Considering switching to SP3

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ///M5, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. ///M5 macrumors 6502

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    May 14, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    Been a Mac user for as long as I can remember.

    Finally Microsoft has brought the product that I've been waiting for: the Surface Pro 3.

    I only hear good stuff about Windows 8.1. It seems that it's finally matured to be used as a laptop and a tablet, combined with the proper hardware of course.

    I love OS X, but my job is heavily dependent on MS Office, and everybody here knows how crippled and unstable the OS X version is. I know I can use VMWare to run Windows, but that defeats the point of having a Mac.

    My Surface Pro 3 is on the way as we speak. I'm still not sure if I should make the move or not. SP3 reviews are out and they are relatively positive all in all.

    What do you guys think? I own a 5S and a retina iPad mini btw along with retina 13".
     
  2. pragmatous macrumors 65816

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    May 23, 2012
    #2
    Sure why not? If it works for you and you like using it what does it matter what we think?

    I use a mac for xcode and garage band. I'm still looking for an art program.

    FYI Office 2014 for mac should be out sometime this year.

     
  3. leman macrumors 604

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    #3
    You should pick the best tool for the job. If your work heavily relies on Office or Photoshop, there is not much point in getting a Mac...
     
  4. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #4
    Why? Photoshop works great.

    I was considering the same OP, but I would miss OSX and the desktops feature so much. Keep us updated!
     
  5. JoelTheSuperior macrumors 6502

    JoelTheSuperior

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    #5
    I see no issue here.

    I use a Mac because it's the best tool for doing the work that I do. If you find that a Surface is the best tool for your work then yes, switch to the Surface.

    I do prefer OS X but that's not to say that Windows is at all a bad choice for many people, and if it works better for the software you're using then by all means do switch :).
     
  6. leman macrumors 604

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    #6
    It was my impression that (pending official benchmarks of course) Photoshop runs better on Windows. At least when you do side-by side benchmarks. Big companies like to release sub-optimal code for Mac, unfortunately...
     
  7. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #7
    Not from my usage of it. But it could be that I haven't used Windows in a long time. Besides I also believe that it wouldn't be a significant performance loss either.

    Just my assumptions though.
     
  8. leman macrumors 604

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    #8
    Well, what one should do is run some benchmarks in Photoshop under OS X and than the same one in Bootcamp... I do not own Photoshop and I also have no idea about it, so I can't do it... but I've seen lots of inofficial reports of a big performance disparity in both Photoshop and video editing applications.
     
  9. maflynn, Jun 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #9
    I've been contemplating the same thing, I have a 15" rMBP and have been tempted by the SP3.

    Here's what I've come up with.
    The MBP has a faster CPU just because it does not use the ULV CPU. The GPU on my rMBP is better but I think on a 13" MBP its a wash.

    The keyboard on the SP3 is inferior compared to the MBPs, and that's been the general knock.

    The Lapability of the SP3 is also inferior compared to the MBP. The center of gravity, the balance all are better with a laptop. The weight distribution on the laptop is under the keyboard, the weight distribution on the SP3 is behind the display.

    The kickstand on the SP3 is pretty awesome but I think over time it may dig into your legs.

    You will have buy windows apps since you've been on OSX for so.

    tl;dr. The SP3 is a nice product but it makes a lot of sacrifices to be a tablet and laptop.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Check out a couple of links regarding the SP3
    How Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 marketing push backfired

    The Ultimate Surface Pro 3 Reviews Roundup


    A couple of threads here at MR regarding the Sp3
    Surface Pro 3 marketing woes and review round up
    Surface Pro 3 announcement and prices

    The latter thread is rather long but there are definitely nuggets of gold to be found. I started the first thread, and I was active in the second. I've been very much sold on the SP3 but I couldn't pull the trigger on it, as I continually compared it to my rMPB and found the SP3 lacking in some areas. Its a great piece of technology but I couldn't justify spending 1,500 dollars+ for something that basically did everything my rMBP did but not as well in some cases.

    I just noticed AnandTech's in depth review - take a look here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8077/microsoft-surface-pro-3-review
     
  10. GoingDark macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I dropped over $1600 on a 13" retina MacBook Pro (with 3-year AppleCare, 8GB ram / 256GB SSD) about six months ago and after playing with a Surface Pro 3 at the Microsoft Store yesterday I'm very tempted to sell it at a loss and switch.

