When it comes to being a photographer, we are without a doubt living in the golden age of photo technology. While photographers from the old guard might pontificate about how great things were back “in the day”, the truth is that photography is now more accessible, more affordable and our gear is certainly more powerful. Additionally, computer manufacturers are now building devices with creatives/photographers in mind, a change of pace after years of neglect. While many aspects of the PC industry are currently on a downward trajectory in terms of overall sales, 2:1 hybrids (devices that double as a laptop & tablet or vice versa) are selling like hot cakes. Even Apple, who’s founder Steve Jobs famously lamented the idea of a Pen Stylus, finally came out with their own 2:1 device just last month that has an optional keyboard and pen (or pencil more accurately), the iPad Pro.
Leading this growing market segment is a surprising character, Microsoft. After a rocky start a few years ago, the MS Surface and Surface Pro line of products have continued to grow slowly by surely, moving into a leading position within this form-factor. This past year they upped their game, not only releasing an update to their popular Surface Pro line, but by catching the tech and photo industry by surprise with the announcement of the Surface Book back on October 6th. Up to this point, most 2 in 1 hybrid devices were tablets first and laptops second, often with separate Bluetooth keyboards. The Microsoft Surface Book on the other hand is a laptop first…and a tablet second (with a fully detachable screen), allowing it to have enough space in the keyboard dock to fit in extra things such as a 2nd battery and optional dedicated GPU to further increase performance. Add in an upgraded pen stylus (which uses N-Trig technology) and you can begin to understand why photographers were pretty excited when the Surface Book was announced.