MacBook vs Surface Pro 4

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jfriedman8, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. jfriedman8 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I am going to be returning the SP4 I got yesterday most likely for the Retina Macbook. I really wanted something with a full OS with pen input for taking notes at meetings, but outside of that that SP4 didnt "wow" me, plus its HEAVY and awkward to be using for an extended period of time as I found out yesterday. If it were the same size as the Surface 3 at 10 inches, I think it would be a better bet.

    Anyway, with the MB being a smaller footprint and still being just 2 lbs (not a fan of the stand on the SP4) I was curious if anyone else has made the same switch and if the Core M processor was a limiting factor for you running Word, Excel, Safari, and Photoshop at once?

    MB: 11.04 x 7.74 x .52 in
    SP4: 11.50 x 7.93 x .33 in

    Thanks!
     
  2. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #2
    I have a Retina MacBook running Windows 10 and the processor is not a factor at all while using those types of programs. I run Word, Excel, Outlook Email/Calendar, Skype, Photoshop, and Dropbox all at once all the time, it's lightning quick, nothing lags. Those who have an issue with performance are those who want to run processor-heavy games or compile very large 4K videos.

    Can't comment on the apps you refer to under OSX because I'm a MS guy, but for Windows 10 you'll be very happy. I bought my RMB as a replacement for my Sony Vaio, it's simply the best Windows ultrabook on the market today, most people don't realize this.

    BJ
     
  3. jfriedman8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    How is your battery life with it?

    I have the HP Spectre x360 and LOVE it for non-work stuff and games and get about 10 hours with Win 10.
     
  4. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #4
    Excellent.

    On a 16 hour international flight in airplane mode I was able to watch 8 hours worth of movies and TV shows and still have 2 hours of battery to spare when I landed.

    In a typical business day, I can run wi-fi and apps like Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint and Firefox and get about 8 hours of usage on battery with the screen at 50% brightness (Windows 10 has a low power mode that is excellent and covers the last 2 of those 8 hours).

    You thinking of using Boot Camp and running Windows 10 or are you going to run it on OSX? My metrics are solely from Windows...

    BJ
     
  5. jfriedman8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Probably 80% OS X 20% Windows.

    Figure I'll get a little more in OS X, right?
     
  6. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #6
    If you are a laptop, laptop type of guy then the SP4 stand may annoy you or take longer to get accustomed too but otherwise you will be giving up quite a lot of additional functionality. The KB travel is better on the SP4 over the rMB else most other spec's are not really dissimilar other than the touch related ones on the SP4 for the M series

    The rMB is the best clamshell ultra out there and if it's more comfortable for your use then go for it providing your needs are not heavily dependant on processing power or graphis
     
  7. UAV macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2015
    #7
    the RMB is not the best clamshell ultra out. even the new low end dell 13" xps with the infinity disply is better, better screen, better battery life, better materials.
     
  8. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #8
    The Dell seems a nice laptop all be it a little bigger and heavier, biggest problem I see with the almost comparable M3 is that it only comes with 4GB mem and largest SDD is 128GB.

    Dell then force you in to an I5 to get options comparable with the rMB (eg 8gb and 516GB SDD) which is a shame as it opens up a much greater field of comparisons on too many personal preferences on numerous devices

    Additionally one has to look at the big picture and I simply trust Apple support and service over Dell which IMO out weighs your suggestions/opinion of better :)
     
  9. UAV macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2015
    #9
    i guess if you really need "support" then to be honest you should not be looking at a high end device.
     
  10. SteveJUAE, Nov 15, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #10
    I would think every one appreciates good technical support for new updates etc which is essential for so called high end devices or perhaps you are an exception or may not consider this in your purchase considerations, however this is entirely up to you and if Dell is your preference that's fine, it's just not mine.
     