    I found the screens on previous Surface devices too small and cramped and the trackpads were pretty terrible. The new one fixes both those issues (the trackpad still isn't nearly as good as on the rMBP but it's a HUGE improvement on the old Surface Type Covers).

    My job relies a lot on Office as well, and Excel for Mac is almost completely useless. I have to run Office in a virtual machine using Parallels to get all the features and functionality that I'm used to.

    I think ultimately it depends on your usage patterns. I still haven't quite got the hang of using OS X to its fullest potential (making proper use of Spaces etc.) and so I just prefer the workflow of Windows, which may make me a little biased. If you're more comfortable with OS X you may find the transition to Windows 8.1 a little jarring.
     
  11. TechGod macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Please, get used to OSX. There is absolutely no point switching if you won't allow yourself to get used to how OSX works since I have found that with mission control, my life ha become so much more easier.

    Just keep on learning about how OSX works as it can be just as powerful or even moreso than Windows imo.
     
  12. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #12
    I think that you'll need to acquaint yourself with having to install, reinstall, and re-re-install device drivers, debug issues monthly as a result of monthly system updates. You'll also need to get used to things that worked fine suddenly stop working for no obvious reason.

    I had been on OSX exclusively for about 6-7 years before delving back into Windows (8, then 8.1)... and those things came flooding back.

    Quite annoying... so much so that I traded my Surface in for a MBA.

    But your mileage may vary... I suggest really kicking the tires and stress-testing the device within the first week. You should have a good idea as to the long term suitability.
     
  13. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    #13
    I hate to see you leaving Apple world... You can sell your MBP. I hope you enjoy your SP3. :apple:
     
  14. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    #14
    I wouldn't replace either of my laptops with a tablet of any kind.

    I can't put it in my pocket, which means it goes in a bag. If it goes in a bag, it might as well be a real laptop with an infinitely better keyboard, faster CPU, bigger screen, and better connectivity options.

    For me, a tablet packs all of the disadvantages of carrying around a laptop into a worse performing, much more limited package.

    YMMV
     
  15. M5RahuL macrumors 68020

    M5RahuL

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    #15
    I'm waiting to read the OP's experience with SP 3 before I try it out..

    The SP 2/3 are full blown laptops, not just tablets.

    Office on OS X is crippled beyond words!! :mad:

    As for the Windows OS, 8.1 is actually pretty darn good...even though I'm still running 7 Pro.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    That's one reason why I'm in windows myself. Office for the Mac is awful compared to the windows version. Since you invested so much, have you considered bootcamp (or vmware fusion) to run windows?

    ----------

    SP3 is a full blown computer in tablet form - perhaps I'm splitting hairs but because its not a laptop, there are downsides to it.

    Don't get me wrong, the SP3 looks amazing and I've wanted one from day one, but I've not been able to justify spending that kind of money and giving up some functionality (including giving up on OSX)

    Yup, I said as much above.

    I'm liking win8, I'm in windows during the day and OSX at night. Its a solid OS, better then I thought. I did hide the metro interface since I have no need for it and my MBP is not touch screen
     
  17. M5RahuL macrumors 68020

    M5RahuL

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    #17
    Preliminary Impressions...

    Okay so, I got the SP3 [ i5 ; 8GB ; 256 SSD ] from Best Buy, and here are my initial observations ...

    1) Awesome screen, as long as you don't compare it to the iPad/MBP Retina. The screen is not as bright/vivid and the fonts aren't as smooth as on the retina iPad and/or MBPs.

    2) It's def. ' at least ergonomically ', a huge upgrade from Pro 2. The build quality is great *very pro-like*, and the kickstand is actually functional now.

    3) Battery life is good at ~ 7 hrs usage. No complaints there!

    4) The pen is great *when* it works... I had ' driver errors' initially when trying to pair and connect via BT. I think the Wacom pen was slightly better on the Pro 2.

    5) Sound is surprisingly quite decent, all things considered.

    6) The soft [ on screen ] keyboard is a pleasure to use. I like it better than Ipads'. Scrolling is smooth, and gestures work as intended.

    7) WiFi is not very stable. It drops randomly, and requires me to turn toggle the WiFi icon to re-establish a solid connection.

    8) Wake from sleep isn't nearly as quick as it should be!

    I've had this for about 4 days now, and will give it at least another week or two before deciding whether it's a keeper or not [ BB Elite+ so have 45 days to decide ]

    Does it replace a laptop ?

