Surface Pro 4 first impressions

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by ahostmadsen, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I bought a Surface Pro 4 for my wife. So, I was trying to set it up. Two times it crashed (yes, I'm a Mac person, but still...). First, my wife had forgotten her windows account. After some attempts, it ended up in blue screen, and I had to start all over. But now it could not pair with the pen. Second time, she tried to set up a pin. It was stuck. Again had to restart, and again pen not recognized.

    Now the next step is to transfer her old computer to her surface. Of course there is nothing like migration assistant. Yes, there is Easy Transfer, but that does not transfer software, and it does not transfer all documents. So, this is going to be a lot of work.

    As I said to her, there are reasons I use Mac.

    Still, the Surface hardware is nice, and the packaging was elegant (clearly a lesson from Apple). I'm willing to give it a chance, and if good enough I might consider a Surface next time, although I think OS X is clearly superior to Windows.
     
  2. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    #2
    I've heard a lot about blue screens and these new surfaces. And people try and act like Windows doesn't blue screen anymore, lol.
     
  3. Sym0 macrumors 6502

    Sym0

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    #3
    I haven't' seen a blue screen for 12 years from W7-W10, must be the luckiest guy ever. Or the jokes are getting really unoriginal. Kind of like Apple LOL. Oh the irony.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    I've never gotten a blue screen on my SP3, and my work PC never has in years. I wonder if something else is going on.

    In other news, people receive kernel panics in OS X
     
  5. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #5
    I didn't get a blue screen, but the computer did have some issues getting set up. It gave me a driver error for the pen for awhile and froze/wouldn't get past the lock screen. Eventually I was able to get past those hiccups. Hopefully, I won't have any more issues. Trying to relearn Windows after 13 years is hard enough. :)
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    #6
    When it can install and run the Mac OS seamlessly and without problems, give me a call.

    Until then, fuhgeddaboutit!
     
  7. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #7
    Just an excellent contribution. Bravo.
     
  8. modernaccord macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I heard the new hardware is having some teething problems. I'd take that device back to the store and have it swapped...sounds like a lemon.
     
  9. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #9
    I think (hope) it's more the software. I had no problems setting it up, and I've stressed it out with a good number of benchmarks without it breaking stride. But playing video, especially imbedded video on websites? It makes the machine act a little flaky and do weird things. I kept poking and prodding it, and eventually got it to blue screen on me.

    If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say the problems stem from way too early GPU drivers running on brand new, just released hardware.
     
  10. AFEPPL, Oct 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2015

    AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #10
    I kinda see that kinda comment everywhere. (the poke fun ones)The windows people think the MBP would be ok if it didn't have OSX on too!. I've concluded I'm just screwed, i just cant find anything people can agree on is stable or works...
     
  11. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #11
    Heh. Yeah. When it comes to tech stuff, everyone's kinda opinionated and dumb. :p
     
  12. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #12
    I think what's dumb is when hiding behind the fanboy mentality and just pull things down for the hell of it or equally big them up for the same reason. I run OS X and it has huge issues currently, more than i get on my windows machine in truth, but, i'm happy to talk about them more in hope that apple or someone will actually fix it - not to pretend x is better than y. Same with Windows or iOS i don't care what the devices is or who makes it, i want it to "just work" and work with everything not a locked eco system. The way for that to happen is not to be tied to anyone vendor.

    Maybe I'm an optimist? but this is not hard.. or shouldn't be. #deluded.
     
  13. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #13
    I believe it's a mixture of a lot of things. Some people might harbor a one sided opinion due to some bad experiences, but mostly it's a combination of being overprotective of their $1000+ purchases, and good old fashioned my stuff is better than yours tribal BS. It's just one of those things that being on the internet brings out of people.
     
  14. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #14
    My new Surface Pro 3 came out of the box flawless, setup, app installs and the rest of configuring went smooth as silk.

    Sometimes I wonder if Mac only users have a curse over their heads preventing them from touching other platforms without encountering reasons to bash them ... :D
     
  15. lewdvig macrumors 65816

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    #15
    I gave up on the SP3 and got a rMB for a few reasons:
    • multi account administration is a PITA compared to win7, and each account needs an MS Live account in order to use the stock mail and calendar app. The MS Live account can't be the same for multiple accounts.
    • Type cover 3 with my clumsy meaty hands had me touching the task bar when type function keys.
    • MS remote desktop insists on running the session at the SP3's native resolution, can't change it. I have to download an Intel GPU driver, force install so that I can run a scaled resolution. This resolution runs on all user accounts.
    • i5 overheats running simple apps like sudoku and cross word puzzles.
    • TC3 touch pad is awful, mind distressingly bad.
    I might try the SP4 to see if they have corrected the touchpad. But the other issues are all software related.

    RDC client for Mac is awesome. And I can scale the resolution to my hearts content. rMB battery is 50% better in my experience, and the keyboard and touchpad are great (I love the short travel kb). I don't like the single USB C port, and relying on rare dongles to output to projectors. I have another week to decide whether to return it.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    I've not had to deal with multiple accounts too much but from what I can tell it doesn't seen too bad. I use some utilities to get me back to the windows 7 start menu and control panel. I'll have to look at user management. I agree with the Windows Live account - I like having local accounts w/o needing a MS account.

