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Thursday, 27 October 2016


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...from $3,000 to $4,200.

And people complain about how expensive Macs are 8-)

'iMac clone"?

Kinda like calling a Mercedes a Ford clone. I love my Mac Pro but this thing looks fantastic. That wheel thingy alone makes me want one.


Yeah, but screen color gamut only 25% greater than sRGB according to dpreview. Not the best for post processing for printer output, considering there are monitors that virtually cover the Adobe RGB (and consequently inkjet printer) color space.

To call the Surface an iMac clone is a disservice to the Surface. I run both PC and iMac. I can do everything I need to do faster and to the same quality level with my PC based PS and LR. I prefer the Mac for video work. Both great systems and neither represents a religion to me. Just tools to do a job.

Canon has a new 5D, Sony a new A6500, DJI the Mavic Pro and now this. I'm going broke just thinking about them all.

Looks great. And just like most mcstuff it,no doubt,cannot be upgraded in the future with perhaps more memory, better graphics or whatever you like to play with in a "real" pc. Just an old pc guy who enjoys the folly of the mc folks and their allegiance to a huge,unfeeling, uncaring corporation.

Want! Am seriously considering getting a surface book for travelling - this could be the home based big brother - wowzee!

Dear Mike,

You say you didn't see the movies, but "the Force is strong with you": the Microsoft empire was always evil, trying to supress all kinds of rebels (think Linux, think open-source in general, think Sun Microsystems) and rule the world (they almost did, for a while), they even took part in the Browsers War (not really a Clone War as in the movies, but nevertheless a very important technology war that shaped the lives of everyone). You can argue that Bill Gates was the Palpatine Emperor with his dark apprentice Steve Balmer. Satya Nadella is not far from Kylo Ren (from the last movie, i.e. the new generation of evil warriors).

But the parallel stops here. I always thought that the technology of the Empire was superior, but Microsoft is lagging behind Apple and this new surface is missing some key points that iMac got right, the obvious one being the touchscreen. It works on tablets and is important in phones, but for a desktop computer I think touchscreens will drive most people crazy and turn the screen into a monument of smudges. The operating system is clearly behind Apple's and the invasion to privacy called Windows is the final argument against it.

Don't be afraid to maintain your site an Apple-only corner of Internet.

Lucian Pintilie

I'm a MAC user, but I have also a Surface Pro used for teaching. And my daughters have laptops with touch screen. Well, the touchscreen is the feature I now miss more on my MAC, by far.

As the head service tech of a mom-pop style computer business in Eureka, CA for over 20 years, and then on to my own service business for 10 years - dealing in Windows only machines - it is ironic that I am now a totally Mac person at the personal level! I now have several customers using Windows desktop machines for their business who now have added Mac laptops to their life at my behest. Walked them through the entire transition and in 48 hours they were in love - er, uh, not with me :-)

So when I first saw these machines yesterday, I did let out a "Wow"! The title of your post is apt.

Mike, your reference is to a series of movies whose titles summarize their plots, so I think you're OK.

You're also spot on. It looks as if, as Macs continue to take more and more of the "everyday PC" market, Microsoft is going after the rarified, premium, knockout design sportin', artist's tool market that Apple pioneered, exclusively owned, and apparently got complacent about.

Pass the popcorn!

You really have to see it to understand what it is - it's really much more than an iMac clone. Just go to a Microsoft store and check it out.

It's a Mac clone, but it's still a Windows machine, and it has kind of a Frankensteinish look to me.

Looked at from another angle, this is the most spectacular and attractive example yet of how the touch screen tablet, a conceptual paradigm for personal computing since the original Star Trek TV series, has become that for real, as it now begins assimilating even the desktop. Just to bring up that other sci-fi uber franchise ;)

If it works like a Cintiq, with pen based pressure-sensitivity, then it is easily worth that price. Just a 27" Cintiq w/ touchscreen is $2800... of course, you can then use it with MacOS, so maybe it's not a clear comparison.

