Macbook/ Macbook Pro OR Surface Laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chanyitian, May 3, 2017.

  1. chanyitian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    #1
    I currently have a MacBook Air (mid-2012). While it is an amazing computer, it has started to age and I need to get a new computer (for documents/ web browsing etc.)

    I do not see myself getting the Macbook since the screen (12") is way too small, and I really hate that first gen butterfly mechanism keyboard. At the same time, the Macbook Pro is quite overpriced, with a lot of sacrifices.

    (1) Removal of Magsafe
    (2) Ports that require me to spend more money on adapters
    (3) Even if I get the Macbook Pro without the touch bar (which is cheaper), there are only 2 ports

    I am wondering if current MBP users can share their thoughts on

    (1) Whether removal of Magsafe really made a huge difference in the overall experience,
    (2) Whether the MBP is a product that has comparable battery life to the previous generation of MBP (since online reports gave me ranges from 3 hrs to 20 hrs)

    Also wondering if those who have switched to Surface think if those Microsoft computers offer a better experience? (in terms of software, build quality, etc.) Also, which Surface device would you recommend if I want the performance to at least match a Macbook Air?

    The new Surface laptop looks quite nice but the Windows 10S/ 10 Pro situation is also quite confusing. Also had bad experience with Windows many years ago, so have my reservations.

    Not sure what to do since all choices have their tradeoffs
     
  2. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

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    Apr 13, 2017
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    Sweden
    #2
    The so called surface laptop is not a full replacement for a MacBook,the surface is in fact just a tablet using windows,and is more like something between iPad Air 2 and the 12-inch iPad Pro. You could as well buy an iPad Air 2 with a Logitech keyboard...
     
  3. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #3
    If you think that the MBP is too expensive, you'd probably want to skip the Surface Laptop. Its lower-tier hardware for essentially the same price. As to ports: you can get a single USB-C hub for under $100 that will provide you with all the card readers and hubs you might need.

    If you don't want to spend too much money and also don't really want to commit to the cutting edge yet, why not a refurbished 13" MBP from last year?
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #4
    No it isn't, its a full laptop. Are you confusing the Surface Pro with the Surface laptop that was unveiled yesterday?

    2 things, if you need or want to load apps outside of the windows app store, then upgrade to the pro. Secondly you can upgrade to the pro version of windows for free - at least for the remainder of 2017. After that it will cost you 50 bucks.
     
  5. zarathu macrumors regular

    zarathu

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    May 14, 2003
    #5
    Go to the Refurb store at Apple and get a 2015 MBP 15 with a 2.6 ghz, 16 gb ram, 256 gb SSD with full Apple 1 year warranty and available 3 year Applecare. And then you will have everything you need, and way way more than your long on the tooth Air. Also no dongles: 2 TB-2 ports, 2 USB 3, one HDMI, mag power, & camera card. And pay only $1700. This is what you need, unless you have to have the biggest and newest even if you were getting along fine with the Air.
     
  6. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

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    #6
    I tried the surface pro,and I say,that there are much better alternatives in the same price category. If a bit bulkyness is not a problem,you could get a Windows 10 fully functional dell computer cheaper than the surface pro.
     
  7. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    #7
    I love my Surface Pro 4. But it lacks the messaging and photo integration. It's 85% the build quality of an Apple product IMO.

    Anyway, I just bought a Macbook Pro 13" with TB. It's about everything I needed.

    That said I'm not selling the surface pro :)
     
  8. Manatlt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Why are you asking this question in a biased Mac forum? Of course 97% of the responses will be "Get a MacBook!!!"

    I mean, none of us have even seen or touched the Surface Laptop with the naked eye!

    ^
    This post is Complete BS, by the way. Surface Laptop is NOT A TABLET. The clue is in the bloody name of the product.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    The OP was not asking about the Surface Pro, but the Surface laptop.
     
  10. fokmik, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

    fokmik macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    Ok, now this is from a person that hold all the macs and saw/ read all the info about the surface laptop,here it is
    The full spec surface laptop is same price with the exact config macbook pro 13" without touchbar
    You will probably pay and not use that touchscreen, my god, what a bad experience,with that wobble screen.
    You have 1 port, the usb 3.1 for surface, while on the macbook and MBP you get the future usb-c type connector, and probably in fall Macbook will get tb3 native also with coffelake
    IF you want/need win10 PRO, YOU WILL NEVER can go back to 10s officially so be prepared for that(another very strange decision). All the macbooks now with current macOS sierra updates, get 9-10 hours (lets throw the air since is a dying product). With surface laptop you will get around 12 hours with win 10s and with 10 pro less than 10 hours. Surface laptop has bluetooth 4.0
    The keyboard has a flex when you press on it thanks to" its not a best design decision" for that texture around keyboard, that, without any cut out to open the lid, you will have to put your finger and drag that lid and you will always put little pressure on that texture fabric that in time, probably after 500 openings will wear off. Thats a negative point from design and practicality point of view to have 2 separate materials united and NOT make a cut out for opening the lid
    When you have those under keyboard speakers at higher volume, i understand the whole base is vibrating making typing and resting your hands a little bit uncomfortable
    Now on the pro side if you go surface laptop, is that you have a larger screen than 12" Macbook and almost the same as 13" MBP. Since you said you are not going to update your accessories to usb-c but get dock/dongles to support your older one,than surface laptop type a is a pro for you
    You get skylake i5 or i7 (only i5 you can configure in all the colours,i7 is only for plat option),the macbook will have lower power cpu ,but on par with MBP.
    I suggest,since these surface laptop is a first gen product with first gen win10S, to wait a while to see the eventually problems,and until fall, we hope we will get the updated macs as well.
     
