Surfacebook Pro, etc. vs MBP

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by aoaaron, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. aoaaron macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hey, I have a 2015 macbook pro that will hopefully last me a couple of more years as I love the keyboard, the magsafe, the screen, the trackpad but its become a bit old for 4k video editing and its always been useless at gaming as I was stingy and didn't get a dedicated GPU.

    I also have an ipad pro which basically doesn't get used sadly.



    So... anyway. What are the alternatives and peoples thoughts on competitors?

    I used to think gaming laptops for example = poor battery life, huge as hell, etc. However they've made some huge strides on the screen front (alienware OLED 13'' panel) and the size:power:battery life ratio with Nvidia Q designs which allow a 1060/1070 to be packed in.

    This is ignoring the Surfacebook Pro which just basically looks like something you would have predicted apple would release by this time.

    I find facetime/imessage/the apple ecosystem is now the only thing tieing me to their mac sides of things. Any thoughts on people who've made the switch and been happy and those that have made the switch and been burnt?
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #2
    Gave up with Apple professionally, too little, too late, wrong direction (base consumer) and now unreliable. Have used multiple Windows 10 notebooks for the last couple years with no real issue other than taking a little more time to optimise to my usage/workflow, and getting back into Windows.
    • Surface Book (1st Gen) replaced 13" rMBP
    • Huawei MateBook X replaced 12" rMB
    • MSI GE63VR Raider replaced 15" MBP
    • Acer Predator 17 replaced the MSI
    I've had literally zero issue with the above hardware it's all used professionally (heavy engineering, multiple locations globally, traveling frequently). The Surface Book and MateBook X tend to be self explanatory. The gaming notebooks not so much, initially purchased as a stopgap, equally the performance and scalability they offer is refreshing, to some extents they appeal to my sense of humour, and they've grown on me in time :)

    Don't be fooled if you want this much performance in a portable format it's likely to have it's compromises; thinner lighter models tend to be more noisy and potentially prone to throttling (max CPU dGPU) or they will be fairly bulky and suitably heavier, not that this is always a drawback.

    The Acer Predator 17 is without any doubt the most controversial on the list; build quality is best described as "built like a tank" Yes it's big, yes it's heavy. Does it bother me no as I always travel with an ultraportable for my "on the go" needs, nor is the Predator 17 a notebook I would use in a very high mobility role.

    Predators performance is pretty much top tier, with a 17X variant offering an overclocked CPU and GTX 1080 for those that need the absolute max on the go. My own Predator i7 spec: i7 7700HQ, 32Gb RAM (user upgradable to 64Gb), GTX 1070, 2 X M.2 SSD slots, 1 X 2.5" SATA drive bay, 1080p G-Sync display (4K is an option). Port solution is really solid all common use ports and USB C/TB3 with no penalties.

    Battery life 5 hours at a stretch with light work, if you use the considerable performance clearly battery will be decimated in quick time :p Not one for benchmarks too much, equally I like to establish the limits and the Predator 17 even under the most brutal synthetic loads holds full Turbo on the CPU and GPU, nor is the notebook noisy or ever warm to the touch.

    Scalability is off the charts, I can upgrade the Predator 17 to as much as 7TB of internal storage, more with a caddy/adaptor and 64Gb RAM. More likely just add a Samsung 961 M.2 and the beauty of this format of notebook is however one decides to configure the storage it can be easily migrated to the next system.

    Obviously multimedia and gaming is spot on, don't game a lot, equally I just set everything to Max by default, be rude not too :p

    Windows 10 has proved to be 100% stable very much embarrassing all my Mac's for the same given usage scenarios. Takes little more effort to set up, equally I'll happily settle for that over instability. No it doesn't auto reboot and kill your work as long as one sets the system up the way you want it to be. I expect to be away 5 weeks on this trip and the only time I expect the system to restart is when I want it too...

    Why? Apple enough on that one. Started off as a conversation, bit of a joke, then a thought, then why not. Gaming notebooks are generally designed to deliver continuous high levels of performance. Reception has been really positive and I'm dealing with major multinational's. People really like the Predator as it's very far from the usual dull corporate box. Admittedly I do calm down the lighting, and I find being able to flip the colour when working at night to be a bonus, something I would never previously considered a desirable feature, also the dedicated macro keys offering significant versatility.