Anything with a screen and a stand makes it an iMac clone? Love my Mac but the contortions that Mac users make to avoid giving Microsoft credit for any innovation seems kinda petty.

I use Windows at work and Macs at home so I have used both for years and the fervent partisan divide among OS users seems bizarre to me. Microsoft hasn't ruined my life and Apple doesn't make me cool.

Having said that I wouldn't be caught dead using a Canon. Nikon is way better. =)

Never saw this, but a first look at the support gestalt tells me they don't know what they're doing

The Surface studio really looks like an excellent choice for photographers. Considering the prices vs wacom cintiqs its not even too expensive.

Microsoft really has been doing rather nice machines lately. But as a Mac user this suprisingly gives me the Want Factor more than Mac products. I Must be sick...

I'm already imagining all the oily smeared fingerprints I'd have to clean off that.

Mike, did you see the introduction of the new iBook Pro this morning?

The hot-new-thing is the 'Touch Bar.' The Adobe product manager for Ps was there, and she said they would support Touch Bar by the end of the year. It also works with Affinity Designer, Pixelmator, Final Cut Pro, iPhoto and several sound apps.

My guess it will be included on the next iMac keyboard (why wouldn't it?).

Pay $3000 to $4200 just to "enjoy" Windows 10?? I've used PC's for the last 25 years, mostly running Linux, then switched to Windows 7 about 6 years ago because of Lightroom and Photoshop. Windows 7 is actually quite OK, save for nuisances like drive letters etc.. But recently, I purchased a HP convertible PC running Windows 10. A real pain - the system comes cluttered with advertising junk (so-called "Apps"). Took me days to get rid of all this. In addition, Microsoft may track your activities using an "advertising id" if you don't actively turn this off. The user can't even control which updates to install! I'm definitely done with Microsoft - my next LR/PS machine will be an iMac.

Best, Thomas

I guess zero gravity sounds better than spring.

Actually the fold down flat screen is a really good thing. When I was at calArts in the mid 80s they had some early touch screen and light pen based systems and when the first mouse based systems came out everyone was excited because of how much they hated the shoulder pain of using touch screens.

You think using a mouse all day makes your arm uncomfortable try poking at a vertical screen.

Microsoft has put so much into giving windows a touch interface you would think that they sell a CPU box and remote tablet screen.
For the adventurous it would be something like what they do for android with this

Microsoft has the same thing for iPad if you search for Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop in the App Store but ironically I can't get a link to it on my iPhone.

You can do the same thing using VNC to export the Macintosh desktop to a tablet. Desktop apps pretty much suck on a touchscreen however

Come to think of it, I've used teamviewer to do this too.

Frankly, after watching how well people's dealings have gone with Windows phones and tablets and how the regular desktop Windows always manages to do something annoying, I'm not holding my breath in Microsoft getting it right this time. Demos will sure look good, but if old signs are true then real use will uncover all sorts of issues.

Looks good. If only it ran iOS rather than Windows. Been there, done that and won't go back.

I watched the entire Apple Special Event today. About 60% of it was about the new Touch Bar (wow, what a creative name) on the new MacBook Pros.

While admittedly the Touch Bar looks potentially useful, my biggest concern, like the missing headphone jack on the iPhone 7, is the four "Thunderbolt 3" (USB-C? who the h*ll knows?) ports. Jony Ive's continued insistence "design minimalism" only results in stripping out ports we all still need for simple daily tasks, and that means that our new "clean and minimal" Macbooks are going to be festooned with dongles hanging out all over them to do these simple tasks, which kind of defeats the purpose of the minimal design ethos in the first place.

So, in addition to the dongles we currently need for 1) VGA video and 2) Ethernet, we will now require dongles for 3) USB-A cables, 4) USB flash "thumb" drives, 5) HDMI cables, 6) "traditional" Thunderbolt cables, 7) Firewire cables, and 8) SD card readers. That's a minimum of 8, count 'em, 8 dongles we will have to schlepp around. Everywhere. Sure, you're Macbook Pro will weigh half a pound less, but you'll be shlepping half a pound of dongles around. Think how you'll feel when you need to dump that SD card only to find you lost it at Starbucks, like I almost did yesterday with my Ethernet dongle. What fun!

