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Ah, Cintiq. A brand that inspires dreams and crushes them at the same time. Expensive and stylish. But to those illustrators who are budget minded (Like me, for example). We’re left searching for good and relatively cheap alternatives.
And there are many, like Bosto, Yiynova, Huion and Monoprice. All good from what I hear, but they have their problems. But what about portability? Perhaps only the Bosto 14WA is pretty neat, but carrying a load of cables on your backpack and setting it up can be pretty daunting.
The Cintiq Companion and Companion Hybrid seem to be answer, but again, expensive.
Let me present to you, the Microsoft Surface Pro.
This, my friends is the Surface Pro with 128GB, Windows 8 and you can get one for $640.00
It’s 10 inches wide and may seem small, but after trying it for a while I must say that it is plenty of space and runs MangaStudio 5 without any problems and with Wacom’s Feel driver it’s almost like a Cintiq Companion. But is it as good as the Companion?
The pen is pressure sensitive, which is a big plus.
This is as far as the Surface Pro’s stand will go. But I find it awkward to work like this. So I found a way to have it stand at 45 degrees.
Like I said before, it runs MangaStudio 5 without any problems and has a nice viewing angle, but the Surface Pro is not perfect. For example, when used for a long time it becomes hot, really hot. Especially if you are using it when charging the battery. The glassy surface is a little hard to get used to.
But will the Surface Pro a good alternative for the Cintiq Companion? Well, almost. Good color saturation, pressure sensibility for MangaStudio 5 without installing additional drivers, with a battery life of 4 to 6 hours of constant use. It also requires an additional keyboard and mouse to properly use the Window’s 8 interface. And the fact that it gets hot and sometimes the pen and the cursor don’t align exactly when it begins to heat up are not deal breaking faults, but it is something you need to take into account.
+Slim and a good battery life.
+Pressure sensibility for all design programs, however, it requires Wacom’s feel driver.
+A nice, high-resolution screen, with good viewing angles and color saturation.
-Screen gets very hot when charging the device.
-Additional keyboard and mouse needed to operate the Surface Pro
-The Surface Pro stand.
-The glassy surface of the screen may be a little hard for some to get used to.
Among the alternatives for the Cintiq Companion, the Surface Pro is a decent alternative that won’t break the bank.
The Surface Pro gets a 7.5/10
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