Advice needed on switching to the Surface Pro 4

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by fantasticman, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. fantasticman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #1
    Hi Guys

    Need some advise about making my move to the Windows System.

    I've been using Apple product for years and am now thinking of trying out the Surface Pro 4. I love Apple but am wanting to try out windows. Have been away from Window since win 98/XP . Hopefully they've improved since then.

    I use my laptop for web surfing, downloading and watching videos, music, some photoshop and video editing and exporting (nothing professional )

    I'm currently using the Macbook Air as my main machine. It's a 11 inch MBA Mid 2012 release , 2Ghz Intel Core i7, 8Gbs of Ram 1600 MHz DDR3 , 256Gb Storage.

    I'm looking to buy the Surface Pro 4 i5 256 Gb storage with 8gb Ram. Can anyone tell me if this is a more powerful machine than my current setup? I mean the MBA is a i7 and this new surface pro is a i5 but a newer processor. Or should i be getting the surface pro 4 i7 version for my needs?

    Also 8Gb or 16 Gb ram for my needs?

    Any advice is appreciate. Am not very tech savvy. lol
     
  2. fantasticman thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 11, 2015
    #3
    Thank you. That's a helpful tread

    However can anyone advise if the new surface pro i5 with the newer processor is more powerful than the MBA i7 mid 2012 ? Or should i be getting the surface pro 4 i7 version?

    will 8gb suffice for my needs or 16gb? My MBA's fan kick in every so often especially when i am exporting videos.
     
  3. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #4
    I just bought an sp4 with an i5. It's faster than my i7-980. And the fan kicks in occasionally. Unless you have high end video requirements you can probably get away with 8 gig of memory and an i5.
     
  4. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #5
    So far frustrated with my new i5/256gb/8gb model. Only used it for 1 hour. Than it had the infamous crash where the Windows button stopped working. Trying to reinstall software to factory state.

    But it's been stuck on 8% for 6 hours now. Something is wrong. I did internet searches and people mention it could take 18 hours or so. Sometimes reformat is faster. It's insane to have to wait this long to reformat.
     

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  5. fantasticman thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6

    Arghh That's one of my concerns. Having left windows since Win 98, MS still seem to have their infamous crashes. I will still give SP4 a try hoping it wont be a mistake .
     
  6. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #7
    I refreshed my drive once on my SP4 after goofing some stuff up, and not wanting to bother fixing it all manually. Normally, it takes about 45 minutes, unless you tell it to zero out the drive, but even that usually doesn't take more than 3 hours.

    Throwing caution to the wind, I'd say turn it off, then turn it back on again. If you've been stuck at 8% for 6 hours, something's obviously not right.
     
  7. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #8
    It's really not terrible at all these days. I had seen maybe one BSOD in 4-5 years. The problem is the small fact that the SP4/Book came with underbaked drivers, which means that starting out, a lot of people saw a lot of blue screens.
     
  8. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #9
    I did try to restart it. Than got the fatal error message "
    “The Computer Restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error” during installation of windows"

    Than I tried to go to this site to fix the problem but surface pro 4 continuously loops and reboots at flashing 64% Windows black screen.

    http://heresjaken.com/the-computer-...xpected-error-during-installation-of-windows/
     
  9. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #10
    As much as it sucks, it might be time to do what your link suggests, and reformat/reinstall.

    The (only) good news is that with Win10, you don't have to worry about keycodes or any of that crap anymore, since installs are tied directly to the computer. Get the latest ISO, grab Rufus to install it to a thumbdrive, and in an hour or so, you'll be back up to normal.
     
  10. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #11
    That's what I have been trying to do. Reformat. The reformat got stuck at 8% while installing the drivers for 5 hours. I shut it down and than got the fatal error.

    I am not a novice either. I should have been able to reinstall from the partition that Microsoft created. And that failed.

    Only other option would be to find a Windows 10 dvd. (Which I don't have) or someone else with a surface pro 4 with USB recover thumb drive.

    Creating a thumb drive isn't mandatory since microsof partition the drive to keep a spare recovery image.
     
  11. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #12
    Right, but since it's not working for you, your only choice might be to do the reformat/reinstall from external media.

