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Surface Pro 2 in Germany? Surface Pro for Artwork?

macmee

Active Member
I seriously wouldn't suggest you get a Surface. Windows 8 tablets are great but after the firmware situation I wouldn't suggest ANYONE get a Surface. See how the next year goes in terms of this product's stability before investing $1500 dollars.
 
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Tekn0

Tekn0

New Member
I seriously wouldn't suggest you get a Surface. Windows 8 tablets are great but after the firmware situation I wouldn't suggest ANYONE get a Surface. See how the next year goes in terms of this product's stability before investing $1500 dollars.
That's disappointing to hear. Sorry I'm not totally up-to-date with the issues, so far I only read about some users having battery life issues with firmware. In any case, in Germany I can buy and try the Surface for a month or so and return it if I'm not satisfied with full money back guarantee.
 

macmee

Active Member
That's disappointing to hear. Sorry I'm not totally up-to-date with the issues, so far I only read about some users having battery life issues with firmware. In any case, in Germany I can buy and try the Surface for a month or so and return it if I'm not satisfied with full money back guarantee.
Are you sure you can return it within a month? Or is it 14 days (in Canada we only have 14 days for computers).

But yeah. If you want something that just works: iPad, if you want something buggy but fully featured: surface pro. If you want a hybrid of these things with cheap build quality: android. If you suffer from mental illness: surface RT
 

jrapdx

Member
Interesting, in any case I think if one uses programs like Manga Studio and ArtRage which don't need the Wacom drivers, there's no need to use Wacom drivers. Only apps like Photoshop require it as far as I can tell. Even Adobe recently updated their Adobe Illustrator to support the default (Microsoft Ink API drivers) and doesn't require Wacom drivers anymore.



Maybe, but it seems even Microsoft are not marketing the drawing capabilities all that much, but there are a few people using Surface Pro 2 for artwork related purposes like:

SurfaceProArtist - a site dedicated to drawing capabilities of the Surface Pros.
Pens that work with Surface Pro

Some artists using Surface Pro 2:
Penny Arcade - Surface Pro 2
One of the johns
My Transition to Surface Pro and Manga Studio
Thanks for the links. I will look into these sites--always appreciate when such information is shared.

I'd already encountered the Wacom pens article on tabletpcreview.com. Very thorough and helpful. I took the author's advice re: pen for Fujitsu Lifebook that works on the SP2. The $30 pen is more versatile and suits me better than the MS OEM model.

Now we're waiting for MS and Wacom to get their acts together re: hardware, firmware and driver software. I'm confident it will happen...
 
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DragonGamer

New Member
Are you sure you can return it within a month? Or is it 14 days (in Canada we only have 14 days for computers).

But yeah. If you want something that just works: iPad, if you want something buggy but fully featured: surface pro. If you want a hybrid of these things with cheap build quality: android. If you suffer from mental illness: surface RT
Umh.. stereotypes much?... Did you even listen to the OP's needs?


@Tekn0
If you need a portable device for drawing I don't see that many alternatives to the Surface Pro 2.
Anyways, yes there were some severe issues but in first line those were only related to the December firmware update whichw as pulled soon after. No device you will buy now will be affected by that!
Of course there's the (if you ask me, very little) possibility that MS does crap again, but losing trust in them that easily leads you onto the route of unhealthy stereotyping, in my opinion ;)

Not to mention that most people also survived the faulty update too and the drawing capabilities weren't affected at all.


Now to the suggestions you asked for.
A non-reflection screen protector is said to increase the traction of the pen on the display a little. The screen i scratch-resistent (to a degree at least) so I wouldn't say that's absolutely necessary.
If you really want higher traction, almost comparable to the one of a real pen then you can get those: Soft/Black Nibs for Bamboo Stylus Feel (CS-300/CS-400) | Wacom eStore - official Onlinestore
(they should be available in germany too, but for some reason the site automatically jumps to UK although I'm in germany myself >< )
Those are said to be able to replace the nibs in the Surface's original pen and are far softer, resulting in higher traction. Of course you can also use other pen's like the one mentioned above. Every "bamboo" or "feel" pen is supposed to work. There's a better description of matching pens here: TabletPC Compatible Wacom Pens (Work with Surface Pro)
Read around the last sites.
Anyways, I got used to drawing as an amateur with the standard pen easily so I'd say its all depending of what you can accomodate to.

Whether you need a keyboard like the Type Cover 2 depends on how youw ant to use the device exactly. If youw ant to use it as a highly mobile laptop occasionally, I think the typecover is definitely worth it. It's expensive.. but works good enough for typing.
The touchpad is something else unfortunately but why use the touchpad if you have a touchscreen?
For drawing that keyboard isn't the eprfect solution since of course it's between you and the screen... So if you want to handle you art software like PS with keyboard shortcuts it might be an option to get an external bluetooth keyboard which you can place wherever you want.
 