  11. costeta macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #11
    Lies, lies, damn lies!
     
  12. richinaus, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

    richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    #12
    I would suggest the new Surface Laptop would be a nice alternative to the MacBook Air, and I also find the 12" screen too small on a MacBook. 13" is the sweet spot for me.
    Personally I would look to the higher spec machines and upgrade it to Win 10 for free.

    Just a different operating system and depends if you already use office apps or Mac pages etc.
    if office and not too tied into the Mac ecosystem then have a good look at the MS Surface range.

    For me, the only thing I miss when using windows is the messaging. Nothing else really springs to mind.
    As others have said, this is a Mac forum so you will find bias, however I think buy the right tools for your usage, be it windows or Mac, and they can also work in tandem well.

    Having said all that, I still bought a 13" MBP TB over the surface book.
     
  13. ETechMaster2002 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2016
    #13
    The MacBook Pro is a great laptop. The removal of MagSafe has not really change anything for me at all. The battery life did drop about half and hour to one hour, but it is still okay! :)

    For your purposes of web browsing, documents and other low purpose things, the latest MacBook Air would be fine. It's not like the MBA is slow. The screen is not the best and has an old design but it's not like the thing is ugly. You can also go towards the 2015 MacBook Pro 13''. It has a great processor, has MagSafe, legacy ports that don't require an adapter, etc. The only issue I see if 128 GB of storage, something I believe is horrible for 2017, but it all depends on the user. For documents, PDF, presentations, some photos and videos - it MAY or MAY NOT be fine.

    As for the Surface lineup, I don't have a Surface Laptop in my hands right now - however, one thing to note. It is the same price as the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air can download full applications from the internet, Surface Laptop can't unless you shell out an extra $50 I believe for the privilege of downloading apps not from the Windows Store. The Mac App Store is crap, the Windows store is **** (excuse my language). I've used a Surface Pro 3 and 4 before and based on the Windows experience, it's okay, I can handle it. In fact, I like it. However, I've used apps outside of the Windows Store before (which I believe that means you can't download Google Chrome or Firefox unless if you shell out that $50). I also used Edge and Explorer, both are okay (even Internet Explorer, but Edge is far superb).

    Anyways ... MacBook Air or 2015 MacBook Pro in my opinion. However as for Windows, Dell XPS or Surface Pro lineup.
     
  14. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #14
    It sounds like the 2015 MacBook Pro may be a better suit for your needs than the current 2016. Both are really good computers. I am happy with my specimens from both generations and highly recommend either or.

    No experience with the Surface laptop, but my experiences with the Surface Pro 3 has been outstanding. It is a great system, and IMO Microsoft did with the Surface Pro 3/4 what they had previously failed to do with the original and gen 2 products, and what Apple failed to do with the iPad Pro.
     
  15. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

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    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    Jamaica
    #15
    With a Touch Cover, its a full laptop, has backlit keyboard, can run full desktop apps, includes two USB A ports. I have a Surface Pro 3 and I love mine. Not an iPad Air equivalent. You can have multiple apps open at the same time, run background tasks easily.
     
  16. Manatlt macrumors 6502a

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    London, UK
    #16
    If you have $1000...
    The only option you can get in Apple is a MacBook Air with its outdated specs and a poor non-Retina screen.

    Surface Laptop, even with its minor flaws is better than Air by a mile.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #17
    I've owned a Surface Pro 3 and a now a Surface Book and I agree. The machines are high quality, well designed and built. The screen on my SB is downright gorgeous. Its a great machine to be sure.
     
  18. Mathias Denichi macrumors 6502

    Mathias Denichi

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    Jun 21, 2013
    #18
    I wouldn't go for the Surface Laptop, it's going to be an experiment just like the chrome book pixel, and will probably be discontinued in 2-3 years.

    The only reason to go for Microsoft hardware over Apple hardware is the hybrid use case of a 2 in 1, which would relegate to SP4 and the Surface Book. I have tried both, and while great, don't come up to par with what I want, I think the next version will refine that.

    However, the 13" MacBook Pro I have now, is how you say, meh. It's ok, but I've already had to send it in for 3 repairs: left speaker blowout, keyboard, and thermal issue with applied paste.

