The Surface Thread

The Book deserves its own thread. I own one and I love it. But then MS has to announce this now.

Well, that looks like a damn fine laptop. Microsoft is really going after Apple, and their timing is good. The Macbook Pro line is weak, and this laptop seems to have what it takes to attract the same market.

Wow, sounds like everything I wanted from the Book 2. Wish they’d launched this before I upgraded my iPad though.

Very cool to see the 13" model come with a 1050.

However, the 13" model is surprisingly heavy and both models are very expensive compared to Dell’s XPS13/15. The XPS13 weighs 2.7 lbs; the SB13 starts at 3.4 lbs. That’s a huge difference. The old Macbook Air weighed 3 lbs and that’s the starting point for a 13" ultrabook. The 13" macbook pro also weighs 3 lbs.

The Verge reviewed a SB13 at 3.6 pounds. Probably the GPU model. That’s a brick on your back.

Also, no thunderbolt3 on a $1500+ laptop launching Q3 2017 is not OK.

Hah my Precision M4800 is 6lbs.

That isn’t really billed as portable, though. It’s a desktop replacement that you can move, but you don’t expect to see anyone in the park with it on their lap.

lol I’m rockin’ an Alienware 15R3 which is 3.49 kg (7.69 lb).
It’s not too bad with a decent backpack… honest! :)

Hmmm, the 15-inch is very attractive. Do I really need a fourth laptop, lol? Surface Pro is perfect for tablet stuff, XPS 13 is perfect for lap use (and conference table use), and Precision 7520 is perfect as a number crunching mobile workstation but is very heavy. The 15-inch with a 1060 might be a great all around laptop that I can travel with and not use a wheeled laptop luggage bag. $3299 for the 1TB model, yikes!! Decisions, decisions.

Well I guess I finally found something I’d really love to have that would be absolutely gobsmackingly stupid to buy.

You picked up that lovedoll, eh? Armando Moneybags over here.

I said gobsmackingly stupid, @stusser. My investment in Hina Tokeimatsu is one of the wisest things I’ve ever done.

The Surface Books are heavier because they have two sets of batteries - one in the display, and one in the base that’s 2-3x larger. Those other laptops are lighter, but the Surface Book is there for people who want a detachable screen + gaming GPU.

If you don’t need a detachable screen and want a 1050/1060-class GPU, I’m not sure why you’d want to buy a Surface Book. Plenty of third-party OEMs have that area covered with pretty high-quality devices these days.

I would be interested in the metrics on how much time people spend with their Surface Books in tablet vs. laptop modes. I would be surprised if the average user doesn’t keep in in laptop mode >95% of the time.

Same for Surface Pros, actually. How many are used without keyboards attached?

As with the new Surface Pros, the pen is not included with the SB2, so that’s another $100 if you want to get one.

Looks like MS is doing that to (1) keep costs/price down and (2) their data probably indicates that not everyone uses the pen, at least not enough to include it with every unit.

Besides, they probably get better margins selling it separately.

I used a Surface Pro 3 as my primary work device for around 2 years, and then did the same with the Surface Book. I now have a 2017 Surface Pro since I prefer the form factor (smaller/lighter/more flexible).

I barely ever removed the screen from my Surface Book, which is why I didn’t stick with the form factor. When I did, I wished I had a kickstand. So usually I just did that when I was reading through my Feedly feed sitting on the couch or something. Or a couple times when on a plane I’d put the screen on backward to watch a movie and get the keyboard out of the way, while using the hinge to keep the screen propped up.

With the Surface Pro on the other hand, the form factor makes it much more convenient to swap how I’m using it on the fly. Because of the kickstand, I remove the keyboard pretty frequently - whether to watch a video, or draw / take notes on it. It’s also a much smaller footprint making it easier to use on small tray tables on planes.

I also use my Surface Pro like this almost every day when sitting on my couch, with the kickstand propped up over my knees:

Can’t really do that with a laptop since it would just slide down.

And finally I prefer the Surface Pro since the battery and the heat coming from the CPU/GPU are never touching my lap. With the Surface Book even when I wasn’t using the GPU there would be slight warmth coming from the batteries which - much like every other laptop out there - is never comfortable.

Yeah, my feeling is that most people just leave the keyboard attached. Good point with the kickstand though; the surface pro tablet is much more useful than the surface book one because it can prop itself up.

The thing is that the “tablet” portion of the Surface Book isn’t meant to be used as a tablet. MS refers to it as a clipboard on purpose. They can’t pack too much battery into it because it’s already top-heavy. So, you’re looking at 2-3 hours life when detached, at best. But it’s supposed to let you detach it, pass it around to show colleagues things, and maybe sit back on the couch and read for a while. But it’s not meant to be used as a productivity tool in tablet mode. If you want to draw, then flip it around and re-attach it to the base for Draw mode.

This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for… The 1060 is a good enough graphics card to merit the extra stuff in addition to the normal tablet.

The issue I had with the old surface book, is that the GPU in it wasn’t really good enough for stuff like games… but with a 1060, this thing should be able to do everything I want, from development to games.

Says 5 hours detatched and watching videos, 17 hours when connected to the keyboard.

Seventeen hours watching videos. Maybe twelve or thirteen of normal usage. Which is great, just not seventeen.

I had a Surface

I owned a SB with Performance Base and did use the screen as a tablet on occasion to take notes. But I had a Surface Pro 3 that did just as good a job and the battery lasted longer. So I sold the SB.

My main complaint about the SB is that the screen was too small. Adding the 1060, the four core processors, and increasing the size to 15 inches makes this a machine that can exist in a business office and still powerful enough to play games (better than the XPS 15).

However, I’d really like a Surface Laptop with these specs since I already have a Surface Pro. I hardly ever use the Surface Pro as anything but a very expensive tablet and note taker. 15 inches may be too big and too heavy a screen for tablet use.