Well, the news just keeps getting better for photographers and worse for Apple.
I've written extensively about the value of the Microsoft Surface lineup for photographers. That includes the incredible Surface Pro, which just got even more incredible.
If you're familiar with the Surface Pro, you might look at the photos of the new iteration and think, "Gee, nothing's changed."
And though it's true that this new version of the Surface Pro looks a lot like the older ones, there are some minor cosmetic adjustments that define it as the newer model.
What hasn't changed on the exterior of the machine is actually what's important.
That's because the new Surface Pro retains the incredible 12.3-inch PixelSense display from previous versions, and also has the handy adjustable kickstand (which now extends back to 15-degrees) and rugged magnesium body Surface users love so much.That translates to better functionality for you when it's time to edit your photos. Additionally, its rugged design makes the Surface Pro a great travel companion for photographers.
That translates to better functionality for you when it's time to edit your photos. Additionally, its rugged design makes the Surface Pro a great travel companion for photographers.
There's no change in the ports either - there's still a mini DisplayPort, a microSD card reader, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, and Microsoft's slick Surface Connect port as well.
Now for what's changed...
For me (and other photographers, I imagine), the feature that makes me drool the most is the increased stylus sensitivity on the new Surface Pro.
Older models have 1024 levels of pressure, but that's been increased to 4096 to reduce input lag. In a word, it's fast.
What's more, the new model can now measure the angle of the pen. That means you can tilt the pen to change the shape of whatever you're drawing on the screen.
Add to that support for the incredible Surface Dial both on and off screen, and you have the makings for one power-packed, intuitive, and photography-friendly two-in-one machine.
Speaking of power, the new Surface Pro has had an upgrade in that department too...
Some models now feature the 7th generation Intel Core Series CPU (others have the Core M) so you get faster performance, even when tackling power-hungry tasks like editing photos.
With iterations that range from 4GB to 16GB of RAM and an array of SSD storage options, the new Surface Pro is every bit as customizable as we'd expect.
Additionally, the Surface Pro now has much-improved battery life. In fact, the battery lasts 50 percent longer than previous models.
This new rig has some software upgrades that are worth mentioning as well.
The inking features (pen tips, highlighters, color palettes, etc.) are now compatible with the entire Microsoft Office suite.
In other words, now you can use your favorite pens and colors to mark up a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, or a PowerPoint presentation.
There's smart selection tools too - draw a circle around some text to select it or if you want to delete something you've written just draw an X over top of it. That means you can be more productive with the business tasks of photography and get back to taking photos faster.
So, the new Surface Pro is powerful, easy-to-use, and intuitive. It offers the flexibility of a touchscreen, the functionality of a pen and dial, and the convenience of being a two-in-one tablet/laptop as well. There will even be a model with 4G LTE capabilities for work on the go.
What that means for photographers is that the already excellent Surface Pro is now even better. You can get more done in the office, edit your photos easier, and have time left over to enjoy a truly remarkable machine.
The pre-order process is already underway, with launch expected in mid-June. And with prices starting at under $800, your wallet will love this thing as much as you do!