I tried...It didn't last - I'm back!

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by windowstomac, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. windowstomac, Feb 26, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019

    windowstomac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    #1
    As I've discussed in other threads, I recently bought a Surface Laptop 2 after having a keyboard failure on a 2018 MBP.

    Well, the TL;DR is that it took Apple three weeks to replace it with a brand new one, but now that I have it, I'm insanely relieved to be back with Apple. I'm also filled with trepidation about the keyboard going wrong again, and hoping that the issues are a quality control problem rather than an inherent flaw...

    Anyway, I thought it may be interesting to share what I thought of the Surface Laptop 2. It wasn't without its redeeming features, and frankly most of my issues were with Windows and not the hardware.

    The Good:

    - I love the design, the lightness, the soft surface around the keyboard. The hardware is genuinely pleasurable to use.

    - The keyboard is fantastic, and you can eat near it without feeling terrified!

    - The screen is really great. In fact, the much brighter screen on my MBP almost seems "warm and fuzzy" compared to the SL2's "sleek and sharp." Much of this is due to differences in the UI between MacOS and Windows, but I almost feel like I prefer the one on the Surface. I suspect this may change when I adapt back in the other direction.

    - Bootup is nice and quick and Windows Hello facial recognition works well.

    - I came to quite like using OneNote in place of Apple Notes.

    The Bad:

    - The trackpad isn't a patch on Apple's. I'm a heavy user of gestures and ALWAYS use the trackpad, never a mouse. Not only is it far less precise, gestures are poorly implemented in Windows, so certain swipes only work in certain apps etc. It would also seem to select text at random sometimes etc.

    - The battery life, while OK, isn't as good as the MBP. It's also seemed really inconsistent, draining fast one day and lasting ages the next. In part I think this is due to how inefficient Windows is at managing applications. On one occasion my fan was sounding like a plane taking off and it was just because the Windows Twitter app had decided to hammer the CPU for no reason.

    - Windows is better than it was, but it's still at its best straight after a reboot and somehow steadily worse for every hour you use it after that! With a Mac I've become accustomed to just opening and closing it, sometimes not rebooting for ages.

    - In the same way, applications can be pretty flaky. Outlook would lock up a couple of times a day and either need a force quit or to be ignored for five minutes while it got a grip. My other mail client (Mailspring) needed manually telling to rebuild the caches on my IMAP accounts each morning or half my mail wouldn't appear. Worst of all, both Chrome AND Edge crashed whenever I downloaded any Excel or CSV file from Google Analytics or Quickbooks! All of this stuff added up to serious frustration.

    - The machine in general didn't seem that "snappy." I'm inclined to think that that's because with MBPs we get pretty much the fastest SSD performance out there. Those extra seconds here and there really add up.

    - The speakers are ghastly compared to the MBP.

    - I really missed some of the things you come to take for granted on the Mac, like Quicklook on the space bar.

    I gave the SL2 a month, and at times I really enjoyed using it. It came very close to giving that feeling of using something beautiful that my early Macs gave me. I also REALLY tried to embrace the differences. I tried five email clients, three screenshot tools, three textexpanders, and three utilities to replace the preview functionality, choosing the best in each case.

    But I have to be honest. Switching back to my MBP yesterday felt like coming home - from the fact my backup (350gb using a USB-C SSD) only took about 40 minutes to restore, to feeling like my workflow was finally back to full efficiency.

    The grass is interesting on the other side but it's not necessarily greener. I remain terrified that I'm going to have another keyboard failure on this machine, because with a custom spec (2.7Ghz i7, 512, 16) I will always have to wait two weeks or so for a repair or replacement. It it happens again I'll have to give serious thought to how willing I am to go through the inconvenience again. However, I'm unconvinced that anything running Windows will provide the solution I'm looking for...
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #2
    I've the opposite experience and after over two decades with the Mac, I'm now 100% professionally on W10. It's impossible to compare as usage and workflows will vastly differ. I switched to W10 due to Apple's poor hardware decisions and macOS was costing me time due to crashing and or lockups, mostly the former.

