspaper, for example) -- and it feels more comfortable as a tablet than the Surface Pro does because iOS is specifically designed for a touch-screen. It's not trying to compromise and be all things to all people.
  8. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    I think once we start seeing more touch specific apps show up in the Windows Store (which is finally starting to happen), this won't be quite so much of an issue. From that point, the only downside will be it's fairly mediocre battery life in comparison to the iPP.
  9. Honumaui, May 15, 2016
    Last edited: May 16, 2016

    Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I am a pro photographer and have a post production company
    was looking at the 4 seems pretty fun and workable

    buddy of mine picked one up (also full time tog) he retuned it ? just had some issues not quite there yet

    I know some love em really think its one of those things you have to try and see but if you do post back :)
  10. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
  11. I7guy macrumors Core


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    It's not like you are comparing devices that perform equivalent functions though and run exactly the same programs. So I agree on the battery life, but I can load up what I need from my windows desktop and take the device anywhere.
    --- Post Merged, May 20, 2016 ---
    I do with the sp4 came with a cellular chip. That said, a personal hotspot solves the issue. When I commute, my ipad 2 is good enough for comsumption. When I travel I want windows, and that means sp4. While I love IOS and apple has done a great job with it, I cannot do "work" on IOS, I need my windows stuff. Also as I understnd it, windows 10 has MDM built-in, making it a boon to people who want to use the sp4 in a mobileiron environment, where the company policy requires an mdm on all devices connecting to their network.

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10 May 9, 2016