Surface Book costs more than MBP! What's going on with the price of computers??

Luba

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Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
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I did a quick comparison and you can't really match up spec's exactly, but it does look like the top Surface Book at $3299 is more expensive than the top MBP! I would think Microsoft would want to price themselves below Apple to demonstrate their value, but what do I know about business strategy.

What I am shocked is the new trend of computers costing quite a bit more than in the past. The top Surface Studio (sort of like an iMac) is $4299! What's going on?

I guess I'll be lugging around my relatively heavy 2010 15" MBP for a while longer. I really only need it to do productivity, maybe the occasional video edit (Final Cut) or audio work (Logic). And it does have a DVD drive so I can watch movies.
 

talkybear

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Mar 10, 2015
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These are just "elite" computers that charge a premium. You can get a good computer with good performance for much lower if you look around. Thinkpads or Dell XPS series all have good reviews and normally in the 1k to 2k range.
 

myscrnnm

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
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Seattle, WA
I think Microsoft's strategy right now is not necessarily highlighting the affordability of their products, but rather the innovation. The Surface Book is one of the few computers on the market that can really do well as both a tablet and a laptop, the build quality is on par with Apple's, and the hinge mechanism is ingenious (if not particularly practical), and the Surface Studio really can't be compared to the iMac, or any other computer. I have to admit the Studio looks very impressive, and is what I've wanted to see a manufacturer do for years (large touchscreen surface on a slim but powerful device). That being said, I still ordered a 2016 MacBook Pro, but I think Microsoft is trying to position itself as a higher end manufacturer of PCs these days.
 

Altis

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Sep 10, 2013
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I've noticed this as well (it's worse here in Canada with the dollar).

It's good to keep in mind that these mobile devices have gotten much, much better over the past few years. The battery life, CPU/GPU performance, SSD speeds, and especially the screen quality and resolution, are all much better than they were 5 years ago.

The Surface Studio comes standard with a 4k 28" touchscreen panel with active digitizer, etc... Not saying it's worth it, but it isn't going to be cheap for a while. The Surface Book is sure expensive, but it's also a detachable tablet with an active digitizer touch screen unlike the MBP.

I'm with you lugging around a 2010 MBP (mine's the colossal 17"). I use a powerful desktop at home that costs far less compared with high-end mobile devices. I'd say that's the best way to keep the cost down if you only do productivity stuff on the go and heavier stuff at home.

The new MBP prices are just way too steep at every level... but the competitors aren't exactly giving their stuff away.
 

julesme

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2016
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San Jose
What's going on is that laptop sales are in secular decline and manufacturers at the very high end (where consumers pay for quality and are less price sensitive) hope to make up some of the lost revenue with higher prices.
 
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jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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Have you looked at the Surface Studio?

It is a unique computer designed for the a specific purpose. Providing a next generation environment for digital artists, architects, and other creative types. It is cheap for what it does.

Microsoft if kicking everyone's butt in design these days. And taking a lot of risk, unlike some other computer companies.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
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Have you looked at the Surface Studio?

It is a unique computer designed for the a specific purpose. Providing a next generation environment for digital artists, architects, and other creative types. It is cheap for what it does.

Microsoft if kicking everyone's butt in design these days. And taking a lot of risk, unlike some other computer companies.
Exactly. Apple doesn't have a computer like the Surface Studio:

 

Luba

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Apr 22, 2009
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Surface Book only costs $1350 BTW
The Surface Book I'm talking about isn't even out yet. At the lowest spec it's $2,400. It's Microsoft's answer to the new MBP.
[doublepost=1477719561][/doublepost]
I've noticed this as well (it's worse here in Canada with the dollar).

It's good to keep in mind that these mobile devices have gotten much, much better over the past few years. The battery life, CPU/GPU performance, SSD speeds, and especially the screen quality and resolution, are all much better than they were 5 years ago.

The Surface Studio comes standard with a 4k 28" touchscreen panel with active digitizer, etc... Not saying it's worth it, but it isn't going to be cheap for a while. The Surface Book is sure expensive, but it's also a detachable tablet with an active digitizer touch screen unlike the MBP.

I'm with you lugging around a 2010 MBP (mine's the colossal 17"). I use a powerful desktop at home that costs far less compared with high-end mobile devices. I'd say that's the best way to keep the cost down if you only do productivity stuff on the go and heavier stuff at home.

The new MBP prices are just way too steep at every level... but the competitors aren't exactly giving their stuff away.
That 17" is quite big! :)

I hope the new upcoming iMac won't be so shockingly expensive as I'm looking to upgrade my desktop.
 

tubeexperience

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Feb 17, 2016
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The Surface Book I'm talking about isn't even out yet. At the lowest spec it's $2,400. It's Microsoft's answer to the new MBP.
First of, it can't be "Microsoft's answer to the new MBP" because it was announced before the new MBP and products usually takes months if not years to developed.

Second, Microsoft is offering the $2400 configuration for those who want it. For everyone else, Microsoft is offering Surface Book starting at $1350.

It's like going to Subaru dealer and asking why the most expensive Outback is so expensive.
 
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jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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The Surface Book I'm talking about isn't even out yet. At the lowest spec it's $2,400. It's Microsoft's answer to the new MBP.
Not really. It targets a user that wants a tablet/laptop all in one. Apple answer is a MacBook Pro AND an iPad Air.
 