    W10 is by nature a very open OS and requires a steep learning curve to get the best out of it, including the vast multitude of applications. Personally I avoid MS Office as it doesn't work as fluidly as I want, nor does it complete some tasks as efficiently as I would like.

    If your dependant on the system, then you should have a rational alternative as a backup as Apple BTO's always take time for repair to be effected, hopefully something you wont need to experience :)

    Q-6
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Like Queen6, I'm on the other side of the fence and I'm very happy to be on windows. I have a long history (because I'm old) with both windows and before that dos, and macos, all I'm saying is I think I had an easier adjustment to using windows then some others given my history and current usage at work

    I don't want to be a debbie downer, but the keyboard failures on the 2016 -> 2018 models are due to the design and not QC. For instance, the brand new MBA is incurring keyboard failures as well. Its been largely confirmed that the butterfly mechanism is too week. I myself as a prior owner was hoping that apple's third generation was altered enough to fix the short comings but then people started having issues :(

    Good luck with your keyboard, and I do hope it will not fail

    Agreed, there are things that macOS does very well, but I'll say that both operating systems have their pluses and minuses. There are things that windows does very well that macOS doesn't

    I myself bought and returned a Razer 15" laptop this past summer because the apple ecosystem was something that I wanted to return to. Only when it was clear that the keyboard issue wasn't going away, I sold the laptop and bought a Lenovo X1E. For me, its an excellent laptop in so many ways, better then the MacBook Pro imo.

    The bottom line as I see it, is that you need to be happy with your decisions, I don't expect you to be happy with my decisions ;) If you love your MBP and have no desire to use windows, then that's great as its your money and your decision

    Let me just one final thought, I don't know what the future will hold, but my opinion is that apple is more focused on iOS, services and not the Mac, even the rumors of moving off intel are evidence of wanting to merge the mac line into the iphone/ipad platform, i.e., run iOS apps. I can't say I'll never buy another Mac again but shaking my magic 8 ball, it comes back highly unlikely ;)
     
  4. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #4
    ...and I'm in the 3rd lane. After spending decades with Microsoft OSes (from DOS 3.1 to Win10) and OSX/macOS for 11 years, I'm about done with both of them and will be moving to Linux. I still have Windows and macOS systems, but the ones I have will most likely by the last.

    I try to keep my Win10 usage to a minimum because in my firsthand experiences with it and older versions of Windows I find it to be a pretty poor OS.

    When I need to get Windows work done, I use my Lenovo IdeaPad that's running Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro (with a Win7 theme). It is a lean, mean, rock-solid version of Windows...and really what Win9/10 should've been. Performance is stunning. I've compared this to Win 10 that it came preloaded with... swap drives to go between the two.
     
  5. turbineseaplane macrumors 601

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #5
    Meanwhile I’m over here on a MacBookPro with an external keyboard sitting on top of the defective Apple keyboard below it.

    Lol

    What happened to the future…?
     
  6. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #6
    I am moving the Microsoft direction. While I have a 2018 MBP, I am planning to replace my iMac with a PC desktop in the near future. Time will tell if the MBP ends up being my last Mac or if Tim Cook's "Apple is "rolling the dice" on some future products that will "blow you away" comment ends up blowing me away or if it is just blowing smoke up our collective **** :)
     
  7. Queen6, Mar 1, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019

    Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #7
    More like "rolling the dice" on getting a decent MBP, only thing blowing me away with Apple these days is the sheer incompetence...

    Q-6
     
  8. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
    #8

    I know that feel, OP.


    Welcome back! ;)
     
  9. windowstomac, Mar 1, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019

    windowstomac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    #9
    Five days on I'm loving the productivity boost being back on a Mac has given me. It really does make a huge difference. I'm not allowing food anywhere near the keyboard!

    One real blow is the terrible resale value of the Surface Laptop 2. The retailer (Argos, UK) won't take it back because it's not actually faulty and Microsoft will only offer an exchange (and after ten minutes on the phone to somewhere in India still trying to spell out my email address I hung up before I put my fist through a window!)

