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Thread: Help buying ipad or surface pro

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Staffordshire! UK
    Posts
    975

    Help buying ipad or surface pro

    Help, my hubby is taking me to upgrade my ipad pro 9.7 tomorrow but I cant make my mind up between getting ipad pro 12.3 with ios Artrage or surface pro 4 so I can run the full version of Artrage and more exspandabilty options.
    He will be upgrading to my present ipad. I have always said since converting to Apple that I wouldn’t go back to a windows computer, I hated the boot up time with windows. I mainly want a bigger screen for painting.
    Christine.(Paint what you see, not what you know to be there)

    Artrage Magazines https://app.box.com/s/6ybcbpnu1rw3tqee40hge5eb7eag6on6

    http://saphire1948.deviantart.com/gallery/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Portsmouth UK
    Posts
    631
    I have had both and have put in many hours desperately trying to use the ipad pro 12.9 because the apple pencil is the best stylus out there and is amazingly accurate.

    But I keep returning to the surface pro and in fact have just put up my ipad pro on ebay

    I could never get used to the feel of the pencil, it felt too hard on the screen, I used a matte screen protector to increase the friction but still preferred the slight give I get in the surface pro stylus.

    I could never quite get the feel for using ArtRage on the ipad pro, of course it has reduced functionaly but it didn’t feel natural to me, in fact I couldn’t get on with any ipad app.

    It may be that I have just developed more muscle memory and feel from using the surface pro so much, but of course ArtRage exists within the windows ecosystem which I have found offers me much more flexibility.

    For example I can setup some hardkey shortcuts, via a numpad and also using the volume up and down for brush size resizing and colour picking, this tactile feeling I realised was essential for my workflow.

    Also I use the more advanced features of ArtRage, like the sticker spray and the warp and not to have these just makes painting a little more awkward.

    The new surface pro pen currently has a lot of jitter issues (mainly because it is trying to implement tilt) and is impossible to use as an accurate drawing implement, but I have found the Bamboo Ink and Adonit Ink to be much better and in fact think that the Adonit Ink, although cheaper than the new surface pen is the closest I have found to the accuracy of the apple pencil.

    I have a cintiq but have found that I never use it as I love the portability and convenience of the surface pro for my art.

    Regarding boot up times it takes about 20 seconds from cold, but when I press the power button is puts it into sleep and takes about 2 seconds to come up. These bootup times I have found are just about identical to the ipad pro.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by RedSaucers; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:00 AM.

  3. #3
    if you already have an imac/macbook/other machine running a desktop mac os system you can always hook up an ipad pro as a cintiq and use whatever painting app you prefer to by purchasing astropad from app store

    with surface you'll be joining the "windows and mac support" subforum here running into all sorts of issues since day 1, and will pay your own money for the dubious pleasure of being tortured with both shit microsoft OS and their awful pen that landed straight from 1999 t b h, but the choice is always yours!!

    that being said, boot-up time on surface probably won't be much of an issue, it has a very fast SSD drive; it's the shit pen tech and support that kill this device (and the desktop atrocity that is surface studio too.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Staffordshire! UK
    Posts
    975
    Thanks Redsaucers, Nekomata for the help. I have been brought up on Windows I used to build them and never considered the overpriced Macs untill 2013 when I bought an imac then macbook, now its a difficult choice to go back just so I can digitally paint on a larger screen.
    I love my ipad I do everything on it but I find the 9.7 is a bit to small for painting. I use a wacom tablet with the full version of Artrage on my macbook but I cant get on with the seperation of drawing on the tablet and watching the screen.
    It is going to be a difficult and expensive mistake if I get the wrong one
    Last edited by Saphire; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:00 AM.
    Christine.(Paint what you see, not what you know to be there)

    Artrage Magazines https://app.box.com/s/6ybcbpnu1rw3tqee40hge5eb7eag6on6

    http://saphire1948.deviantart.com/gallery/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Staffordshire! UK
    Posts
    975
    Thanks again for your imput but I been and gone and done it.
    I bought the ipad pro 12.9 I just couldn’t face going back to Windows os I would have to learn all over again, xp was my last operating system, constantly facing the blue screen of death and slowing down with all the updates was the killer for me.
    Christine.(Paint what you see, not what you know to be there)

