Is a Surface Pro 4 i5/8GB/256GB SSD for 850€ a good deal?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Sensamic, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Sensamic, Nov 15, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016

    Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    On a local second hand shop there's a great deal I believe for a Surface Pro 4 with i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and the keyboard included for 850€, but without the pen. The Surface looks in great condition.

    I just sold an Air 13 inch 2015 base because the screen wasn't good enough anymore. Had it for 9 months and it was great for couch web surfing, YouTube, etc.

    I'm looking now for a nice replacement: a tablet, another laptop (but with QHD screen), etc.

    The Surface Pro 4 could be used as a 3x1 for me: laptop, tablet and desktop connected to a monitor. The price is very appealing. It's 1175€ new for the same model, but without the keyboard. I'm saving 400€, because I'd have to pay 50€ for the pen. I'd like to try that although I'm not an artist.

    But I know the Surface Pro 4 has had a lot of problems and issues. On Amazon I read many issues. I like MacOS more, but it's becoming too expensive, although apple's computers can last a long time. I'm still using a late 2009 27 inch iMac as my main computer. It's awesome and very reliable.

    I'm scared of returning to Windows and seeing a lot of annoying issues. I can solve most of them, but don't want to. I want something that just works, for a long time.

    The 3x1 of the Surface is so attractive. I could make it my main computer and take it with me always! Use it in the couch or bed as a tablet, for example.

    My main concern is that: all the issues of Windows 10 or the Surface Pro 4. Will it be updated to the next Windows updates for the next 7 years like my iMac, which has received MacOS updates since 2009? How long does Microsoft support their Surface?

    If I went the Apple route again I would probably spend way way more. A Macbook 12 is nice for the couch but underpowered to make it my next desktop too. A Macbook Pro 13 2016 es too expensive. I want something light and thin.

    I also think the iMac can be used as an external monitor via DisplayPort. The 2009 model can. So, I was thinking, could I connect the Surface Pro 4 to the iMac via DisplayPort and use the iMac as the monitor? In theory I could, right?

  2. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    What concerns do you have? I've found that 99.9% of "concerns" about windows (or really anything on these forums) are simply that a user needs time to get used to a different system. I've had my surface pro 4 for almost a year, and had a surface pro 3 before that and had very little issues with them. Not no issues, I've had some, but no more than any other piece of technology. As for windows it's pretty awesome and I have very few issues with it, but once again if you aren't used to it you have to give it time to grow on you. I use my older SP3 as my work "desktop" and I love it. It's docked and I run 2 4k monitors off of it, routinely run a ton of programs at the same time with no slowdowns, and can simply pop it off the dock to use as a tablet whenever I want.

    In relation to updates, the SP4 is a full PC so you can upgrade it to whatever windows you want. The OS won't outgrow the hardware in a long long time, if ever. Windows 10 runs on PC's from a decade or more past with ease and actually runs much better than whatever windows was out when that outdated hardware was released. Heck you can even install OSx on it, although it's a hack and has issues, but it can be done. I'm not sure if Linux in any of it's forms can be installed, but I wouldn't be surprised if it could.

    I know you are not in the US, but they are predicting some massive sales on the SP4 for black Friday. Microsoft is supposed to discount the i5/256gb SP4 by $430, and Best Buy may have even better discounts. Maybe you can find a good discount on cyber Monday, which I would assume applies to you since it's over the internet.
  3. Sensamic thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    My main concerns are all the negative reviews from users mainly, due to hardware and software issues with the Pro 4, as seen in some forums and amazon reviews in the product page.

    I've been using Macs since 2009 and I love them way more than Windows, but they are getting more expensive, so I'm looking at Windows alternatives, which offer great value for price, like the Pro 4, which I could use as a desktop like you, a laptop and a tablet, all in one. That sounds really really cool, and I would spend a lot less money than if I were to buy a new desktop (whether it would be another iMac or Windows desktop), a new tablet and a laptop. I get those three options for way less money than I would if I bought them separately.

    Going back to Windows kind of worries me, since I remember having a lot of issues with Windows Vista, 7, etc. Mac OS just works great for me, without any issues in years, but I do know how to solve most issues, just don't want the hassle anymore.

    Does the Pro 4 get hot easily or loud with the fans? Which configuration you have?

