Surface Pro 2 or Surface Pro 3?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Cornelius Bubba, May 21, 2014.

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  1. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    I agree that waiting for the SP3 to be in the hands of "real users" and hearing their experiences with the SP3's Ntrig before making a buying decision. (Btw, Stoneseeker, were you being facetious or is it not possible that MS and Ntrig jointly developed the hardware and software for the SP3 specifically in the way Apple does with Intel and nVidia at times?)

    The other thing I like to point out to people who may not know, is that the MS store (both brick/mortar and online) have very liberal return policies essentially granting you a 30 day "free trial," in the sense that there are no restocking fees and 100% refunds as long as you have all the packing/accessories and haven't damaged the product. Without naming names - cough! Strauss! cough! - there are a few of "us" who often avail ourselves this luxury (yep, I'm a serial try/returner; admitting you have a problem is the first step towards mending your wayward ways :D), but it is entirely sanctioned by MS, even if they'd prefer there were fewer returns, it's a major advantage of buying any product from them, not just the Surface line. (Also they remove/don't permit bloatware on their Windows based products from other manufacturers.)

    If you can afford to float the cost of both an SP2 and an SP3 you can spend 30 days getting a great deal of experience and comparison of the two models. Given that they have adopted Ntrig for the SP3, it would seem to me that for an artist - less so for a note-taker only - you will really want to use the SP3 and judge it on its own as well as in comparison to the SP2/Wacom. Another great advantage of the SP3 is the 3:2 aspect ratio, vs. 16x9 for the SP2; I would think that too would matter greatly to an illustrator.

    Finally, finally (please, stop me before I bore again! :eek:) I do think you should get 8GB of RAM. I'm sure many/most of the apps you list can get by with 4GB, but while others can give you a better set of concrete reasons, I strongly believe that it is pretty much a universal article of faith that nothing less than 8GB makes sense for a product that represents a significant investment for you, that you would plan to keep and use for more than two years and, of course, as almost all tablets and most laptops have RAM soldered to the Mobo and you cannot upgrade it later. I know that some mfrs - especially the fruit people - charge an unconscionable amount for RAM upgrades, which cost about $5/GB but adds $15-$25/GB to the price you pay - as much as $100, sometimes a bit more, to go from 4GB to 8GB. Just hold your nose and do it.:thumbsup:
     
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  2. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Not sure what comment your referring to, so I guess I wasn't being facetious. To explain myself, I have my doubts Microsoft went and modified the physical Ntrig digitizer to improve it's hover lag issues etc. But instead to customize their pen and "microsoft" it a bit.
    If MS modified the pen/board to make it more stable, less jittery, etc etc. that would be an expensive and surprising move, but I would be happy to know if that was the case.

    All I hear are vague comments like "best inking experience on a tablet yet" from early reviews by tech bloggers who aren't artists and scribbled/wrote a little bit in onenote and journal...
    so I wouldn't want to jump to the conclusion that Ntrig got "upgraded" by MS.
     
  3. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    I have no inside knowledge, sorry if you got that impression (where is jnjroach when he is needed), but I do have some experience of corporate cooperation. So, while this is only taken place in my feeble brain here is my scenario.

    1. Microsoft wants to make the Surface Pro thinner, but not lose the pen.

    2. N-Trig offers a solution, but one with a less than stellar reputation.

    3. Microsoft says; Well, we have smarter engineers why don't we send them a team and see what happens.

    4. N-Trig is less than enthusiastic about external pressure, but being part of Surface will validate them with other producers.

    5. During sessions they get to know each other better and N-Trig realizes that Microsoft can help them substantially on the software side.

    6. N-Trig decides to show them what is in the pipeline. Microsoft says is this, this and that far enough in development that it can be implemented within this time frame?

    7. But it takes longer than expected. Microsoft releases Surface Pro 2 as a stopgap measure. Finally N-Trig solves the remaining problems and the 3 is released so it will be ready for back to school sales.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk 4
     
  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    I have no insider info on the N-Trig decision other than that to make it work with the package they wanted Wacom was a non-starter. I think the magic is making Windows and Photoshop (as well as additional titles that are in the pipeline) work better with N-Trig. I do know the MS created a custom Tip for the Pen and added the Bluetooth 4.0 LE components.

    I believe that the SP3 was what the original SP2 was going to be but they had to dispose of the SP1 chassis and Intel as well as MS needed more time to be able to create a S0iX Compliant Core "U" SoC (likely using processes that will be seen on Broadwell).

    More about the N-Trig/MS Solution:

    http://blog.surface.com/2014/05/get-know-surface-pro-3-pen/
     
  5. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    ahhh, now there's some info!
    That is hopeful actually. It sounds like they helped make a NEW and improved wintab driver for Ntrig. So who knows, maybe it will work with Flash, Painter and Zbrush etc. now. Interesting.
    If that is the case, Wacom better watch their backs. It's about time something came along that could compete with them with artists. If they improved the latency, hover lag and jiggles (which they at least hint at) from DuoSense2 then maybe it really could replace a Wacom device!!
     
  6. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    This was your comment to which I was referring:

    "Where did you hear this? Did Microsoft modify the Ntrig, or are the reviews so far just inexperienced bloggers who don't know enough to give accurate pen feedback?"

    Of course, much water under the bridge since that "early" (circa 2 days ago!) comment of yours. We know where this went, but first I want to recognize Kumabjorn for being quite the seer, with only his mind as a source of ideas about how MS and Ntrig might have collaborated (this was what I was referring to as a possibility, but with far less specificity. Great job Kumabjorn, +1. :)

    So, the man I would have initially given the title of "seer" turns out to have been perhaps overly cynical. ;)
    My overall take on the SP3: I am pretty sure this crowd (TPCR-ers) will go something close to ga-ga over the real thing once we get our hands on it. Unfortunately I don't think MS is going to get the enterprise traction with this product that they proclaim as their target. Sorry to be lazy and not providing the link, but there was a good dressing-down critique in Forbes of the MS "strategy," or more like the lack of one that hangs together with the SP3 and the whole hardware initiative as it looks to be heading. The conundrum: the company has the resources to hang on for quite a while, losing billions in the hardware business and shooting blanks with applications software and cloud product, but it's not a bottomless pot of gold and if they don't put together a strategy and business model that fits with the where the real wod is going. They have no hope if they think they are going to become the iPad for the enterprise because, well, the iPad is already eating MS' lunch there and is not likely to give ground to one of their few growth opportunities. As ever, this is a treacherous, highly competitive, margin-eroding business and players will have their claims staked out.

    But I am salivating for this work of art and science! As soon as some of our colleagues here proclaim it as good as we think it may be, I'll be all over it - after all, it may soon be a collector's item.
     
  7. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    I had just woken up, perhaps I dreamt the whole thing ;)

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk 4
     
  8. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    I am quite cynical! haha

    But although we know that MS at least claims to have worked with Ntrig to develop a wintab driver, we still don't know if it works as well as Wacom's, if it's compatible with every program like Wacom's, and if they ever addressed the other hardware issues Ntrig has. I would also like to see Ntrig/MS develop a menu for customizing the pen buttons.

    Whoops, there I go being cynical again! :eek:-
     
  9. Cornelius Bubba

    Cornelius Bubba Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi everyone!

    Here is a review of the Surface Pro 3 from Penny Arcade:

    Penny Arcade - Surface Pro 3

    Apologies if this has been posted already. Thought it was an interesting read!
     
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