My wife just got a new Microsoft Surface Book

Spanky Deluxe

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Mar 17, 2005
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My wife needed a new laptop for work. We use macs at home but her work uses software that doesn't support OSX so she had to get a Windows laptop and she went for a Microsoft Surface Book.

It is absolutely lovely. So well designed, a delight to use with a beautiful screen, nice keyboard and overall a fantastic look. I can't help but be sad when I look at it though as it is so obviously what the MacBook Pro should be. I don't know what's going on with Apple and their hardware design choices but things have been stagnant for so long.

My MacBook Pro is eight years old now (gen 1 unibody MBP). My iPad is about five years old and too slow to use. I've wanted a new laptop and tablet for a few years now but Apple just don't make what I want. It's 2017 and I want something that feels like current tech. Tablet and notebook technologies have matured so much over the years, I don't want dedicated devices anymore.

I want a high end laptop with dedicated graphics. I want a full keyboard with physical function keys and a high quality touchscreen. I want a high end tablet with great digitiser that I can also run desktop applications on. Basically, I want a Microsoft Surface Book. The only difference is I want a Microsoft Surface Book made by Apple and running a hybrid version of OSX and iOS.

I've always loved Apple products, both hardware and software, but aside from my iPhone, all my Apple stuff is getting really long in the tooth and Apple sell no enticing newer versions. Aside from my feelings on replacing my MBP and iPad detailed above, I also have a 12 core old shape Mac Pro and 30" cinema display - a 7 odd year old computer and a 10 year old display. Apple offers no viable replacements for either. I want to buy new computers but the only tempting new computers run an OS I don't want to use.

Sorry for the rant, I'm just frustrated with Apple's hardware lineup and jealous of my wife's new Windows machine. I can't help but think that if Apple still cared about their macs, the MacBook Pro would have been updated with something similar to the Microsoft Surface Book three years ago and the iMac would have been something like the Microsoft Surface Studio ages ago too.
 

alFR

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Aug 10, 2006
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They don't believe in touch screens for laptops / desktops - they've said so publicly a number of times. If that's what you want you're going to have to go elsewhere, unfortunately, at least for the foreseeable future. Same for a hybrid of macOS / iOS (which, incidentally, is something that loads of people on here have been vehemently saying they don't want for ages). For your tablet needs, is the iPad Pro no good? The digitiser is by all accounts excellent and you can run MS Office etc. on it. Depends on your software needs I guess.
 

keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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Well lots of people think the new MacBook Pro is the best MBP released and couldn't be happier with it. Personally I'd think Apple jumped the shark if they released something like the Surface Book; similarly if the iMac went the route of the Surface Studio.

If you want touchscreen on a mouse and keyboard OS, then it's not going to happen with Apple.
 

robvas

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SP3 owners are pissed right now about the battery issues they are having. I don't have faith in Microsoft getting it right yet.
 

keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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That problem was fixed in November, so I think at this point its a non-issue
Unfortuantely it didn't fix it for a vast majority. Lots of people are still having the same problem after applying the firmware update and MS don't have a repair program for the SP3 battery issue. :(
 

maflynn

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Unfortuantely it didn't fix it for a vast majority. Lots of people are still having the same problem after applying the firmware update and MS don't have a repair program for the SP3 battery issue. :(
Do you have a link for that, because when I googled surface pro 3 battery issues, I got a lot of hits to say it was resolved. I'm not doubting you, but I'd like to read up on it
 

keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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Do you have a link for that, because when I googled surface pro 3 battery issues, I got a lot of hits to say it was resolved. I'm not doubting you, but I'd like to read up on it
Sure, no worries. :)

Problems still happening after update: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us...-that-ac/7da6bf35-f17f-4bc2-a7a8-9fa345fd4607

One of our own had the issue on their SP3 that wasn't resolved after running through the standard steps: https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...-256-ssd-battery-issue.2037434/#post-24402201

Comments here seem to indicate the same: https://www.thurrott.com/mobile/mic...soft-finally-issues-surface-pro-3-battery-fix

Still having beef on this: http://www.inquisitr.com/3703193/mi...e-to-fix-battery-problems-still-unsuccessful/

Had a couple through the doors in our office that needed to be replaced, but I think that was before the November update so can't say personally how successful the November firmware update was.
 

DaveOP

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May 29, 2011
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Sorry for the rant, I'm just frustrated with Apple's hardware lineup and jealous of my wife's new Windows machine. I can't help but think that if Apple still cared about their macs, the MacBook Pro would have been updated with something similar to the Microsoft Surface Book three years ago and the iMac would have been something like the Microsoft Surface Studio ages ago too.
The Surface Studio looks shiny, but unless you're an artist, the touchscreen is not very useful. We have one, it's really underpowered for the screen, and the ergonomics of a touchscreen on a desktop AIO are not great. Like others have said, if you really want a touchscreen, there are a lot of places to buy one. macOS is just not setup that way.
 

robvas

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The Surface Studio looks shiny, but unless you're an artist, the touchscreen is not very useful. We have one, it's really underpowered for the screen, and the ergonomics of a touchscreen on a desktop AIO are not great. Like others have said, if you really want a touchscreen, there are a lot of places to buy one. macOS is just not setup that way.
Doesn't even have a full SSD. Sad.
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
I moved to a Surface book and have zero complaints, Apple's computing line up is just becoming a joke. Surface Book is exactly what I once would have imagined Apple would produce, these days I have few expectations of Apple other than more fashion statements. On the other hand I can't recommend Microsoft's Surface Book enough, best notebook I have ever used...

