Macbook 12 M5 vs Surface Pro i5

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by ColdShadow, Jun 4, 2017.

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Macbook 12 M5 vs Surface Pro i5

  1. MacBook

    4 vote(s)
    17.4%
  2. Surface Pro 4

    19 vote(s)
    82.6%
  1. ColdShadow macrumors 6502a

    ColdShadow

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #1
    I have the option to choose between these 2 machines:

    MacBook 12 Inch (2016) M5 8GB 512GB (few months old)
    Surface Pro 4 i5 8GB 256GB (new sale price)

    both around the same price (MacBook being used a few months but like new)

    my usage will be general home use/casual/media consumption/web browsing/email/etc

    currently I use a 2014 MBP for similar use and had various iPads before, but IMO days of dedicated tablet is over.

    have never used Windows 10 but used to be Windows user before switching to Mac 6-7 years ago (Windows 7,XP)

    So which one would you choose?

    Don't really care about 2017 Surface Pro or the upcoming rMB since I don't want to spend more.

    the slowness and low performance of M series CPU and lack of ports on MacBook is a big negative.
    the "lapability",lower end build quality, and battery life of the Surface is also my concern (although I never used one besides trying one in stores)

    and I won't be using it on a desk, mainly while sitting in a couch, casually.
     
  2. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #2
    I have both and the SP4 is a far superior device other than it's Achilles heal of battery endurance at around 6hrs, I'm not sure why you are even questioning build quality

    The SP4 is also compatible with latest MS devices Pen/KB/dial and gives you far greater scope to expand your interests with touch etc should you wish

    The rMB is a fine single purpose device that fills an expensive niche market based around portability in a clamshell format

    As far as lapability goes my wife fines her rMB too hot on her legs and if she uses a pillow it often over heats on just a skype call

    Potentially and at first glance you would think a clamshell is a bit more stable on your lap but it's often the case it sits on the couch arm and is both prone to toppling and overheating IMO.

    The SP4 although can be uncomfortable on the lap without jeans on and typing posture can be awkward at times there is a simple adaptation of use and depending on your posture you can opt for with or without KB when it suits, both you and the SP4 adapt :)

    As you note further connectivity and or expansion options are easier on the SP4 and even mirroring to your smart TV
     
  3. ColdShadow thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ColdShadow

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    #3
    good points..
    I should have added Asus Zen Book 3 to the list too.
     
  4. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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  5. Queen6, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #5
    Owning the Retina MacBook for over two years and using it professionally, it's not disappointed, equally it will likely be replaced by then Surface Pro as long as battery runtime is improved as promised by Microsoft, as the Surface Pro is simply a more powerful and versatile device over Apple's rather basic clamshell notebook.

    Specifically the i5 Surface Pro being fanless, equally I will wait on the reviews by the unbiased. If Microsoft deliver as promised it will be a done deal. I may be swayed by the i7 with 16Gb being highly impressed with the real world performance of my current primary 13" notebook - Surface Book.

    Unfortunately with the demise of my Retina MacBook that will be my last Mac used professionally, equally that's firmly on Apple...

    Q-6
     
  6. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #6
    LOL don't have one of them but the Samsung Book is another to think about as it is a complete package, though I only have the older Tab Pro S which for modest needs is good value IMO
     
  7. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #7
    Looked at the ZenBook 3, similar to the rMB is port constrained, although significantly more powerful. Nice design with a better KB IMHO. Liking the new Surface Pro more as is far more versatile, as long as MS has the battery life sorted.

    Q-6
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #8
    Choosing between the prior generation MB or SP - well for me that's a no brainer the SP. I think you get a better experience and machine for your money.

    I think overall, you'll get more bang for your buck, though as others stated check out the zenbook.
     
  9. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #9
    Same here as Apple is firmly locked into a basic clamshell notebook paradigm, while asking $2K for anything remotely useful, fast becoming a joke. 2 in 1's are not yet in their prime, however they are developing tremendously. Personally my only regret with the Surface Book was not getting one sooner as it's proved to be vastly more usable & productive over Apple's now rather basic approach to the personal computer.

    Q-6
     
  10. eviljack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    #10
    I have a similar dilemma. I'm looking at either the new Surface Pro i5/8GB/256GB ($1999 AUD) and the ntMBP ($2199) i5/8GB/256GB model. Both devices cost exactly the same amount if you factor in the Type Cover for the Surface but Microsoft offers a big discount for students ($1799.10) while Apple only offers a minor one ($2129). I'm waiting on reviews of the i5 Surface first before I put down my money on the device. I want to make sure it does not throttle too much under load. I'd prefer if they left the fan in.

    I will mainly be running Windows since I need it for work docked on my desk to 2 monitors.
     
