MacBook vs. Surface Pro 3?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by stanw, May 1, 2015.

  1. stanw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    Yes I know this is a Mac enthusiast forum, though it seems many people here are open to other platforms. I've been looking for a light weight computer and was considering a Surface Pro 3 though the new MacBook just came out. I Currently have an iMac and a MacBook pro, an iPad air 2 and I use a Note4, and was only considering the surface for the light weight and stylus. My concern with the MacBook is how long it will remain relevant based on the hardware specs. Can someone who understands hardware give me an idea of how Surface pro 3 compares to the MacBook?

  2. tskwara macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    I have a Retina MacBook, 2015 13" MacBook Pro, Surface Pro 3, iMac 5K, and Galaxy Note 4. The iMac is incredible and serves me well for day-to-day tasks using Adobe CC, 3D CAD/CAM, Xcode, etc. -happy camper for sure. The Surface is a pleasure to use, with the pen being an important feature for me. The Note 4 is quite mice and I'm thrilled with its pen capabilities as well. The MacBook pro is shared by the family for school work, and gaming.

    As for the MacBook - the plan is to have an ultra light personal Mac with me as I travel with my work-issued MacBook Pro. While I've only had the rMB for a couple days, I'm not as comfortable with it yet as I expected to be. Not sure why, but will give it some time. I will say the SP3 feels really comfortable, especially with the latest Office 2016 preview onboard. Its tempting to just stay with the SP3 for personal use while traveling...
  3. macguy360 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2011
    I own a 27" iMac, 13" rMBP, iPad Air 2, iPad mini and I will be buying a Surface 3 next week. I think the Surface 3 shows a lot of promise for being more portable than the Surface Pro 3. The size and weight are just right and the battery life is really good. Performance is also good with the new 14nm atom processor.
  4. tskwara macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    I checked out the Surface 3 and can feel the delta in performance compared with SP3 - similar to that between rMB and rMBP.
  5. jev425 macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I'm on the edge of ordering the surface 3 with the stylus. I think its a good balance of everything for a decent price. I would be using for school as well so the note taking comes in handy. Also been looking to upgrade my 2010 MacBook Pro to something new. At home my Mac mini i7 has kept me happy for a few years now and still works as new
  6. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro? Seems like more of an Apple to apples comparison.
  7. Maven1975 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Google this...

    Surface Pro 3 Thermal Throttling
  8. jev425, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    jev425 macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I have seen the issue with the surface pro 3 but I'm looking at the surface 3 that's being released for sale next week. The surface would only be for school purposes not a MacBook replacement so I don't need something with high specs. If I did replace my MacBook it would be a brand new MacBook or MacBook Pro
  9. thewusman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2013
    My i5 Surface Pro 3 has never throttled once. Not even while playing Civ 5 for hours on end. Firmware upgrades have all but eliminated the issue on the i7 models.

    That being said, I'm still curious to get an rMP and compare to my SP3.

    I find the SP3 form factor excellent, but slightly too heavy for lots of note taking with the stylus, which was my main reason for getting it. There is screen glare in meeting rooms with fluorescent lighting (almost all rooms these days) which also makes it slightly annoying to squint at the screen trying to find the perfect "angle" to start writing. Just my observation.

    That being said, the ability to sign documents digitally, review PDF's and add annotations with ink from your "digital" pen really is a game changer.

    If I sold my SP3 I think I'd miss that immensely. You really can do without a printer and paper.

    Perhaps the smaller and lighter Surface 3 with atom will be the perfect note taking and digital notebook tool.
  10. Skylitfly, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

    Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2014

    For around 1500€ price tag you'll get rMB with 1,2Ghz Core M, 8Gb of ram and 512Gb of storage.

    For the same price you'll get Surface Pro 3 with Core i5, 8Gb of ram and 256Gb of storage. (Note: TypeCover included for the price.)

    So for the same price rMB offers you twice the storage amount, while Surface Pro 3 offers you slightly more powerful cpu.

    rMB and Surface Pro 3 weights around the same when TypeCover is attached to the Surface Pro 3.

    rMB has slightly better screen according to tests. Thought it's very likely that you will never notice the difference.

    rMB is infinitely more sexy device in terms of hardware design. It's beautiful.