    And you don't need to find a Win10 disc or someone with a recovery drive. You can download the latest ISOs from Here (Live Login required), grab your own thumbdrive, and make it yourself.
     
  12. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #13
    Except I am at work. Don't have access to thumb drive and don't have access to another computer.

    Honestly Microsoft should have shipped it with a USB thumb drive as emergency backup.
     
  13. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #14
    Yeah, they should have just in case. I mean it'd only cost them an extra buck or two at most to slap a little 8GB thumbdrive in there for those Just In Case moments.

    Though 99.7% of the time, the backup partition usually does its job, and does it well. I've used it a grand total of 4 times. 3 among my two Surfaces, and once on my desktop PC. It's never given me any headaches.

    I think you pulled the short straw on this one. : \
     
  14. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #15
    Yeah. It will be Monday before I get a chance to tinker with the surface pro 4 again and save it.

    Just unacceptable to spend (I got the i5/256gb SSD/8gb plus keyboard/wireless adapter). That's $1500. And I have 45 days to pay for the $150 Microsoft Complete (apple care like warranty). Heard Microsoft doesn't offer a battery replacement and charges out of warranty $450 to "switch out" a surface that needs a new battery. So Microsoft complete is almost recommended by most users. And I just hate paying for extended warranty cause I am very careful with my products. But some things like battery are out of my control.

    Apple out of warranty battery replacement ranges from $129-199. Yes I can get it cheaper third party. But $129-199 for OEM is much better than Microsoft not offering an acceptable battery replacement plan.

    I really want to like the surface pro 4. I have been waiting for it to be released. Was very disappointed in iPad pro. Already have mid 2013 MacBook Air 256gb SSD and 8gb ram which still runs very well and also late 2012 iMac with fusion drive.

    I am fortunate that I do have money to burn. But feel like the product should work out of the box. It would have been much easier for me to go back to Best Buy and switch it out. But I wanted to try to fix it only own. I tried to go to Best Buy for jump drive but lines were crazy so aborted. I order jump drive from Amazon that arrives tomorrow.

    We'll see. At this point I am 90% leaning just returning the surface pro 4 altogether. Maybe buy it again when there is a sale.
     
  15. rmsanger macrumors member

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    #16
    We are returning the sp4 today after a month of continuing frustration with MS. It's super disappointing as the hardware and functionality should meet all of our requirements. It's been one frustrating bug after another that they cannot fix online. They say it might be our wifi acces, drives, codecs, dlls, ho office was setup yet they cannot revolve basic functionality issues through online support. The battery life is 3-4 hours with real usage and Facebook and Pinterest apps continually crash on my wife. Basic onenote image email functionality will not work.

    Time for this thing to GTFO especially at $1700 we'll get and iPad Air 2 + inexpensive Windows laptop and be about our day.
     
  16. mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

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    Oct 24, 2014
    #17
    If the OS on the Surface Pro or Book is in a non-functional state use the USB bootable recovery image specifically made for them.

    https://www.microsoft.com/surface/e...ervice-and-recovery/downloadablerecoveryimage

    As for stability, my Core M3 is running 100% stable since avoiding Edge browser and using Chrome with 'Enable touch events' set to 'Enabled' and 'Disable touch adjustment' set to 'enable' from 'chrome://flags' in the address bar. Can't speak for other models but some have reported positive results with using Intel beta graphics driver but I would save this for as last resort and try Chrome for now until production drivers are released.

    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/do...a-Graphics-Driver-for-Windows-7-8-1-10-15-40-
     
  17. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #18
    Update:

    I purchased first a 128gb pny USB thumb drive from Best Buy this afternoon. Than realized from reading the official Windows surface recovery page that it has to be reformatted to FAT32. So my 128gb pny cannot be reformatted to FAT32 since it's over 32gb. There are other ways to try to format it but it's a pain.

    Made another trip to Walmart to pick up a 16gb fat32 thumb USB thumb drive. Managed to download the recovery image (4.34gb). Put it in the USB port of my surface 4. And got it to the recovery mode. Finally. Been a pain.

    I had to fiddle with some of the options. It wouldn't restore from USB several times. I than click on another option to restore from internally and clean install and that finally worked. Only took 30 minutes to reformat. So the USB recovery image got me to the recovery stage. But Windows never did read it and restore from it.