    Artrage Magazines https://app.box.com/s/6ybcbpnu1rw3tqee40hge5eb7eag6on6

    http://saphire1948.deviantart.com/gallery/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Prineville Oregon USA
    Posts
    454
    Hi RedSaucers, I liked your review and I have been contemplating getting the surface pro, I also had the iPad Pro and thought i would like to be able to do portable art but in the end was not that happy with the apps for it and traded it to my son for his ipad which i use a lot just not for doing art. So just how big of a surface pro do you think is best. I was thinking about the Intel Core i7 with 16GB of ram since I bounce between Photoshop CC and Artrage a lot. any thoughts on this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Staffordshire! UK
    Posts
    975
    Hi gxhpainter, I thought long and hard last night on what to purchase, I really only considered the surface pro purely to use the full program of Artrage with no intension of using it for anything else. I have now got so used to using the simplity of ios its difficult to switch back.
    I have my ipad on for most of the day switching between drawing and multytasking split screen, doing that with two seperate os systems I think would become very frustrating . Redsaucers great review was brilliant it did give me a lot to think about, I was in the store for two hours checking them both out, it wasnt an easy decision to make.
    Christine.(Paint what you see, not what you know to be there)

    Artrage Magazines https://app.box.com/s/6ybcbpnu1rw3tqee40hge5eb7eag6on6

    http://saphire1948.deviantart.com/gallery/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Portsmouth UK
    Posts
    631
    Hi gxhpainter!,

    I have got the i5 8GB one with 256GB disk, which is the mid range 2017 version.

    I already own a Surface Pro 4 so my decision was partly based on what improvements the new model would offer.

    1. It is fanless unlike the i7 2017 model, and my surface pro 4. This is probably not much of an issue for most people though, but at times I found the fan to be a little distracting, and when it turns on I would always wonder why!, what is it doing!

    2. More disk space of 256GB, so I could hold all my art and videos locally on the disk and wouldn't have to connect an external disk.

    3. 50% extra battery life. The Surface Pro 4 was pretty poor. I like to draw outside and therefore have to bump my brightness up to 100%. My surface pro 4 would last about 2 hours of using ArtRage, the new model now lasts about 3.5 hours which means that I have found I am not glancing at my battery levels all the time and can finish most of a painting on a single charge. I do have an extra battery pack though, which effectively doubles the battery life anyway if my battery runs low.

    4. About 20% faster than my surface pro 4. This was not too noticeable to me unless I did a side by side comparison (which I did). I have never really had much in the way of lag anyway off ArtRage on my surface pro 4. My typical canvas size is 3000x3000 px and I only notice some lag with some of the custom brushes (which can be tweaked to reduce the amount, as discussed in this forum), which I don't typically use much of anyway. My main tools are the oil brush, sticker spray and the airbrush, with the only lag being detected on a 100% hardness of airbrush setting, which you would expect on any system, and again this is a setting that I rarely use or only with a small brush.

    Overall on a typical painting I don't notice any lag when using ArtRage on the Surface Pro 2017 and can get fully absorbed into a painting without becoming frustrated at the response of the software. I have trialled many other art programs on the surface and ArtRage stands head and shoulders above them all due to its speed, flexibility and intuitive user interface, which seems to be geared to a touch device!. I have found I now don't need a keyboard or hard key touch device to access shortcuts now.

    When I am painting I have just mapped the volume down and volume up buttons on the top of the device to the Shift and Alt keys. This means I can resize my brush, move the canvas and colour pick with my left hand rested on the top of the device with my right hand doing the painting. This is an ideal portable solution for me as all I need is my surface pro and my pen and then I can quickly get on with a painting.

    5. Better more sensitive surface pen. I have to be honest, I was a little hoodwinked by Microsoft on this as they promised more pressure levels, a better initial activation force and tilt. All of these features are all well and good if the pen remained accurate (especially for us artists), but I found the new pen to be unuseable. Yes the initial activation force was much better, and the pressure levels were improved (although I couldn't really tell the difference) but the parallax on the screen was inconsistent, the pen line position would randomly move around and little tails appeared at the end of lines. After much investigation the Bamboo Ink and Adonit Ink fixed all these issues (probably because they don't include tilt, which I don't care about anyway) and means I have now found a pen that is almost on a par with the apple pencil and allows me to comfortably paint using ArtRage.

    6. 8GB RAM. I have to say that using ArtRage my canvas size means that I don't generally get too close to using 4GB let alone 8GB so there wasn't much difference but i guess you can never have too much RAM!

    Note :

    There have been reports on some light bleed at the bottom of the screen. I only noticed it on my device when I looked very closely with my screen a solid colour, and when I am in a darkened room. It is at the very bottom so I don't even notice this / don't care about it as I mainly use the middle of the screen.

    The screen brightness auto adjusts in possibly the most annoying way in that when the screen gets darker the brightness auto adjusts to be darker with a lighter screen becoming lighter!. Which as I like full brightness and painting outside using the ArtRage dark mode was a bit annoying. But there is a fix for this with a simple registry change to disable it.

