Surface Devices

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by Dave245, Jun 11, 2018.

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Do you own a Surface device

  1. Yes I own a Surface Pro or Surfacebook - it’s great

    74 vote(s)
    61.7%
  2. Yes I own a Surface laptop - it’s great

    9 vote(s)
    7.5%
  3. No - i’m not a fan

    18 vote(s)
    15.0%
  4. Not anymore I had a bad experience

    19 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #1
    Ok so I don’t want to do the Mac VS PC I feel like that’s been done to death. In this thread I just wonder about what people think of the Surface line up?

    Do you like the Surface Pro, Surface laptop, Surfacebook? Or have you had bad experience’s with them? Do you currently own a Surface device if so what do you think of it?

    Is the Surface a device that you game on? is it good for gaming?

    The reason for this thread is to get a general idea of people’s experience’s please don’t argue about Mac vs PC, it’s fine to say that you prefer a Mac or maybe you prefer a PC, I just want to avoid arguments and read people’s opinions.

    Personally I’ve not owned or tried a Surface device, I have been very critical in the past about them, however I do give Microsoft credit for the design (the Surface line up does look good) and for trying something new/different. Maybe your a Mac convert if so how are you finding the Surface device?
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    Location:
    Cocked, Locked, Ready to Rock
    #2
    Bought an i7 256Gb Surface Book with dGPU 2016, never presented any issue. Recently passed it onto my daughter as she's a talented artist and wants to explore digital art, again zero issues.

    I used the Surface Book both professionally and recreationally, only time I reset it was to set up and pass to my daughter. Want to game look at the 15" with Nvidia GTX 1060. Would I purchase another Surface Book absolutely yes, however I currently need a more adaptable and scalable notebooks.

    If you want to game buy a gaming notebook, which is ironically what I now use for professional purpose, as they are designed to be preformat & scalable.

    Q-6
     
  3. rachelsgoldens macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    #3
    I had a surface pro 3, I really enjoyed it but ended up selling after a couple years and going with the Surface Book because I needed the form factor. I have a 2015 Macbook that I love but I need a Windows machine to work with Quickbooks. I have had several pcs but the Surface devices are much preferred. They have worked well, aren't bogged down with too much crap and have kept their speed.
     
  4. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 604

    Dave245

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #4
    My last PC was in 2011, i'm more familiar with Mac's now but i do think the design of the Surface is nice and Microsoft have done well with it i have to give them that. I do wonder if will eventually become more popular over time. The Surface Book looks to be Microsofts competing product against the MacBook Pro.

    I have seen some video's that show the Surface Book gaming and it does look impressive for games on the go. The only thing that puts me off big time is Windows and the fact that i do love to use my Mac. It's great that you've been able to pass it onto your daughter, i assume she uses the Surface Pen? how did you find using that? much lag at all?

    For drawing and note taking i do have a 12.9" iPad Pro and it's a great device for being a tablet, but on the other hand i also have a 2011 MacBook Pro that's on it's last legs so i'm due an upgrade when it finally goes. I do see that some people use both Surface devices and Mac's probably one for gaming as Windows machines have always been for gaming more than a Mac.

    The one thing that i do agree with Panos Panay on is in this video



    When he talks about the conflict between the tablet and the laptop, i do agree that it would be much better to have the best of both worlds, BUT does Surface do that? we know that Apple are dead against making a hybrid they have said as much many times, even at WWDC they said a big NO to merging IOS and MacOS.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #5
    I own a SurfaceBook and its good. Overall after using this for 2 years, its a fine laptop. The build quality is very good, components are underpowered. I thought I'd be ok with it, but in the long run I think I want something with a bit more horsepower.

    Both the 13 and 15" offer the i7-8650U which is a 15w processor - kind of underpowered for MS markets as a performance laptop. The good news is that its coffee lake. It includes a GTX 1050 GPU for the 13" and the 1060 for the 15". The linked review below mentions in the 15" laptop if your playing a game, the GPU draws more power then what the a/c power provides and you're actually drawing down on the battery when gaming.

    A tad older but here's Dave2D's review


    What I don't like about the SurfaceBook is the center of gravity is off compared to all other laptops. That is, the weight is centered in the display and as such there is a fair amount of bounce as you type/use it on your lap. I do think its a premium laptop but its not for me this go around.
     
  6. Zenithal macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #6
    I found the first generation Surface products to be laughable in overall quality. I have not used generations since then but I haven't read anything particularly bad about them. The one constant I've seen in Surface products is their higher than market value price when you look at their specifications.

