macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 20, 2016

I currently have a MacBook Pro with an iPad Pro set up. My ipad pro is the notebook to take notes in and the Macbook to view the textbook etc. However, I don't feel too comfortable taking out such expensive devices out in certain cafes or having to charge both devices and the apple pencil.

The surface book in this case seems like a good option since it can act as both. I can use splitscreen to read a textbook on the left side and takes notes on the right. However, I am wondering how are the viewing angles for the device when it is flat on the table. Is it like a note book that I can read everything despite angle, or will I have to bring my neck all the way above the screen to use it.

My iPad pro viewing angles make it difficult to use flat on the table itself without having to bring my neck all the way forward and since I have to study 7+ hours a day for most days, this is not viable.

So, to anyone who uses a Surface Book, how easy is it to read flat on a table?


macrumors member
Apr 22, 2013
I've got the newer i7 model and viewing angles are fantastic. Seriously. Try yourself at a Best Buy or something. One of the best screens on the market.

That being said... You're planning to use it in tablet mode? Don't. The tablet battery life of the Surface book is abysmal. Maybe 4 hours max. Combined with the base though it gets the advertised 16 hours, or very close, at least in my experience. You can always flip the screen around while attached to the base though and use it sitting down like this: In that case it's amazing.

EDIT: I should say this is by far, FAR, the best laptop I've ever owned. It might not do serious gaming but it does literally everything else amazingly well, and it looks sexy doing it. Taking notes with the pen in OneNote is fantastic
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Staff member
May 3, 2009
So, to anyone who uses a Surface Book, how easy is it to read flat on a table?
You mean in tablet mode?

I can't recall having it lay flat on a table for reading - seems like it would be too hard on my neck. I've held it in tablet mode and it can get a bit heavy. I use my mostly as a laptop and I find that works the best for my needs.


macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
I'm not sure if this is of interest, but have you considered one of these? They cost a lot less than a SB, could perform both functions you need with the split screen, and pair quite nicely with the MacBook Pro (OneNote works well across Windows, OS X, and iOS.) I'll often use my SP3 to remote into a VM on my primary MacBook Pro so that I can access OS X (mainly for OmniFocus/OmniGraffle, which I use extensively.) The low angle kickstand is nice when you wish to place it near flat on a desk, but want to avoid any glare. I use it with an anti-glare screen cover, which adds nice resistance to the stylus when writing to better simulate the drag felt when writing on paper.

I assume the same anti-glare screen cover I have is made for the SB. Even when laid down flat, it eliminates most of the glare, and you can stare at the screen for long periods without getting a headache.



Here's an image showing a glossy screen vs the SP3 screen with the cover in brighter daylight
2017-03-04 14.37.57.jpg
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