    The irony of Apple's professional/prosumer premier notebook being dumped for a "gaming rig" is not lost on me :p equally the Predator 17 paid for itself instantly and as a professional tool for me absolutely "killing it" I have a few games installed, that said I don't even have a Steam account :p which further adds to the irony :) I was also surprised the more I researched just how many employ gaming notebook's in professional scenarios...

    Are they for everyone no, are they the perfect notebook's no, absolutely not :p Future plans; maybe a 1080 with Max-Q and a little more radical design :apple:o_O:apple:

    Q-6
     
  3. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #3
    I am really surprised with this tie to so called apple Eco which is not much more than a bunch of triva convienancies. Sure its maybe in some circumstances, which are more often than not relatively unique to the individual or local but really a significant investment because you can answer more calls for example, I don' t think so given many other pros offered in cross platform devices.

    There are plenty of premium devices with a wide range of options and far greater flexibility to suit all

    Embrace change and enjoy
     
  4. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #4
    The problem that i find is the OS, MacOS is so much better to use than Windows in my opinion. The Surface Book and indeed the Surface range all look good i will give them credit where it's due but in reality the Surface isn't very practical when it comes to touchscreen, i don't know anyone who edits video using touch screen on a laptop or desktop computer the same for people within my profession of writing.

    I'm instantly put off when i see this, it not only looks silly but it is also impractical, i think this is the reason Apple hasn't put a touchscreen on the Mac, simply because thy haven't found a great way to do it. Now i'm sure there will be comments disagreeing with me after all everyone has an opinion but when i want to use a touch screen i use my iPad when i want to do video editing or long periods of writing i use my Mac.
     

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  5. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #5
    Ignoring OS preference, you seem to be missing the point it's not compulsory to use the touch screen or even in that orientation

    You are free to use it as much or as little as you like. Given how much touch interfaces are in our daily life you would be surprised how accommodating it can be at times

    There is a right time to use KB/TP/Mouse/Pen/Touch, having the option is what it's all about to suit your working methods

    The top slot for this goes to the Surface Book 2 which is everything a MBP or Ipad and every other laptop or 2 in 1 is, for it's given spec and footprint.

    I agree for many they may only use the touch aspect 10% of the time on their Clam shell laptops but when they use a laptop that's not touch is the only time they realise how they have become accustomed and easily integrated to their workflow.

    It's all about personal choices and preferences, not the lack of them, which is all you have in MacOS native input interface methods
     
  6. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #6
    But without the touch screen the Surface is just another laptop isn't it? the reason i mention the touchscreen is because it's something that Microsoft often talk about when mentioning the Surface. The option can be there sure but if your not going to use it isn't that a waste? especially when it's a feature that Microsoft like to highlight the most.

    I'm not saying that people are wrong for using it i'm just talking from a personal stand point, i cringed when i watched the guy from Surface demo the Surface Laptop and he used the pen on the screen, he didn't just write on the screen with the pen, he had to physically hold the screen to stop it from wobbling, from that moment it was a fail for me personally.

    Some people may say "why are you watching Microsoft events if you don't like them" or "You like Apple why are you watching Microsoft" and my answer before anyone does say that (it's been said in the past) is that i like technology as a whole so i watch different keynotes, just because i'm an Apple fan and at the moment and they satisfy my tech needs doesn't mean i don't watch other companies to see what they are doing.
     
  7. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #7
    Sure if you never use it you could consider it a waste but you could say the same for 4xTB3 ports and 4x Monitor support is a waste on a MBP which IMO most are never likely to all be used and more bragging rights than practicalities :D

    Personally I never use a pen in that fashion, if anything its a few finger swipes in clam shell mode, however my son uses his SP4 all the time with pen but often in tent mode.

    My sister has a surface laptop and never uses touch. She went shopping for a rMB and on the way to checkout with the rMB under arm spotted the Surface and bought that instead and could not be happier. I set it up for her and found the screen to be reasonably stable. But sure 180 degree hinges are better. Or given the flexibility available using tent mode for pen input coupled with BT/Ext KB gives more permutations

    Back down to choices :D
     
  8. Queen6, Apr 7, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018

    Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #8
    No one uses a Surface Book in such a manner or any other 2 in 1 for that matter, just detach or flip the screen. After all that's what they are all about. I just gifted my 13" Surface Book to my daughter as my current project requires far more performance, equally I'm going to pick up a smaller 2 in 1 as once you adapt you can really benefit from Pen & Touch in combination with a full desktop OS. Sole reason Apple hasn't done it is they want you purchase more hardware simple as that, the rest is just sales and marketing BS.

