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Surface Pro 2 or MacBook Air 11"

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by sebs_color, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    191
    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Sebastian
    I know I've asked about the surface pro here, and from all the comments I've read, and from some research I've done, I see it is clearly fast/strong enough to run Lightroom and other adobe products.

    Now I have a new dilemma.

    I can't decide on the MacBook Air or the surface pro. I have a large (windows) desktop at home, so I'm truly only looking for something a lot more portable.

    Anyone have any input??

    Thanks!
     
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Since you already have windows at home and are familiar with it, I would vote fror the Surface Pro.
     
  3. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I have a current Air 13" and I got a Surface Pro for my daughter. If I weren't invested in Mac for my work computers, I'd get the surface pro for myself. It's a great machine.

    Gordon
     
  4. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    From everything I've read, the Surface Pro 2 would be excellent for mobile work etc. As pointed out, as you have Windows already, there's no extra learning curve required, other than getting rid of the Windows 8 horrid user interface. I run a Gigabyte tablet that is no where near as powerful as the Surface Pro and it's still usable, albeit slow, for Lightroom, Photoshop etc.
     
  5. DaveG

    DaveG Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jan 5, 2014
    Vancouver
    Another benefit of the Pro if you're a Windows guy is OneDrive (aka SkyDrive). I have it connected on my laptop, Surface and Win Phone. All my photos and catalogue backup are all sync'd to OneDrive. This means I can work from anywhere (I don't travel with my laptop, it's essentially a home desktop) and all my photos are nice and safe in the cloud, though I do also a regular local HDD backup.

    I know this is possible with other services/platforms, but damn is it seamless with OneDrive on Win devices.
     
  6. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Wow, things must be changing in the realm of computers. Everyone has recommended the surface pro. I'm kind of out of the loop in the computer world these days, but a couple years ago Microsoft was stumbling bad with consumer products (aside from the Xbox) and enterprise was what was keeping them afloat.

    Oh, and I'm a Mac guy... get the Macbook Air!!:smile:
     
  7. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Well, if you don't want to switch out to all-mac, and you like the touchscreen interface, the Surface Pro seems like a no-brainer. And to be honest, the Mac Air screens are nowhere near as good as an IPS panel on a good tablet (iPad Air, Surface, whatever). It's the one major weakness. Now, if they keep the battery life, weight and price the same and add a retina screen (or other IPS screen with better viewing angles and decent color fidelity) in their next gen machines, I'll be all over that.

    I don't see myself replacing my macbook air for on-the-move use, however; when I'm around, I'm typing (a lot), and almost always typing with the thing on my lap. And the Surface Pro's weird flippy stand thing does not seem like it's a practical solution to that type of use. Plus I don't like windows 8 and I love my Mac OS microcosmos :)
     
  8. robertmwilliams

    robertmwilliams Mu-43 Regular

    I have used a Surface Pro (first model) for a while to edit photos and really like it.
    However it is not the same as using a dedicated digitizer. The is a difference in accuracy and Lightroom is as tablet unfriendly as software can get.
    That said I never liked to low resolution screen of the MacBook Air 11 (and the 13" MacBook Pro is even worse). The just is not enough real estate for the image and tools at 1366x768.
    It would have to be at least a 13" Air or 15" MacBook Pro.
     
  9. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    MAC - Apple rules! Yes I am biased.
     
  10. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    A Retina display on the MBAs would make them a lot more compelling.
     
  11. Johbremat

    Johbremat Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Dec 5, 2013
    I'm using three MacBook Pros at home for various tasks and would still recommend the SP2 for your use case.

    You're already invested in a Windows environment, so compatibility and synchronisation capabilities exist without moving to a third-party/additional solution. And as mentioned, there will be little in the way of a learning curve moving to a completely different OS (changing up your workflow every time you switch between systems will be a time killer, too).

    If you absolutely must have a keyboard, attaching a Type Cover won't take much. Otherwise, you can the SP2 with only two points of contact (two hands) whereas the MBA calls for three (two hands and a...surface).

    The SP2 has stylus support which no doubt would be a boon as well.

    And until such time the MBA gets a 'Retina' display, the pixel density on the SP2 is king. Even if the MBA had a higher resolution, you'll be torn between a crisper looking screen or more screen real estate which will render everything teeny-tiny.

    I bet my two cents on the Surface.
     
  12. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    Has the battery life improved on the Surface Pro? I bought a ARM-based Surface for work and while I enjoy working with it, the battery life just doesn't begin to compare with Apple tablets and from what I hear, the Air as well.
     
  13. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The MacBook 13 inch actually has better battery life, the smaller one is about the same as the iPad
     
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    There are other options available like: http://www.gigabyte.com.au/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4887#sp. I have the first version of the Gigabyte, the S1080, and it's an excellent tablet. The one thing that separates the Gigabyte tablets from just about every other one are the extensive number of ports, and the fact that you can actually open the device up and change some of the internal components. It's very handy to be able to swap the drives, for example, if you want to upgrade.
     
  15. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    Around October Apple is coming out with a 12" retina Macbook Air. The 13" retina Macbook Pro is available right now from the Apple refurbished store for $1269 with 8GB of RAM and a 256 SSD .

    Tablets don't have the RAM or processing speed needed for serious photographic and video work so I steer clear of them.
     
  16. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I wouldn't call the Gigabyte I mentioned exactly shabby when it comes to serious image processing and many use the Surface Pro for just that sort of work.
     
  17. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    The current Air and Surface Pro use the same processors and ram. The Air hhas a bigger battery, that's all.

    Gordon

    p.s stylus use in LR sux but is da bomb in Photoshop.
     
  18. Johbremat

    Johbremat Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Dec 5, 2013
    Well, it's rumoured that they'll come back in a 12" form factor. Until announced it's all hearsay and conjecture.

    And as a comparison...


    [table]
    [tr][td] [/td][td]SP2[/td][td]MBA11[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]CPU[/td][td]1.9GHz i5[/td][td]1.3GHz i5[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]RAM[/td][td]8GB[/td][td]8GB[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Screen[/td][td]10.6", 1920x1080[/td][td]11.6", 1366x768[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Storage[/td][td]256GB[/td][td]256GB[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Price (AU)[/td][td]1469[/td][td]1469[/td][/tr]
    [/table]​

    I'd question based on specifications that the MBA is more suitable than the SP2.
     
  19. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Aside from screen size and resolution, most spec comparisons are kind of pointless when they run different OS, regardless of what the marketing department wants you to think.
     
  20. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Well, LR runs faster on the Surface Pro in our houshold than my 13" MA.

    Gordon