  11. ColdShadow thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ColdShadow

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    Sep 25, 2013
    #11
    Still undecided.
    I'm still waiting for delivery of the MB I mentioned.
    can't decide whether I should cancel that and get the Surface Pro 4 or just keep it.
    the battery life of the Surface Pro 4 and the whether I can use it comfortably on couch/lap/sitting position is my main concern.
    but I feel it's a much better value and better device compared to M series CPU MB withjust 1 USB-C port on MB (that's really stupid decision by Apple).
     
  12. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

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    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #12
    What about the new Surface Pro? It has a better battery life.

    As for the comfort on couch/lap/sitting position, there are some conflicting reports. My impression is that the kickstand may even make it more firm than a traditional laptop, which may not be very firm depending on the degree it is opened.
     
  13. ColdShadow thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ColdShadow

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #13
    the new Surface Pro is a good option, although I hate that fabric style keyboard and don't like the price point and the fact that it no longer comes with the stylus.not sure if it holds it's value when upgrade is necessary.in short,I think it's overpriced and should be/will become cheaper.

    there is also Huawei Mate X..which is very similar to 12" MacBook but much more powerful and more versatile and minus the hardware flaws of the 12" MacBook (rattling noise issue)

    I'm still looking for an alternative.
    the 12" MacBook has design flaws and so far Apple haven't been able to fix the issue despite replacing the screen and logic board.
     
  14. Queen6, Jun 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #14
    Huawei's MateBook X is really nice and it has a 3:2 aspect ratio display which interests. These are really very well made notebooks credit where credit is due Huawei have done a great job this time. Pricing versus the Surface Pro is another consideration with the MateBook X being significantly cheaper, with over $500 difference between the i5, 8Gb, 256 SSD models once you factor in the Pen & Keyboard...

    Still have reservations with another all USB C notebook, however the MateBook X has two ports and Huawei also provide a HDMI, VGA, USB A & USB C dongle in the box, which certainly helps. Keyboard is much better than my 2015 rMB's offering more key travel.

    Update: Just looking at the MateBook X in detail, very impressed superficially the performance is very good, certainly out gun's my 2015 M5 rMB by a wide margin. Right now I'll very likely replace my rMB with one as there's little if anything negative about the MateBook X being a really well balanced package. Super fluid and certainly the models here in China have zero bloat installed, barring Huawei's own helper application for updates and system health etc.

    I was rather set on another Pen & Touch enabled system as my business traveler, however given my primary 13" is one of the better current 2 in 1's. The MateBook X being a basic clamshell is not too much of a negative, especially given it's performance & portability.


    This ones worth a look, especially around 2:14

     
  15. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #15
    You can use the old SP4 KB with the new SP if you do not like the material and the old pen is cheaper too. Should be able to get a good price on both :)

    Hold it's value is hard to predict and country based, in middle east you almost could not give a Mac away unless it was to a western expat

    The rMB is all about footprint and styling which is why it's niche and expensive for what it is
     
  16. ColdShadow thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ColdShadow

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #16
    I bought the 12" Macbook and I regret it big time due to poor build quality (compared to older MacBooks) and the rattling noise issue which is a design flaw with no fix.

    so I'm even more motivated to buy a Windows alternative since Apple simply doesn't have a problem-free laptop at the moment.

    I think the Surface Pro is not for me it just doesn't suit my needs,I need something very portable and versatile to be used in couch and bed mostly.and it needs to be sleek and good looking.
    Surface Pro suits students best and is best suited for desk use.

    Don't like the design,looks and price of Surface Book / Surface Laptop at all.

    I've considered Dell XPS 13,Asus Zenbook 3 and the new Huawei Matebook X.

    It seems Huawei Matebook X ticks all boxes.

    it looks very high quality and better engineered than the 12" Macbook.

    It's smaller and thinner than the 12" Macbook,yet it has 2 USB-C ports has proper i5 processor with no fan, has finger print scanner and is splash proof.

    my only concern is the re-sale value & depreciation.

    but the Space Grey Mate Book X is in my opinion THE BEST Windows Ultra Book Laptop and a better machine than 12" MacBook.
     
  17. Queen6, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    Came to the same conclusion and i've used the Retina MacBook for over two years professionally. I already looked and tried the MateBook X, will very likely purchase one soon. As stated ticks all the boxes, the few areas where the Retina MacBook has advantage are well and truly surpassed by the MateBooks significant advantages.

    Too me Huawei got everything right that Apple got wrong, they also listen to their customers and are not sat on a mountain of arrogance. Think next visit to the Huawei Store might just pull the trigger, although I am considering waiting on one out of Hong Kong with native english language option for the OS. More likely i'll purchase locally as the Huawei Store's offer excellent service & support.

