Went to the Bellevue Square mall last night to hit up the Lego store for my kid's Christmas presents...avoided buying myself the sweet Poe Dameron X-Wing. After that, the big Microsoft retail store, and the Apple Store.
It might be that the Apple store recently moved to the 2nd floor from the ground floor in order to get a larger space, but the traffic was higher in the MS store at 7PM on a weeknight, the week before Christmas. The Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are the first products displayed when you walk in, and there were helpful employees standing right by them to answer questions and check stock.
I watched Spencer Nugent's video comparing the Surface, Wacom, and iPad Pro so wanted to see for myself which is best for drawing. The Surface 4 was a really good looking piece of hardware - the Surface book is even nicer looking although the weight imbalance of the screen feels a little odd. The drawing action was good - similar to a Cintiq I thought - it didn't feel like "plastic on plastic" as Nugent described. Plus there's an eraser. All in all it was nice. The screen quality on the Surface Book seemed very good.
Then I went upstairs to mess around with the iPP and the Pencil. It was undeniably better of a drawing experience, and I was just using the stock 'Notes' software, nothing special. I got the impression that there were hundreds of small design choices that were employed in the conception and use of this device, and that it was driven heavily by people who's lives and passions depend on creating images by hand. I can't boil it down to just one thing - penciltip friction, stylus weight, screen surface, the tip sensitivity, overall size of the screen - but for people who care deeply about the drawing experience there is no comparison with the Surface products. After 15 minutes I no longer cared that the Pencil didn't have a slot for storage, or that the charging was done by sticking the end in the iPP. Think about your first Wacom experience with an Intuos, and how much better the first Cintiqs were, compare that to the newest Cintiqs, and then take another big jump to get to the iPad Pro drawing experience. I thought Spencer was just being an Apple fanboy - which he admitted to being - with picking the iPad Pro in his video, but after trying it I think he's right. There's just something, which is a combination of hundreds of other little somethings.
Followup - I asked an Apple Store employee about Pencil on the smaller iPad models, he said "no, just the iPad Pro... for now."