Anyone here try an MS Surface Pro/Book?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by bking1000, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2007
    #1
    Apples lack of innovation on the laptop side has me dreaming about the MS Surface Pro or Surface book. Love the touch screen, full OS.

    Has anyone tried these for your photo work? What works/doesn't??
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    I have an SP3, and it works well. I know MS really boosted the performance in the SP4 (as compared to the SP3), but it did run into some sleep issues, draining the battery. I believe from what I've read those issues are now being Microsoft.

    Overall, the SP3's screen is gorgeous, using the Stylus is great, and using LR and PS is fine, though the 12" screen is a tad confining.
     
  3. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    How many GB RAM does your SP3 have? Is it also Win 10? The SP4 has better pricing for 16GB RAM. While I like the book, the 16GB pricing is too high for my budget. What are the specs on your 3?

    Thanks for the reply, btw!
     
  4. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

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    #4
    I use the SP3 with an i5 processor and 4Gb of RAM and edit my photos in Lightroom. It works great for the most part but does get a bit bogged down when I've made a lot of adjustments to certain photos. The 8Gb would be better i'm guessing. Otherwise I love it. Mine runs Windows 10 and i'm very happy with the experience. I thought that it would be way too big for a tablet but the kickstand really helps with that.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    I have the i5/256GB/8GB model and the ram is more then enough for what I use.
     
  6. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Any chance you have creative cloud? If my LR on a SP would sync back to a desktop version of LR, that would be fine for me!
     
  7. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

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    #7
    I don't i'm afraid. I have the standalone version.
     
  8. kenoh, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016

    kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #8
    +1 for SP3 8gb i5 256... also it gets warm and the fan goes when it is earning its keep.

    Use it mainly on holiday when space is a premium but use my 6 year old MBP at home which will need an upgrade soon I think.

    As @MacRy and @maflynn say.. SP3. great bit of kit but screen a tad small. Saying that I plugged it into a borrowed Z27s monitor from work and it was extra crispy in 4k.... looked gorgeous.

    I have creative cloud but dont use the fancy features... usb flash drives for me but I am a light user.
     
  9. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #9
    I'm curious what you find lacking in the MacBooks?

    Unfortunately I have a new desktop on the priority list before I can consider a Surface Pro. Overall it looks to be a solid machine.
     
  10. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

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    #10
    I don't see how Apple lacks innovation when you can do the same on your trackpad or using a Wacom Tablet to edit. I crunched the numbers and the MS Surface would cost more than a MBA or iPad. You would have to add a lot of software to match a Mac. I like that I can use my Wacom tablet to write anywhere on my Mac using Ink. Ink has been with OS X for a long time.

    Sorry the iPad is cheaper.
     
  11. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

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    #11
    The iPad may be cheaper but it's not a fully fledged PC like the SP3 so it's not really a fair comparison.
     
  12. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

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    #12
    Microsoft has been comparing the SP to the MBA but really truly the SP is a tablet. According to their website the SP3 is a tablet that can replace your laptop. Both can the iPad and SP can do basic functions like word processing, email, web browsing like a PC. Both can use MS Office. But the iPad can also use Apple Works (lol Office suites). What makes the iPad better is that it has more peripherals than SP.

    idk my iPad 3 Gen is a functions like a PC. I can print, work in Office apps, dj, record music, draw, and make phone calls. I have a few photography gigs coming up. I will be using it as a second monitor (tethering) and uploading images from my DSLR. I think that would make it like a PC. :)
     
  13. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

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    #13
    I'm not saying that the iPad is not a good device for doing the basics, because it clearly is. The SP3 is so much more than just a tablet though. Full Lightroom and Photoshop for example, as well as a multitude of desktop software that can't be run on an iPad.

    Peripheral wise - you can use pretty much anything that you can on a normal laptop so it doesn't have less peripherals than an iPad. Mouse, keyboard, external drives, monitors, etc.

    It is a laptop that functions as a tablet really.
     
  14. TallGuyGT macrumors regular

    TallGuyGT

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    #14
    I have a SP3 at work and find it to be good for a windows computer, as long as I'm using on a desk/table. The lack of bloatware and a "pure" Windows install makes a big difference.

    I personally prefer the laptop form factor - trying to balance the kickstand /magnet keyboard on my lap, airplane table, or sofa arm is a pain. My MBP is far more stable anywhere I want to use it. And I still find using Apple Trackpad gestures to be far faster than reaching up to touch the screen (or using the small, jittery SP3 keyboard trackpad).

    If I want to use a tablet, I'll use an iPad. Plenty fast, very light, and the best app ecosystem.
     
  15. MI MacGuy macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #15
    I'm picking up a i5/8GB/256GB/DGPU Surface Book from BB this morning. I'll let you know how it goes.

    I'm a bit weary of the issues I've heard plaguing the Books but I refuse to buy any Win 10 devices other than Surface models. I went through a period where I went through about 5 different laptops from 5 different PC manufacturers that all went to hell with Win 10 for various bugs and issues. I at least feel that Microsoft will be more proactive if the issues still exist.

    I have a rMBP but I'm picking up the SB as a retainer for a client and helping with their IT development, including Access.
     
