I recently got myself this Surface competitor from a seller on tipidpc.com — still one of the best places to buy electronics from. Unlike the Surface Pro 2018, it has 2 USB-C ports (one for power) and 1 USB 3.0 port. The deal I got included both the pen and the cover for 59,999 Php + 300 Php for the handling fee.

As with all things Surface and Windows related, the pen is second best to the Ipad Pro, but with the power of a full-fledged computer and operating system. Windows 10 on the 5290 is nothing to snooze at: you get a working Linux OS running a local server with full integration to Windows’s drawing, office, and business software. Keynote and Sketch remain the designer’s top tool for app/site building, but Figma is shaping up to be a decent alternative. Conversely, there are no such true alternatives available for Excel as GSheets doesn’t have its level of macro power. For most artists none of these points are dealbreakers, but if you are an artist that designs, or an artist that programs, they are additional overhead considerations.

To cut to the chase, the 5290 2-in-1 is viable for artists only if they have an i7 with 16GB of RAM and are running Clip Studio Pro or any other drawing app of a lesser spec requirement — Medibang, Paint Tool Sai and the like. This makes sure that drawing is actually pleasurable and there is no lag when the pen moves across the slippery-smooth screen.

You can sorta kinda draw okay, if you’re patient.

The feel of the pen drawing across the screen is inferior to the iPad Pro. There is an adjustment period to using the pen. Despite the felt tip, the screen itself has no roughness, so the hand has to compensate. It took me about a week.

As with the Surface Pro, the 5290 suffers from jitter.

Drawn using Clip Studio Pro.

It happens in long lines, it happens in short lines. It happens when you’ve undone the line and tried again, and the jitter appears in the exact same spot. It happens most frequently on diagonal lines, as everyone else on the Internet has already reported.

The workaround to this is to rotate the canvas and zoom in, as the lines will be crisp. And the only way to comfortably rotate and zoom on a huge canvas is to have a strong enough computer to take the RAM consumption. Hence, the spec requirement.

At the end of the day, it is still cheaper to have the Dell rather than the Surface Pro, especially when matching spec. If they’re both going to have the same issues, one may as well go for the cheaper alternative with more updated ports.

Additional things:

The Philippines does not have an official repair shop for the Surface Pro, or for the iPad for that matter; they all ship to some other country for repair. Dell has a local repair center. Taking the 5290 apart is leagues easier as well — open the back flap / stand and the screws are there.

Heat remains an issue.

Buying additional USB hubs is recommended.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.