    Was settling on the new Surface Pro, however after seeing the MateBook X in person, the build quality, performance, pricing and given I will be retaining my Surface Book, the need for secondary system with Pen & Touch rather diminished. Locally I can source a i5, 8Gb, 256SSD for around $1100 or the $1300 for the 512 (with tax, pricing is currently the same in HK). For this class of machine and also being passively cooled don't think the i7 is worth the additional cost.

    FWIW the models I have tested here in China have zero bloat, with Huawei only adding their own helper App for updates system health etc. Office 2016 is included, however I didn't take notice if this is a trial or the "full fat" Huawei have also launched the 15" MateBook D which is also another interesting business focused notebook.

    On a side note, on the retirement of my rMB this will be the first time in over a decade I have not used the Mac professionally. Solely due to Apple's poor design decisions of late...

    Q-6

     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #18
    Left the Huawei Store today with new MateBook X :cool: Officially out of Apple professionlly, not willing to waste any more time with them; never ending promises, absolute denial of any issue to the cost of the customer, penny pinching at every instance, viewing their their customers, especially the professionals as little more than "Cash Cows"

    MateBook X, has a 2 year international warranty, every notebook I tried in the store the Keyboard was absolutely consistent and IMHO a vast improvement over the 2017 rMB, comes with a with a usable USB C mini dock in the box, not forced to purchase multiple dongles.

    Also visited the Apple Store today, with the intention of looking specifically at the new 2017 15" MBP tried 3-4 different 15" MBP's every notebook had a subtle difference to the key actuation across the keyboard, nor was it uniform from notebook to notebook.

    Staff were also noticeably uncomfortable, when I booted up Terminal and ran multiple instances of "yes > /dev/null &" to load up the CPU 100% 15 minutes in, again I could feel a slight difference between the system under load and the ones idling. Difference is subtle, however definitely exists. I can feel it as I carry some nerve damage in my right hand so when it's acting up can be painful, as it is now. So it's easy for me sense if the keyboards keys are weighted slightly different. Is now of no surprise to me that we are seeing multiple posts of keyboard issues on the MBP forum after some period of use.

    At this price point, inconsistent keyboards with a superficially higher failure rate, port solution that I don't care for on this class of notebook, no sale. I'll look to the windows 10 realm for a solution for this class of notebook. Had the the keyboard been improved over the 2016 model I think I would have gone for one, as I do see value in retaining one OS X system for professional use, sadly not the case.

    Q-6

     
  19. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #19
    The MateBook X looks really nice!

    Keep us updated on you usage of it..
     
  20. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #20
    Will do, got to get grips with it, as is in Chinese will initially slow me down, equally here in CN is MateBook X comes with full, not trial Office 2016 rather sweetened the deal. Initial thoughts super fast and fluid, literal decimates my M5 512 2015 rMB, can really see the difference having the "full fat" i5 versus the Core M. Keyboard is a joy unlike the garbage Apple is currently churning out. Too soon to say for the rest, will likely look to set the MateBook X up in 2-3 days once I have the time.

    Not all perfect mind, one port is solely for charging the other data/AV, equally at least Huawei are smart enough to provide two ports on the "off chance" you may need to use the the notebook heavily with multiple peripherals.

    Also looked at the MateBook D, rather a middle of the road 15" display turned me right off, looks to be TN panel with low brightness best guess 240/250 NITS, and colour shift. MateBook X is undoubtedly a premium product, even the unboxing experience is cool. As you open the lid of the box it raises the notebook for easy access. These small touches show someone was really thing about the user experience. Same so far transpires to the MateBook X itself. Refreshing to deal with a company that puts the customer first, not the company...

    Q-6
     
  21. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #21
    That's awesome it came with Office.. Heck that's like a $70 perk if it's the personal version.. My Surface Laptop also came with a free year.. I activated it and it instantly extended my current subscription by that 12 months...
     
  22. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #22
    Yes I noticed that on my sisters SL :) Lenovo also tend to give a free year too

    Now you need the MS Arc Mouse in grey to go with the SL :)

    I got one as it folds flat for travelling and switches on and off on opening/closing :)
    --- Post Merged, Jul 5, 2017 ---
    It's funny how different users views can be re SP there's not much around that competes for portability and adaptability its a shame that the KB is not also BT but given these are cheap using it in tent mode and a separate KB is cool in many situations. As for students comments LOL the top tier have very reasonable specs and the surface dial/pen options make it even more versatile

    The SB and SL are premium devices you pay for this but yes some aspects eg KB cover or hinge on SB can put some off

    Huawei are defiantly up and coming :)
     

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