Surface06 Jan 2019
I own a Surface Pro 6 and I like it.
There’s a sentence I never expected to write.
When the Surface first came out it was intriguing (I use the term loosely), but it just wasn’t something I could ever see myself using. I had an iPad and, well, that was what a tablet was supposed to be.
Since then I’ve fallen out with Apple (well, technically I’d fallen out with them years ago). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to find a continued use for my iPad, but it keeps getting sidelined, or just fucking frustrates me. So these days, at best, it’s not much more than a glorified PDF reader, and one that struggles to load a file off my NAS when I’m in bed. :(
So the Surface, then… How the hell did I end up liking something that runs Windows 10?
Windows 10 is an absolutely shit-show of a “touch enabled” operating system. Tablet-mode is broken in a host of ways. “Non Tablet” (normal) Windows, even more so. The gestures are poor, undiscoverable, and some times hit-or-miss. Touch areas are often too small, or just don’t exist because you’re using a Win32 app. Windows still struggles with HiDPI. It gets a little confused as to what to do when you change orientation. The Windows store… I mean, I can go on. Windows is, as Windows does.
But it runs everything…
And I’ve grown to realise that, the Surface’s biggest weakness – Win10 – is actually it’s biggest strength. My tablet already has the full version of Photoshop on it. And ZBrush. And Modo. My tablet actually compiles my game, and amazingly, handles UE4 well enough to run it at a reasonable clip.
Of course, you need a keyboard for that list, but the Surface keyboard is excellent. The keys have travel and feel great. The trackpad is perfect. It’s easy to get on and off. Even the pen – which I’ll happily agree is not as good as the Apple one – is lovely to use. Especially in Krita, or Photoshop.
I have the Linux subsystem. I can connect to everything in my house. Battery life seems, even under reasonable use (like compiling my game), to be ample. Even the power adaptor is small and light. I literally cannot complain about the hardware, or the price.
So, fuck me. I really like my Surface. Even though it’s running Windows 10. This is a seriously compelling form factor that you can do a surprising amount of “real” work on. It’s even powerful enough to drive my DDJ-1000, so it’s probably going to be my travel DJ rig. Pretty damn impressive for 800 nicker.
Oh, it even reads PDFs well. Laters, iPad :D