  11. Jetcat3 macrumors 6502

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    May 3, 2015
    #11
    The display on the Retina MacBook is a bit better than on the 13" XPS in terms of color and contrast. Also, the anti-reflective coating makes a HUGE difference. The XPS reflects light like a mirror. I much preferred the display on the Retina MacBook because of this. Where did you get better materials from? I thought the XPS looked really cheap.
     
  12. jfriedman8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I am definitely more of a "laptop" fan, but I really was hoping to have something with pen input- the SP4 was just too heavy and awkward to hold for extended periods of time. The footprint it leaves with the stand out too is way awkwardly big, in my opinion. I much prefer the design of the other "detachable" 2 in 1's like the new XPS 12.

    The XPS 13 is a sweet machine, but its hard to beat being able to run 2 OS's.

    Writing this on the rMB and so far so good. I actually like the keyboard about as much as the SP4 keyboard.
     
  13. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #13
    It's a bit of a one horse race if your preference is more towards OSX :)

    I hope you enjoy your rMB, I am going to try a SP4 but it will be easier for me being a coffee table and Windows user
     
  14. jfriedman8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    You make a solid point there! I will say I feel the SP is one more refresh (or maybe a Surface 4) away from having the perfect device. Enjoy the SP4!
     
  15. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

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    Jan 29, 2010
    #15
    Actually--there are a lot of us using windows on macBooks. I am afraid apple is going to ruin a good thing with their newer keyboard designs such as that on the MB 12"
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    I'm a SP3 owner, and I think the SP4 is excellent product. If your interest is mostly in windows, then its a no brainer. The improvements over the SP3 are quite noticable. Its a faster computer with a better screen, great battery life and the type cover is top notch.

    Since I own the SP3, I'm not about to upgrade, but I did splurge on the new type cover.

    The MacBook is nice, and if you need to use OS X, then this makes more sense then the SP4.

    If I had to do it all over again, i.e., by a surface pro or a MacBook, I'd opt for the Surface Pro

    I think the SP4 is a solid computer and the next revision will just be a slight improvement, but I think we can see a lot more improvements on the MacBook, so a Gen 2 of that computer will definitely make it a better product.
     
  17. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    Personally I don't see the SP4 and 12" MacBook as comparative products, that being said I do see the Surface coming into it`s own now, with the SP4 being a very attractive proposition for those on the go offering top class portability, display, battery life, combined with the multiple roles of Desktop/Notebook/Tablet, with reasonable perfromace.

    As for the rMB Apple will improve on the current model, as for the rMBP, Apple will likely focus on thinner & lighter, no further functionality/utility and potently less. Personally I find the SP4 a far more interesting proposition than a thinner & lighter 13" rMBP

    Q-6
     
  18. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #18
    I think the SP4 is a very compelling device but it's added features and adaptations may be seen more of a complexity to some over the svelte rMB which is a less is more approach to portability.

    If you are a pure windows guy who's trying to rid the use of an intermediate device like an Ipad then it's a no brainer.

    If your on a budget then the SP4 M version is certainly packed with bells and whistles and added functionality at some minor compromise to a purist device in each form it is used.

    The high end SP4 shows what can be crammed in to such a footprint and fills the needs of those who want that extra Omph that will probably never exist in a rMB

    I have an SP4 on order just to try it out as it's a very attractive and fun. I only really intend it as laptop >90% of the time so only real hands-on will tell if it suits me over the rMB
     
  19. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #19
    I would think a comparison to the surface book would be more apt?
     
  20. boltjames, Nov 30, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015

    boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #20
    [Edit]

    BJ
     
  21. SteveJUAE, Nov 30, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #21
    BJ

    That's the Surface book mate not the SP4 :) see corrections in RED

    The Surface Book would be as you note is a different animal to consider due to less battery life when separated from the KB
     
