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Seed101

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2015
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So....primarily, I'm looking for a drawing device in order to draw comic books/illustrations. l am genuinely torn on which route to head down.

I'm currently firmly in the Mac eco-system with maxed out 2015 iMac, old MBP ( hopefully replaced at WWDC) iPhone 6s Plus, 2nd gen iPad.

I know photoshop, illustrator well but am not averse to jumping into something new if it can 'do the job'

Money is not such an object with the iPad Pro/Logitech keyboard/pencil coming in at around £1k and the base Surface Book at £1.3k...I'm even considering buying the top end Surface Book and blowing out both the IPad Pro and RMBP..though this may not be possible for my After Effects needs...

Thoughts appreciated.
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,726
2,901
Shropshire, UK
I've got both (I7/16GB/512) and while I'm most certainly not an artist I find the iPad Pro better for note taking and drawing than the Surface Book: It's not that the SB is bad, it's just that the iPad Pro is exceptional!

Having said that, if I had to choose just a single device, I'd have to go with the SB because it's my main computer and I need the power of it for my day to day working (I'm a developer)
 
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Seed101

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2015
366
263
I've got both (I7/16GB/512) and while I'm most certainly not an artist I find the iPad Pro better for note taking and drawing than the Surface Book: It's not that the SB is bad, it's just that the iPad Pro is exceptional!

Having said that, if I had to choose just a single device, I'd have to go with the SB because it's my main computer and I need the power of it for my day to day working (I'm a developer)

Thanks.

Re: the two stylus, Would you say the pencil is 'head and shoulders' above the SB?

I kind of suspect it is, but it's countered by the OS...tough choices!
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
9,837
12,080
where hip is spoken
A few things among many things to consider:
  • Battery life when using the Surface Book as a tablet: Approx 3 hours
  • Because it is a Windows computer it suffers from the same boot up, Windows update, and general systems maintenance. Frequent updates, required reboots, device drivers, etc.
Ultimately the question you need to ask yourself is, "do I want a tablet that will offer an excellent user experience or do I want an ultrabook that can act like a tablet in a pinch?"
 

Seed101

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2015
366
263
A few things among many things to consider:
  • Battery life when using the Surface Book as a tablet: Approx 3 hours
  • Because it is a Windows computer it suffers from the same boot up, Windows update, and general systems maintenance. Frequent updates, required reboots, device drivers, etc.
Ultimately the question you need to ask yourself is, "do I want a tablet that will offer an excellent user experience or do I want an ultrabook that can act like a tablet in a pinch?"

That indeed is the question.

I know people detract the fact the the OS is IOS..but in many ways that's a plus...it's countered, at the present time, by the app's available...but that's mostly down to my personal user habits/experience...

I haven't used Windows in a long while...but am tempted by the thought of using familiar software...

P.S- I thought the SB could be used connected and folded over? Maybe even plugged in?
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
9,837
12,080
where hip is spoken
That indeed is the question.

I know people detract the fact the the OS is IOS..but in many ways that's a plus...it's countered, at the present time, by the app's available...but that's mostly down to my personal user habits/experience...

I haven't used Windows in a long while...but am tempted by the thought of using familiar software...
I own and use a variety of hardware options, and have owned a few Surface devices (and still own one... I think it makes a great netbook but an inferior tablet).

My current primary mix of devices focus on an iMac, 12.9 iPP, and an Android phone. The 12.9 iPP has replaced my 11" Macbook Air + iPad Air 2. For those times when I am away from my home office and need to do work on OSX, I use my iPP to remote desktop into my iMac. That has worked out very well so far... it will be even better if/when Apple natively supports mice/trackpads or I bite the bullet and buy the Citrix X1 mouse.

The 12.9 iPP comes closer to the converged device sweet-spot for me even though it falls slightly to the tablet side of the spectrum. The Surface devices fall more heavily on the notebook side of the divide, falling shorter as a tablet than the iPP falls short as a notebook. But it is absolutely down to personal preference and workflow.
 

Skika

macrumors 68030
Mar 11, 2009
2,999
1,246
Considering you already have a Mac and thus arent looking for a replacement for a computer but a good companion/drawing tool i would say go for the iPad Pro.
 
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Seed101

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2015
366
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Considering you already have a Mac and thus arent looking for a replacement for a computer but a good companion/drawing tool i would say go for the iPad Pro.

