I got to play around a few days with one of the i5 review units during my stay in Helsinki, and I have to say I am now very excited to receive my own i7 V, same model as you had. As it was a busy period, I didn’t get to go very in-depth on any of the things I’ve tested, but I did take the opportunity to try a few things that I intend to do with my V. Which just so happens to involve drawing, office work and light gaming!
Using the pen in Windows Sketchpad, it feels very smooth. I’ve been using Sketchpad on my desktop at home with my 12" Wacom Cintiq as it is quick to launch, and the app’s limited features mean that I can’t get carried away with layers and the like. It keeps me focused on the drawing process, so that’s ideal for my daily sketch practice. Now, the Cintiq offers tilt control, which is mostly noticeable using the pencil tool.
Apart from that, the V offered the same pressure sensitivity (albeit without the ability to adjust the curve like the Wacom drivers offer, something @mlivesey already mentioned. This might be solved through software.) I did not notice any more or less latency than I do on my Cintiq either. The pen actually feels nicer (though this is a personal opinion), and I mostly loved how I could carry the V anywhere and sketch – the Cintiq is tied to my desk at all times by a fat cable.
I know that my Cintiq is old, easily eight or nine years old by now. But I paid more money for it than the price of the i5 V I was testing with. The V offered a similar-sized screen with much better color performance, and the entire computer built in. At least so far, it did not lag any in performance compared to my i7-950/12GB/GTX970 desktop.
I used an older version of Photoshop, that did not initially recognize the pen as pressure sensitive. That seems to be an issue with that older version though, and apparently Surface devices also suffer from it. It was simply fixed by running a small program from Microsoft. I don’t know if newer versions of Photoshop have fixed the scaling issues that the older versions have with high-resolution displays. My interface was… tiny. But once you move the tool bars off the screen and start switching between brush and eraser with the B and E keys – because the keyboard was next to me on the couch using Bluetooth! – that really wasn’t an issue anymore.
I did not get to try a whole lot in Photoshop, but what I saw so far did not disappoint me. Of course, this will all vary depending on your workload: resolution, layers, etc.
The pen is smooth on the display cover glass, and that feel different from paper; moreso than on the plastic surface of my Cintiq. It’s not pen on paper, though. It’s stylus on display. It can’t do a few things pen on paper can, and it can also do some things that the traditional tools can’t. I was impressed with Dario when he noted something along the lines of “It does not feel like pen and paper because it’s not. But once you accept it for what it is, it feels really good.”. That was after he played around with an m3 V pen for a bit, which I believe was his first real contact with this kind of tech. (Sorry @Dario, for butchering your quote here. You made it sound much more profound but I can’t remember the actual words!)
Office work is office work, and will run well on a potato. So I won’t go to deeply into that. Unless you work with extreme Excel sheets you should be fine. (And if you do work with them, it’ll still work, you’ll just need more patience.)
I’d brought along a good chunk of my Blizzard and Steam libraries to Helsinki for testing purposes. I didn’t get to test nearly as much as I had hoped, but on the i5 model:
- World of Warcraft ran. Just. Lowest settings, and minimum scaling. I wouldn’t go into a raid with this, but it’d be enough to do some casual questing.
- Starcraft II ran well.
- Hearthstone ran well.
- Diablo III ran very well at low settings, and with some tweaking I’m sure we could’ve re-enabled some of the eye-candy and still keep the frame rates up.
- League of Legends ran surprisingly well – native resolution with medium settings gave a good frame rate and a very crisp image!
- Ori and the Blind Forest ran smoothly and without issues. It’s not a particularly taxing game but it looks amazing and I like the fluidity of motion, which did not disappoint on the V.
…as I said, I’d hoped to do more testing, but most of this was squeezed in between getting home near midnight after a long day at the office, and waking up way too early again for meetings.
other things I’ve noticed:
I really liked the keyboard. It feels good: a bit more actuation force than my 2010/2012 MacBook Pros, but a very comfortable typing experience. The touchpad doesn’t hold a candle to Apple’s trackpad, but that was to be expected. Apple has been far ahead of that curve since 2006, and other manufacturers are just now starting to catch up. That said, it’s one of the most comfortable touchpads I’ve used on a Windows device.
Ports are awesome! At one point I had the V plugged into the charger through USB-C, with my game running off an external HDD on one USB-A port and my gaming mouse in the other USB-A port. It’s an ‘extreme’ situation that I don’t think my thin-and-light 2-in-1 device will ever be subjected to in real life use. But it was possible due to the port selection.