    I read about the Black Friday deals yesterday. Here in Spain some places do make discounts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but I don't think they are as big as in the US. I was thinking of waiting, but then saw this Surface Pro i5/8/256 + keyboard for 850 and not even Black Friday deals will get that close, although it's second hand.
  4. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    The M3 SP4 base model is around $549 at BB and includes a keyboard. Tempting cause it is all I really need.
  5. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    The hardware had some issues early on, arguably very bad issues with battery life and sleep. IMO they've been fully solved, I have zero hardware issues on my SP4. With that said you need to temper your expectations with battery life, it's no ipad, there is a definite trade off there. If you are just web browsing, looking at pics, can fit your life into apps and such then an ipad isn't a bad choice at all. But for me I needed a true PC so the SP4 it was. As for Windows, I have very few complaints, most have been addressed as Microsoft updates windows. It truly shines in a tablet environment, and I know when I say that many disagree with me. But I've found most who disagree are talking about a windows version that was around 1-2 years ago, not today's version after the anniversary update. I've always found Microsoft's approach to their OS FAR superior to Apple in that Microsoft is making their OS work in all paradigms, whether it's desktop, laptop, tablet or phone, without the need to dumb anything down. Although I'd opine that continuum is dumbing things down similar to iOS, but I'm hoping that's a necessary evil until we can get x86 on a phone.

    My SP4 doesn't get hot, although I wouldn't doubt it gets a bit hot on things like initial setup and indexing where it's going crazy. The fan rarely goes on, but it does sometimes, mainly with poorly optimized pages like Macrumors and heavy file transfers. The fan is very quiet though and I hardly notice it, I sometimes wonder at those who go nuts at the fan sound because it's really not a big deal in the least. If fan is a concern you can always consider the i3 version which has no fan.

    As I've said before, you really just have to adjust your expectations and consider it will take some time to get used to a different OS.
  6. nviz22 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2013
    I would be careful with buying a 2nd hand SP4. They had a flickering problem with the device. Might not carry a warranty if sold second hand, depends on the EU and UK laws.
  7. Sensamic thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    Yesterday I was able to try one in a store. Played with it for half and hour approximately.

    As a tablet it didn't work as good as I expected. After a couple of minutes it felt really heavy. It also got hot fairly easy. Several display error messages/notifications appeared. The touchscreen didn't work really good. I had to touch several times the things I wanted to do, even in tablet mode.

    It definitely isn't as easy to use as a normal iOS or Android tablet. I got a little bit frustrated.

    For some reason the screen wouldn't turn on when connected to the keyboard. Very weird.

    Of course I assume this Surface hasn't been updated since it's there, so many of the issues could now be fixed, but in the end as a tablet it didn't work for me, and I wanted to use it a lot on the couch.

    I'll try it again in a few days, but I think I'll have to look somewhere else for a tablet.
  8. nviz22 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2013
    I think the only Surface Tab worth buying is the M3 or the Atom (Surface 3) model because it's fanless. The others are a lot more susceptible to heat and noise.
  9. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    That's odd, I don't have those issues on my SP4, at least I don't have the touch screen, display errors and heat issues at all. It is a bit heavy, but personally I don't stick out both my arms and suspend my tablets in the air when I'm using them, but that's just me. I love using mine on the couch, and it actually works better for me because I can balance the tablet on the keyboard, with the keyboard resting on my chest if I'm on the couch or in bed. The kickstand also makes it much nicer in bed or on a couch.

    But it sounds like it's not what you are looking for, and you shouldn't spend that amount of money if you won't be satisfied. Lots of nice Android tablets out there, and of course the ipad is very nice, lighter, better battery life and might be what you are looking for. Another option might be the non pro surface, although discontinued you can still find them VERY cheap, no fans, lighter, better battery life.
  10. Sensamic thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    I'm looking for something better than my phone to use in the couch when I don't want to use the desktop. Something with a bigger screen, obviously. I had a MacBook Air and it was great, but the screen was terrible and I just sold it.

    The Surface was a great option because it could be used as a tablet and laptop, and even desktop. But yeah, my experience with it wasn't that great the other day. It wasn't terrible either.

    An iPad is great but iOS is too limited. That's why the Surface was great.

    There are no good Android tablets either right now. Still using my old Nexus 7 2013.

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