    Who knows but it did reformat properly.

    It works now. Did a couple of major system updates and its functional after another 30 minutes

    What a pain.

    It's a nice system. I really want to like it. Been playing with it for 4 hours in the hotel tonight.

    But did another system update and got an error message and it asked me to reboot.

    Thanks fully it still works after another reboot.

    I am just a little freaked out at the unstable software. Paying a lot of money for something this unstable. Feels like android 1.0 all over again. Seriously. I feel like Microsoft might have rushed the surface pro 4 out just to get it for the holiday buying season.

    You go over to a couple of the surface forums. They have had some major issues.

    What I like

    1. Screen is beautiful. Colors are vivid. Bright and sharp (some minor light bleed but I am not be super critical unless it bad and we all know what bad light bleed is)

    2. Fast. Very fluid

    3. Love the keyboard.

    4. Used the Microsoft wireless display (got it for $25 on sale last week). It uses wifi direct and works flawlessly. Obviously there is just the slight lag so don't recommend gaming. But it's miracast tech. At least Microsoft doesn't track you like Google chromcast.
     
  18. fantasticman thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 11, 2015
    #19
    So now i'm in a dilemma. To Switch or not to switch. I've read mostly good reviews on the SP4 but when visiting forums , i'm reading more and more software issues and daily updates that MS is pushing out to solve these problems.

    Is it now more an issue of waiting it out, till MS addresses most of the problems with SP4 to make it more "stable" or will the Windows OS just be what it is , a buggy systems with software issues that will kill the layman's brain cells to solve?

    With OSX it's just so easy, my laptop probably froze maybe less than a handful of times in the 15 years i've been using Apple. I don't know anything about graphics cards, what benchmarks.. and all those issues, i just want a powerful fast easy machine to use and I don't know if SP4/MS will provide me with that experience as much as i'm wanting to get SP4 a go.
     
  19. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #20
    The forums are the last place to go to make a purchase decision on a produce. For example search "Acura tranny problems" and won't want to buy an Acura; when in reality they make good cars.

    I jumped into and unfortunately my first sp4 developed a display issue and Returned it. (Of course no one here on mr returned a phone, ever)
     
  20. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    Jul 28, 2007
    #21
    Target has 15% cyber Monday including surface pro 4. Unfortunately the sweet spot model is sold out i5/256/8 model normally priced at $1299.

    SP4 has software issues. That's been my experience. I'll play with it more this week. I have until January to return it. But I am not one to use and abuse the generous Xmas return policy. If it's still crashing and giving me errors. I'll return it.

    I still have my perfectly working MacBook Air 2013 model and iMac 27 inch. And my iPad Air 2.
     
  21. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #22
    I got an i5/4/128 about 2 weeks ago and other than infrequent display driver crashes, I've had no issues. An update last week has reduced the frequency of these crashes further, and presumably they will be eliminated presently. The display restores after a couple of seconds, so it's a minor irritation rather than a disaster.

    For what you want, which is much the same as my usage, the model I have would be fine.
     
  22. VertPin macrumors 6502

    VertPin

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    Nov 12, 2015
    #23
    don't get one until all the software glitches are ironed out

    the /r/surface subreddit is your friend, go visit them before you make a purchase. they will give you honest answers.
     
  23. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Agree lots of software glitches. I also had dead spot on my display. My surface crashed on me within the first 1 hour I had it. Than the system built in restore image crashed on me trying to factor restore. Took me forever to get it rebooted up again (I used google and found answers how to restore surface pro).

    Anyways just exchanged surface pro 4 this past weekend. So far so good either unit. No complaints
     
  24. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #25
    I bought the middle of the road model: i5/8/256. The first one was returned in two weeks due to a screen issue. The second one has been flawless in terms of hardware. With the latest updates the device has been stable and my wife is on the thing for her business at least 7 hours a day. We bought the keyboard and bluetooth mouse; don't really use it in tablet mode.

    The only downside is a lack of optical drive, which is what she uses her old laptop for.

    So my advice is to go to a microsoft store to check it out. They have a decent return policy if you buy it and later decide you don't like it.
     

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