It's a theme that's become common amongst photographers as of late...
More and more users seem to be finding things they don't like about the latest MacBooks. That's combined with more and more users finding things they do like about the Microsoft Surface Book.
You can count me amongst both categories.
Do I like my MacBook? Yes. It's a good machine that I use almost every single day.
But do I like my Surface Book more? Absolutely. It is hands-down a more capable machine, especially for creative pursuits.
If you're on the fence about whether or not Microsoft is up to snuff for your creative projects, consider what I think are three of its best benefits: the Surface Dial, the Surface Pen, and its versatility.
The Surface Dial
Where the newest MacBooks have a touch-enabled bar, the Surface Book has a touch-enabled screen.
As if that's not enough, that touch-enabled screen works seamlessly with the Surface Dial to create an interactive environment that's ideal for photographers and other artists alike.
Seriously, using the Dial and the Surface Book is like working in something right out of Minority Report.
The Dial allows me to do everything from zoom in to change the volume of my music to switch between a pencil, an eraser, or a highlighter when working with text documents.
You can even undo and redo recent tasks, adjust the brightness of the screen, and scroll the screen up or down, all with simple presses and turns of the Surface Dial.
But me telling you about it just doesn't do this thing justice. See it in action in the video above.
The Surface Pen
The touchscreen and Surface Dial aside, my favorite thing about my Surface Book is actually another accessory: the Surface Pen.
Talk about the ideal editing tool for photography!
I used a Wacom tablet with my MacBook for years and was impressed with the level of control I had over the editing process with those tools.
That is, until I got a Surface Book with a Surface Pen...
This thing gives you pinpoint precision when editing because it feels just like a traditional pen or pencil does in your hands.
That familiarity means you can make precise edits. Combined with the fluid way it interacts with the Surface Book's screen - with just enough friction to feel like you're writing on a piece of paper - that means I can make more precise selections in my photos than ever before.
The Pen is also useful for using a paintbrush, adding or subtracting an area from a selection, or simply to navigate around the screen.
In other words, using the Surface Pen isn't just a comfortable experience, it's also a productive one. And it's not something you'll find with a MacBook!
The Surface Book is Highly Versatile
If you're on the move a lot, you understand the value of having gear that's flexible to meet your needs.
For example, I might meet with a client during the week and want a tablet to show them proofs without having to lug around a laptop.
But come the weekend, I might want a laptop to tackle battery-draining tasks like editing photos.
With the MacBook, you really only get to fulfill one end of the spectrum - the laptop work.
But with a Surface Book, you can do so much more because it converts from a laptop to a tablet and back again with the greatest of ease.
When in laptop mode, you get the benefit of the keyboard, but also the added battery power that's in the base of the Surface Book.
When in tablet mode, you can hold the tablet in vertical aspect, or clipboard mode. I find that handy when I need to make lists or take inventory of gear. I even use it in clipboard mode to make to-do lists or take notes when speaking to a client.
In draw mode, you simply flip the screen over such that it faces outward. Doing so keeps the screen attached to the base, but the keyboard is hidden behind the screen.
I find that this setup is great for making edits to photos. Note in the image above how there's a slight angle to the hinge, putting the screen at a better angle for me to work.
And all that versatility isn't complicated to use, either.
The screen quickly and easily attaches and detaches using a robust dynamic fulcrum hinge. The hinge locks the keyboard base and screen together without a lot of effort so that you can switch between tasks seamlessly.
Surface Book is Just Plain Better
No one wants to work harder to get the same results. It's just human nature.
But when you're in business for yourself and time is money, you certainly want to work smarter, not harder.
The Surface Book allows you to do just that.
You can get more work done in shorter order because the Surface Book simply has more features, tools, and accessories that help make a photographer's workday a more productive experience.
Whether you need to edit photos, manage your books, write emails, or something in between, trust me when I say the process is better on a Surface Book than a MacBook.
Heck, I'm even writing this article on my Surface Book!