Excited by… Microsoft?

  • Avatar

    Posted: 15 January 2013 12:35 PM

    Damn, I may have to turn in my fanboy badge.

    I’ve always been in a weird place when it comes to portable computers. I use a fairly powerful desktop to do animation, art and video work. I have an iPhone for portable internet and communications. But the laptop/tablet space has always been an odd one. i don’t do enough work on the road to justify a laptop, and while I love the tablet size and ease of use, It still dosen’t do desktop apps.

    More than anything though, i want to be able to draw on it. I can get a stylus for the iPad, but it’s a hack that dosen’t let me use any of my pro software. It would cost another $1000 to get a clunky Cintiq for a Macbook air. Old “Tablet PCs” started at $1300, and had terrible hardware.

    So right now, the upcoming Surface Pro is seriously exciting to me. $1000 for an i5 laptop I can draw on? A system where I can run Adobe’s Creative Cloud, and share files with my desktop? Doodle in bed or on the road, even play a couple games through my steam account? The last time I was this excited over a computer was the Modbook Pro, and that was before the $3500 price tag came out. Best of al, it’s not just Microsoft. Lenovo, Samsung and Acer are all coming out with variations, with slightly different takes on the keyboard and specs.

    I still hope Apple releases a competitive Mac Pro this year, but I strongly suspect that I’ll have a Windows 8 “slate” sharing space between my iMac and iPhone.

    Signature

    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.

         
  • Posted: 16 January 2013 12:51 PM #1

    I am not at all “tempted” by Microsoft as the Jon, He does poke his finger at an area that is still a major source of irritation: handwritting recognition on OSX and iOS platforms. I loved my Palm Vx for this reason. I don’t get why I don’t have at least that functionality on my iPhone, iPad, or iMac. While not an artist like Jon, I was also able to doodle on my Palm and found it useful. Why oh why don’t I have these things on my Apple gear? If Microsoft makes the handwriting/drawing recognition equal and exceed the Palm, that will be a major blackeye or bruise to Apple. As more and more people see tablets as the way to go, effective handwriting recognition (old technology now) will make the transition to keyboard free living quite easy.

    If there are some good apps, let me know because I can’t find them.

    Randy

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 16 January 2013 02:57 PM #2

    gilimeod - 16 January 2013 12:51 PM


    If there are some good apps, let me know because I can’t find them.

    Unfortunately, I’m the wrong person to ask. Handwriting and voice recognition have both failed me terribly in the past. Siri and I are not on speaking terms. If I use both in the same day, I start booking brain scans to find out if there’s a tumour making me aphasic.

    Signature

    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.

         
  • Posted: 16 January 2013 03:33 PM #3

    KitsuneStudios - 15 January 2013 12:35 PM

    More than anything though, i want to be able to draw on it. I can get a stylus for the iPad, but it’s a hack that dosen’t let me use any of my pro software. It would cost another $1000 to get a clunky Cintiq for a Macbook air. Old “Tablet PCs” started at $1300, and had terrible hardware.

    There are new active styli that work much better than the old passive ones. Here’s a link to one I just found…

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ipen/ipen-the-first-active-stylus-for-ipad

    and another, that is a passive stylus…

    http://adonit.net/jot/pro/

    This sites also list a ton of apps that work with each.

     

    [ Edited: 16 January 2013 03:49 PM by mjtomlin ]      
  • Avatar

    Posted: 16 January 2013 05:59 PM #4

    I’m actually aware of those pens. There are three I’ve researched: The Jot Touch, the Pogo Connect, and the Hex3 JaJa. Of the three, the Jot seems the best reviewed. All of these are around the $90 price range, plus shipping and handling.

    The apps that are available are good, but they’re also not the ones I need to do my job. An iPad will let me draw for fun. The Surface Pro allows me to draw for fun, PLUS use the same Adobe Creative Suite apps at work, including Flash Pro, Illustrator, Audition, and After Effects. It’s certainly not powerful enough to be my primary computer, but often simple access is more important than raw horsepower.

    The same sync allows me to start on personal projects while away from my desk, then finish them up on the more powerful hardware at home with the same software.

    Signature

    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 17 February 2013 11:42 PM #5

    Just put my money where my mouth was… Sorta.

    I just got a Samsung AITV Smart PC 700T; basically Samsung’s take on the Surface concept. Same guts, different case.

    Damn, but I miss Apple already.

    The concept itself has been working nicely; the stiff-hinged keyboard dock allows me to use this like a laptop when writing posts (like this one), and drawing on this is pretty sweet in tablet form. Sketchbook Pro has full support for the touch+pen concepts from Wacom, allowing you to work purely with the pen, with touch gestures for pan and zoom.

    But of course, this is Windows World, so execution is lacking. It took the better part of the day to get all the patches and drivers working properly, and the keyboard dock connection is pretty flaky. It definitely feels like a MacBook Air knockoff. IE9 is also no substitute for Safari.

    I hope Apple makes something like this down the road; I’d love to see this concept given Apple’s level of polish, and would jump at the chance to own a Mac OS Xi convertible.

    Signature

    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.