Surface Book 2 vs MBP

MBX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
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I wouldn't get the Surface Book as I love macOS and MBP's designs much more but the SB2 has some good specs in the top end.

Looking forward to Apple's answer in 2018 I guess.

 
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fokmik

macrumors 68040
Oct 28, 2016
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Apple will not update the design until 2019-2020, but then rumours said it will be the most radical redesign
The entire keyboard will became a touchpad with Taptic feedback which can be full qwerty keyboard or a big empty space for the artists to draw with upcoming apple pencil second gen
[doublepost=1508262078][/doublepost]remember the top of the line 15" SB2 do not use quad core i7 45W
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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The 13" surface book looks very nice. The 15" sacrifices the CPU in order to fit a beefier GPU, which is a strange design. Could make a nice portable gaming laptop I guess.
 

jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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Looks Nice. Note to Apple. You can put USB A, SD cards, and USB 3 with charging and display port, and a GTX 1060! And face unlock technology.
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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Looks Nice. Note to Apple. You can put USB A, SD cards, and USB 3 with charging and display port, and a GTX 1060! And face unlock technology.
Sure you can! Just use a 15W CPU instead of a 45W CPU and make your laptop thicker by 1/3 (its 0.75cm difference, which is half of MBP's overall thickness). The overall TPD of the components is still the same: 15W CPU + 65W GPU = 45W CPU + 35W GPU, the Surface Book 2 has 25% volume (at least) compared to the 15" MBP. Would make a decent gaming laptop I guess.
 

Huddy

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2009
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It also comes without TB3 due to the choice of CPU. With the world of Thunderbolt finally starting to see traction it’s sad to see them choose to not incorporate the feature.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
As someone who owns and uses a 1st Gen Surface Book I will definitely follow the new release with interest, likely purchasing a 15" 512 early to mid 2018. I'll let Microsoft and it's partners sort out the initial bugs in the interim.

My own Surface Book has proved to be a fabulous productivity tool, something I once envisioned only Apple would have been capable of producing. It replaced a long line of MBP's, equally the Surface Book has not disappointed, now with the release of the more powerful 15" the 15" MBP is simply no longer a consideration. If you can take advantage of the Surface Book's features it really is a great product, and it really delivers...

Q-6
 

jerryk

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Sure you can! Just use a 15W CPU instead of a 45W CPU and make your laptop thicker by 1/3 (its 0.75cm difference, which is half of MBP's overall thickness). The overall TPD of the components is still the same: 15W CPU + 65W GPU = 45W CPU + 35W GPU, the Surface Book 2 has 25% volume (at least) compared to the 15" MBP. Would make a decent gaming laptop I guess.
So less than my 2015 15" MBP with good keyboard, ports, and no touchbar. Got it.
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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So less than my 2015 15" MBP with good keyboard, ports, and not touchbar. Got it.
Nope, actually the 15" MBP is 18mm thick, which makes it still good half cm thinner than then Surface Book at its thickest point. Actually, the Surface Book is almost as thick as the pre-retina 15" MBP (2.4cm vs 2.5cm).

P.S. I realize that the thickest point is on the wedge, but still, volume is volume. I'd like to get one of these new Surfaces in my hand to measure the actual sizes.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
So less than my 2015 15" MBP with good keyboard, ports, and no touchbar. Got it.
Thicker at the hinge, it can give the impression of being bulky at times, equally once on the desk or in the bag kind of irrelevant, with the Surface Book more folding up, rather than closing :p Never had any issue travelling with my own Surface Book from the most high tech of cities to the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. Same as any other notebook just stick it in the bag and go :)

The hinge also angles up the rear of the display while reversed which helps while using the pen, so its actually fairly well thought out. Ports thankfully remain sensible, inclusion of TB-3 would have been nice, equally few really have need of such massive "transport" so not a deal breaker given the inclusion of pretty decent dGPU's ín a portable of this class.

Keyboard is superb being one of the very best to be included in a notebook, so hopefully this will remain the same for Surface Book 2, not fixing what isn't broken and all. Looking forward to the upcoming reviews, as I expect them to be positive for the most part, as Microsoft is going strength to strength with it's hardware.

Q-6
 

nylon

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2004
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I'm impressed with Microsoft. Although I hear that the original Surface Book was plagued with hardware issues (My brother in law has one), I like the fact that MS is pushing the envelope. I think Apple needs to bring their notebook design teams back to reality.
 

jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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I have both a surface book (wife got it) and a 2015 MBP 15" and just took a close look at the sizes. Sure the hinge part does add a bit of thickness, but just a bit. It fits in the same case as a 13 rmbp. Definitely not like the Alienware 13" gaming laptop with Nvidia 10xx we have lying around.

