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

windowstomac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 23, 2011
274
66
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...
 
Last edited:

Queen6

macrumors G3
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
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,935
33,918
Boston
I'm insanely relieved to be back with Apple
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'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..
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

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

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,705
9,457
Prescott Valley, AZ
...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.
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,348
4,315
Highlands Ranch, CO
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 **** :)
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
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 **** :)
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
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: kazmac and Mendota

StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
2,280
3,760
Earth
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...

I know that feel, OP.


Welcome back! ;)
 

windowstomac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 23, 2011
274
66
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...
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 0989382 and LizKat

Mendota

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2019
393
786
Omaha
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...
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.
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,348
4,315
Highlands Ranch, CO
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.
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 :)
 

kazmac

macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
8,989
7,149
Any place but here or there....
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 **** :)
Are you building your own PC desktop, or is there is a pre-made you’re looking at?
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,348
4,315
Highlands Ranch, CO
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.
 

mrex

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,321
1,394
europe
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).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mendota

Queen6

macrumors G3
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.
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
 
  • Like
Reactions: OdT22 and Mendota

LizKat

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2004
6,625
35,801
Catskill Mountains
It's all been a rather expensive exercise...
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 0989382

windowstomac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 23, 2011
274
66
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.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 0989382

c0ppo

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2013
1,659
2,944
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.
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.
 

Never mind

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2018
539
543
Dunedin, Florida
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.
 

Frankied22

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2010
1,747
511
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 0989382

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,348
4,315
Highlands Ranch, CO
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.
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
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,935
33,918
Boston
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.
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.
 

CE3

macrumors 68000
Nov 26, 2014
1,568
2,486
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.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: kazmac and 0989382

derekamoss

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
1,119
721
Houston, TX
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
[doublepost=1551562230][/doublepost]
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.
I used to be that way when I was a teenager lol. Apple was my religion!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mendota

burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
2,083
1,559
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.
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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.