    Right now, I wouldn't recommend either, it's a growth period for the mobile sector. If you need one now, I suggest getting a used Surface Book i5 8gb/256gb for a laptop, a used 2015 MacBook retina if you want a more mobile option; and if you want to replace and iPad and MacBook Pro, get a used SP4 with similar specs to the Surface Book, runs around $750-900 between swappa and amazon.

    You can flip it if you are comfortable with selling when a new one comes out this fall from either company.
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    Just reviewed the new MS Surface laptops at Microsoft's web site.

    Looks like MS doesn't believe much in the future of USB-c, because the new models seem to have only USB3 "A" type ports...
     
  20. Mathias Denichi macrumors 6502

    Mathias Denichi

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    Jun 21, 2013
    #20
    I don't think Microsoft knows what it believes. It's also keeping windows phone users in the dark without an alternative, which is iPhone currently.
     
  21. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #21

    I think the Surface Laptop is a great and beautiful computer. HOWEVER, beware the hidden costs and issues. These may or may not be important to you - so I am not telling you NOT to get a Surface Laptop. But you should be aware of things:

    1. There is just one USB-A port on that thing and one mini DisplayPort. That's it. No USB-C.
    2. If you want more ports or multiple screens - prepare to pay $199 for the Surface Dock thingy.
    3. The Windows 10 S that comes with the Laptop runs only Windows Store apps and cannot change default browser from Edge. Good news: you can upgrade (at least for now) to full Windows 10 for free. And you really should.
    4. Microsoft battery estimates were never even close, however, this time it's even worse - they are only given for Windows 10 S. Windows 10 Pro will have a worse battery life (not sure how much). I think it will still be great - but be careful.
    5. The base configuration comes with 4Gb RAM. You probably want at least 8, and maybe a CPU upgrade. Costs will rise - how much, not sure, but take that into account.

    With all that said - is it better than a MacBook Pro 13" non-TB? Is it worse? No idea. It's up to you. I'm sure the build is amazing and they say that you can lift the screen on the Surface Laptop with just one hand - just like on a MBP. I'd say from a cost standpoint and hardware standpoint - they are almost similar.

    So the main question is: Windows or macOS? And which one do you *like* more. It's important to like premium computers, otherwise just get something cheap.

    To answer your questions:

    (1) To be honest - it did make a difference, but for the better. I know, I was surprised too. I love how I can charge it from either side, I love how I can detach the cable from the charger when I need to pack, I love how I can use my MBP charger to charge my Switch. MagSafe is cool, but I like this more.
    (2) Battery life on my 15" is slightly better than on my previous Retina MBP 15". I'd call that comparable. The nonTB model has even better battery life.

    Here's my advice: both seem to be really great computers. See if you can try them out. Buy whatever you like more. You probably can't make a big mistake there - unless macOS is really important and you're invested in Apple ecosystem, but then you don't have much of a choice anyway.

    In other words, listen to your gut and enjoy your choice :)

    --- Post Merged, May 4, 2017 ---
    Sorry to hear that, but you just had some (very) bad luck. Forums gather people with issues, but a vast majority of users have none. I wouldn't take anecdotal evidence as reason to buy or not buy.

    With that said, both the Surface Pro and the MacBook Pro from 2015 are great computers. Still, I prefer the new MBPs to both, but that's just my opinion.
     
  22. JMacHack macrumors 6502

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    Mar 16, 2017
    #22
    Owner of a 2016 15" tbMBP with Radeon 455 here, I don't know about the base model but here's my two cents:
    I can say with full confidence that no, the removal of MagSafe did not chance my experience, but I'm always super cautious with my computers.
    Heavy use gets me between 3-4 hours time, light I could see about 7-8. (Heavy use is having mail, photoshop, illustrator, safari, finder and Openoffice open at the same time with multiple tabs)

    In my opinion, the Surface Laptop is the inferior product, even when spec'd up. The screen is worse, it runs Windows 10 (Maybe you're more OS-agnostic than I am, so this might not be a drawback to you), it's covered in leather for some reason, and IMO, has a worse keyboard (again, ymmv). It's something I would not consider.

    Now maybe none of these things are drawbacks to you, that's perfectly acceptable, but in my experience the main benefit of Windows laptops were the cheaper price per spec, and removing that I just see a laptop with more drawbacks for the same price as a Mac.
     
  23. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    #23
    It would be nice if it were covered in leather, but it's actually an Italian ultra suede, known as Alcantara. Basically, a synthetic suede used in car interiors.
     
  24. JMacHack macrumors 6502

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    Mar 16, 2017
    #24
    I didn't know Alcantara wasn't leather, my apologies. But still, I don't really look for fabric on my laptops, maybe for a couch cushion, but not a laptop.
     
  25. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    #25
    No, I am with you 100%. Leather would at least have some appeal. Some spongy synthetic car interior material? Not so much. Sounds like it would be a dust and crumb magnet too.

    But maybe you could hang one of those little pine air fresheners from it? Or really go all 70's super-suede retro with a lava lamp :)
     

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