Agree with Queen6 about the keyboard. Nice. Feels like the earlier retina MBP keyboard but clickier. Also, considerably more travel than the 2016/2017 MBP keyboard.

It will be interesting to see what the SB2 looks like and how the 1060 works with my ML code.
 
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Adamantoise

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Aug 1, 2011
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Sure you can! Just use a 15W CPU instead of a 45W CPU and make your laptop thicker by 1/3 (its 0.75cm difference, which is half of MBP's overall thickness). The overall TPD of the components is still the same: 15W CPU + 65W GPU = 45W CPU + 35W GPU, the Surface Book 2 has 25% volume (at least) compared to the 15" MBP. Would make a decent gaming laptop I guess.
Wait, are you seriously suggesting having USB-A on the MacBook Pro would come at the expense of size?

Lol some of you are truly absurd.
 
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ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
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Sure you can! Just use a 15W CPU instead of a 45W CPU and make your laptop thicker by 1/3 (its 0.75cm difference, which is half of MBP's overall thickness). The overall TPD of the components is still the same: 15W CPU + 65W GPU = 45W CPU + 35W GPU, the Surface Book 2 has 25% volume (at least) compared to the 15" MBP. Would make a decent gaming laptop I guess.
So, do I understand it right: the new 15" SB 2 has a much weaker CPU than the 15" MBP?

One reason I bought a 15" MPB rather than the previous SB was that the old SB did not even offer a quad-core CPU. Now they do, but still a much weaker CPU than the 15" MBP?
 
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Naimfan

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Jan 15, 2003
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Might be worth waiting until the actual machines show up before people start bashing or praising them . . .
 
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Mr. Dee

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Dec 4, 2003
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With the Surface Book 2, you are getting the following:

An advanced MacBook Pro with 8th gen Intel processors and nVidia 1060 graphics with 6 GBs of video RAM
A 15 inch iPad
A keyboard thats nice to use
USB A, USB C (TB3), SD Card Reader
Cool Biometrics like the new iPhone X which unlocks your device

The fact that its not running macOS is neglible. The apps are what matter and last I checked: Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office (the real stuff), AutoDesk, real QuickBooks and Quicken.

Of course, there are the little things in macOS I like - like previewing files, batch editing, expose. Macs seems to have some magical power at power management. I left a VMWare session open with Windows 10 for a day and I was shocked when I logged in, it was logged in and only 15% battery used. Windows 10 is still perfect, but hopefully power throttling can fix that.

Windows 10 is really good too, you get tools to really experience the hot technologies now like mixed reality. I have been using Windows 10 since its launch I've had little problem with it except for its a bandwidth hog - but macOS is just as worse and you don't have anything built in to mitigate. At least Windows 10 has a metered connection option, you can pause updates and disable background apps. macOS, I had to pay $7 for Trip Mode.

Windows 10 has matured well, five releases have done wonders and I can only see it getting better. I provide support for it and I notice there are less complains than previous versions. SO, it likely means they are doing something right.

I love features like Task View, Snaps, being able to say Hey, Cortana - which song is playing, shutdown computer, whats the weather in xyz.

Apple has great hardware design as far my early 2015 MBP '13 goes, but it looks likes starting take a nose dive with the 2016 and '17 MBPs. I am considering taking a detour back to Windows 10 with these new SBs. I just wish they would have pushed for DDR4 to make it perfect. Those LPDDR4's are starting to sound like unicorns.
 

Nilhum

macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2016
199
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Asking on the Apple forums of MBP vs Surface Book is like going to a Christian church and telling hey should I convert to Islam or Judaism.

Go wait until the device comes out and then test it. The Surface Books are more expensive and IMO more niche. If you are not going to use the surface pen and detach the screen, then get an XPS if you need Windows. There are plenty of high quality windows devices that will get the job done if you need windows or put windows on the mac. I have had the Surface Book in the past and it was a mixed bag. The screen was fantastic, the keyboard is better than the 2016 MBP's, and it has solid battery. But it was a hardware nightmare with detach issues, light bleed, and other problems. Software was solid and just a stable as MacOS.
 

danwells

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2015
399
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The 15" has some neat ideas (a 15" tablet is an interesting creative device in its own right), and a higher-resolution display than the MBP. Interestingly, it's not 4K, but another odd intermediate size - many high-end laptops appear to be "some odd display size just over or just under 3000 pixels on the long axis", rather than Full HD, WQXGA (2560x1440 or 2560x1600) or 4K.
The problem for many professional uses is that it has a low-clocked 15 W processor, rather than the 45 W version in the MBP. Given that this is the same fundamental technology as the MBP (e.g. not several major processor generations and a couple of process nodes newer), only a little bit of the energy savings can possibly be from process improvements - the rest has to come from performance. Granted, some of that is integrated GPU performance, which the discrete GPU renders moot when docked and either plugged in or willing to hit the battery hard - but some of it is CPU performance.
I suspect the amazing battery life (supposedly 17 hours) is using the processor in an extreme low-power mode (what did they do with the screen backlight?). I can't imagine the TSA will let them get away with more than a 99 WH battery by having two batteries - they have to add up to 99 WH or less, right?
 

