Surface Laptop reviews

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by skaertus, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #1
    Reviews are out for the Surface Laptop, and (nearly) everybody seems to like it a lot.

    The Verge
    8.8

    "The Surface Laptop totally lives up to expectations".

    "There are thinner Windows laptops. There are cheaper Windows laptops. There are more powerful Windows laptops. But all those laptops ask you to make more uncomfortable compromises than the Surface Laptop."

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/13/15776222/new-microsoft-surface-laptop-review

    "It would be easy to compare Microsoft’s Surface Laptop to Apple’s MacBook Air that is still praised by many today, but I think that’s unfair. The MacBook Air hasn’t been a class-leading laptop for years with its low-resolution display and aging design. Competition like Dell’s XPS 13 and HP’s Spectre x360 have shown that Apple has been left behind, and Microsoft is now releasing its Surface Laptop at a time when it’s apparent that Apple has given up on its MacBook Air.

    The Surface Laptop isn’t perfect and the alcantara fabric will be a risky decision, but it does manage to achieve something very Apple-like: desire. I know there are laptops out there with more bells and whistles, but I still want to buy a Surface Laptop. Microsoft has managed to strike that fine balance of something that looks beautiful and luxurious, but that’s fully functional and effortless to use."

    "Provided you make that upgrade, the Surface Laptop might be the new default computer I recommend, essentially taking over exactly where the MacBook Air left off."

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/13/15780988/microsoft-surface-laptop-with-windows-10-pro-review

    Engadget
    89/100

    "While the Surface Laptop might not seem special on paper, I appreciate how all of Microsoft's design choices came together as I used it. Its metallic case and Alcantara covering beg to be touched; the keyboard didn't slow me down; and its battery life is impressive. It's the sort of laptop that makes you wonder, "Why can't everyone do this?"

    Microsoft set out to make the most refined notebook it could with the Surface Laptop, and for the most part it succeeded. It's sleek and powerful and has great battery life. It might seem like a step back for Microsoft, after trying to promote new twists on notebooks over the past few years. But it's more of a realization: There's still a huge demand for traditional laptops. And Microsoft just showed how it's done."

    CNET
    8.3

    "While it doesn't necessarily stand out in a crowded field, the Surface Laptop has a great design and is a solid, travel-friendly clamshell PC."

    https://www.cnet.com/products/microsoft-surface-laptop/review/

    ZDNet

    "the Surface Laptop is a nice addition to Microsoft's line-up for productivity workers who want a well-crafted device that's a cut above many of the Windows laptops on the market."

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/review-microsofts-surface-laptop/

    WIRED

    "But if you asked 1,000 people what they want in a laptop today and put it all in a $1,000 package, you’d get something like the Surface Laptop. After a week with a burgundy review model, I can say it looks and feels fantastic, especially the fabric covering the keyboard and trackpad. It’s a terrific laptop, once you upgrade the hopelessly crippled version of Windows that comes installed. (More on that later.) The future of laptops looks messy, expensive, and bedeviled by dongles, but the Surface Laptop spares you the transition pain. Microsoft built a right here, right now laptop, and a damn good one at that."

    "in a sea of MacBook Pros at Starbucks, I stand out with an eye-catching laptop. And it’s a Windows machine. Crazy."

    https://www.wired.com/2017/06/review-microsoft-surface-laptop/

    USA Today


    "When it comes to the hardware, Microsoft aced the test, though I’m grading on a bit of a curve if only because I’d have preferred the emerging USB-C connector rather than the proprietary connector Microsoft uses for its power adapter. (To be fair, most Apple notebooks use a proprietary adapter as well.) It also lacks an SD card slot."

    "Surface Laptop is not a perfect computer. But students (and others) seeking a light, attractive and secure well made notebook, will find that Microsoft's new laptop surely makes the grade."

