Did Microsoft finally fix the pen?

Discussion in 'Professions' started by doobiedoobiedum, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Keep in mind, the last time they updated the Pen tech was for the Pro 5 in which they touted it as the fastest/most advanced pen, etc...and then a month later the Apple Pencil 2 came out and knocked Microsoft's whole marketing campaign of the pen into the garbage more or less. Despite the Slim Pen 1, they didn't really update the pen tech at all for the Pro 6, 7, 7+ and X. If I had to guess, they probably reversed engineered the hell out of the Apple Pencil 2 and tried to copy as much as they could into the N-trig tech. But they took their time to refine it. Unlike the Pro 3 to Pro 4 to Pro 5 where they had an update the pen for each iteration, they took the time from Pro 5 to Pro 8 to make damn sure the new Pen tech would be solid.
     
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  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ok, so its not just me then. Best Buys in NJ and NYC don't have them out yet either. Even the B&H Mega Store in NYC doesn't even have them out yet. Perhaps the most pathetic Surface launch ever.
     
  3. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    Justice Frangipane?
    Along with a programmer he's the guy behind Tablet Pro.
    Nice and very polite fellow. :)
     
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  4. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    Would using something like OneDrive or Dropbox be faster or would your connection now be the bottleneck?
     
  5. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    While Cloud/Online methods are an option, I hate having to rely on them. I've always had a distrust of cloud saving.

    But in many use cases they can be problematic. Case in point, a few years ago I used to go to a life drawing class that was held in a dingy basement. I would normally draw on my Surface Pro or Galaxy Book for the 3-4 hours, and then sometimes I would go to a different bar afterwards, and sometimes I would continue the work on my iPad Mini 5. The wifi at that first bar was horrible and because it was in the basement, I couldn't get a decent cell signal. And the 2nd bar didn't have wi-fi. I could mobile hotspot from my phone, which I did a few times, but it would take forever to cloud save that way. Like a 50MB CSP file with some sketches would transfer over USB in a matter of seconds. There were times with cloud saving, I would be sitting there for like 5 to 10 minutes waiting for the damn file to transfer, then I still have to take it from the cloud to the iPad that can take another 5 to 10 minutes. Sometime if the wifi was working better it would be a bit faster then my mobile hotspot, but its all just annoying knowing USB to USB would take seconds.
     
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  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Much as I admired the look of surface products I could never get past the videos with the line drawing tests. I suppose though that broader brushstroke type work would mean you'd have less problems with line quality and you could use a more painterly style. Vector art would be less problematic too as the bezier curves are only set once you have dragged them to the final position before release.

    Whatever the final solution, I'm hopeful it's a long term one and it works across a range of styles of use. Interestingly if you now compare the MacBook to the Surface laptop studio - Microsoft may be close to equalling the Apple Pencil while Apple will rest on their M1 laurels and continue to refuse to support the pencil on their laptops.
     
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  7. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It wouldn't be the first time Apple made huge advances "Showing The Way" only to deliberately not walk the full distance. Then the PC OEMs would take their design ideas and eventually overtake them.

    Tablets started with Bill Gates and the Penabled stuff, which I loved, but it didn't really do it for the masses. I mean.., the smallest Tablet PCs were still huffing and puffing bricks. And then Apple said, "Hey, guess what? No keyboards, super thin, great touch interface. Whaddayou think of them Apples?"

    Then everybody else was scrambling to catch up. And after a couple of years, they did. It's still an embarrassment that MS took so long to deploy a workable stylus after ditching Wacom. That big Surface Studio monster was/is gorgeous, but basically half baked without a decent stylus. If the Slim Pen 2 works its magic going forward, a Surface Studio would be a great device to work on. But I can still see Wacom dominating in big art/animation studios. MS isn't the most consistent OEM, whereas Wacom, despite some of its hiccups, has been overall very reliable and consistent over the years. And Apple is nowhere in that scene.
     
  8. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    You're leaving a lot of history out:

    - Momenta
    - GRiD
    - IBM's ThinkPad --- it was originally a pen tablet, and was named for the leather notepads embossed w/ "THINK!" which were issued to IBM employees --- read _ThinkPad: A Different Shade of Blue_ by J. Gerry Purdy
    - PenPoint --- it running on my NCR-3125 paired w/ my NeXT Cube as probably the high water mark my computer user experience (also had a Wacom ArtZ on the Cube) --- the PenPoint UI Guidelines should be read by anyone working on pen computer interfaces
    - Newton --- I really miss mine and its daylight viewable display
    - Palm Computing and Graffiti
    - Windows for Pen Computing --- for commentary on how this became successful Jerry Kaplan's _StartUp: A Silicon Valley Adventure_ is mandatory reading

    For examples of the sort of innovation folks were doing (which seems to have been lost) look up:

    - Saltire Sketchright
    - Futurewave Smartsketch
    - Network Improv Alphatap! Lightning --- I'd love to have this as an entry option on my Note 10+

    there were lots more, and it's depressing that we've devolved to apps w/ advertising and monetization as opposed to meaningful work on making the man-machine interface better, and the devices more amenable to usage.
     
  9. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Over two videos, it seems that Brad really likes the pen. So far, on both videos he's consistently loved the pen and so it looks like Microsoft has done it. Interestingly, for artwork he's tended to turn off the 120herz refresh rate to save battery life as higher refresh doesn't actually improve the drawing experience on the new Surface products.
     
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  10. Tams

    Tams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    For me, the need to charge (and I assume replace the batteries or throw the stylus away (apart from the supercapacitor ones)) still puts me off.

    I use a variety of styluses and have them in a pocket on my cases. Siloed styluses are great (and should be the norm), but I also like never having to concern myself with the charge they have left. I have enough gadgets demanding that attention as it is.
     
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