Yep...I freelance in motion design/after effects primarily, and about 50% of that work is onsite so I need a mobile option in addition to the iMac...if a rMBP could fold back and be drawn upon with the pencil it would be my dream device!

That's very unlikely so I either stump up and buy the new rMBP + iPad Pro or a Surface Book..if it's capable...that's my dilemma.. :(

P.S- If pushed, I could do without the iMac truth be told, but when I'm out working the wife uses it for her work and it's great to have the screen/extra power at home!
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,830
6,914
Yep...I freelance in motion design/after effects primarily, and about 50% of that work is onsite so I need a mobile option in addition to the iMac...if a rMBP could fold back and be drawn upon with the pencil it would be my dream device!

That's very unlikely so I either stump up and buy the new rMBP + iPad Pro or a Surface Book..if it's capable...that's my dilemma.. :(

What exactly are the things you need to do onsite? Perhaps you can get by with just an iPP while onsite, and if there are some things that the iPad simply can't do, maybe you could use a remote control app to remote into your iMac.
 

Seed101

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2015
366
263
What exactly are the things you need to do onsite? Perhaps you can get by with just an iPP while onsite, and if there are some things that the iPad simply can't do, maybe you could use a remote control app to remote into your iMac.

No. Sadly that's impossible at this moment in time.It's After effects/C4D...remote control from an iPad would freak these guys out...and I'd not be comfortable either with that..much more straightforward with a laptop on their server..
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,830
6,914
No. Sadly that's impossible at this moment in time.It's After effects/C4D...remote control from an iPad would freak these guys out...and I'd not be comfortable either with that..much more straightforward with a laptop on their server..

CAD? I thought you said you did comic books?
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Really? I didn't know that!

Yup.

canvas.jpg


No. Sadly that's impossible at this moment in time.It's After effects/C4D...remote control from an iPad would freak these guys out...and I'd not be comfortable either with that..much more straightforward with a laptop on their server..

Considering your use case, I'd say the SB is your only choice. I've heard a lot of good things about it, though I also hear that it has a few little problems that come standard with most 1st gen devices. Your best bet would be to grab one from a place with a good return policy, give it go for a week or two, then decide if you want to keep it. If you don't, the iPP is always there.
 
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Seed101

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2015
366
263
CAD? I thought you said you did comic books?

I freelance primarily in Motion graphics/animation which incorporates 2D/After Effects-Illustrator-Photoshop...As well as 3D elements where appropriate...nothing too heavy.

That is my main income.

I draw comic books 'on the side', it's not my primary work...but I make a bit of cash from illustration work.

I have an iMac. I have an old laptop( so I'm looking to spend now/soon)...I have a Wacom...I don't have a device where I can draw into the screen, which I would like..

Hope that helps illustrate my position.
[doublepost=1463849384][/doublepost]
Yup.

canvas.jpg




Considering your use case, I'd say the SB is your only choice. I've heard a lot of good things about it, though I also hear that it has a few little problems that come standard with most 1st gen devices. Your best bet would be to grab one from a place with a good return policy, give it go for a week or two, then decide if you want to keep it. If you don't, the iPP is always there.

So when folded over, as in your picture, I guess the keys are resting on the desk/inside?

How do you get on using shortcuts and the like?
 
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Renzatic

Suspended
So when folded over, as in your picture, I guess the keys are resting on the desk/inside?

Yup. This is probably the main reason why the SB has that weird bulged hinge. It's resting at about the same angle as the SP3/4 is with the kickstand pushed down as far as it'll go.

How do you get on using shortcuts and the like?

Lift the screen up. :p

When you have it set like that, it's for when you intend on using it primarily as a touch/stylus driven device, with the hardware in the bottom half providing extra oomph for whatever you need it for. You obviously lose immediate access to the keyboard like that.

The good news is that there are plenty of software out there that allows you to create onscreen shortcuts to compensate for that while you're in touch mode. It's a bit of extra busy work at first, but it's handy once you get it all set up.
 

Capt T

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2010
968
250
My opinion, which stems more from my work is...I am not sure the SB would be a good replacement for your laptop using after effects. It depends on how cpu/gpu intensive your work is. If is is basic stuff, perhaps. But if say it was something that was going to be spread onto multiple surfaces, and for example run the length of a speech at about 30min to 1 hour, have multiple layers...even your mbp would be a little on the sluggish side.