  16. TallGuyGT macrumors regular

    TallGuyGT

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    #16
    Reading on Thurrott.com (among other sites), it sounds like Microsoft has finally fixed the issues with the latest firmware update. I've been holding off, waiting on the power management issues to be fixed. Now I'll likely pick up one as well, look forward to your feedback.
     
  17. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #17
    You've summed it up quite nicely.

    A huge Apple laptop enthusiast/user, I do find the Surface Pro Series very useful for my purposes. After one year with a fully loaded SP3, I was ready for the SP4. After the latest Rev of the OS, it's well sorted, fast, fun and highly recommended.

    I have every iPad model, having remained open minded to their potential... I still don't end up using them for anything other than recreational content consumption. The iPad Pro with Apple Pen has been different, but I guess I'm finding that iPads just aren't my cup of tea.

    For all mainstream work nothing beats my 15" MacBook Pro.
     
  18. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

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    #18

    Yup, I agree. They are laptops which work well as tablets. I don't have the Surface, but I have another brand of the same concept. After owning it for a month I've recently put my old Mac laptop and Android tablet on eBay as I wasn't using either any more. My 2 cents is that they are amazing and will be the longer future of the tablet and laptop markets.

    I think 'Surface' will become synonymous with the 2-in-1 category, similar to how many people call all tablets 'iPads'.

    P.S. I've been a Mac owner and user for the past 20 years (and still love them and own them), but Windows 10 really is amazing. Microsoft have got this OS massively right.
     
  19. MI MacGuy macrumors regular

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    #19
    Initial reactions are very positive. Fit and finish is incredible. The biggest thing that stands out for me is the trackpad. This is the first trackpad on a Windows machine that isn't complete garbage. Windows Hello is quite nice too, especially if you're like me and have a long personal password.

    Just got done installing updates and such so I haven't dug into it much yet but it's been a while since I've been this excited to try a computer.
     
  20. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

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    #20

    Sorry what I was referring is to (maybe not peripherals) but a lot of 3rd party hardware. 3rd party like Music Keyboards, iOS Interface and midi interface, guitar rigs, etc. Yeah they would be called peripherals because they connect to the iPad (input devices). Still iPad has more.


    Can you use the SP as a remote for your DSLR? I would think that using a full version of LR or PS on your SP would slow everything down.
     
  21. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #21
    My brother and a few colleagues have Surfaces, but none that I know uses a Surface as his or her primary computer. I think it makes sense if you have a very specific use case in mind, it can be a great machine — even if just for that one thing that you do. The hardware feels great, although it is heavier than most proper tablets and comes with a fan. Personally, I don't see the appeal because I prefer to either have a proper laptop or a proper tablet. And I still don't like Windows. But that's just me.

    Regarding the iPad, I would personally wait a little and see what Adobe has in store: you can of course edit photos on iOS now, but it's not there yet in my opinion.
     
  22. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

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    #22
    I don't think your getting what kind of product the SP is fella. It's a laptop, not a tablet running a mobile OS. It's a Windows 10 laptop so it runs every kind of peripheral that a normal laptop would run. So music keyboards, midi interfaces, guitar rigs etc. also run on it. LR and PS run just fine too because it's running on an i5 with plenty of RAM.

    You can use it to control your DSLR and in fact you can tether it via USB to Lightroom, which is much quicker in terms of transfer speeds and more useful if you're a pro on a job.
     
  23. MI MacGuy macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #23
    Just a couple new ramblings from me.

    I'm still pretty impressed with the Surface Book so far. Very fast, great screen, keyboard, trackpad, etc. It's definitely the best Windows machine I've used, probably ever. Haven't messed with the pen much yet but the magnetic holder for it is super nice. No bugs or issues yet.

    I had read about this before when it first came out but I'll repeat this because it's important: this thing is VERY lid/tablet heavy. Moreso than I thought it'd be. When it's on your lap, it will want to tip backwards if you're not putting some sort of pressure on the base. Not a huge issue but definitely something that caught me a bit off guard. The whole process to detach the tablet isn't super smooth either. You hit the detach button, wait a few seconds, it'll say it's ready and the screen will flicker a few times while it's detaching. It'd be nice to make that a little more fluid granted I can't see myself barely ever using this as a tablet at the moment.

    Last nitpick is how low this thing sits. There is barely any clearance between the bottom of the laptop and the surface you're working on. It looks awesome but makes me nervous as someone who tries to baby their tech. When the fulcrum hinge rolls out, it makes contact with the table as well so if you happen to slide your laptop around, you're most likely scraping the metal.

    Still very happy with the machine. Great purchase and really feels bleeding edge.

    I've used several Surfaces for work and as tablets, they're not great. If you have a keyboard and separate mouse, great but I find their actual tablet use to be very clunky in standard Windows 10 and very limited in the tablet mode. Again, my opinion but I don't find using them to be particularly positive.
     
  24. matt9013 macrumors 6502

    matt9013

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    #24
    Been wanting a SP or SB for awhile now but prices are still kind of high and I don't really need it at the moment. Gonna see if the SB2 or SP5 bring any new features or price drops.
     
  25. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #25
    I'd like to Frisbee one off of Burj Khalifa just to see how far it will go, that's about as much interest as I have in it.
     

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