Let me begin with what you get in the Surface Box. You receive a power cord, a wireless pen, and the Surface itself. The Surface runs Windows 8 and does not come with a keyboard, however there is one sold separately. Out of the box I already ran into an issue. For some reason the Surface was already on! I'm not sure why this was the case as I was the first person to open the box, but I feel it should be mentioned. The next issue I ran into was with the pen, for some reason when I went to the bluetooth options on the Surface, it would detect the pen but not connect. The pen still worked, but seemed to lag a little bit. Later on I did get the pen to connect, but I still felt like it was slightly laggy.
The Surface Pro 3 Box
The Included Pen (note while it does have two hotkeys on the front, I was unable to map them to any Photoshop shortcuts)
The device itself was quite nice. It wasn't super heavy and the adjustable stand on the back was a nice feature. I also liked the power cord as it was similar to my Macbook cord, where it worked no matter what way you plugged it in. The device had a nice finish and the screen was quite clear.
The Surface front
The back of the Surface
The two programs I installed on the Surface were Adobe Photoshop CC and Mudbox 2015, however, I was only able to test Photoshop as for some reason Mudbox never opened. I was really disappointed by this, as I had hoped to try some sculpting on the Surface. With Photoshop, I tried to work without using a keyboard, as I didn't have the accessory. I found this incredibly frustrating as it slowed down my workflow immensely. Eventually I caved and plugged in an USB keyboard into the single USB port on the Surface, which sped up the process, but also made the device less portable.
Once I began to draw with the Surface, I was pleasantly surprised at the pressure sensitivity. It was nowhere as good as my Intuos tablet, but it was much better than I expected. I did have to press fairly hard for the device to work, so it made faint line work a bit difficult. I was able to do some decent sketching with the device, but overall I found that it took me longer to draw things as a result of the pressure issue.
An example of the pen pressure
All in all, the Surface pro is a nice tablet for general use I used it for some basic web browsing, and played some music off of it and had no issues. When it came to using this as a digital sketchbook however, I found the device was severely lacking. No matter what I did, I just couldn't seem to find a decent way to use this over using my Intuos or Huion. I enjoyed the tablet as a tablet, but I don't think I could recommend it to someone as an alternative to a traditional drawing tablet. As a tablet I would give it an 8/10, but as a drawing tablet I'd have to give it a 5/10.
Thanks for reading and enjoy!