In 100 years time, using a stylus on an iPad will seem like ancient technology
Sometimes people tell me that books will never disappear, because people prefer the look and feel of paper books. (I'm one of those who prefer books.) But I argue that in the near future, e-books will have the look and feel of paper books, if that's what you want. You can have a paper book, but you can switch out the content at will.
Sorry--I meant I was going to get the iPad Pro, the pencil, and probably the applications recommended. i really just want to draw on grid "paper" and be able to tag the sketches with keywords, but if the app also turns my irregular blocks and circles into real rectangles and circles, that would be great. It would also be nice to paste timing diagrams, etc. into my notes, which now requires (literal) cutting and pasting.
I currently have an iPad, which I really like, but I decided I need to finish my flying license sometime and I'd like to take it along to use as a map. (When I last flew, I still had to find my location by triangulating VOR vectors with rulers on a paper map, which is really stressful when you're trying to fly.) But for some reason, the wifii-only iPad has no GPS, so I'd have to upgrade anyway. I went to the nearby Apple store to check out the pencil and really liked it.
I think it's good enough that graphic artists are using it now.
In my opinion it's extremely so. 800$ and up for dual core low clocks is silly for a PC. slower CPU than a phone. Maybe i am old school and still want for a PC to offer some computing.
If you want storage to make it usable as a proper PC, you pay for it and you also pay quite a bit extra for a keyboard that you can't quite use in your lap. The stand is wasting mechanical volume, battery life could have been a lot better without. As a tablet, Windows is the wrong OS. Can't quite agree with the design either, or any current tablet's design. For the last 3-4 years tablet design has been stuck and this one looks like a blunt photo frame.
If i need a basic convertible PC i'll get a Chromebook as paying 1000$ for Office apps and web browsing doesn't seem quite right. if i need a laptop i'll get a refurb as Intel has been pushing dual cores and you can't get a quad core based laptop at 400$ anymore - or 500$ with a 1080p display.
Hopefully AMD changes the game a bit this year and their Zen core appears pretty efficient. Oh yeah, you can't game on Intel SoCs either, not that the Surface has the storage for it.
It has a nice enough display but that's about it and that display is not worth the premium.
The iPad Pro is a tab trying but failing to be a PC and it's equally overpriced but that's the norm for Apple's products, although their tablets used to be a bit of an exception as Apple settled for lower margins in the segment.
Actually, the Surface Pro line isn't expensive...at least compared to the iPad Pro.
I've started to see a fair number of Surface Pro's in the wild, but not many Surface Books. (If I were rich, the SB would be my choice, since I normally use the keyboard, and love its very long battery life).
There are a number of Surface and Surface Book alternatives, but most aren't that much cheaper AND have a number of compromises compared to MS (like shorter battery life, much slower, screen not as good, etc).
One the cheap and cheerful side are low cost Chinese clones such as the Chuwi Hi13 (which is much cheaper than the SB at ~$450, but much slower, less battery life, fewer sensors, and such).
There are lots of Windows machines with active pens and Chromebooks have passive ones but i think the OS itself has support for active. The feature in Chromebooks is aimed at education and passive is better considering that kids would always lose their pens. In Android tabs and phones, Samsung has adopted an active stylus in some models for some years now. No need to spend on overpriced hardware like the ipad Pro or Surface.
Taking a pic with your phone and using an OCR software could work well enough too, without having to spend on any new hardware.
Edit: Not an ideal time to buy a Windows laptop as Intel is about to get some competition , starting tomorrow in desktop and later this year in laptop. Perf per $ and battery life might improve significantly.