Lightroom on Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)

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frostbytes

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Have any of you started using Lightroom on the new Surface Pro? I'm curious how usable one would be as an editing machine, and particularly how much difference in performance there is with LIghtroom between the i5 versions and the ridiculously expensive i7 versions.

Thanks.
 
Thanks Joe. I did read that article last week, but was hoping to see specific Lightroom-related benchmarks. For instance, I'd really like to see how long it takes to export 100 images on an i5 version vs an i7 version, and how much different 8 GB vs 16 GB makes. Hopefully some of the commenters have more information like that over the next few days.
 
I do not have any experience with the new 2017 edition, but I've been using the Surface Pro 4 (i7, 16 GB RAM, 1TB hard drive) as my desktop replacement for the last 18 months, including all Lightroom editing. I have a Nikon D800E, so have large RAW files. The single USB port is a bit of a pain when not connected to the docking station. At home, I drive two Viewsonic 4K screens (and the Surface screen as well) using the Surface dock, with a powered hub to give me more serial ports. I've installed a 256 GB Samsung EVO micro SD card in the card reader slot, and use that as my Windows 10 File Backup drive (which means I do not lose my USB port when not docked). I keep my catalog and smart previews on the hard drive, and my photos on an external hard drive.

I've recently bought an external 2TB SSD, so I am considering moving my catalog and previews onto that. However, that would mean using a hub when importing photos from my camera while traveling.

I have always used the most powerful desktops and laptops that I could lay may hands on. However, for work, I need to travel with the work laptop, which weighs a ton and I'm not allowed to install any personal software on it. The Surface Pro was the perfect solution.

I am sure the new version will be a bit faster. I will sit out this round of upgrades, and probably upgrade next time. I would stick to at least 16 GB RAM, hopefully by then we could get 32 GB.
 
Thanks for the feedback. I'm really sitting on the fence about the Surface Pro (2017). I've been a laptop-only guy for a few years now, because sometimes I work from home, sometimes from my studio and sometimes on the road. It was too much hassle to have to sync data back and forth between a desktop and a laptop before I switched to laptop-only. But my laptop is now over 3 years old and is dragging when running LR, so I'm looking for a performance boost. I keep flip-flopping between a Surface Pro (2017) for everything, or a cheap Surface Pro (maybe 4) for on the road and a more conventional and powerful laptop for on-the-road usage, or a desktop with laptop (again). Why can't we have it all? :-D
 
I have been laptop-only for about 7 years. I do not see myself go back to a desktop and the syncing issues either. That said, without my dual screen setup at home, I don't think I would have been able to manage with just a laptop (let alone a tiny screen, such as the Surface). Although, the resolution of the Surface Pro screen is pretty amazing. And it is useful to be able to lie in bed or curl up in front of the television and still sit and do some keywording... or drag through the results of the Lightroom face detection (!) on 100,000 photos spanning 11 years of just digital photography...

The only advantage I see to a conventional laptop for speeding up Lightroom, is the ability to install more RAM, and even then, you are limited to the more expensive "workstation" type machines and they generally have pathetic screen resolutions unless you willing to part with your first-born...

Would you be able to buy some more time for your current laptop by replacing its hard drive with a SSD?
 
I have a triple-screen setup both at home and at my studio (laptop screen, plus horizontal + vertical monitors). My laptop has two internal SSDs, 16 GB of RAM, streamlined OS -- and I've tried everything that I've Googled about improving Lightroom performance. It's just a dog.

From the reading I've done, a conventional laptop has the key advantage of more (4) processor cores than the Surface (2). Plus with a conventional laptop, components like RAM and hard drives can be upgraded. They can't be with a Surface.

I keep reading about what a powerhouse the Dell XPS 15 touchscreen version is. It doesn't have the 2-in-1 form factor that I'd prefer, but if performance is more important than portability (I'm on the fence), then I might go in that direction.

There doesn't seem to be an ideal answer to this.
 
From the reading I've done, a conventional laptop has the key advantage of more (4) processor cores than the Surface (2). Plus with a conventional laptop, components like RAM and hard drives can be upgraded. They can't be with a Surface.

I keep reading about what a powerhouse the Dell XPS 15 touchscreen version is. It doesn't have the 2-in-1 form factor that I'd prefer, but if performance is more important than portability (I'm on the fence), then I might go in that direction.

Some laptops run quad core processors, while a large number don't. And many of the newer and thinner models are sealed or very difficult to upgrade, so be careful when comparing. I do not know about the XPS15, but the XPS 13 doesn't allow RAM upgrades IIRC.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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