jaroosdad wrote:Does anyone have an experience using either the new Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 for sketching and 3D CAD? The programs I use are Sketchbook and Solidworks.
This is what I know so far:
The advantages of the Surface Book are larger screen, optional discreet GPU, and better keyboard.
Disadvantages are the screen only has 3 hour battery life when not docked to the base and cost.
In December I upgraded to the top option Surface Book, it's a 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, i7 processor and the Nvidia GPU. I paired it with the new Surface Dock which has the following connected to it; an external LG DVD drive, an external Toshiba SSD, a 28" Dell 4K monitor, an Epson printer and a kickin' sound system. We use a SeaGate 1TB network "cloud" drive for internal stuff (most recent stuff I keep backed up on the Toshiba as well), OneDrive for collaborative storage and interfacing with our independent contractors / a few clients and DropBox for collaborative storage and interfacing with some other contractors and clients.
I like having everything again in one machine (I hadn't had that luxury since the last Toshiba Tecra M7 slowed to such a crawl that I had to take it out back and put it down). After studying my workflow for the last few months, I think MS got everything right except for one detail - the screen should flip around like my Tecra used to - it made quick work of going from typing/reading/surfing work to sketching work...I now have to detach the screen, flip it around and reattach it to keep using the Nvidia GPU or detach the screen and leave it detached if the integrated GPU is OK for the task (it's fine for all but the heaviest of graphics intensive work). Rhino and my graphics programs never skip a beat, so the i7, the 16GB RAM and the Nvidia were worth the cost.
Size is what led me to this over the Surface 4 (those old Tecras were 14.4", this is very close at 13.5") and the fact that I'm typing project related emails probably a third of my time.
I was worried that NTrig would be a disappointment but it hasn't been at all - I have a Samsung NotePro 12.2 (it's Wacom) that I sketched with until I got this thing and the experience is equal - smooth, no jitters, no lag, no inadvertant markings.
As an early adopter, I HAVE experienced a few glitches, which I expected and am OK with - I'm a good soldier in the fight so I send in feedback to help the dev teams prioritize their updates, and based on the latest 2/2 update pushed through, it looks like they've solved 1 or 2 of the 3 issues I'd seen from time to time.
All in all, it rocks. Super lightweight, super thin (especially the screen, it's amazingly thin and has everything in it except for the Nvidia GPU and the second battery, so it's the computer all by itself.) Expensive, but is styled and detailed like an Apple and appears to be built like an Apple as well.