Q-6
 
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SteveJUAE

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Unfortuantely it didn't fix it for a vast majority. Lots of people are still having the same problem after applying the firmware update and MS don't have a repair program for the SP3 battery issue. :(
If you mean the vast majority of the limited number that were affected, that may be somewhere near the truth :D

However the fix is out there and working for many and they are compensating those for the out-of-warranty charges it made for SP3 replacement units

For those unaware after a SW update:

“On a limited number of Surface Pro 3 devices, an error condition occurs that causes the full charge capacity of the battery to be misreported to the operating system and device firmware. When this condition occurs, the system no longer charges the battery to its full actual capacity, and the Surface is unable to function on battery power.”
 
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maflynn

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Sure, no worries. :)
It sounds like a similar issue with the MacBook Pro. There are still people affected with the battery. Based on what you linked, it doesn't appear to be the vast majority as you had stated earlier.

I had a Surface Pro 3, before owning a SB and I don't recall running into any sort of battery issue, though my memory may be a bit hazy, it lasted all day when I needed it too.
 

MadDane

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Apr 5, 2015
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I am genuinely excited to finally see a Surface Book in the flesh soon. It is launched here in Denmark on April 20th so it is fairly soon :)

I too think they Apple has somewhat lost the edge. I am still curious about what they have up their sleeve with the next version of the iMac, but I have to say I am not holding my breath for anything exciting. As have been said before, the exciting stuff seems to have moved over to Microsoft.
 

maflynn

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I too think they Apple has somewhat lost the edge.
There's been numerous complaints about Apple or the new MBP, some of which I agree with and some I don't, but I do think they are not taking chances like they used too.

Back when they were not the force to be reckoned with, they came out with some great designs and products, now they're just making things thinner.

I like my SB because there's some really radical attempts by MS, and its a great computer imo.
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
There's been numerous complaints about Apple or the new MBP, some of which I agree with and some I don't, but I do think they are not taking chances like they used too.

Back when they were not the force to be reckoned with, they came out with some great designs and products, now they're just making things thinner.

I like my SB because there's some really radical attempts by MS, and its a great computer imo.
Very much an aspect in my purchasing decision with the Surface Book, I don't need thinner notebooks in this class of machine, that arguably now have reduced usability. All portable computers have trade off's, however Apple has a singular point of focus "thinner" to a point yes, however for "professional" use it results in ever diminishing returns; ports, battery capacity, keyboard etc.

I can forgive the Surface Book's shortcomings, given the additional features, functionality, usability, performance, tremendous battery life, most of all stability. Admittedly as my systems generate revenue, I am careful with what I install. That said I never thought Microsoft would produce a notebook to put the 13" Macbook Pro to shame or be a far more stable platform.

This gentleman put things into perspective very well, for some of us on the go, the 2016 MBP is little more than an expensive gimmick :(
I fully agree with others that Microsoft is fast becoming the Apple of old, taking the risk, bringing dynamic products to market.

Q-6
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
Well lots of people think the new MacBook Pro is the best MBP released and couldn't be happier with it. Personally I'd think Apple jumped the shark if they released something like the Surface Book; similarly if the iMac went the route of the Surface Studio.

If you want touchscreen on a mouse and keyboard OS, then it's not going to happen with Apple.
Funny "Jumping the Shark" is exactly what Apple has done with the Touch Bar, useful for noobs maybe. A touch display in the 2 in 1 format offers so much more without the need to break focus on the content at hand. Apple's focus is IOS devices it shows it`s old already...

Q-6
 
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ozreth

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This gentleman put things into perspective very well, for some of us on the go, the 2016 MBP is little more than an expensive gimmick :(
Wow. This guy nailed it. Wish everybody would watch this video (all the way through).
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
Wow. This guy nailed it. Wish everybody would watch this video (all the way through).
Exactly, having owned & used a Retina MacBook for over 22 months, I can categorically state that even with Apple's own dongles issues can and do arise. Ultimately one must accept that there will be a trade off's for a thinner chassis, with a reliance on dongles, adapters etc. however there's a limit where unreliability & inconvenience override the saving of an 1/8" in the thickness of the notebook...

From my experience of close to two years of using the Retina MacBook in a professional role; a USB C only notebook is only suitable as a secondary or tertiary system. I have yet to visit any facility globally where "anything" could take advantage of USB C natively without the need for dongles.