thefriendshipmachine

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2017
168
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pros:

* 8th gen intel CPU
* 1060 GPU
* Touch screen
* Great battery life

cons:

* lack of thunderbolt 3
* the wifi controller they use has a lot of problems working after sleep /w connected standby
* it runs windows

I would rather use my powerbook over a windows machine for my main computer. But having just bought the 2017 macbook I'm quite annoyed that it's a 7th gen machine, with garbage battery and GPU compared to the surface
 
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leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
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Wait, are you seriously suggesting having USB-A on the MacBook Pro would come at the expense of size?
The side of the MBP inclusive display is thinner than a typical USB-A receptacle. Don't believe me? Take a USB-A cable and and look at them side-by side. I suppose if Apple got rid of tapered design, one could kind try to fit a USB-A receptacle on it, but its walls would be ridiculously thin. Do you realise how quickly 1mm of aluminium bends?

Again, its not that difficult to verify. Just take a MBP and a USB-A cable and see for yourself. Its like everyone is an engineer these days. At least have the decency of using a ruler before ridiculing other people.

So, do I understand it right: the new 15" SB 2 has a much weaker CPU than the 15" MBP?
Exactly. The CPU is the SB 2 is the same power class as the one used in MacBook Air or the non-TB MBP 13". Sure, its quad core now, and its capable of some serious burst — in fact, on burst workflows (e.g. checking emails or compositing a website), its performance will come close to the base 15" MBP, but its significantly weaker once you need sustained performance, that is, when you put your CPU under load for prolonged period of times, as in any professional application.

Again, Kaby Lake R is amazing. Its an incredible CPU for an everyday machine and is ideally suited for many people. Its a huge step up from the previous gen. I certainly wouldn't claim that its a garbage CPU. But by its nature, its not designed to deliver good sustained performance. Its not a match for a 45W quad-core CPU for any serious application.


An advanced MacBook Pro with 8th gen Intel processors
* 8th gen intel CPU
Again guys, I'm not getting you. Why is having a weaker CPU than the base 15" MBP a plus? I am seriously starting to doubt human rationality here. Weren't people complaining that MBP CPUs were "slow and outdated" not just a while ago? And now that MS releases a 15" laptop with 30-40% slower CPU, its suddenly a "plus"? Whats wrong with everybody? :rolleyes:
 

throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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Unless you’re an extremely niche user or a gamer, spec on most modern machines is pretty much irrelevant outside of how long the battery lasts, how good the screen is and how heavy it is.

Software is far more important, and Windows is garbage.
 

Adamantoise

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2011
891
112
Unless you’re an extremely niche user or a gamer, spec on most modern machines is pretty much irrelevant outside of how long the battery lasts, how good the screen is and how heavy it is.

Software is far more important, and Windows is garbage.
Lol, you guys are a kind of absurd to the point it's hard to take you seriously.

I use MacOS myself for most of my computing and I have to say I don't understand what exactly is better about MacOS compared to Windows 10. They're different OSes, but nothing stands out as better to me.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
So, do I understand it right: the new 15" SB 2 has a much weaker CPU than the 15" MBP?

One reason I bought a 15" MPB rather than the previous SB was that the old SB did not even offer a quad-core CPU. Now they do, but still a much weaker CPU than the 15" MBP?
Much depends on your usage, I have both 1st Gen Surface Book and 13"rMBP in real world use performance is pretty well matched. As long as the cooling solution copes with the new quad core CPU there will be no issue.

My own i7 1st Gen Surface Book runs at full boost/max frequency with no indication of throttling, so no reason to expect the larger 15"not to perform the same. Some of the more balanced reviewers are starting to compare the new 8th Gen CPU's. Yes the 7th Gen 45W quad core CPU is a stronger chip, equally the performance of the new 8th Gen U series quad cores is not poor as some would have you think. Personally I doubt there would be any meaningful difference in performance, unless the usage is intensively CPU bound for prolonged periods.

If you need to run the system so hard, thin & light designs are never going to be the optimal solution, as by default their design reduces the cooling capacity. I also own a powerful 15" Windows notebook with the 7th Gen quad core CPU and it has a tremendous cooling solution, which works superbly at in general CPU/dGPU temperatures rarely exceed 65C under full load, equally it's a larger machine and for good reason.

For a more definitive answer you would really need to stipulate the intended usage.

Q-6
 

throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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