    The facts that Windows crashes more than Mac OS and that Microsoft's touchpads aren't as good as Apple's don't add up to enough of a reason for anyone to offer a refund, sadly. I've wasted so much billable time I just can't mess around anymore.

    But judging by the prices on eBay, I stand to lose near on 40% of the value of the thing just because it's three weeks old. Almost tempted to keep it but I don't really have a use for it and it'll just sit up a corner until I sell it in a year's time for even less...

    It's all been a rather expensive exercise...
     
  10. Mendota macrumors 6502

    Mendota

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2019
    Location:
    Omaha
    #10
    I never have crashes on Windows so I wonder what is going on there. Windows is far more powerful and flexible than MacOS has ever been. Mac has some interesting usability features and if it fits what you want to do it is fine. But for me the limits on the hardware and software side will never allow it to be my main system. And given the number of crashes people are reporting with the T2 chip, I think it is a bit disingenuous to imply that Windows is less stable.
     
  11. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #11
    Me either. Though I have had my new 2018 MBP make a "woosh" kind of sound and randomly shut down/reboot. Can't say I have noticed any productivity differences between MacOS and Windows either. Both OS's do a good job of what I need them to do most, which is get out of the way and stay in the background :)
     
  12. kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    On the silver scream
    #12
    Are you building your own PC desktop, or is there is a pre-made you’re looking at?
     
  13. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #13
    I go back and forth. Been delaying it because I have been busy working on home projects (painting/remodeling) in my spare time. So, unfortunately, I haven't had the spare time to work on that project yet.

    Initially, I had just planned to build my own, but with the shortage of time I have found myself looking at a couple of the Corsair One models and the Lenovo Legion T730 through Costco in order to take advantage of the 90-day return and 2-year warranty. Figured I could replace the spinner with SSD and add RAM to the latter.
     
  14. mrex macrumors 68040

    mrex

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    europe
    #14
    I use both daily, and no issues to get my work done. Been using years for both, and both takes time to learn them. They work abit differently.

    ”Trying” isnt the same and ”doing”. ”Omg how bad” - comments are just funny. How an earth are you going to learn a new way to work in few weeks and to work the same as you did work with OS you used years?

    My main computer, at home, is mbp (however, i use my ipp more at home) but i like windows more. I dont need a new laptop, but when i need im not sure if i get a new mbp but rather a windows laptop (surface or similar).
     
  15. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #15
    Another here since moving back to Windows starting 2016, I've never experienced a system crashing and I'm using them professionally. This and other factors has encouraged me to move more and more to W10 as Apple has only one direction, nor is it conducive with what I want.

    Q-6
     
  16. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #16
    Heck I thought just installing Parallels on a Mac was expensive. I needed something Windows-ish to be able to access e-books in the early days of their lending by public libraries, and Parallels turned out to be my solution after I first went with Bootcamp but then decided I didn't want some of the usage complications there. Can't imagine getting a Windows laptop now and then having to take a loss trying to unload the hardware when no longer needing it.

    I have looked at a few Windows-based laptops over the years, but the operating system learning curve and fear of missed features from the Mac side have always put me off when I think about expanding my horizons again, especially with less reason since the library books access issue has long since evaporated.
     
  17. windowstomac, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019

    windowstomac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    #17
    Wow. You try to share both sides of an experience on this forum and out come the people who can't help being tribal and fail to relate to any experience they've not had themselves.
     
  18. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    #18
    Just ignore those kind of people. I get where you’re coming from.

    I miss a lot of things from MacOS. But I also love Visual Studio.

    There are benefits and trade backs to each side. Just pick your poison. It’s purely a subjective choice, there are no right and wrong sides here.
     
