Any Surface Book Owners Here?

Roadstar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 24, 2006
1,527
1,846
Vantaa, Finland
I searched a few pages back and couldn't spot a Surface Book topic, so I'll start a new one. Apologies if this one ends up being a duplicate.

A long story short, I recently ordered a Surface Book as at least the Finnish Microsoft Store was (and still is at the time of writing) running a nice discount for the Surface Book with the Performance Base. To me it seems like this is basically a Surface Book 1.5 as the Performance Base has a beefier GPU than the original Surface Book, but it's still not the Surface Book 2. I ended up ordering this one as it should be able to function as my primary home computer. Currently I'm running a Mac mini 2011 and an i7 Windows desktop that I got for cheap from my previous employer's clearance, but as the Mac mini isn't getting Mojave and the Windows desktop is rather loud and old, I need something more portable as my primary home computer nowadays.

I was holding out for the rumored new MacBook Air with a retina display, but when I saw this remarkable discount and checked what kind of a GPU the performance base contains, I decided to pull the trigger on the Surface Book as it checks even more boxes than the new MacBook Air most likely would when it comes to serving my personal home use. For after all, the MBA would most likely be around the same price as the discounted Surface Book, but it's quite likely that it's not going to be a performance monster and you can more or less forget about gaming. The Surface Book with its i7 and the GeForce GTX 965M should be able to handle at least some casual gaming while also offering me some serious productivity advantage with its pen support.

So currently I'm in the nerve-wrecking phase of waiting for my order to arrive, but I'll post here as soon as I have the computer.
 

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,895
The moment you mention gaming, the choice is clear. It baffles me why you even consider a Mac.
Having said that, a few (not a lot) of Surface Book owners I know mentioned some issues of their units not recognizing the keyboards/bases on first docking (usually fixed by redocking). Just an FYI.
 

Roadstar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 24, 2006
1,527
1,846
Vantaa, Finland
The moment you mention gaming, the choice is clear. It baffles me why you even consider a Mac.
Because I would’ve still liked macOS and with the MBP being a no-go for me due to the butterfly keyboard, I had accepted that I need to keep a desktop PC around for the occasional gaming. Gaming is also something I don’t do frequently enough to make me want to suffer the downsides of a proper gaming laptop every day. For after all, wanting to puke every time you look at the computer and its array of red or blue leds everywhere could get annoying rather quickly :p

There’s also the risk that Apple ruins the rumored MacBook Air successor with the butterfly keyboard, so once the Surface Book was discounted to the MBA price range it was an easy decision for me. The keyboard seems to have received lots of praise for its typing feel, some say the touchpad is the best available for Windows and there’s also a decent GPU.

I just hope there aren’t any major issues. If the docking is occasionally flaky, it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker as I’m not expecting to detach the display that often.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,698
1,860
192.168.1.1
I searched a few pages back and couldn't spot a Surface Book topic, so I'll start a new one. Apologies if this one ends up being a duplicate.

A long story short, I recently ordered a Surface Book as at least the Finnish Microsoft Store was (and still is at the time of writing) running a nice discount for the Surface Book with the Performance Base. To me it seems like this is basically a Surface Book 1.5 as the Performance Base has a beefier GPU than the original Surface Book, but it's still not the Surface Book 2. I ended up ordering this one as it should be able to function as my primary home computer. Currently I'm running a Mac mini 2011 and an i7 Windows desktop that I got for cheap from my previous employer's clearance, but as the Mac mini isn't getting Mojave and the Windows desktop is rather loud and old, I need something more portable as my primary home computer nowadays.

I was holding out for the rumored new MacBook Air with a retina display, but when I saw this remarkable discount and checked what kind of a GPU the performance base contains, I decided to pull the trigger on the Surface Book as it checks even more boxes than the new MacBook Air most likely would when it comes to serving my personal home use. For after all, the MBA would most likely be around the same price as the discounted Surface Book, but it's quite likely that it's not going to be a performance monster and you can more or less forget about gaming. The Surface Book with its i7 and the GeForce GTX 965M should be able to handle at least some casual gaming while also offering me some serious productivity advantage with its pen support.

So currently I'm in the nerve-wrecking phase of waiting for my order to arrive, but I'll post here as soon as I have the computer.
I've had a Surface Book 2 (13.5", quad core i7, nVidia 1050, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) for exactly one week now. It's been my favorite computer thus far, replacing a 2016 15" MacBook Pro as my main machine.

My workplace's IT department doesn't support Macs on the network, so getting access to email on-campus isn't permitted, and their VPN for off-campus access absolutely will not run on a Mac, even under Boot Camp (damn thing checks in with the TPM chip). So I was pretty much locked in regardless.