    Personally I would go for rMB but the decision is up to you.
  11. Geert76 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2014
    the Netherlands

    you should double check that price tag for the rMB 1,3GHZ and 512gb storage again. No way it will cost 1500 euro. You can add at least 300 euro with that ;)
  12. Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2014
    I meant 1.2Ghz. :D
  13. thewusman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2013
    rMB has no digitizer or multi touch layer built into the screen, and is not a touch screen device with active stylus.

    I actually think MS have created something amazing given that fact in the current form factor.

    SP3 turns many heads, I can assure of that. People constantly stop to ask me about it.

    No denying the beauty of the rMB though.
  14. DanielNTX macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2005
    I'll trade somebody my new Surface Pro 3 - i7 256GB SSD with 8GB of ram for a 1.2 512GB in Gold.
  15. rajivhifi macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2014

    My company has a mixed group of user using the Surface and MacBooks. I use a macbook. They use the Surface mainly for Office suite of products which my Macbook has as well. The biggest difference is I see their Surfaces and laptops crashing left right and center with viruses, malware and ransomware, while mine cruises along with no anti-virus. Please don't consider this as signs of in-fallacy but I have owned a mac for a long and have not had an issue. It just mean something.

    Unless you are afraid of the learning curve, I would say go with the mac. You will save money in the long run on replacement cost, anti-virus software and backup software.
  16. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    This seems a pretty simple calculus to me. Buy the Surface if you value the stylus. Buy the MacBook if you don't need a stylus and want the better keyboard and trackpad.
  17. thewusman, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

    thewusman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2013
    What on earth do they install on their surfaces ?

    Never had malware, only run MS defender, and have full office 2013, Power BI, SQL server, VPN services, Lync, Adobe CS and many other apps installed. Not one BSOD or crash in over 5 months ...

    I'd say the image your IT department has deployed is unsuitable if their surfaces are crashing a lot or they haven't installed all the firmware updates. And as for malware - YMMV but it's usually user stupidity, MS has locked Win 8.1 down well for most use cases.



    Also, Surface trackpad (typecover) is good but tiny, and that's a weakness.

    Mac trackpads are the best in the business, and the rMB has the new force touch trackpad which dare I say makes up for the lack of touchscreen interaction.
  18. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    His post smells like typical made up fanboy BS.
  19. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Wait for the Surface Pro 4 later this summer.

    The contest will be over!:eek:
  20. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Very possibly as the Surface Pro 4 looks to be very promising, even the current Surface Pro 3 is an interesting proposition, given the performance, physical footprint and usage scenario`s.

  21. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    From the rumors I have read all of my boxes will be ticked. Two USB3 sockets and a SD card reader with a full i7 quad core processor and cellular to boot. They are just rumors so we will see.

    I have used the Surface Pro 3 and it is very close and yet still a little far from replacing my laptop for out in the field use.
  22. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    Full i7 quad cores you say. Interesting considering even the i3 throttled like crazy. I don't think they will get a quad core i7 into a surface pro 4.
  23. dexterbell macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2015
    The SP3 with 8GB RAM and 256 SSD is the same price as the MacBook, then add on another $130 for that garbage plastic keyboard. The Keyboard, and especially the trackpad are a joke, its like a toy. That alone prevented me from seriously considering it once I used it for 20 minutes, ugh. The SP3 as a tablet is too large and awkward to be used comfortably as a tablet and the speakers suck. Not to mention the design and build quality are nowhere near as good compared to the MB, no thanks.
  24. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    This is why I switched back to Mac five years ago. Got tired of my PC laptops needing replaced after a year because they were so corrupted that they ran like ****. I had one HP last two years then the HD died.

    My daughter is still plugging away w/ my 10' MBA, my wife on the 11' MBA, and my 13' MBA is running just great. No issues what so ever. No virus', no virus' mitigation software that doesn't seem to do anything but slow down your PC while it becomes infected anyway. No defraging, no nightly malware/virus programs. They just work. :apple:
  25. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    No chance of quad core CPU's in the SP4. It will be 15w dual core i5 & i7.

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