    Its definitely better then prior incarnations but I agree its not great. The newer cover just released looks/feels so much better. I'm going to buy that cover the next chance I get.

    I'll have to try this, I use gotomypc to remote into my work computer and from there I run RDP. I'll have to see about connecting directly to the servers to see if I run into that.
    I agree on both points, I hear the fans kick up on the simplest actions. What's odd is that when its in the docking station its more apt to have the fans spin up then when I use it on my lap. I hate touch pads (all off them including Apples) but the type cover's is particularly bad. I use the pen and a portable mouse when I can.
     
  17. ahostmadsen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Now I got over the setup trouble with the Pro 4. I had to delete my wife's account, and then make it again. Everything seems to work fine.

    In terms of hardware, I have to say the Pro 4 is an impressive piece of design. Microsoft has nothing to be ashamed off compared with Apple.

    In terms of software, I'm not so sure. I still haven't migrated my wife's computer to the Pro. With Apple's Migration assistant it's so easy. With MS Easy Transfer, you first have to install all software, a long process. In terms of tablet apps, the MS store doesn't have much. Facebook is there, but not Yelp or Google Maps. Of course, you can use the websites, but it's not quite the same. And I think the iOS version of Office is superior to MS Office windows in tablet mode (in fact, the tablet mode of MS office windows seems to be the same as the desktop version, but perhaps I'm missing some settings).

    The reason I post this here is that it is a kind of competition for myself. My wife's setup: Pro 4. My setup: MacBook+iPad Air 2. I feel it doesn't make sense to compare the Pro 4 with a single Apple device. My quest is to see if next time I upgrade I would replace my Apple devices with a Pro 4 (or whatever it's called in a few years). The MacBook+iPad Air 2 is about the same weight as the Pro 4, so it's a fair comparison. So far, I still prefer the Apple setup. But what I like about the Pro 4 is the pen. Apple, give me an Air 3 with the Apple pencil and force touch. Then you will have an upgrader!
     
  18. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #18
    The mobile versions of Office aren't another setting, but another set of apps entirely. You can grab them from the Store.
     
  19. ahostmadsen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I see, thanks.

    But doesn't this contradict the Windows 10 philosophy? I thought the idea was that you have universal apps (continuum), that switches between tablet and desktop mode. But for office, you have two different set of programs?
     
  20. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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  21. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #21
    For now it does. Continuum only works with Universal apps, while the full and proper Office suite is still Win32 based. They'll probably port it over at some point in the future.

    For all its perks, it's still obvious that MS' ideal of a hybrid future is still very much a work in progress.
     
  22. ahostmadsen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Interesting. This is exactly the focal point of the competition between Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft, one hybrid device. Apple, specialized devices. So, for now, the Apple vision is perhaps superior, but Apple should take care. I have seen the refinement of Microsoft's vision from 8.1 to 10, and it's impressive.

    Still, to me it seems the tablet mode of windows 10 doesn't do much, it just makes windows full screen. It doesn't really switch between a mouse-optimized mode and a touch-optimized mode. Whereas switching between an OS X device and an iOS device very much does that.

    This is a reason a bought the Pro 4 for my wife. Then I can test out the Windows waters without taking the jump (the software my wife uses is Windows only, so she doesn't have choice).
     
  23. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #23
    I'm now on my second SP4. I was having issues with the Type Cover where upon snapping it on, the trackpad wouldn't work. The keyboard would work fine, but the trackpad wouldn't do anything. Spent about 2 hours in chat and on the phone with Microsoft last night. They said to swap out the keyboard, so I was at the Microsoft Store doing that today. The new keyboard didn't work on the SP4, so they said they would swap that, too.

    I understand that sometimes things like this happen, so I'm not mad or upset or anything. I ended up with an extra charger out of the deal (on purpose or by accident), so that will be helpful.

    I continue on my quest to see if this device will meet my needs.
     
  24. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #24
    I've always summed up the difference between Apple and MS as elegance vs. flexibility. With Windows 10, touch isn't quite as refined and all encompassing as it is on iOS. It's more a mode you can jump into, another form of interaction than it is an entire ideal.

    I can see the perks of MS' idea. I'm typing this out on my brand new SP4 as we speak. But it's not as easy to immediately get into as Apple's implementation. There's a longer learning curve here I didn't experience with my iPad. But at the same time, there's SO much more you can do with it.

    I think it all ultimately comes down to preference. Each approach has their advantages, but I could easily see why some might prefer one over the other.
     
  25. lewdvig macrumors 65816

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    #25
    As ultralight machines you can travel with (for work or whatever) they are about the same weight. If you can live w/o the keyboard (on screen kb is quite good) then the SP4 is about 200 grams lighter. I like the USB charge port on the ac adapter too, very smart. Apple could have done something similar.

    I am a weight weenie when it comes to travel, so I would not want to carry around the iPad air 2 and rMB. Too heavy.

    I think the screen is better on the SP4, and it runs a full i5. I like that it has so many normal ports.

    The only way to know for sure is to buy one of each and return the loser.
     

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