I think I am going to do what Mike mentioned yesterday and buy one of the just discontinued 15" MacBook Pros and try to hang on to that for the next five years. Maybe by then there will be simple things like flash drives and card readers with USB-C terminations already on them...


How is it cooled?

And no, I'm not about to switch from my 15" Hi-rez MBP, mid-2010 with a cheap 3rd party mouse.

Cheers, Geoff

As an old IT guy, I still get newsfeeds from a couple of tech sites. A while back I read that Apple is moving away from desktops because they see mobile as the future. Other sources seem to confirm that, noting that the hardware still being used in iMac Pros is 4-5 years old. If that is true it may be that Microsoft has seen an opportunity to capture a market that Apple is abandoning. Some pro photographers I know seem ready to switch. Admittedly I have always been a Windows guy. I can't afford Apple prices, don't really see much difference in performance when using high-end machines and I harbor a patriot grudge against corporations that hide profits offshore to avoid paying taxes.

One of the things I miss most on my Sony A7 is the touch screen I had on my Nex 5n.

I never missed a touch screen on any computer.

Microsoft has strong R&D and are doing interesting things with their surface line. Will be interesting to see how the product line evolves.

Regarding the surface desktop: it looks cool but where do the wires go?

Note to those who are dismissive of a choice other than their own. As an IT professional, we have an acronym:


What does it stand for?

Problem In Chair Not In Computer

My experience is that all computers fail/crash, etc. at pretty much the same rate. Make your choice, embrace your choice, but please stop making the case for your choice by deriding the alternative.

(Mike - I know you may not post this. Just had to get it off my chest!)

Looks like a lovely, sleek,Applesque design but no thanks. I'll stick with the brand that's been astonishingly reliable and non-distracting for me for 15+ years, thank you. I ain't ever going back to Microsoft Windows, even if it means eventually freezing my Apple environment for my remaining years. Or, like some of my acquaintances, claiming excessive busyness or dotage and hiring some student assistant to interface with computers and printers for me. (Naw, I would never do that. I loathe these clowns and never miss an opportunity to ridicule them in-person. )

It's easy to switch these days since many of us pay for software by the month. And I personally never understood the intense antipathy some Mac users have for Windows. They both work in similar ways. Click, drag, double click, whatever. And this would let me print with Qimage again, something I've missed. So I'm glad there's real competition and some original thinking here. When my iMac gets too old I'll definitely think about it.

For 99.99% of Windows users, this new Surface is irrelevant. All Macs come from Apple, but hardly any computers come from Microsoft. This is their FIRST desktop! Windows users have always had a huge choice in hardware, and that will continue. I've lately used Intel NUCs that I attached to the back of my monitor, loaded with retail Windows (no crapware). If I upgrade the box, I get to keep the monitor. Not true of an all-in-one. I've used iMacs for over 10 years, but switched to Windows about a year ago. I still run the latest MacOS on a couple of computers, and, near as I can tell, Windows 10 works better and is more reliable. Everyone should ignore comments here from people who don't actually use Windows.

Early reports are that the pen has high latency and insufficient pressure sensitivity. If so, that defeats any of the perceived advantages, at least for my use case. From Engadget:

"Anyone coming across from Wacom's Cintiq or Intuos -- and Apple's iPad Pro -- will understand that tilt and rotate is kind of important to the feel of drawing," said Coello. The Surface Pen just doesn't work well at sharp angles. "I've always found when I hold my pen in this position on a Surface, I can't see the cursor as it's registered itself underneath the nib, which makes it awkward if you're working on finer details. I always end up having to hold my pen straight up right, which doesn't feel natural whatsoever."

No thanks.

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