Surface Pro 3 and Sketchbook Pro

Cartoon Brew today takes a look at the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet, from the point of view of artists…

“if you’re looking for a Cintiq-like device that is portable, affordable, and user-friendly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better device than the Surface. The Surface Pro 3 will begin shipping next month.”

The most affordable i3 version will weigh in at $799, including a pen. Surface 3 is apparently available to order now in the USA, with the $799 version set for delivery in early September. Though you can apparently get it earlier if you go for one of the more expensive versions.

The 12-inch touchscreen is in 3:2 aspect ratio, 2160 x 1440px. The N-Trig non-Wacom surface reportedly only has 256 pressure levels (Cintiq has 2048), and tilt.


Sadly it runs the OS nightmare that is Windows 8.

Microsoft officially say that Sketchbook will run…

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has a powerful 4th gen Intel Core processor, capable of running your creative tools of choice, including Autodesk Sketchbook Pro…”

Adobe apparently has a Surface 3 Photoshop version coming along, that will obviate the need for installing a Wintab driver on the Surface 3. Presumably ZBrush will follow suit eventually. How nippy they might be on the i3 $799 version of the Surface 3 remains to be seen.

How much the pen and pressure action will appeal to real artists, I’ve yet to read. Pre-release reviews gush over the sleek design values and much else, and a whole lot of engineering effort has certainly gone into getting the pen and surface right. But I’ve yet to read the results of them letting a few picky old real-life Wacom-trained artists loose on the tablet, pressing their pens down firmly on the $799 i3-powered model’s surface and scrutinizing the lag.

For those who can’t bear to be parted from their Wacom surface, look out for large price cuts on the Surface Pro 2 when the budget Microsoft Surface Pro 3 model ships in the early Autumn / Fall, probably timed to co-incide with that vital two-week window in which new university students have not yet boozed away their grant/loan payments.


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