Last week included a number of different tech announcements, one being the release of Microsoft's new Surface Studio computer with a highly adjustable interactive screen, as well as a nifty new wireless knob that brings an interesting ID twist to the overall design:
Core77-er, gmay3able, brought up the innovation last week in our discussion boards and got people talking about their thoughts on its promised features. Our audience's reception of the product was varied:
"Pretty sick. That base must be a solid chunk of steel billet in order to keep the screen in place! I like the chrome support arms too...The knob doesn't feel like it families well with the mouse. Like many of the peripheral buttons on a Wacom I feel like I'd be trying to find uses for the knob, but I suppose since the screen itself doesn't rotate you need some way to rotate the image." - slippyfish
"I wonder who the intended users are for this and how big those markets are. I wouldn't think the portion of designers who would adopt this (10%?) could solely sustain a business case for a product of this magnitude. Don't forget most designers, whether at a firm or a corporation, have most of their hardware decisions made for them...Other than all of what I just said, it is pretty cool. Just doesn't fit my work flow." - yo
"I love the knob idea. It reminds me of Alias marking menus, but in a physical sense. When I've used a Wacom, I felt that getting the arm-to-hardware angle that I want was harder than it needed to be. This makes it look easy...Having said all that, yes, we have to wait for some reviews to know if MS sweat the details...and that is where the devil lives!" - Mr-914
"A coworker of mine, and long time Mac user, blurted out after watching the video 'That's it. I'm in. That's the machine I've been waiting for.'" - NURB
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If I can put aside the comment the designer made about his inspiration for the flexible arm being a lamp (like Apple did in the basketball iMac a decade ago), and put aside that the base and said arm are rather unattractive, and put aside the fact that I loathe PCs... it's really, really good. I use a griffin technology knob to cycle through brush sizes in Photoshop and zoom in and out and it's marvelous. The fact that you can bring the entire screen down and it's a touch screen and then put the knob in the screen to use as a control with more menus is well, where Mac should be. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the MacBookPro new touchbar is so underwhelming, but this is like exciting, future forward thinking. Nice job.
Cintiq basically did this more than a decade ago? Sans the questionable bling.
Except that a Cintiq is a $3000 pen display with functionality, and this is a $3000 standalone computer with Cintiq functionality. The fundamental difference is that this will be capable of doing the work you need to do out of the box, and a Cintiq will take another $1500 to get a rig powerful enough to do what you want. I think this is a brilliant step in the right direction for Microsoft. Microsoft has always made tools, they are now figuring out how to make tools for creatives, and boy are they close to having it set.
I'm definitely a fan. I think MS have been knocking the ball out of the park hardware-wise in the last year or two, and the dial connects to a lot of very comfortable notions related to control, quantity, and rotation. However, about a half hour ago I was in a local department store where I live in NZ, and the 16gb, 1TB i7 version of the Surface Book is $5800 NZD. That is insane. Ridiculous. I'm not saying I'd necessarily need that particular spec for largely vector based work, but nonetheless. Make the pricing a little more appetising, MS, and you'll have yourselves a resurgence that Apple will have to address.
Loved the concept. Has many potentials. Especially the physical knob and how the way this concept can potentially integrate "touch" (and stylus) into PC workflow. Potentially, again potentially, the is how hand drawing and digital workflow can truly get integrated and we get the benefit of both part whilst shed the disadvantages.
My 2cents is that I love the concept and am very excited. Like others have said elsewhere, it feels like a breath of fresh air. I'm going to hold my opinion until I actually get my hands on one though. Maybe a bit underpowered? Does the screen wobble at all while using & leaning on? Does the Ntrig stylus work any better than a Surface Pro 3's? How's palm rejection? Those are my questions and until I get to use one it's all hearsay and speculation. If it's all positive after a test drive I'm going to figure out how to get one of these into my workflow... My Apple hardware will be jealous...