    Hope this information helps

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Prineville Oregon USA
    Posts
    454
    Quote Originally Posted by RedSaucers View Post
    Hi gxhpainter!,

    I have got the i5 8GB one with 256GB disk, which is the mid range 2017 version.

    I already own a Surface Pro 4 so my decision was partly based on what improvements the new model would offer.

    1. It is fanless unlike the i7 2017 model, and my surface pro 4. This is probably not much of an issue for most people though, but at times I found the fan to be a little distracting, and when it turns on I would always wonder why!, what is it doing!

    2. More disk space of 256GB, so I could hold all my art and videos locally on the disk and wouldn't have to connect an external disk.

    3. 50% extra battery life. The Surface Pro 4 was pretty poor. I like to draw outside and therefore have to bump my brightness up to 100%. My surface pro 4 would last about 2 hours of using ArtRage, the new model now lasts about 3.5 hours which means that I have found I am not glancing at my battery levels all the time and can finish most of a painting on a single charge. I do have an extra battery pack though, which effectively doubles the battery life anyway if my battery runs low.

    4. About 20% faster than my surface pro 4. This was not too noticeable to me unless I did a side by side comparison (which I did). I have never really had much in the way of lag anyway off ArtRage on my surface pro 4. My typical canvas size is 3000x3000 px and I only notice some lag with some of the custom brushes (which can be tweaked to reduce the amount, as discussed in this forum), which I don't typically use much of anyway. My main tools are the oil brush, sticker spray and the airbrush, with the only lag being detected on a 100% hardness of airbrush setting, which you would expect on any system, and again this is a setting that I rarely use or only with a small brush.

    Overall on a typical painting I don't notice any lag when using ArtRage on the Surface Pro 2017 and can get fully absorbed into a painting without becoming frustrated at the response of the software. I have trialled many other art programs on the surface and ArtRage stands head and shoulders above them all due to its speed, flexibility and intuitive user interface, which seems to be geared to a touch device!. I have found I now don't need a keyboard or hard key touch device to access shortcuts now.

    When I am painting I have just mapped the volume down and volume up buttons on the top of the device to the Shift and Alt keys. This means I can resize my brush, move the canvas and colour pick with my left hand rested on the top of the device with my right hand doing the painting. This is an ideal portable solution for me as all I need is my surface pro and my pen and then I can quickly get on with a painting.

    5. Better more sensitive surface pen. I have to be honest, I was a little hoodwinked by Microsoft on this as they promised more pressure levels, a better initial activation force and tilt. All of these features are all well and good if the pen remained accurate (especially for us artists), but I found the new pen to be unuseable. Yes the initial activation force was much better, and the pressure levels were improved (although I couldn't really tell the difference) but the parallax on the screen was inconsistent, the pen line position would randomly move around and little tails appeared at the end of lines. After much investigation the Bamboo Ink and Adonit Ink fixed all these issues (probably because they don't include tilt, which I don't care about anyway) and means I have now found a pen that is almost on a par with the apple pencil and allows me to comfortably paint using ArtRage.

    6. 8GB RAM. I have to say that using ArtRage my canvas size means that I don't generally get too close to using 4GB let alone 8GB so there wasn't much difference but i guess you can never have too much RAM!

    Note :

    There have been reports on some light bleed at the bottom of the screen. I only noticed it on my device when I looked very closely with my screen a solid colour, and when I am in a darkened room. It is at the very bottom so I don't even notice this / don't care about it as I mainly use the middle of the screen.

    The screen brightness auto adjusts in possibly the most annoying way in that when the screen gets darker the brightness auto adjusts to be darker with a lighter screen becoming lighter!. Which as I like full brightness and painting outside using the ArtRage dark mode was a bit annoying. But there is a fix for this with a simple registry change to disable it.

    Hope this information helps
    Thanks it sure does help! a few months ago I was at a regional art exhibition and juried show , I had 3 works juried in so I was stoked , and one of them won Best Amateur Photography since they did not actually have a category for digital art! Anyway it was a 3 day event and on the second evening they had a quick draw event where participating artists would be given 1.5 hours to paint something and people could watch and bid on the works. Most artists did oils or acrylics, some watercolors and one lady did some silk screens.. people loved the event and most works sold. I did not participate since I could not drag my big desktop system , monitor and Epson printer LOL... but I was thinking later if I used a laptop on the surface pro, and my printer an epson 3880 which is not that big I could actually do it and I think people would really like to see how a digital artist actually works and then print out the work!... so your information will help me come up with a portable art studio for next year...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3,818
    Hi Gary, I do demos with my iPad, which is great fun. I have an inexpensive Epson projector, screen, and just the connection from iPad to projector. Takes only a few minutes to set up.

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