After due thought and consideration, the 2016 MacBook Pro is simply designed for the well healed consumer, not the professional on the go. The depreciation of usable ports and inclusion of now a 3rd point of user focus (noob-bar) are proof enough, hence my switch to Microsoft's Surface Book for the 13" class of notebook. 15" will undoubtedly go the same way, as stated in the YouTube clip once you move to a platform your more likely to gravitate to solutions that work, than one's that don't...

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 10.47.12.png

Q-6
 
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jeremiah256

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Aug 2, 2008
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I bought the Surface 3 (non-Pro) in 2015 because I felt the same. I wanted a secondary device for school, that was both a tablet and laptop, so I wouldn't have to carry around my beast/baby, a 15" 2011 MBP. IMHO, the Surface line wasn't there yet because of the growing pains Windows 10 was going through, and the lack of apps in tablet mode as compared to Android or iOS.

I'm a hardcore cloud fanboy and prefer using apps as my primary way of getting things done, with the traditional desktop UI as my second choice. So Windows 10's continuing issue with tablet mode apps deter me from going full on with the Surface line. But, the hardware itself is legit. The build quality of the Surface 3, Type Cover, and Pen was decent, especially for the price, and was clearly a very substantial shot across the bow of Apple. Most importantly, it showed a clear willingness to experiment, but not at the expense of their users.

I laughed my ass off at the Microsoft, "Hey! Is that a kickstand?" ads. Truly horrible, horrible marketing. But, again, once I got my hands on one, I had to give the devil his due, even if I am a cloud centric, iOS fanatic.

Hey, is that a microSD slot? Yes it is, Jeremiah256, yes it is.
 

Spanky Deluxe

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It's been a few days and I'm still jealous of my wife's Surface Book. Just seems lovely. She doesn't really use the touch screen but when taking notes in meetings, it should be nice to write on stuff. Think she should get Evernote or something like that for that.

If the Surface Book came with OSX, I'd buy it in a heartbeat (well the performance base one specifically but that's not available here yet). It just seems like such a better laptop than the MacBook Pro with stupid touch bar thingy.
 

belvdr

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Aug 15, 2005
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The one thing that bothers me about the Surface Book is the gap that is left when the lid is closed. Only the top edge of the display touches the surface near the trackpad. I take my laptop everywhere, and I wonder if this would allow more dirt/dust to collect and more wear to occur in these areas. I like the Surface Book otherwise.
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
The one thing that bothers me about the Surface Book is the gap that is left when the lid is closed. Only the top edge of the display touches the surface near the trackpad. I take my laptop everywhere, and I wonder if this would allow more dirt/dust to collect and more wear to occur in these areas. I like the Surface Book otherwise.
Not been an issue so far and I travel globally, I do however use a padded sleeve for some basic protection. Nor do I treat the Surface Book any differently than my Mac's.

Q-6
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It's been a few days and I'm still jealous of my wife's Surface Book. Just seems lovely. She doesn't really use the touch screen but when taking notes in meetings, it should be nice to write on stuff. Think she should get Evernote or something like that for that.

If the Surface Book came with OSX, I'd buy it in a heartbeat (well the performance base one specifically but that's not available here yet). It just seems like such a better laptop than the MacBook Pro with stupid touch bar thingy.
As I have Office 2016 I use OneNote which has been excellent so far with the Surface Book being a 2 in 1.

Q-6
 
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SteveJUAE

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Aug 14, 2015
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The one thing that bothers me about the Surface Book is the gap that is left when the lid is closed. Only the top edge of the display touches the surface near the trackpad. I take my laptop everywhere, and I wonder if this would allow more dirt/dust to collect and more wear to occur in these areas. I like the Surface Book otherwise.
I think the new models have improved on the gap

surfacebookhinge-5_0_0.jpg


Also I think on a positive note your less likely to get screen scratches from the KB that some seem to be suffering from on the new MBP, no oily fingerprints plus Gorilla Glass 4 and no recessed KB, think your covered :)
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
I think the new models have improved on the gap Also I think on a positive note your less likely to get screen scratches from the KB that some seem to be suffering from on the new MBP, no oily fingerprints plus Gorilla Glass 4 and no recessed KB, think your covered :)
Yeah the Surface Book with Performance Base is a little thicker & heavier to allow better cooling of the 960M dGPU and battery capacity. My only complaint is the slow role out to countries outside the US. If Surface book with Performance Base was available in my geographic area I would be owning one, when it is, I will be picking one up. Who would have thought, increasing the thickness and performance, most of all listening to your Core User group ;)

Agree on the point regarding the display, as this rMB I am responding on the keyboard is firmly now etched into the display :( which disappoints give the premium nature of the product. Surface book must have some oleophobic coating on the display as it doesn't seem to pickup fingerprints too heavily, which is pretty good given I live in the Sub tropics, frequently work in the Tropics, Thailand right now for a spell, one of the better places to be paid to be :D

n.b. For those interested my 2015 Retina MacBook is 22 months old.

Q-6
 
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