    Let's face it Apple is now incapable of rolling out meaningful updates to it's computing line up, so expecting Apple to do something as radical a Touch & pencil enabled Mac is just not happening...

    Q-6
     
  9. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #9
    You will probably have to wait for the morphed MacIOS chipset devices then it will be a different argument LOL
     
  10. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #10
    Then I don’t get why the Surface boss was on stage demoing it that way, if your just going to detach the screen it’s then a tablet which Microsoft have been very bad at doing vs the iPad. I just don’t like the idea of 2 in 1s.

    Maybe I’m the only person thinking it but I really hope Apple doesn’t go down that route! When I want to do things like drawing or hand written notes I use my iPad Pro, for other things like typing for long periods of time or video ending i use my Mac.

    As for Mac updates I don’t understand what you mean, Mac’s were updated at WWDC last year.
     
  11. SteveJUAE, Apr 8, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #11
    But it's not just a tablet like the Ipad its a fully functional OS not some mobile OS that is limited

    I'm not detracting from the fact that the IPP has a few nice apps but its still replicating mostly your mobile not your Mac
     
  12. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #12
    That is true but it’s trying to be a tablet and PC in one but the iPad is a better tablet while the surface can do more with its desktop OS, I do think it comes down to personal preference.
     
  13. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #13
    Not really I think it's different business models for normal consumers

    Apple under the disguise of better experience wants you to buy more devices ie want to talk to your TV by an Apple TV like the watch need an IPhone, want touch buy an Ipad etc etc Same for Imessage it is a good app but severely limited to IPhone users and is a complete miss internationally but can work well in a few countries like the US

    Of course you can understand from Apple or fans they view this as an understandable pro but in the cold light of day it's a form of entrapment especially by limiting cross compatibility

    MS and others take a more cross platform approach and you can cherry pick what works for you from different OEM's or have it all in some 2 in 1's

    You can argue that the Apple way is more seamless and compatible but in terms of value you pay dearly through the wallet for this ease and not always gaining more with the limited choice on offer or subscriptions etc. But this is obvious as they only play in a premium market that can afford this approach

    However Apple remain successful so many must opt for the easy route :D but not in the commercial world where Windows OEM's is by far the majority and even Apple Mac sales is only by a very small minority (15%) of pro users
     
  14. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #14
    It’s certainly true that we pay a premium for Apple devices you would have to be a fool not to admit/see that, however a lot of the time I’ve found the premium worth paying, take my MacBook Pro for example a laptop I’ve had since 2011, for 7 years it has been a great laptop and I’ve had no issues with it! Before that I was a Windows user and had so many problems (having to defrag, slow downs and so on), I’ve also had the same brilliant experience with my 2012 iMac, every iPhone and iPad I’ve owned since being an Apple user, and even my Series 0 Apple Watch has been great.
    I don’t want to paint a picture of Apple being perfect because they are not, they do make mistakes but so far in my experience I’ve had brilliant experiences with all the Apple devices I own.

    I’m not picking fault with anyone who uses a Surface or even Windows machines, I understand that some people prefer the freedom of being able to build and customise their machines which is something Apple doesn’t offer! The ecosystem of Apple can seem a little restricted at times but for those of us who are inside it the system works so why change it?

    Saying that i don’t just blindly follow, I do look at what other companies are doing with technologies and if there ever came a time when Microsoft sorted out Windows and made it more like MacOS while also adding great technology that appealed to me I would probably switch back.
     
  15. SteveJUAE, Apr 8, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #15
    I buy several laptops a year for personal use or for my sons. it's only since 2016 have I not bought any MBP's as none of us have a particular liking for the latest breed. Other than my wife and eldest, who are still on their rMB and in-laws who have a graveyard of old MBA hand me downs.