  19. Never mind macrumors 6502

    Never mind

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2018
    Location:
    Dunedin, Florida
    #19
    Five (5) weeks in with Windows 10 and thus far a very good experience over Windows Vista or XP that I remembered. No hick-ups to report, but yes, there is some re-learning the OS for me. Just had to give it some patient's. Took off the junk that was easy to do. Played some game's, now down to some photo editing. It's a good thing we have choices, since I was tired of MacOS limitations being locked into what Apple wants for us. I got a good notebook and no complaints nor regrets.
     
  20. Frankied22 macrumors 68000

    Frankied22

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    #20
    For those of you who work with PDF's on Windows, what software do you use to fill, edit, and sign PDFs? I cannot for the life of me find an alternative to PDF Expert on macOS. All of the PDF software on windows is just garbage looking and full of stuff to try to make you spend hundreds of dollars to upgrade. It is so nice on macOS to have basic PDF features built right into Preview.
     
  21. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #21
    I use Wondershare PDFelement, it works for Windows and Mac so I can keep it consistent between platforms. It comes with a trial download if you are interested in trying it out.

    Here is a feature comparison of PDFelement and PD Expert

    and a comparison of PDFelement and Mac Preview
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    Some people even to this day take their brand loyalty to near religious levels.

    Macs/macOS has some advantages, no question, but I have to be honest. I'm not missing the ecosystem, I've largely adjusted to the windows world, and while I miss iMessage, I typically have my phone with me.
     
  23. CE3, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019

    CE3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #23
    I also recently attempted to add a Windows laptop to my setup - First a Spectre x360, and then a X1E. Both are good laptops. I think the Spectre x360 is probably better suited for people transitioning from Mac to Windows. The display was my favorite, text was super sharp and easy to read, and the battery life was solid.

    But I got a good deal on a new MacBook Pro and I’m happy to be back. Software and hardware are better integrated. Even with less RAM (16 instead 32) and a slower CPU (8750 instead of 8850) than the X1E, Photoshop & Luminar (two programs I use a lot) are much snappier and more fluid. Windows has a nice Photos app, but every photo of mine that I’d click on would be blurry for 10-15 seconds before loading, so it doesn’t work properly, and it’s constantly putting together these AI collections of my images and there’s no way to turn it off.

    Windows 10 isn't a bad OS, I used it for many years and have no regrets about giving it another try because it reminded me why I ended up switching everything to Mac and iOS and solidified that these are the platforms I choose to be on now. I have lots of little (and some big) issues with Windows 10, and they add up I guess.

    There are also lots of things I’d like to see Apple change in the future, too. More user upgradable machines is a big one. But the display, the build quality, the speakers, the battery life, and the resale value of the MacBook on top of it running an OS I prefer (+ software like Final Cut and Logic) ultimately make it the better experience for me.
     
  24. derekamoss macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #24
    Switching over and learning Windows 10 is a lot harder than it was when I switched. I switched to a Surface during Windows 8 and when it comes to 2 in 1's tablets and touch screens, it was so much more intuitive than MacOS, iOS, Windows 7 and Windows 10. I know a lot of people hated on Windows 8 but that's because they didn't understand it. I wish able would have bought some of these gestures into iOS because it would be so much more natural. Watch this video and see. If Windows 8 came out now instead of years ago I think a lot more people would have loved it now that tablets with desktop OS's are mainstream.
    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...00FDB753D8FFA192235D00FDB753D8FF&&FORM=VDRVRV
    --- Post Merged, Mar 2, 2019 ---
    I used to be that way when I was a teenager lol. Apple was my religion!
     
  25. burgman macrumors 68000

    burgman

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #25
    Your experience with Windows is more about you. The obvious point of being more productive using what you know vs being new to another system isn’t points for MacOS. For me, a major pain with Windows 10 is the system upgrade process especially after buying new to me device that has been available for awhile. The sheer number of updates is amazing, and you have to manually check even though the system says all is good in the beginning. Use what works, for me I moved from Windows to Mac after Windows Vista, gave Windows 10 a try after two keyboards. After the required learning curve, I have no reason to go back, but who can know the future.
     

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38 February 26, 2019