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech...ft-surface-laptop-nearly-aces-test/102794790/

    The Telegraph

    "This beautiful ultrabook is probably not going to shift the categories as Microsoft has claimed, sitting as it does with a luxury tag yet aimed at university students on a budget. Taken on its own, however, the Surface Laptop is a stylish, powerful device that will turn plenty of heads in the classroom or lecture hall."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolo...ce-laptop-review-best-looking-windows-laptop/

    Business Insider

    "All of which means that it's hard to go wrong with the Surface Laptop. Even without a gimmick, it's still a super-deluxe touchscreen laptop, with a standout design. If you're looking for a MacBook alternative, you could do a lot worse than the Surface Laptop."

    http://www.businessinsider.com/micr...impressions-details-specs-release-date-2017-6

    T3
    4/5 stars

    "The Microsoft Surface Laptop is an excellent laptop although, like everything Microsoft makes these days, very slightly quirky."

    http://www.t3.com/reviews/microsoft-surface-laptop-review

    Alphr

    "Overall, the Surface Laptop is an interesting entry into a crowded market. I think the design gives it the edge over its Windows-based competition, although some of that will always be personal preference. It beats the MacBook Air but faces much tougher competition from the low- and mid-range MacBook Pro. It’s not a flagship, ground-breaking design in the way the Surface Pro 3 was, but it’s a good piece of hardware and will make a lot of people very happy."

    http://www.alphr.com/microsoft/1006...laptop-review-finally-a-laptop-from-microsoft

    Trusted Reviews

    "The Surface Laptop is a simple product, but it’s an exciting one. It’s the first real laptop from Microsoft, and it might just offer the perfect mix of style and substance."

    "The Surface Laptop is sleek and unique in its design, it has a lovely screen and feels fast and fluid to use. It's an exciting proposition that seems to be have been executed very well."

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/microsoft-surface-laptop-review
     
  2. nahkampfwombi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2016
    #2
    I really thought about buying a Surface Laptop or Surface Book.
    But they still don't have USB-C TB3 which is a deal-breaker for me.
     
  3. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #3
    This will be my new laptop to replace my MacBook Pro, and my wife wants one to replace her MacBook Air. It has a great design, good specs, and most importantly it has a great keyboard. And it has the Microsoft version of MagSafe!

    The lack of ports don't bother me - it has industry standard ports, that's enough for now.
     
  4. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #4
  5. Norco macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #5
    I don't think the pricing makes sense. $1,300 for the version of the Surface Laptop which is actually usable (8GB ram in particular) vs. the Macbook Pro 13. There's no "apple tax" at that point.

    If MS would have bumped the $999 version with 8GB ram, I'd consider it.
     
  6. JMacHack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    #6
    Wasn't the whole point of Windows vs. Apple heehawing supposed to be that Windows has better specs for cheaper?
     
  7. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #7
    Well, that WSJ video is ridiculous, I expect better of them. The Dave2D one is good, and the comparison charts are handy. But as he says, the mid-price Surface Laptop is comparable in specs and price to laptops from Dell, etc. What you're also paying for is the design and aesthetics, and also a premium because this is Microsoft's own line of hardware, and they don't want to associate with lower (cheaper) tiers of hardware. There are plenty shitbox Windows laptops around.

    With the i57200U, I'm not sure what difference you would experience with anything higher, given that this is not a pro laptop designed for heavy use. I'm not even sure what kind of graphics it has (integrated something, I guess). And I'm not taking those SSD speeds as gospel as the reviewer even says he based those on the specs from Toshiba, not an actual hardware test.

    But if you want to criticise the SSDs here, just remember that Apple still ships desktop computers with 5400RPM hard drives...

    The cloth keyboard will definitely need assessing after 6 months. I've seen lots of reviews of the Surface Pro keyboard where it is totally trashed after this point, but I've also seen a similar number where the keyboard looks as good as new. Microsoft are presumably confident that this covering will last, and I've seen a couple of comments that claim it is not identical fabric to that used on the Surface Pro.

    Personally, I would have preferred a plain aluminium keyboard, but I'll give this one a go.

    This is true. If you want a Mac laptop, then get a MacBook Pro. But if you want a Windows one, this is a compelling product.

    That's more true for desktop systems - you can build a killer PC rig that will outgun any Mac for the same or less money. Laptops are more difficult given that on the PC side they exist at a huge range of prices, from $300 boxes of nonsense to $3000+.

