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Any creative types with experience working on the Lenovo Yoga and Surface Pro?

#1JenniferTatePosted 5/10/2014 3:07:32 AM(edited)
Hello!

I'm an artist and writer. I currently use a Cintiq 24HD for my illustration and other art work (flatting comics, coloring comics, photography, random design gigs), thus I do most of my work at my desk since that monster isn't going anywhere.

I'm in a slump of sorts, as I work from home, and I use the same desk and chair to write, draw, and game. It gets old. I am also more and more mobile these days, so I need something to work on and entertain me. For the past year I've been considering new laptops, and I briefly owned a Surface Pro until I had a nagging feeling something might come along. I returned it (reluctantly) and in a week the SP2 was announced.

I feel the SP2 is a niche machine, but it meets my needs. It's a portable capable PC with a Wacom quality screen. It can run Manga Studio, CS, Celtx, and basic word processing. Running games on it is a bonus, not a selling feature. The screen and it's ability to be drawn on comfortably in a go-anywhere manner is the only reason I don't just grab an Ultrabook.

Recently the Lenovo Yoga Ultrabooks have been brought to my attention. Touchscreen, lays flat or flips, better keyboard. Full on PC, as far as I know.

I don't know much about them aside from the reviews I've read, and I find that where the Yoga and Surface Pro are concerned (certainly the Pro over the base Surface), many reviewers and hands-on articles don't address the whole creative tool aspect of the machines. They focus on hardware and performance and how comfortable it is, but they never touch on what I'd like to know. Again, I think it's a niche need, but it's a need.

I've only found one, from a comic book artist in similar situation, but it's only about the Pro: http://jonathancase.net/my-transition-to-surface-pro-and-manga-studio/

Has anyone here had experience with the Lenova Yoga series? Is it comparable in performance, quality, and price? Any input on either machine would be helpful before I make the investment.

My key concerns are:

Handing CS well (I know the Pro 2 can)
Screen and pen response (Pro and Pro 2 seem as smooth as my Cintiq, barring some hiccups)
Battery life (Hated Pro's, Pro 2 improves, or so they claim. No idea how a Yoga holds up)

And in case it comes up, the Cintiq Companion seems to do half of what I want for twice the price, but I admit I know little about it beyond a hands on demo at a convention.

Thank you!
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"That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they dont know nothing about it." - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
#2Arucard05Posted 5/10/2014 3:51:41 AM
Hello. I once drew a picture of Darth Vader playing basketball.


That is all.
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#3JenniferTate(Topic Creator)Posted 5/10/2014 5:26:32 AM
Did he choke?
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"That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they dont know nothing about it." - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
#4thatauthorPosted 5/10/2014 6:33:33 AM
JenniferTate posted...
Did he choke?


his son forced him to :D
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#5LootmanPosted 5/10/2014 6:36:54 AM
I can verify Darth Vader is possible to draw.
Playing basketball though? He must be lying here.
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#6ShubPosted 5/10/2014 7:48:04 AM
I don't know much about digitizer pens so you should research that more, but based on my reading, the Surface 2 Pro supports them, whereas with the Lenovo Yoga, only some models do, so you'll want to pay attention to that.

In terms of hardware, the Surface 2 Pro is identical to the Lenovo Yoga 2 or Yoga 2 Pro. Same CPU, same RAM, and those two are what matters the most for performance. If the first Surface Pro could run CS to your satisfaction, then the Surface 2 Pro or the Yogas will run CS a bit better than that. I don't know the size of the pictures you work on but you may consider a computer with 8 GB of RAM rather than 4. I believe the S2P only comes with 4 and can't be upgraded. The Yoga 2 Pro has a very high resolution screen whereas the Yoga 2 has the same resolution screen as the S2P, also something to keep in mind.

In terms of battery life, you can indeed except better battery life from the S2P or the current-generation Yogas than from your old Surface Pro by virtue of their 4th-generation Intel CPUs (Haswell).

I have a first-generation Lenovo Yoga 13 here and I can tell you the touch screen is responsive, but I cannot speak to its behavior with a Wacom gadget. The Yoga 13 does have a glaring, and to my knowledge unresolved issue (despite the fact that it came out in 2012) where the piece of software that handles the transition between laptop and tablet mode has a bug that causes the keyboard to just stop working. There is no solution to that, only workarounds. I would imagine they resolved that issue with the Yoga 2 but I'm unimpressed with Lenovo's failure to address the issue since it's clearly software- or firmware-related (restarting the YML service fixes it until the next time).
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#7JenniferTate(Topic Creator)Posted 5/11/2014 3:21:39 AM
Thank you very much for your detailed experience with the Yoga! It is most helpful.

It's good to know they are comparable with hardware. There are 8GB RAM versions of the SP2, but it seems like they are store exclusive - rarely on their US and Canadian sites, but not too hard to find in the mall shop or stalls.

Thanks for the input, Shub.
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"That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they dont know nothing about it." - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
#8ChaapPosted 5/11/2014 12:49:00 PM
The 256gb and 512gb SP2s all have 8gb of RAM.

Let me know if you find anything on the Yoga as a drawing tablet. I'm going to need a new laptop for school this fall and I want to get something I can draw on. My plan was to wait for new info on the SP3, which has a rumored release date of early fall, but maybe the Yoga is worth taking a look at.
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#9JenniferTate(Topic Creator)Posted 5/12/2014 12:14:09 PM
I wish I hadn't read about the rumoured SP3. I'll never be able to buy one at this point. Stupid hardware insecurity.
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"That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they dont know nothing about it." - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
#10DoramiPosted 5/12/2014 12:43:41 PM
Note: the only Yoga with active digitizer support is the Thinkpad Yoga with the 1920x1080 screen.
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