I think this is a great product, beautiful design and an elegant solution for usability. Microsoft has been one of the most innovative tech companies for years in my opinion, and they're not afraid to try something different if it makes sense and sometimes fail (ahem...windows 8). Its a bit of a bummer that people have missed out on some of their products and resisted their innovation because of the old stigma. As a designer I've always used a PC because I like knowing whats going on under the hood per-say, as well as only having to run one OS for all my software. I really like that MS is focusing on the creative market and making products that really improve the way we interact with our devices. I just wish they would have included an option for a CAD grade graphics card! (...or I really just wish that CAD didnt require specialty graphics cards...but thats a whole other discussion)
If it works well I'm all in.
I love how this product looks and how the tech world is pleasantly surprised about it. the problem im having with it that its a dedicated pc. And not a 2 part product with the screen and pc separate i suspect they needed to build a custom surrounding just to have it working. but despite that it still has a massive underwhelming power. for both designers in media and artists. and especially when it comes to video productions and 3d design. the pc side hardware is 2014/2015 spec. which in a quick changing world is not good enough. will it work. yes. but how far can you push it. as a graphic designer that also works with 3d projects i am sad to say i dont see me buying it just for its application of the screen. that said its still a really cool product. its just really limited in pc hardware power. which is a big no in allot a fields in the sector this is marketed to.
OK I have to say Microsoft already got what it wanted with this one: people have started to talk about Microsoft and Apple in the same sentence again. From the words I got from Panos Panay I would say that I'm in the segment they try to sell this for and I'm only buying the aspect ratio of the screen.
As a long time mac user.....I'm conflicted! A number of years ago I ditched Windows and breathed a sigh of relief as my life simplified. As Apple continue to underwhelm I find my frustration is growing...and when I see this, I immediately see it's application - I'd like to say I'm all in...but I remain conflicted. We'll see for how long.
The "wiggly line" just has to do with stroke mechanics--you can get wiggly lines on an ad Pro or a Wacom product if you're not drawing with your whole arm. I have access to a Cintiq, but I do all my work on a Surface Pro by choice. I think this is great, though I don't see creative abandoning Apple en masse (unless Apple keeps refusing to innovate.)
I promise you, the wiggly line thing doesn't happen the iPad Pro. That's one of the reasons I ditched the SP4.
But then you also ditched Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for the cut-down iOS versions. That's why the iPad Pro isn't really a great solution.
OK. According to the Tested.com interview MS is using N trig digitizers which I have read are not as good as Apple or Wacom. It sounds like MS bought N trig.
I think it's awesome in many respects that have been covered here and in the various articles that I have read. Love the look and the knob, etc.
Very forward thinking. Agree that the MB Pro was underwhelming. This is a great direction to be taking. Wondering how upgradable it will be. My computers tend to have a long life because they are easy to upgrade. It's also why I like having an independent Cintiq. It still works even on a new machine. And why are the ports on the back? Those things aside, I'm loving this direction from Microsoft, and wanna get my hands on one of those dials. Curious if they will come out with lower tier versions of this too.
I PERSONALLY BELIEVE APPLE WILL BE COMING OUT WITH A BETTER PRODUCT POSSIBLY AS SOON AS THIS SPRING, AND MAYBE JUST HAVE RELEASED IT YET BECAUSE ESSENTIALLY IT JUST GONNA BE A MUCH LARGER IPAD PRO WITH A TABLE MOUNT/ETC... I JUST BOUGHT AN IMAC 27" AND IPAD PRO IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR AND WILL MOST LIKELY SELL ONCE APPLE COMES OUT WITH PRODUCT, BUT DON'T WANT TO BUY SURFACE BECAUSE IPAD PRO IN MY OPINION IS BETTER THEN SURFACE BECAUSE OF APPLE PENCIL AND APPLES DESIGN.
Incredibly unlikely. Apple is shifting out of the PC space now and going entirely into the handheld market.
As far as your comparison between the Surface and iPad "Pro" goes, youre talking about two completely different products.