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Tekn0

Tekn0

New Member
Hey, thanks a lot for the information!

Yes, I mainly want to use it for my drawings/illustrations and I'm not a professional but only semi-serious (probably my favourite hobby). I considered the Wacom Cintiq Companion but that is WAY too expensive and only real professionals can probably justify it. Also I heard from many artists that 2048 levels of pressure vs 1024 may not make a huge difference at all and that what *is* noticeable with the Cintiq's is the INITIAL pressure required to activate it, which is 1 gram (Cintiq) vs 3 grams (other tablets).

I'll most likely get the Microsoft Wedge wireless Bluetooth keyboard because I would probably use it while I'm drawing on the surface keeping it flat. In which case, I cannot use the type cover attached because my hands may rest over it and I cannot rotate it freely to draw.

It's unfortunate that the Type Cover 2 wireless adapter is only available in the US. Not even in UK or Germany :/

Now regarding whether to trust MS or not. As I said, since I'm in Germany it's not like they can sell me a broken device and I have no rights to return it (within reasonable time), so that way I'm safe :)

Regarding pen to use. I will try the SP2 pen first and if I find that it's not that good, I plan on trying either the Wacom Bamboo Feel or the Wacom PL-900 pen. There is also a Motion Computing Pen (for LE1600) which works but it's quite expensive and only available on Ebay.de for Motion Computing Pen (79 EUR). That pen looks great for my needs because it has an eraser.
 

rgba32bit

New Member
My Surface Pro 2 works really nice with....

Manga Studio
Sculptis
Sketchbook Pro
Artrage

The interface of Photoshop doesn't scale so it's just too small. The latest version of Illustrator CC apparently addressed it's interface scaling
so hopefully they will for Photoshop soon.

I calibrated and loaded the wacom drivers it but it seemed to work pretty good out of the box. The only trouble area is a very small spot in the upper left corner where there seems to be maybe a 5 pixel shift.

If you are looking for artists using the surface you can go to...

Surface Pro Artist

and this review of the original surface is interesting. It's a bit old pressure sensitivity works in photoshop now.

Penny Arcade - The MS Surface Pro
 

subvertbeats

New Member
Hi Tekno

I just got my SP2 Pro yesterday. Installed MS5 last night....I'm fairly new to digital art (and art in general in fact.....you could call me a late starter at 37 - most of my life Ive used music as my creative output).
Experience has been entirely positive so far, though I have ordered a Wacom Bamboo Feel Pen and hope that it improves the feel over the original MS pen.

Like rgba, I the top left and top right seem to be off as far as calibration goes, though the bottom left and bottom right seem dead on.
If I hold the pen vertically over the screen the top corners are far more accurate, but thats not the typical way you'd be holding the pen.

I'll update as I learn more on this journey....
 
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Tekn0

Tekn0

New Member
Hi Tekno

I just got my SP2 Pro yesterday. Installed MS5 last night....I'm fairly new to digital art (and art in general in fact.....you could call me a late starter at 37 - most of my life Ive used music as my creative output).
Experience has been entirely positive so far, though I have ordered a Wacom Bamboo Feel Pen and hope that it improves the feel over the original MS pen.

Like rgba, I the top left and top right seem to be off as far as calibration goes, though the bottom left and bottom right seem dead on.
If I hold the pen vertically over the screen the top corners are far more accurate, but thats not the typical way you'd be holding the pen.

I'll update as I learn more on this journey....
Nice. We all start sometime, what's important is that you're open minded and interested in digital art! :) I'm an amateur too, but I still love drawing.

My only concern (other than the scary firmware issues on these forums) is how I'll cope with the small display of the SP2. I'm used to fairly large monitors but I'm ready to adjust if the drawing experience is pretty good in other aspects which seems to be the case.
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
The SP2 stylus is so damn unprecise that painting/drawing is for sure the last thing its good for.
BTW, the german on screen keyboard is so damn rubbish that you must change it to english, if you want to write mainly english.
BTW2, its also sold out here in Austria

Apparently Wacom is working on a fix for the stylus precision, they wanted to have it ready in 2013. Looks like they are as diligent with their drivers as MS.
Is this an issue just with the Surface Pro 2? I have the original Surface Pro and have found the stylus to be pretty good.
 

subvertbeats

New Member
Nice. We all start sometime, what's important is that you're open minded and interested in digital art! :) I'm an amateur too, but I still love drawing.

My only concern (other than the scary firmware issues on these forums) is how I'll cope with the small display of the SP2. I'm used to fairly large monitors but I'm ready to adjust if the drawing experience is pretty good in other aspects which seems to be the case.
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I find the screen to be a workable size. Its the same size as my Huion tablet that I use with my main PC. Of course thats connected to a larger monitor.
I find the immediacy of having the display beneath the pen more than makes up for any size issues. That, plus the ability to pich zoom/rotate really makes it a pleasure to work on.
 
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