If you think you would want a SB as a replacement possibility, see if you can get it from a place with a long return policy. Get it a few days before going on site, and take both it and your mbp. Try using the SB, and if there are issues, swap back to the mbp.

It really depends on what exactly you are working with/making, file wise, and if you need more processing power.

As for being a companion device, either iPP or SB would serve you. Again I would say, try both, if you can afford at the same time, that might be even better. Then you could compare side by side. The one thing is you will most likely need to learn a new app or 2 for the iPP, as there are a few better options over the Adobe iPad versions.
 

Seed101

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2015
366
263
My opinion, which stems more from my work is...I am not sure the SB would be a good replacement for your laptop using after effects. It depends on how cpu/gpu intensive your work is. If is is basic stuff, perhaps. But if say it was something that was going to be spread onto multiple surfaces, and for example run the length of a speech at about 30min to 1 hour, have multiple layers...even your mbp would be a little on the sluggish side.

If you think you would want a SB as a replacement possibility, see if you can get it from a place with a long return policy. Get it a few days before going on site, and take both it and your mbp. Try using the SB, and if there are issues, swap back to the mbp.

It really depends on what exactly you are working with/making, file wise, and if you need more processing power.

As for being a companion device, either iPP or SB would serve you. Again I would say, try both, if you can afford at the same time, that might be even better. Then you could compare side by side. The one thing is you will most likely need to learn a new app or 2 for the iPP, as there are a few better options over the Adobe iPad versions.

Thanks for your helpful input.

I'm sceptical about replacing a new 'rMBP' with the Surface Book, though most projects I work on reasonable light, 2-3 minutes, character based explainer stuff.

As stated initially, the prices for the base model SB and IPad Pro are similar enough to bare comparison...and the main reason for SB would be sticking with software I know...


Guess I need to buy and try!

Thanks again.
 

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
2,214
1,009
Thanks.
Re: the two stylus, Would you say the pencil is 'head and shoulders' above the SB?
I kind of suspect it is, but it's countered by the OS...tough choices!

I find the two comparable in sketchbook pro. The pencil tilt function is cool, but i don't need it.
The ipp is a lovely device, no doubt. But the Surface does the things I need to do. If you test
drive the Surfacce dont use Fresh Paint--its old code and laggy
[doublepost=1463854219][/doublepost]
Guess I need to buy and try!
moronic
 
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alecgold

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2007
1,296
766
NLD
There is a store in my town that let me try the surface 4 (that was there on display/demo) for an hour to get an idea how it was to use. It was tethered to a desk/console, but it gave me enough experience to decide I didn't want it. Perhaps that is an option before buying for you as well?

I don't know how heavy the tasks are you are doing with it, but a client of mine has a SB and complains about the heat/fan noise when he uses it anything else then light. And if the SB's pen is the same as the surface 4, I do prefer the Apple Pencil. But that's a personal preference.

On the whole I think Microsoft created something really nice, very original and extremely brave with the surface book.
But I'm always worried with devices that try to be everything, it will end up like all those $299 all-in-one-printers that were mediocre at most things (and really bad at some, they annoyed the crap out of me with continuous paper jams when scanning and who in the world want's a fax these days?)
 
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rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
2,214
1,009
Why's that then?
It makes perfect sense to try it. its moronic not to!
It makes perfect sense to refine your buying decision as much as possible to avoid
waste and cost externalities on manufactures and other consumers
 

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
2,214
1,009
...
I don't know how heavy the tasks are you are doing with it, but a client of mine has a SB and complains about the heat/fan noise when he uses it anything else then light. And if the SB's pen is the same as the surface 4, I do prefer the Apple Pencil. But that's a personal preference.
...
But I'm always worried with devices that try to be everything, it will end up like all those $299 all-in-one-printers that were mediocre at most things (and really bad at some, they annoyed the crap out of me with continuous paper jams when scanning and who in the world want's a fax these days?)

If you buy the product and it proves to be noisey, underpowered, etc then return it. If you are ordering the product before refining your use needs--then i find that wasteful. Your last paragraph tells me you have not researched the product. There are many videos on you tube comparing the products.
 
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