Thursday, February 14, 2013

Surface Minor League?

I really like my new W530, in spite of its bugs (one of the charms of using Windows) I really like my new machine. I like it enough that I don’t want to drag it all over the place with me when I want to work mobile. I could buy another laptop, but what I really want is something with a touch screen, at least Windows 8 Pro 32 bit, and Wacom equipped pen and digitizer that works with Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro.
News broke on Engadget that the Surface Pro lack full pen support for some pretty important applications. I very nearly purchased one, but I’ve had a funny feeling about the device since I made the decision to pull the trigger. I walked out of Best Buy because of that feeling (and their deplorable service) to do a little research.
Lenovo’s Thinkpad Tablet 2 wouldn’t be ideal, but it is supposed to work with everything I want it to. It couldn’t run the WP8 SDK, but I could still work on the visuals for the game. The machine runs on an Atom Processor and only has two GB of RAM. Both of the key applications I’m looking to run on that device might be slow. I’d be slow to get one too as it would take 4+ weeks for it to ship according to Lenovo’s website.
Dell’s Latitude 10 is pretty attractive. It’s less expensive, has a user swappable battery, and it might ship before my beard gets too much longer. Some recent hands-on reviews show it to be a pretty nice device with great build quality. I’m sorely tempted.
There are lots of less than ideal options at this point.
What I can’t figure out is why Microsoft's Surface division would play games with consumers like this. They had to know there would be a ton of creative professionals looking at the Surface Pro as a mobile productivity device. To ship it with a pen digitizer that isn’t ready for prime time was really careless. They’ve basically squandered a great opportunity to pull ahead of other ultra-portables and offer something no one else had yet.
The forums are alive with Stylusgate already and everyone is waiting for either Adobe or Microsoft to blink. I’ve seen a lot of promises that they will “explore the option” of getting the proper functionality onboard which is basically like saying “we got your money suckers” to anyone who already bought one. I guess not every division of Microsoft can just totally rock like Windows Phone.  

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