  22. brvhrt macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2015
    #22
    I returned two i5 SP4 after trying to go back to MS after over a decade using exclusively Apple. I like Satya Nadella, like the way they are thinking and the products look great in the presentations but I found in practice the MS experience was terrible (save for the excellent in-store customer service). SP4 screens suffered from light bleed, I had random screen freezes, the graphics driver bugs, keyboard attach / detach freezes, BSOD and other unacceptable issues (edit: including woeful battery life - nowhere near as advertised). Kickstand was great in a lot of situations but not too comfortable or stable on the lap as a laptop. The whole keyboard/surface/kickstand arrangement felt a little bit cobbled together, a bit Heath Robinson if you will. I found windows 10 to be a step backwards from OS X - it's a lot better than the windows of old but there are still way to many features which do not work or are half-hearted attempts compared with OS X, in my opinion. Applications would quit, freeze and generally just not work as advertised. When everything worked it was great, I just had no confidence in the product and the safety of my data and felt like I was back to being my own IT support guy when all I wanted was to get on with creating.

    As an aside, I tried to switch everything over to MS this month but every single new MS product let me down - Band 2 haptic gave up three days in, second Band 2 screen froze and had to be replaced, Lumia 950 was very disappointing, Xbox Elite controller was popping, creaking and randomly disconnecting from the console (as did its replacement). W10 services didn't work as well or reliably as equivalent OS X ones for me. I even asked the rep in the Microsoft Store if I replaced the SP4 with a Surface Book if my experience would be different - the answer was nope, these have issues too. MS is there superficially for me but in practice it all feels a bit low rent, unfinished and disappointing.

    On the other hand, the rMB outperforms it's specs IMHO. I much prefer the keyboard over any other I have tried and the screen is fantastic (I did change the resolution to get more screen real estate). Photoshop and Lightroom fly on this thing for every day tasks. MS Office for Mac works even better than Pages - a 50,000 word document scrolls fast and smooth in Word but gives the occasional checkerboard in Pages when scrolling at the same speed. FCPX and Logic work great for editing. I do see it bogging down when exporting movie projects, generating image previews and suchlike but the Surfaces did that too and I don't have to have these things happen instantly anyway. It still works for those kind of tasks but it just takes longer. I even had a 36 track music project running in Ableton Live with no issues (but a few computationally heavy convolution reverbs in Logic will stump it quickly).

    The only second thoughts I get are when I go online and read other people's criticism of it but in practice it's a lot better than it should be. It has done everything I have asked of it and has looked and felt amazing while doing so. I'm by no means impressed by Apple and Tim Cook these days or some of the directions they are taking bu this little notebook rocks. In my opinion and experience. Hope this helps.
     
  23. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #23

    Personally I am not a fan of IOS devices, far preferring a high end Android tablet over an iPad (not that Android is without it`s faults) The form factor and utility of the SP4 appeals, especially the i7 with Iris graphics. I am also of the mind that with Windows 10`s touch screen capabilities, I most definitely want a device that can take advantage of the same, the new SP4 seems at present to tick all the boxes; portability, power, display, form factor, dock, battery life, flexibility, weight, pen input etc.

    As for Surface Book one would probably work for me as my tablet usage is not extensive, however I see the Surface Book as very much a 1st Gen product and physically a little bigger than I currently care for. What appeals to me with the Surface Book is the tremendous combined battery life and the flexibility of the display, a Lenovo Yoga 3 on steroids "if you will". Ultimately I think the SP4 is currently a better device, being far more developed.

    Another aspect of Microsoft`s hardware is the display ratio, which for those of us who are productivity biased (not audio & video) the additional screen height is very welcome.

    As for Apple, I only see the Skylake rMB in the future, little else...

    Q-6
     
  24. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #24
    Confused (obviously) I thought the SP4 was the next-gen Surface Book? Aren't they both convertibles with detachable keyboards?

    BJ
     
  25. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #25
    Sorry to hear you had an imperfect try back to Windows but it's hardly surprising with any new release, shame you did not try a little longer as like the rMB that's now over 6 months old a lot of the problems get solved eventually

    As a few of us run Win 10 on our rMB why not have a try at this to see a better experience of the OS on your new favourite laptop :)
     

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