I'm fully fluent in Windows 7 & 10 due to work necessity but always used MacOS at home. The SB2 has blown away all my expectations. The ability to disconnect the screen and use it with you like an iPad has been fantastic, and with OneNote and the Surface Pen, it's pretty much the killer app for me. The keyboard is great and the machine typically runs cool and silent. And the USB-C port allows me to dock to my LG desktop monitor and transfer video, audio & power over the single cable, charging the machine with 60w.

Even went all in with a Surface Precision Mouse and Surface Keyboard with fingerprint scanner for when I'm docked at my desk. Only thing I don't have is the Surface Dial.

I bought the Surface Dock, but for some reason my monitor doesn't like to stay in low-power sleep with it when the computer sleeps. It's connected to the 4K monitor via mDP-to-DP cable. No issues over USB-C. Might try an HDMI dongle for the dock if I can find one that works properly at 60Hz. I'd like the ethernet the Dock has, but for now 802.11ac wifi will be sufficient.

I haven't sent my MBP to the landfill just yet (kidding, kidding) but I think the Surface Book 2 is going to make a convert out of me.
 
Last edited:

Rockadile

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2012
454
183
Because I would’ve still liked macOS and with the MBP being a no-go for me due to the butterfly keyboard, I had accepted that I need to keep a desktop PC around for the occasional gaming. Gaming is also something I don’t do frequently enough to make me want to suffer the downsides of a proper gaming laptop every day. For after all, wanting to puke every time you look at the computer and its array of red or blue leds everywhere could get annoying rather quickly :p

There’s also the risk that Apple ruins the rumored MacBook Air successor with the butterfly keyboard, so once the Surface Book was discounted to the MBA price range it was an easy decision for me. The keyboard seems to have received lots of praise for its typing feel, some say the touchpad is the best available for Windows and there’s also a decent GPU.

I just hope there aren’t any major issues. If the docking is occasionally flaky, it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker as I’m not expecting to detach the display that often.
Companies have been coming out with muted gaming laptops not too long ago for exactly your reasons.
The Aero from Gigabyte, Blade from Razer, Legion from Lenovo, etc.

LED can be turned off or changed to white. For the ones with per-key customization, I think it would be useful to create presets for Photoshop hotkeys and such.
 

Roadstar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 24, 2006
1,527
1,846
Vantaa, Finland
Companies have been coming out with muted gaming laptops not too long ago for exactly your reasons.
The Aero from Gigabyte, Blade from Razer, Legion from Lenovo, etc.

LED can be turned off or changed to white. For the ones with per-key customization, I think it would be useful to create presets for Photoshop hotkeys and such.
Well they're still rather large and clunky as most of them are in the 15" region when it comes to size. I'm happy to sacrifice some gaming performance for better portability as the gaming part will be just a small fraction of my use.
 

Rockadile

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2012
454
183
Well they're still rather large and clunky as most of them are in the 15" region when it comes to size. I'm happy to sacrifice some gaming performance for better portability as the gaming part will be just a small fraction of my use.
From the ones I listed, the Aero also comes in 14" and the Blade 13". These are form over function laptops; portability over performance.
 

Roadstar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 24, 2006
1,527
1,846
Vantaa, Finland
From the ones I listed, the Aero also comes in 14" and the Blade 13". These are form over function laptops; portability over performance.
Yep, I missed the 13” Blades last night when I checked, but they’re there indeed. The Aero doesn’t seem to be available over here so I can’t say about its price, but at least the 13” Blade is more expensive than what I got the Surface Book for (it was a good discount).
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
Because I would’ve still liked macOS and with the MBP being a no-go for me due to the butterfly keyboard, I had accepted that I need to keep a desktop PC around for the occasional gaming. Gaming is also something I don’t do frequently enough to make me want to suffer the downsides of a proper gaming laptop every day. For after all, wanting to puke every time you look at the computer and its array of red or blue leds everywhere could get annoying rather quickly :p

There’s also the risk that Apple ruins the rumored MacBook Air successor with the butterfly keyboard, so once the Surface Book was discounted to the MBA price range it was an easy decision for me. The keyboard seems to have received lots of praise for its typing feel, some say the touchpad is the best available for Windows and there’s also a decent GPU.

I just hope there aren’t any major issues. If the docking is occasionally flaky, it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker as I’m not expecting to detach the display that often.
I've used gaming notebooks professionally for several years now (heavy engineering) as they are performant, have in general excellent scalability and great usability. LED's I just flip to off and the keyboard white, red or cyan, being able to adjust the colour is a bonus in differing lighting conditions.

My present primary notebook is an ASUS GL703GS, although a 17.3" display (my preference) it weighs in at a sub 3kg, runs silently under basic productivity tasks and gives many a desktop a run for it's money when required. Personally I rarely use the notebook for gaming however for serious use an extremely competent computer.
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Corona 2018-09-11.PNG

If I wanted a more powerful Mac, Jony Ive would need to design a nice bag for the iMac Pro, not sure if that's a little funny or just plain sad...

Q-6
 
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