I am probably in the minority on this one, but yes I still do not have a tablet of any kind. My iPhone gets me by on the mobile end and I have a Windows PC at home and a MacBook Air at work. This however, could soon change.
Will I be getting an iPad? Well I will know that within the next six months or so. One thing is assured, the new Microsoft Surface PCs definitely have my attention.
As a Photographer I Have Never Been Drawn to the iPad
Most photographers are in love with the iPad. Your photos look great, and it is nice and portable for you to show off your work to clients. For me that is where the “good” ends.
It is difficult to import your photos onto the iPad. When working with programs like Photoshop and Lightroom (as I do most everyday), touch screens are just not accurate enough. The main use here would be prototyping on the go and then trying to replicate on a PC when you get the chance.
With the announcement of the Microsoft Surface I finally have seen a device where I can use applications such as Lightroom and Photoshop, while having a portable device that is light and I can take on the go. Here is my list of top features that the Surface looks to boast that will help in the photography workflow:
1. Microsoft Surface: Tablet to ‘Laptop’ in No Time
With the kickstand that discreetly comes off the back of the Surface (no pun intended), this new device can convert from a tablet to a laptop in seconds. It feels as though Microsoft is trying to bridge the gap between the two devices by making a hybrid.
For photographers, this could mean going from editing a photo in a laptop layout in Lightroom to showcasing your creation seconds later to a client on a sleek 10 inch tablet screen.
2. Physical Keyboard Without Taking Extra Space
As I said earlier, one of the reasons I have shyed away from the iPad is the lack of a physical keyboard. I know you can buy external keyboards, but most are chunky and take up time (connecting) and space.
With a trackpad integrated into the keyboard cover, this will make editing in photography programs much easier. Precision will increase and editors comfort levels should rise.
3. Windows 8 Pro
For the pro version of the Surface (arriving 3 months after the RT version), users will have a full version of Windows 8 Professional running on their device.
This will allow photographers to put a version of Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom on their Surface device.
Bridging the gap between a laptop and tablet is where this truly shines. Being able to do everything I would on my laptop from a photography standpoint makes this tablet more desirable in my mind. Gone are the days of going back and forth from desktop to laptop to phone, etc.
As more details are released about the Microsoft Surface, my idea of whether I truly want one will take more shape. Price is going to be an important factor and right now I am perfectly comfortable waiting a few months past initial launch to see what Apple may bring with the next version of the iPad.
Right now, from a workflow and business standpoint, it looks like Microsoft has once again claimed me and hopefully other photographers as a major customer.
What are your thoughts on the announcement of the Microsoft Surface and do you plan on potentially buying one at launch? Do you think, as photographers, this may be a better option for workflow? Leave a comment below.