How will Blender work on the Microsoft Surface Book? I'm not looking for benchmark numbers but for user experiences with this software/hardware combination. Thanks
I installed Blender on a Surface Pro 4, which has a very similar screen but a somewhat less powerful GPU than the Surface Book. Performance seems great, but I have two recommendations for the interface:
Get a USB or Bluetooth-enabled mouse. I like using the real middle mouse button. Blender does have a mode where it can emulate that for use with a touchpad. This may just be personal preference on my part, but I strongly prefer the non-emulated button on a real mouse.
Virtual Pixel Modeto
Double. This is right under the
User Preferences -> System. This has the effect of making small pixel-based graphics much more visible on a high-dpi screen like the Surface Pro/Book. You should compare this to playing with the DPI setting itself, but I find that doubling the virtual pixel setting instead of the DPI (or in addition to DPI) provides a more natural look, particularly in the 3D window itself. Take a look at the size of the 3D Manipulator Handles in the 3D window as you change these settings.
...I did install blender on it however, and for basic 3d work, It is GREAT. It looks very very very nice on the screen and is easily workable, if you can get around how small everything looks...
I have used blender w/ (surface i7 8gb memory) book for over a year. Works great. Most of my projects aren't huge scenes though. I model, sculpt, texture and animate with ease. After a year I had a hinge issue and upgraded to the performance base surface book.
I have noticed on both Mac and Windows, running blender and photoshop at the same time can cause crashes, same on surface book. Not every time, but it happens.
I have a Surface Book Pro 2 15" and it's fantastic with Blender. The SB2 has a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 video card. When I use Blender, I can see the GPU activity. I love the large screen (and recommend the 15" for multi-media work). The SB2 is, for me, the best balance of power (near-desktop, large screen) and portability (4 lbs.).
I also have the pen, which I love and recommend. I don't use Blender with a mouse. I have an external numpad which I use to select views. Then I can use either the pen or touchpad and the alt/ctrl/shift keys to do the navigation, then release those buttons and draw. It makes a great workflow, and the performance is excellent. It's easy to switch between pen and touchpad on the SB2 because the pen attaches magnetically to the side of the screen, so it's always there to grab when you want it.
The one pen-related thing that is not quite as easy (for me, anyway) is right-clicking with the pen. You can do it, but I have to fumble around -- rotate the pen in my hand -- until my index finger is lined up with the button on the pen. So I'll also say that Blender 2.8 and the move away from right-click selection is very good for pen users.