    It's late so I'm probably missing something here. Does it have to do with hardware HEVC decode?
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #7
    I own the SurfaceBook and its been rock solid, I have no complaints and I went from a Surface Pro 3 which was also very good.

    Here's what I found:
    Wiki
     
  8. Reverend Benny macrumors member

    Reverend Benny

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Location:
    Europe
    #8
    I'm currently using a surface pro 3 and colleges at work are using 4 and the Surface Laptop.
    Mixed experience really, MS has had a fair bit of problems with power management on the pro 3, especially if using with the dock.
    The four seems better tho.
    The people with Surface Laptop seem to like it but there is a major flaw when hooking up external monitors without a docking-station such as when doing presentation etc that has been bugging that device. So many of them has to borrow our mainstream HP elitebooks so be sure it works.
    Its a know problem that MS seems to be working on, the fixes that has been released has helped a bit but it still isn't 100%.

    Haven't used the Surface Book at all, my main concern would be the hinge but then again, its just a concern, nothing I've read about being a problem.

    So its a mixed bag, the Surface Pro isn't great for using if you are going to type much on an airplan on train and have a small space or tray in front of you, then i would go for something with a sturdier keyboard.

    I do like the Surface Pro formfactor tho and it does perform well.
    Not sure if I would get a new one today, there is so much to choose from in the PC world today.
    One thing I do hate, and its not an Surface specific thing, its the glossy screens.
    Apple does an alright job with their special coating, but nothing beats a matte screen.

    I did find a great compromise so I have just got myself a Toshiba Portege x20w.
    It has a matte screen but also support for a pen (that I never use anyway) and a great formfactor.
    THe trackpad is pretty ***** compared to both Surface Laptop and Apples Macbook.
     
  9. Zenithal macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #9
    I figured that's what you were referring to. I recently put together a few Intel builds for some acquaintances with W10 Pro and found the H.265 playback to be super smooth and utilize little operation compared to older Intel processors like mine. I'm inclined to upgrade to something fancy and fast now but I think I'll bide my time and get something newer and more optimized down the road. I've got an -E type processor which still chugs along nicely. I'm curious what Intel will bring out in the next 2 years, but for now the confirmed Threadripper 2 has my keen interest.

    At this point in my life and having built my own computers since the mid 90s (after I got into Apple), the company that offers a superior product for my own needs will get my money. Going by benches alone doesn't always benefit you.


    And, to be frank with you, it was a wonderful experience building those computers. I hadn't had to build one for myself or anyone for about five years. :) I'm liking a lot of the new AMD. I'm not impressed with the stunt Intel recently pulled and the direction they're going under BK's guidance. Alas, that is life. A company can only remain in the lead for so long before dropping back. That is the natural course of mankind.

    I'm happy that you're one of the people who enjoyed their original Surface Book.
     
  10. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 604

    Dave245

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #10
    Do you think the Surface line will be updated later this year?

    Personally if I were to game it wouldn’t be anything too heavy because i do have the game consoles for that (when I actually get time to go on them) but i do like the occasional game of The Sims, Tropico, Theme Hospital and those type of games, mainly because they do help and aid with the creative process plus taking a break is always good :)

    Recently I have been tempted to try a Surface device, I still love my Mac’s and would still use them along side other devices but I’m not going to lie the temptation is definitely there. I’ve never tried a Surface at all, my last Windows machine was a tower before I upgraded to a Mac in 2011.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    I misspoke when I said they were on coffee lake. I thought Core i7-8650U was coffee lake but seeing intel's page that's simply not the case. My apologies

    As for an update, maybe in the fall, but I'm not sure
    2018-06-12_6-58-58.jpg
    --- Post Merged, Jun 12, 2018 ---
    Yeah its been a stable product. In using it, I found that some of the design short comings do impact me, i.e., screen wobble and for my old eyes I really want a larger display. I'm not sure how much I'll get for it, but I'll be throwing it up swappa or something once I order the new laptop
     
  12. Zenithal macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #12
    Yeah, that's a major issue with any hinged device. I've found Apple's hinges to be fairly sturdy. I had a Samsung ultrabook with solid hinges. I'm not terribly impressed by the hinges on a lot of newer devices except for the 'pro' grade mobile workstations. As for the old eyes, I've found reading glasses help a lot. Though I'll admit I have trouble reading certain sized text on 4K. I've found that 11 point font at 1440p is about my max before I can feel the strain.

    I've used 4K displays and 4K laptops in the past. All I experienced was eye strain and strong, throbbing pain behind my eyes. I'm not sure if it's age related, genetic or simply the issue with 4K sans scaling changes. I'm really surprised there's a market for 4K monitors outside of video houses and special use cases. I never expected computer monitors to carry such a high resolution and figured it'd only be TVs.