    In the end, this is absolutely not a laptop for everyone, but it's a nice new entry in the PC market. I have a late 2013 13" MBP, and when it finally dies or gets too old I won't be getting another Mac laptop, mainly because I don't like Apple's new keyboards (as a professional writer, this is perhaps more important for me). The best laptop keyboard is, I think, on the Surface Book, and I'm interested to see if it is the same on the Surface Laptop.
     
  8. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #8
    The 7300U is about 10% faster than the 7200U... The laughably slow SSD's have been confirmed by numerous in hand reviewers...

    It's about getting some value. These laptops are not by any means cheap. While the build quality looks to be stellar, they went cheap on the internals...

    There is no reason in a machine price that high to have bottom of the barrel specs...
     
  9. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #9
    But I still maintain that with the 7300U versus the 7200U, you won't notice any difference. The processor is "very fast" versus "very fast plus a tiny little bit more".

    The SSD speed is annoying, but it would be much more annoying if these were workhorse laptops, which they aren't. But now I'm curious as to the SSD speed in my MacBook Pro and Mac mini! What's the standard tool used to test them?
     
  10. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
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    #11
    Personally not looking to pick up a Surface Laptop as it doesn't meet my needs, nor appeal. I do however own and use a Surface Book with the typing experience being excellent. A significant improvement over my MacBooks and magnitudes better than the new MBP.

    I create complex technical documents as an aspect of my living, so similar to you the notebooks keyboard is a significant factor of the purchasing decision. Best two notebook keyboards I have tried is the Surface Book and Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon, with for me the Surface Book winning as it offers greater usability & productivity.

    Q-6
     
  11. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #12
    Fully agree with this.. I had the Surface Book for about a month before I sold it.. My main reason for selling it was not related to the machine as it was stellar but more that it didn't play well with Linux. I generally dual boot and before recently spent most of my time in Linux..

    Since getting my X1 Carbon I've actually been using Windows 10 more and more and I am really liking it..

    But yes, the KB on the Surface Book and the X1 Carbon are hands down the best on any machine, anywhere...
     
  12. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #13
    Very pleased with the Surface Book; performing very solidly in multiple roles and environments, nor has Windows 10 presented any issues. Don't always appreciate the complexity of W10, equally once you set some time aside to set it up how you want it, I find it just gets on with business, at the end of the day that's what counts. Also proving to be more stable than my other portable Mac's (3).

    Not sure of Microsoft's decision with the choice of material (Alcantara) for the Surface Laptop's keyboard deck, rather imagine it will be hard to keep clean, depending on the location & usage. Also would have been better had the display folded fully back to fully take advantage of the Pen & Touch enabled display

    Q-6
     
  13. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #14
    My wife just got a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga for work, and I must say the keyboard is rather fabulous, although it may be different to the Carbon as the Yoga does that weird thing where you can flip it around so you can use the laptop as a tablet, and the keys retract so they are flat.

    I'm interested to see if the Surface Laptop keys are the same as the Surface Book keys. I've played with a Surface Book in store, and really like it, but here in the UK it is significantly more expensive than the Surface Laptop. If the Surface Laptop comes close to the Surface Book in terms of comfort of use, then it seems like a more economical option for me.

    I'm a bit of a keyboard fanatic, so I know I don't represent standard users. I have a Ducky Shine 5 mechanical keyboard with Cherry MS blue switches for my desktop computer, which is about as chunky and clicky as you can get. My 2013 MBP keyboard is okay, but I just hate the new MBP butterfly keys. I don't see any reason at all for why they went in that direction.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 15, 2017 ---
    Yeah, Windows 10 is pretty solid - yes, macOS is better, but it's not enormously better like it was in the old days, thanks to Microsoft catching up.

    But more important for me is stability - I deal with very large Word documents, usually filled with tracked changes. While this is a fairly simple and routine app and task, the Windows version of Office is hugely, vastly faster and more responsive than the current Mac version, and while Microsoft have done a good job with squashing bugs on the Mac side, using tracked changes introduces an unpredictable instability, and I just can't afford to keep losing work (because these large Word docs are literally my income).

