Surface Pro 4 Review For Photographers/Photoshop
See which machine I have here: Surface Pro 4
I decided to get the surface pro 4 ahead of any other laptop because it was really light, so I could take it on location with me without too much extra weight. And it looked powerful enough for photo editing in Photoshop.
By the way, sorry guys, I haven’t tested this with Lightroom so I’m afraid I can’t comment on the machine’s performance using that particular software.
I absolutely love this machine. In fact, if tablet laptops like this continue to improve, I’ll probably never purchase another conventional laptop again. I mean, look at the size of this thing! I can do most of my work and watch movies on it and it barely adds any weight to my bag.
Now, at this stage, I should point out that I am a Mac user, as you can see by this beast here, and my wife’s Macbook. And usually with reviews like this Mac users will complain about Windows usability in the comments section below.
But I’m afraid those criticisms are less and less relevant now. Microsoft have created a far more user friendly operating system than previous versions of Windows, and it works beautifully in touch mode.
Interestingly enough, I’ve experienced more crashes and other issues with my iMac and Adobe’s software, than I have on my Surface Pro 4. I’m still a fan of the Mac operating system, but I think Windows 10 is now a great alternative that I’ve got no problem using instead.
So what exactly do I love about the machine?
Well, as I mentioned, Windows 10 is great to use. And the pen that comes with the Surface Pro is very smooth. When we combine the two, it’s just a really enjoyable experience. Sometimes I even find myself doodling and making sketches just for fun.
It works well enough in Photoshop, as you can see in the video.
But what about the down sides?
Well the battery is pretty useless. I can get a maximum of 2 hours use out of it in Photoshop. But then again, should we expect more? With the size of this machine, and the amount of work it is being asked to do, I think it’s pretty Impressive. With less demanding tasks the battery naturally lasts a bit longer.
I could have gone for the Surface Book which boasts a very respectable battery life, but I didn’t want the extra weight. And I don’t mind plugging the Surface Pro in when I’m working someplace like a coffee shop.
There’s no SD card reader slot.
Next, it is extremely expensive. At about £1700, or $1600, we’re talking Mac prices now. And that doesn’t even include the keyboard!
Another problem is that when you buy the Surface Pro, you need to update everything instantly. Microsoft had a huge amount of problems when it was first released, and have since corrected them, but if you don’t do an all-out update straight away, you may be in for problems.
And finally, the machine, despite its impressive specs, will not perform as quickly as a laptop with the same specs. Since this little thing is tightly encased, it tends to get hot, which means the performance is throttled to keep the temperature down. But as we saw earlier, the machine works well with Photoshop and doesn’t overheat. But, I doubt it would handle video editing particularly well.
Clearly I love this machine. And if, for whatever reason, I decide to upgrade to a full laptop, I doubt I’ll be looking at Macbook Pro’s. Chances are, I’ll go for the next generation of Surface Books, if the specs are good enough.