    You might enjoy one of those fancy mobile workstations with a Xeon or something. Better if you can get your work to cover most of the cost.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #13
    This is why my next 15" laptop will NOT be 4k. I understand the allure of more screen real estate and advantages with using products like PS, and lightroom, but my eye sight is rather poor, and couple that with my age, I'd rather have a more comfortable user experience
     
  14. Zenithal macrumors 604

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #14
    That's primarily one of the reasons I won't be getting a 4K monitor for my next build. I forget the exact monitor size, but I had someone tell me a number of years ago that the prime size for a 4K monitor is 32". You know what? I'll tell you something, at 32" you can't make out jack without scaling up provided you're sitting 1.5-2' from the monitor. You need to go bigger to be able to make out things. On your typical 13 to 15 inch laptop, it becomes incredibly difficult to read text without being very close. And, by that point, the screen's lighting is already doing its damage.
     
  15. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #15
    Is Coffee Lake delayed? maybe that's why Apple haven't updated the Mac's yet either. Doesn't Microsoft usually hold a Surface event every year? correct me if i'm wrong because i don't follow them as much as i do Apple, i have watched some of their videos such as the Surface Pro 4 introduction.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    Nope, there are a plethora of laptops already out with Coffee lake. I myself am eyeing a 15" hex-core Razer laptop
     
  17. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #17
    Ok, maybe updates later this year then on both fronts.

    With your Surface did you use the type cover and Pen? if so what were they like? any lag at all with the pen? i currently use the Apple Pencil with my iPad Pro and it's really good at being responsive.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    The Surface Pro I owned, I did, though I really didn't use the pen. As for the Surface book, my version included the pen, but its not used. I guess with the surface book 2, its an added cost.
     
  19. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #19
    Is it not included with the Surface Book 2? I know they use to include it with the Surface Pro but then they stopped, following Apple’s model of not including the Pencil with the iPad Pro.
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    So it seems, the Dave2D video I linked states it doesn't.
     
  21. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #21
    That’s a shame, they really shouldn’t copy Apple on that. They should include it in the box. I do understand that the keyboard is a diffrent matter tho because there are different colours for the Surface Pro.
     
  22. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020

    SteveJUAE

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    #22
    I had a 2016 SP4 (now gifted to my youngest) and now have a SB2 15" and found them to be excellent devices whilst I am not a big user of touch or pen I simply view these extra features as added value on the occasions I use them, however I do find I am accustomed to touching the screen for certain functions on a regular basis.

    Whilst I can understand those that are true laptop users as I am a more of a coffee table user so never had issues re wobble and my middle son whos a sloucher use's his SP4 constantly in tent mode with a pen.

    I simply like the potential of these devices and with the SB2 which I opted for more for my diminishing eyesight is extremely versatile both in performance, battery endurance and ports add to this the touch and screen permutations, standard clamshells have never been so dull :D

    Sure you can ignore some of the features, without compromise, more so on the SB2 than SP4. The added value is there literally at your fingertips opposed to some added features on others laptops that are more focused on external USB-C connectivity, that most will never use and require spending $100's if not $1000's

    IMO these are more bragging rights on spec comparisons than true versatility presented by the SB2.

    Light gaming is possible on any reasonable spec laptop and is not really a point that deserves much debate even with the 1060 GPU that gives the SB2 much more capability than many

    I think Lisa on Mobiletechreview does some of the best comparisons and in-depth reviews, well worth watching her reviews and smackdowns on the SB2 :)
     
  23. Dave245 thread starter macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #23
    I do like the design of the Surface Pro and the Surface Book but personally I like the fact that the keyboard can come off, there are colour choices of both the Surface Pen and the keyboard, the Surface Book seems to be a more premium device.

    I do wonder id the rumours and leaks about them announcing a smaller version of the Surface in order to compete with Apple’s 10.5 iPad Pro are true. If they hold an event to show that off will they also update the Surface Pro and or Surface Book as well?
     
  24. Zenithal macrumors 604

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #24
    How good are those Razers? I've never read much good about Razer's product quality. By the way, I'm not sure if this matters to you now, but I read a rumor this morning that Intel will debut 8 core i7 processors based on Coffee Lake sometime in early to mid Q4 2018. It's a rumor, but rumors tend to have some substance. Even if it's just a tiny bit.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    Given Intel's track record of of making dates, I'd say anything in 2018 might be pie in the sky :)
     

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