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Without Buttons it's not Pro

dna

New Member
I had high hopes, but still no buttons on the device. Calling it Pro would mean it's aimed at professionals, but as a designer e.g. you need shortcuts to use Photoshop, Mudbox, Maya etc. The device doesn't give you any unless you use the keyboard. Only then the screen is awkwardly far away to draw on.

It's a shame, as it looks fantastic otherwise. I would hope for the next generation they release the normal version like this and a pro version where they add some buttons - maybe on the back of the device. So you can hold it in your hand and still have buttons to use.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
I recall reading of an app that provided/added soft on-screen buttons for various Graphics Applications. I don't remember the name though.
 
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dna

New Member
Indeed, it's called artdock. It's okay-ish but personally I found it a little awkward to use. Takes a lot of screen space away and you still can't hold the surface draw and press a button at the same time.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Well maybe a 3rd party vendor will see this and take the initiative to make a wireless button panel for artists. :)
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Your definition of professional it's too narrow, many who are not artists use them, lawyers, doctors, professors, teachers, consultants,etc....

Can it be used by artists? Sure I know many who do. The Wacom Companion is designed from the ground up for artists....
 
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dna

New Member
I would tend to disagree, as having shortcuts for redo/undo/copy/paste alone saves huge amounts of time - no matter what your profession is. But I get your point as this might not as big of an issue for professions other than designers / artists.

Interestingly I am surrounded by artists but only know one person who has the surface. Don't get me wrong, the device is awesome but I do feel this thing hasn't been tested by people from the very fast paced design/film and game industry. You simply aren't fast enough with it.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
We have 92 Surface Pro 3 tablets deployed in our Technical Marketing Agency. Including Graphic Artists, UI Designers, Animators and Full Motion Video Teams, IT teams, our developers. Also using them is my team of Technical Strategy Consultants, Business Strategy Consultants and Marketing Strategy Consultants. Also our editing, content producers team and all of Client Services.

We have

  • 10 Graphic Artists/Designers
  • 8 Animators
  • 6 Videographers
  • 5 UI Designers

These all use the device for professional creative deliverables.

Gabel from Penny Arcade uses a Surface Pro 3 as does them film team that does Game if Thrones using the same Red Camera that my video teams use.
 

barry.pearson

New Member
I'm certainly not a professional artist or anything of the kind, but typically when I'm drawing or editing videos I find one hand is instinctively on the keyboard for all the short cuts, if they added an extra button for them all I'd end up not with a tablet, but another keyboard.

I must admit that I'm happy the capacitive Windows button has gone from the SP4, this is something that is tempting me to upgrade from the SP3.

Perhaps however rather than having a "Pro" version of the SP4 they could perhaps release a "Pro" pen which has maybe 2-3 customisable buttons?
 

nogridbag

Member
I would imagine the overwhelming majority of Surface Pro owners are not artists. Adding physical buttons would either decrease the size of the screen or increase the size of the device which would lead to less sales and eventually the demise of the product.

A good analogy is sports cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata. There's a vast community of enthusiasts who are passionate about the car, race it on the weekends, etc. Many simply cannot understand why Mazda would create a light weight sports car and then put such a soft suspension with massive amounts of body roll and seats that offer little support when taking corners. In reality, 99.9% of the sales are to average joes who simply want a comfortable convertible and those people are the reason why Mazda can even afford to keep building the car. Without them, there would be no MX-5.

So unfortunately for you... you're in the same boat as sports car enthusiasts :) You have a good starting point. But your only solution is to mod your device. Maybe there's a light weight button strip you can attach in some DIY fashion, like one of those bluetooth number pads or some input device made for gamers.
 

vsherry

Member
I'm a journalist and a professor, as well has a graphic design hobbyist. I haven't done much Photoshop on Surface yet, but the device is all the "pro" I need for the roles that bring in money. I have little use for buttons. Surface certainly isn't the only tablet aimed at professionals that lacks buttons. Does the new Vaio Canvas have buttons? That seems to be aimed more at graphics professionals than just about everybody else.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm a journalist and a professor, as well has a graphic design hobbyist. I haven't done much Photoshop on Surface yet, but the device is all the "pro" I need for the roles that bring in money. I have little use for buttons. Surface certainly isn't the only tablet aimed at professionals that lacks buttons. Does the new Vaio Canvas have buttons? That seems to be aimed more at graphics professionals than just about everybody else.
The VAIO Z Canvas does allow, and is designed to be used with, the keyboard detached from the tablet. Not being a person who uses those softwares I assume that would be for using hot-keys instead of specific buttons.

With a Surface 4 you would need either a Bluetooth keyboard of which there are many even ones made by Microsoft or a wireless USB Keyboard.
 

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