    Too soon to say, but at this point, not quite. I did get the optional keyboard for an additional $129, and well.. nothing to write home about.. It's about as useful as it looks.

    On the software side, MS Office integration, as expected, is great and seamless. I'm running quite a few apps on it, and it does tend to heat up [ the fan is audible ]

    Will update in a few days..
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    Congrats, on the SP3,

    I read that MS was supposed to issue a patch to get the pen working, I have no idea if they have yet, but you can try applying all the patches that are waiting and then seeing if the issue with the pen has been resolved.
     
  19. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #19
    What I am curious about is using a magic trackpad and wireless kryboard instead of getting the touch cover.

    Although nice, at this point I think I might as well get a 13" rMBP.(I want to stick with OSX, and need something that's easier to take around than my 15" cMBP)
     
  20. M5RahuL macrumors 68020

    M5RahuL

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    #20
    Yea, I applied all available updates..but the pen is still flaky. I guess MS will release a fix specific to this issue soon enough.

    However, this may be the first Windows PC I'm enjoying touch screen on... and I don't even like dabbing my finger(s) on the screen!

    ----------

    Well the external keyboard attaches pretty well with the SP3, and doesn't take away from portability.

    If I have to dock the SP3 and use it with an external wireless keyboard and track pad, it kinda defeats the purpose of this tablet. The MS keyboard is not cumbersome at all.
     
  21. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #21
    You can always just boot into Windows on your mac. It runs pretty well, especially on macs with only intel GPUs.
     
  22. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I quite like the SP3, Microsoft are really forging ahead with it. But I can't say the same for Windows 8.1 even with the updates to it. I gave myself time to like it and I just hate it. So many little and big things that just drive me insane. It was poorly thought out and executed, although under the hood it's pretty solid. Just a shame they had to use that Metro UI, 'ok' for tablet users but frustrating for the vast majority of keyboard and mouse users.
     
  23. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #23
    You just don't know how to use it. Think of the new tablet UI in Windows 8 as nothing more than launchpad in OS X. For keyboard and mouse use, just install desktop programs like normal and don't use the touch apps from the app store.

    For example, if I want to install Skype, I go to the Skype website and download it, I don't get the touch optimized app found in the windows app store. You can completely avoid using the touch interface. Once you get to the actual desktop, everything behaves like normal windows.

    I hated Windows 8 at first until I realized you actually aren't forced to use the touch apps, and that in general everything functions as any "normal" copy of windows.
     
  24. M5RahuL macrumors 68020

    M5RahuL

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    #24
    What Zeke said... You don't even have to boot in to or look at the Metro UI anymore.

    Windows 8.1 is much better over 7 when it comes to optimizing and allocating system resources. While I'm still on 7 Pro on my work machine, the 8.1 update is ...quite interesting!
     
  25. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    You are describing work arounds. My whole point is the Metro UI is an utter disaster from start to finish for anyone with a mouse and keyboard. I had to help a neighbour install the desktop version of Skype so she could speak to her relatives abroad. No UI should be that s*** that you have to install the desktop version of an app because the touch based version is that broken. I had to show her the shortcuts, the charms bar etc. When she asked how to close a program/app she asked what was wrong with the way they did it before and I completely agree.

    I do get how to use the W8 UI, I just cannot get my head around why anyone would want to use it. The desktop experience of Windows 7 is a superior UI even although it is older. It's a flop, M$ got scared about losing their market share and rushed that crap out as a knee jerk reaction. Half baked UI, with half ideas and poorly executed.

    But like I said I can give credit where it's due and underneath the OS is pretty decent. Just a shame they had to butcher it with the disgrace that is the Metro UI, no wonder that idiot Balmer got sacked.

    Apple really do have the right idea, two different but closely integrated OS's for two different usage patterns. Each taking the best ideas from the other and continually incrementally improving.

    Before W8 I was a M$ fanboy, afterwards I felt pretty pissed off and I even learn to like Vista after SP1.

    Really would it have been so hard to have a option in settings - also why is there two ********* settings, another poorly thought out idea, to enable a classic Windows mode where you disable all the stupid Metro crap? I'm sure their millions of business users would have appreciated that.

    Sorry but it's a failed experiment, I only hope W9 really picks up it's game and please oh please Microsoft stop ramming 'the cloud' down my throat. Happy to keep files in the cloud but I want my OS firmly installed on my SSD.
     

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