    Yeah, we need 6/12 months reviews of the keyboard deck. It wouldn't surprise me if the Surface Laptop 2.0 came with an all-aluminium option!
     
  14. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #15
    To me Apple simply wanted a thinner lighter notebook as they believe this will sell better to the masses nothing more nothing less. Unfortunately the resultant compromises can work against some dependent on their hardware for a living. Subjective maybe, however after 25 months with a Retina MacBook, and 6 months with the Surface Book; Apple's butterfly keyboard is simply inferior on all counts...

    Windows 10 and Office 2016 I have zero issues or concerns with. Microsoft has been steadily making progress, while Apple has seemingly traded productivity for lifestyle products, with added bells & whistles. I still have a 13" Retina MacBook and when used in combination with the Surface Book feels very much like an aged product. Apple is ever more painting itself into a corner regarding Pen & Touchscreen enabled notebooks, possibly to protect it"s iPad sales or simply Apple is incapable of developing such a product, as stated the edge OS X once had has steadily diminished.

    I did consider the X1 Yoga, however I prefer the detachable nature of the Surface Book's Clipboard and the 3:2 aspect ratio. Similarly once engaged and on an engineering project and in the field deadlines need to be met. Therefore stability is a prime factor, from my observations OS X is becoming increasingly unstable when under pressure.

    Q-6


     
  15. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

    Joined:
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    California
    #16
    Apple has become focused on the Starbucks fashion conscience crowd and that is plainly obvious.. It looks to me like MS is also taking aim at this segment of the market with the Surface Laptop. With MS, they have other options like the SP4 and the Surface Book. Apple has no other options for users who want, need or prefer more...
     
  16. Queen6, Jun 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    That's the big one, there's just thin or thinner, with the compromise's not working for a lot us, equally it's just take it, or leave it. Apple has already stated only 15% of it's Mac users are professionals, looks like Apple is intent on seeing that figure shrink ever further...

    Q-6
     
  17. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
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    Brazil
    #18
    Well, tested the Surface Laptop today. Feels good but I am not totally sold on it. The keyboard and the trackpad are very nice, but I cannot help thinking the fabric looks cheap and may be fragile. In addition, the screen hinge does not seem that solid. And it is well built, but the MacBooks still feel more solid.
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #19
    Yet to see one, nor in the market as Surface Book is what I need and I picked one up 6 months back. Kind of leery of the Alcantara fabric finish myself as I can only see it being hard-work to keep looking decent. I live and work between the sub Tropics and Tropics mostly, so don't see it standing up to that for too long.

    Q-6
     
  19. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #20
    Yikes!



    Basically it goes in the trash if ANYTHING goes wrong with it....
     
  20. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #21
    Not surprised as it basically follows the other portable Surface products, in the event of an issue you have no other recourse than returning the notebook to Microsoft for an exchange model. This was also an aspect of why I delayed purchase of my Surface Book, ultimately in time it' s features won me over.

    The bad clearly is if issue occurs outside of the warranty my own Surface Book came with a 24 month international warranty from Microsoft, so I am not so concerned as that is generally the duration I retain my working systems.

    Q-6
     
  21. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #22
    True and I guess I should have been more specific.. They could not even get the alcantara cover off without damaging it.. A stain or damage to it means it's either live with it or to the trash with the entire PC..
     
  22. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #23
    Agreed will be interesting how the Alcantara wears in time, not for me as would never keep it clean. At least with the Surface Pro you can just replace the KB Cover. Did think there may have been a way to replace the Surface Laptop KB deck, looking at iFixit removing the deck pretty much destroys the notebook.

    Wasn't interested previously, less so now :p

    Q-6
     
  23. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    #24
    I'm never buying a Microsoft computer or tablet after seeing that.
     
  24. zen, Jun 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017

    zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
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    #25
    Maybe I'm missing something - how is this different to Apple? And if it is different, what's wrong with getting an entirely new replacement from Microsoft?

    And actually, that video gives me confidence - the fabric covering is REALLY well stuck down. There is no way, over several years of use, that it will start lifting.

    And as for repairs - well, this is ifixit. Who knows what special tools Microsoft themselves may have to open it.
     

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