Luba

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
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First of, it can't be "Microsoft's answer to the new MBP" because it was announced before the new MBP and products usually takes months if not years to developed.

Second, Microsoft is offering the $2400 configuration for those who want it. For everyone else, Microsoft is offering Surface Book starting at $1350.

It's like going to Subaru dealer and asking why the most expensive Outback is so expensive.
You're saying there will be a $1350 version of the Surface Book? On microsoft.com the least expensive version is $2400.

My fanboy-ism came out . . . when I said it's Microsoft's answer. :) If it's $1350 I'll check it out. I like Microsoft's computers because they don't have bloatware on them. I wonder how much extra I have to pay to get rid of the ads inside Windows 10? My only other real complaint is Microsoft trying to be like Google with targeted ads. I have to go through all these settings so Microsoft won't spy on me.
 

Ghost31

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Jun 9, 2015
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You're saying there will be a $1350 version of the Surface Book? On microsoft.com the least expensive version is $2400.

My fanboy-ism came out . . . when I said it's Microsoft's answer. :) If it's $1350 I'll check it out. I like Microsoft's computers because they don't have bloatware on them. I wonder how much extra I have to pay to get rid of the ads inside Windows 10? My only other real complaint is Microsoft trying to be like Google with targeted ads. I have to go through all these settings so Microsoft won't spy on me.
This is the part that confuses me. Are there two versions of the surface book, or did they just leave last year's model in there at the 1300 price point and the new model is 2400? A little lost here
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
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You're saying there will be a $1350 version of the Surface Book? On microsoft.com the least expensive version is $2400.

My fanboy-ism came out . . . when I said it's Microsoft's answer. :) If it's $1350 I'll check it out. I like Microsoft's computers because they don't have bloatware on them. I wonder how much extra I have to pay to get rid of the ads inside Windows 10? My only other real complaint is Microsoft trying to be like Google with targeted ads. I have to go through all these settings so Microsoft won't spy on me.
I can't believe I have to take a screenshot for you.

 

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
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UK
sure the entry level is cheaper, but now choose a spec that is comparable and actually usefull. try the surface book with i7 16gb 512ssd and then do the comparison

ps. im writing this on my surface pro so no fanboy. unfortunately other computers have gotten even more expensive and apple is just getting in line with them
 

Ghost31

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Jun 9, 2015
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sure the entry level is cheaper, but now choose a spec that is comparable and actually usefull. try the surface book with i7 16gb 512ssd and then do the comparison

ps. im writing this on my surface pro so no fanboy. unfortunately other computers have gotten even more expensive and apple is just getting in line with them
Give me your mini review of your surface pro. For someone that hasn't used windows in years
 

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
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UK
Give me your mini review of your surface pro. For someone that hasn't used windows in years
The super short short version; I'm looking to back to a Mac.

The slightly longer version;
My last Mac was a MacBook Air - Haswell i7 8GB 512SSD. I still have it, but my daughter is using it for school. So a year and half ago (March 2015) I fancied a change and was taken in by the Microsoft Surface Pro. I loved the idea of an iPad that I could also use as a full blown laptop. I couldn't quite justify the cost of the i7 512SSD model so I went for the i5 256SSD with 8GB. It wasn't just the cost, I read that the thermal throttling often slowed the i7 to less than the i5.

Anyway I got a docking station for it as well so no cables to connect, and as it only has one USB on board I managed fine on the road but connected through the docking station when in the office. It came with Windows 8 but 10 was launched shortly there after. I quite like Windows 10, nothing wrong with it in principle. I rand it with Office 2016 and Adobe CC plus some development tools. And that is where it starts to go wrong. I really don't like it for development work, sure Microsoft's Visual Studio is great, but doing ruby on rails or any such others languages is just a pain to configure. Give me a Mac or Linux any day.

I even went to a Windows phone but lets just say getting text messages or calls via your computer was not reliable, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I then got a Samsung S7 Edge, but again you need to install tools to get your messages and calls and it is flaky. Apple has that integration with the iPhone just so slick without the need for wires.

But then there is the power, the i5 was really struggling at times, I expanded memory in the build in card reader with an extra 128GB and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't see it. And to me that is just the general story with Windows 10. You never know for certain whether it works, I have to restart it often. I get lots of slow downs for no appearant reasons, skype at times makes the machine unresponsive. Scaling for my external 4K screen is lots better than under Windows 8, but still very clunky and apps can't have access to 1:1 for say the photo whilst the UI is scaled like under macOS.

So this is supposed to be the reference machine by Microsoft. I though I was going to be safe from a lot of those annoyances, but no, not even on their reference machine.

Oh and did you hear me about the touch screen and the pen? Nope, indeed that is correct because I don't use it. In the year and half that I have had it I just didn't use it at all. Never found a need for it, never had the urge. I think Apple has got it spot on in not combining touch screen in their laptops.

And then finally there is battery life, the Surface Pro 3 real life battery life is more like 5 hours. But unlike the Surface Book it doesn't have a secondary battery in the keyboard. I also have this Windows special function with it at time; when I close the lid I want my machine to sleep and not use power, yet how come it always feels warm in my back. With the Mac I trust the battery life, and with the MBA I never actually took the charger with me for the day at work. I cannot do that with the Surface Pro.

In short; I'm looking to go back.
 
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