Penny Arcade’s Digital Artist Talks About Surface Pro as a Drawing Device

When it comes to the Surface Pro, there is a lot to love. You get a mobile computing device and a full-blow computer all in one package. Yes, it isn’t perfect: battery life could be better, the resolution of the display could be a bit higher, and so on– but honestly, this a first generation product with tons of potential.

Although the enterprise potential for the Surface Pro in a typical office situation is pretty obvious, what about when it comes to use for digital artists? According to Gabe of Penny Arcade, the experience is actually top-notch.

Gabe was given a test unit by Microsoft after expressing interest in the Surface Pro on Twitter. He first set out to use the tablet with Adobe Photoshop, but then realized that the program didn’t support the Surface’s pressure sensitivity technology quite yet as the company is still working out the drivers.

While this could be a deal-breaker for some, Gabe notes that Sketchbook Pro works great as an alternative and is a very polished solution for digital art. Throughout his detailed review he talks about the setup for drawing and the overall experience.

Some of the things that Gabe points out is that drawing isn’t interupted by resting your hand on the display while drawing. He was also very pleased with the lack of lag when using the device.

Gabe’s takeaway is that while he wouldn’t use the Surface Pro in his workplace as a full replacement for his professional Cintiq 24HD, it would be a great alternative to the Cintiq 12WX if you are looking not only for a highly portable solution, but also something that can be used as a full computing experience beyond just drawing for gaming, writing and a bevy of other tasks.

Here is Gabe’s conclusion about the art-side of using the Surface Pro:

“As a mobile solution for a digital artist I’d say the Surface Pro is a winner. Now obviously if you need Photoshop you will probably want to wait until they get their driver issues worked out. If you’re a Sketchbook user (or you could be) then this thing is ready to go right now. I had some people on Twitter asking if the Surface Pro makes sense as an alternative to a Cintiq at home or the office. That one is harder for me to answer. I personally really like my Cintiq 24HD and I would not use the Surface pro at the office instead of it. With that said, if I had about a grand to spend and I was looking at a Cintiq, I’d say the Surface Pro is a much better purchase than the 12WX Cintiq. The 64gb Surface Pro and the 12” Cintiq are about the same price but with the Surface, not only are you getting a fantastic drawing tablet that you can take with you wherever you go, it’s also a computer!”

Do you have a Microsoft Surface Pro yet? If so, what do you primarily use the device for: entertainment or work? Let us know in the comments below.

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