rMacBook vs Surface 3?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by saintforlife, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #1
    The MacBook has the Core M processor and the Surface 3 has the Intel Atom processor - not sure which is the more powerful processor. Macbook has the advantage when it comes to RAM 8GB vs 2/4 GB on the Surface 3. In terms of screen size, the MacBook has a larger 12" screen vs 10.8" on the MS tablet. Surface 3 has a definite price advantage over the MacBook however - $499/$599 + $120 for keyboard vs. $1299 for the MacBook.

    Which is the better machine for a casual user to lug around the house and for the occasional trips to the coffee shop? Is the Surface 3 more value for money?
     
  2. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #2
    The Core M is more powerful.

    However if you have no preference between OS X and Windows 8.1 - then the surface pro 3 will likely serve you well.

    However if you value the extra software that is free with OS X such as Page, Numbers, Keynote, Photos, Garageband. If you really don't want to be routinely running anti-virus and malware scanners on your computer - then i'd go with the MacBook.

    Also depends on your personal usage. If it amounts to nothing but occasional writing and web browsing - then go for the surface 3 and put the extra cash towards a creative writing course of some such.
     
  3. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #3
    Seems like you should be comparing the MacBook and the surface PRO 3, then it's a much more even field regarding specs. At that point the decision is more based on which OS you prefer and how you actually use your device.
     
  4. burgman macrumors 65816

    burgman

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    #4
    On one you can run both Windows and OS X. One has a touch screen, pin is $50 and is not included. Both sound like overkill for your usage. To me a tablet form factor has more versatility for casual use so the Surface 3 would my choice. I would wait until WWDC since the Surface won't be available until May so you can return it if Apple has a surprise or two;)
     
  5. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #5
    Hard to tell without having hands-on experience with both. But it really comes down to a few things:
    • Do you want a hybrid notebook/tablet device?
    • Is a quality keyboard/touchpad not a priority?
    • Do you prefer Windows over OSX?
    • Do you want/need an active stylus?
    • Is removable storage a priority?
    • Is having a fullsize USB 3.0 port a priority?
    The more questions you answer "yes" to, the more the Surface 3 will fit your needs.



    He said "casual user" so in that context, I don't know if specs really matter that much.
     
  6. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #6
    Yeah I saw that, but he also seemed to think 8gb ram versus 2/4gb might impact his decision.
     
  7. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

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    #7
    Pointless comparison really, for whilst the new Surface is an awesome device :D the Surface Pro 3 is the real new MacBook contender, and the new Pro 4 will be the one to compare to when it's out.
    But for value for money, I'm all over the new Surface 3 as it's incredible value, they are very nice and well made machines the Surface devices.
     
  8. Harmonious Zen macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    What about the new MacBook being released? Or heck, for the casual user, just get a refurb.
     
  9. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #9
    To be fair, the new MacBook does not come preloaded with Windows 8 in bootcamp, so you'd have to add that to the cost of the Mac if you need windows. (Windows 7 can no longer be loaded BTW. And Windows 8 on a Mac is not what I call exactly a great experience either.)
     
  10. mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

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    Oct 24, 2014
    #10
    You answered your own question. Surface 3 is a lot more bang for the buck at $599 than retina Macbook at $1299 + $79 dongle. x7 and Core M are similar being built on 14nm and the only difference is L2 cache size. For a lot of things you don't even need a physical keyboard and it's nice to be able to lie on the sofa surfing with device on chest without keyboard stuck in your throat. Plus you have the advantages of touch and pen input.
     
  11. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #11
    Pen not included, so they'll have to buy that.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    But the Surface 3 is still cheaper then a rMB. It all depends on usage needs, though I think the rMB is a more robust computer and will offer superior performance and has a larger screen.

    I can see the Surface 3, impacting iPad sales more then rMB sales.
     
  13. vladi macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Surface 3 is priced almost right but both Surface Pro and MacBook are insanely priced for what they offer which is not much except fancy form factor.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    I don't know, I think the rMB is over priced.
    rMB: 1,300 dollars you get a 12" display, 1.1GHz dual-core Core M, 8GB of ram and 256GB SSD.
    13" rMBP, you get a 13" display, 2.7GHz dual-core 5, 8GB of ram and 128GB of storage.

    Where as the Surface 3, is priced nicely at 499, though realistically you need the 599 model with 4GB of ram.
     
  15. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #15
    + the $120 keyboard & for full feature support $70 for the pen.

    Taking it closer to $800
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    You're right, I unintentionally omitted those items, and they are really needed. That does bring the Surface price up. I recant my point about cost, given this information :)
     
  17. AppleRobert macrumors 603

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #17
    Stopped in a MS store and checked out the Surface 3, color me impressed.

    The rep even showed me Windows 10 on his laptop with Spartan browser and Cortana interface and drawing on the screen.

    Well I understand it will cost adding the keyboard and pen but the SP3 I tried was overkill, too expensive and too heavy/awkward as a tablet.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    I took windows 10 off my SP3, I think I may put it back on, I've been reading more about win10 and I'm getting more curious :)
     
  19. mgipe macrumors demi-god

    mgipe

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    #19
    Why did you take it off?
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    I had a dual boot setup, running both constrained my storage more then I wanted, plus I was not booting into it for every day testing or using. My images in Lightroom take a lot of space and partitioning the drive as I had done, made things a bit tight for that
     
  21. AppleRobert, Apr 1, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015

    AppleRobert macrumors 603

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    #21
    For the little time I saw it, I really was impressed with Win 10.

    I would obviously not know about a device's performance with that OS considering the RAM but I guess I would like to be able to try it out further after what I saw. I think it was on a Samsung laptop but don't quite remember, it wasn't on a SP3 though.
     
  22. vladi macrumors 6502

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    Jan 30, 2010
    #22
    I just cant overcome the notion that paying over $1K for anything less than 15' let alone for 10' or 12'. There is not whole a lot you can do on those small screens and things you can do on them are not worth that steep of a price tag.
     
  23. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    Colorado
    #23
    I've survived very nicely using my SP3 as my only computer since November. I do have a Mac Mini attached to a 24" monitor but since buying my SP3, the Mini is only an Apple TV server now.

    I tried using my old MacBook for a day and went right back to my SP3 last night and put the MB back on the shelf.
     
  24. mgipe macrumors demi-god

    mgipe

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    #24
    Ah, that makes sense. I'm contemplating putting Win 10 on my SP3, but it's a work critical PC, so I am following other's experiences closely before I take the leap.
     
  25. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #25
    Win10 on tablets is kind of a mess IMO. They took away what are IMO crucial things, for example the charms bar, swiping to go through open programs, and full screen apps. There were other tablet missing features which totally turned me off to Win10, I just can't recall them now. I think I lasted a day until I uninstalled it from my SP3. I hope they start adding tablet features back in since, of course, it's an unfinished tech preview. But IMO as a tablet OS win8.1 is far superior. The pendulum has swung back towards the desktop for a moment.
     

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