    Our last IMac was sold off after my sons finished Uni a few years back and I think they still have the 1st gen Ipad mini's around that I bought as stocking fillers from Sam's club.

    Only my eldest has an IPhone now that I bought when he got his Phd else the rest of us ported over to Samsung

    My sons were always pro Apple from day 1 and their white Macbooks were the only ones we have ever had issues with. I went 6 years and 6 MBA iterations till I had enough of low screen res. For a year or so I went with Sony last Z series, before going back to rMB for a year, until the SP4 came out. I have now gifted my SP4 to my youngest (who was an avid Dell gamer) and replaced it with the new SB2.

    The 2 in 1's of premium quality like MS Surface range are exceptionally practical as I have tried many tablets (Ipads/Android) and small 10" laptops like Lenovo that end up as placemats after the initial fun and amusement of a new toy weans. I can get my tablet fix when I want by simple detachment with no loss of functionality or software, this I learnt from my SP4

    For the 1st time ever I have opted for the 15" more for ease on the eyes, where before I would gladly pay more for the best spec 12" available, for portability.

    There is nothing in the Apple camp that is not equally available quality wise or bettered elsewhere by spec. Having to buy 2 devices from Apple to become even close to SB2 seems obvious if you do not need a unique MacOS application as most other good software is dual OS or W10.

    For my professional work in heavy engineering Windows is the only option, so no more boot camp for me these days :)
     
  16. eltoslightfoot macrumors 6502a

    eltoslightfoot

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    #16
    A few nice apps? Really? Okay. I use Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. I use Procreate for digital sketching and painting. I use Affinity apps to edit, Wordpress to blog, Scrivener to write. Omnifocus for tasks, OneNote for novel research, Apple Notes for the rest of research, Plex for entertainment, Aeon Timeline for date research, paprika for recipes. ALL ON iPAD AND LAPTOP. And it all works great when I am out and about. I still have a macbook, and that fills the the increasingly small gaps between iOS and MacOS. Anyway you act like it is impossible for ANYONE instead of just you. So I am pointing out that I go on week long trips with just my iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard and write, blog, etc., just fine.

    I am also not saying that they are exactly the same as a full blown mac or PC, however. Most people have a desktop + 2 in 1 or a desktop plus laptop. I have a laptop + iPad Pro. Whatever floats your boat, my man, just remember that other workflows float other people's boats.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 8, 2018 ---
    Man you had better experiences with Surface products than I did. I wanted them to work so bad. Tried an SP2, SP3, and, briefly, an SP4. All had sleep/wake/hibernate issues. All had update issues. All had battery life issues. I am really glad that they are working for someone.

    Every once in a while I still read surface forums, and am like, yep. I'm good without those headaches.
     
  17. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #17
    I do not think anyone would say there is not more software available on MacOS or W10 and by your own admission you confirmed the point we were discussing, as even you need to supplement your Ipad

    For some of us it's not remotely possible to function other than some dailies and a bit of fun with an Ipad or tablet. If your happy with that combo good for you but I found it a sub par experience.

    Many can equally function without a laptop and just a tablet, Dave and I were discussing why 2 in 1's in general , it's not for everyone but for combo users it can make more sense subject to workflow and ignoring OS preference.

    I've tried travelling with just a tablet with a KB and much prefer a small 2 in 1 like a Tab Pro S and may try the newer version for convenience and better pen support
     
  18. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #18
    It sounds like you certainly have the computer experience, in recent years I’ve used only my MacBook Pro 2011, iMac 2012 and my friends MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, I’m due an upgrade soon and can’t decide between the 12” MacBook and the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (I’ll wait and see what’s announced this year). I’m not sure that a 2 in one can support everyone’s work flow, don’t get me wrong the Surface Book 2 looks like a nice premium product and the Surface Laptop also looks nice but it’s more about functionality and reliability for me.
     
  19. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #19
    I really enjoyed the rMB it's a great lesson in not over spec'ing :) and surprising what can be done :D

    The portability is great and it is amazing how it encourages you to use your laptop elsewhere

    I still give them a little pat when I see one in a store and my wifes 2015 is still going strong, but I'm not sure I want to re learn the KB again even though I am quite light handed

    The newer gens are a bit more refined, if you can, get one on 14 days trial and enjoy
     

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18 February 23, 2018