My first experience with a personal computer came courtesy of my desktop eMac in 2002. I was gearing up for high school and mostly used it to for late night chats on AIM and to illegally download music from LimeWire. Four years later, I got my first MacBook Pro at Freshman Orientation. One new screen, an external hard drive, and 3 new batteries later, I still have that computer. And until recently, I still loved it. It wasn't until I was issued a top-of-the-line Dell through work last year that I realized I had been living in the stone age of technology. While I missed the 17in. screen and Apple interface, I slowly adjusted to Windows software and having a laptop that didn't need to be plugged into a power outlet in order to turn on. I now understood how my Mom felt when she traded in her wall phone with the extra extra extra long cord for a portable. Imagine, a laptop that is truly portable! No more wandering around, tripping the dog, draping the power cord over the couch just right. I had finally conceded. It was time for a new computer.
I went into my hunt with the following criteria:
1) A Large Screen
2) Compatible with Adobe Photoshop
That was it. Aside from trading my unsavory downloading habits for Spotify, I still don't use my computer for much more than editing photos, word processing, and answering emails. I quickly narrowed my search down to the Surface Book 2 and the MacBook Pro. They both feature a 15 in. screen and everyone assured me that Adobe and Apple are now fully compatible. With both of my boxes checked, I moved on to price and aesthetics. With only a $100 difference and a very similar curb appeal, it came down to the nitty-gritty. The following are the Pros as I saw them. Again, I am no expert. You can Google any number of reviews for more technical information.
- Compatible with iPhone, i.e. AirDrop
Surface Book 2:
- Detachable screen that can function as a tablet
- Touchscreen and Surface Pen *
Ultimately, I chose the Surface Book 2. While it would be nice to send all of my lovingly staged portrait mode pictures straight into Photoshop, I couldn't say no to the touchscreen feature. It's been about a month, and I have used my Surface Pen every day for everything from to-do lists to sketching the layout for this Newsletter.
* Caveat, the Apple Pencil: I had heard that there is no comparison to the natural feel of an Apple Pencil. So, I checked it out. I went to the Apple Store and played around with Procreate for a bit on an iPad Pro, then walked directly to the Microsoft Store to compare the Surface Pen. I have to admit, I prefered the pencil. The weight of it in your hand and the way it feels as you're drawing on the screen is very realistic. But, the Surface Pen is really close. In the end, I couldn't justify buying a MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro when I could have all of those features in the Surface Book 2.
ProTip: Regardless of the brand you choose, go with the model that offers the least amount of storage and purchase an external hard drive. They are compact, easy to use, and will save you hundreds of dollars.