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Author Topic: Microsoft Surface 4 and Surface Book  (Read 940 times)
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EngineNo9
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« on: October 06, 2015, 09:17:14 PM »

Microsoft announced the new Surface 4, which is the usual step forward for a new tablet with a 12.3" screen, an improved attachable keyboard cover, fancy stylus, faster parts, and all that.

However, they also announced this Surface Book laptop.  Which is essentially a 13.5" Surface 4 with a detachable hard keyboard to turn it into a laptop.  And that keyboard also contains an dedicated Nvidia GPU. 

I'd say it looks pretty slick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=XVfOe5mFbAE
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Canuck
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 12:30:11 PM »

I'm excited for both. But the Book is out of my price range and I probably don't really NEED a detachable tablet. So maybe I'll get the new iteration of the Dell XPS13.
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rittchard
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 05:13:13 PM »

I couldn't resist pre-ordering to see what the GPU can do.  I suspect I will regret it lol.  Overall though the design looks pretty fantastic, I have to say.
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Zinfan
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 08:11:12 PM »

The Surface Book looks cool but thankfully I don't need a new laptop/tablet at the moment.  I'm guessing you would want to get the i7 processor and those start at $2099.
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Clanwolfer
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2015, 12:13:08 PM »

My Surface 1 Pro died and I absolutely do need a new tablet or laptop, but I'm waiting to see hands-on reviews of the SurfaceBook just because it's a new design. Given the history of the line I want to make sure there's no overheating issues, screen resolution quirks, stuff like that, because the the Pro has been one of my favorite devices for years.
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2015, 02:47:21 PM »

People did get hands-on with the Surface Pro 4 and Book at their event, but I'm sure not to the extent of calling it a review. 

Here's a cursory hands-on video from Norm over at Tested for what it's worth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZJ2upI6qzM  (the actual hands-on part starts at about 5:45, just talking about all the stuff before that)
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Clanwolfer
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2015, 12:51:42 AM »

Yeah, I want more of a detailed ten-page Ars Technica-type review, preferably with someone using it for a week or more. If I pull the trigger on a top-of-the-line one, it'd be my primary travel machine for the next few years, and I'd be traveling a lot. So no need to rush a decision.
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Destructor
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2015, 05:14:24 AM »

I bitched about this with my Surface Pro 3 (I own one and I love it), and I'm gonna bitch about this with the Surface 4:

OMGWTFBBQ does Microsoft rip the everfuckinglove you off with their 'upgrades' for their Surface lineup.

It costs $300 dollars, THREE HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS, to go from 4GB to 8GB of RAM and to go from a 128GB SSD to a 256GB SSD.

Did you know that 256GB SSD drives BY THEMSELVES cost on average 50 cents per GB, or about $128? And RAM costs next to nothing (seriously, 4GB is like $20-30 or so, if even). So for the AT MOST $100 upgrade (~$64 for the SSD upgrade, ~$40 for the RAM) Microsoft charges you $300 for.

And I thought Apple was bad.

Absolutely do not buy the i7 version. There is absolutely no use for it whatsoever unless you're going to be using say AutoCAD on it or rendering videos constantly. It is a complete and total waste of money, ESPECIALLY for the stupid-insane prices that Microsoft STILL charges.
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2015, 02:24:59 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on October 16, 2015, 05:14:24 AM

OMGWTFBBQ does Microsoft rip the everfuckinglove you off with their 'upgrades' for their Surface lineup.

It costs $300 dollars, THREE HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS, to go from 4GB to 8GB of RAM and to go from a 128GB SSD to a 256GB SSD.

Did you know that 256GB SSD drives BY THEMSELVES cost on average 50 cents per GB, or about $128? And RAM costs next to nothing (seriously, 4GB is like $20-30 or so, if even). So for the AT MOST $100 upgrade (~$64 for the SSD upgrade, ~$40 for the RAM) Microsoft charges you $300 for.

And I thought Apple was bad.

Well, if you want an iPad Pro they won't even tell you how much RAM there is in it (all speculation and sleuthing puts it at 4GB), and you can't get a 256GB version.  So yeah, I guess Apple won't rip you off to go up to 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD.  slywink

(this is just a joke, not intended to start some sort of flame war).
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gangeli
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2015, 04:37:21 PM »

Eh, apple charges $200 to go from a 128GB ssd to a 256GB model.

So, for an extra $100, you also get another 4 gig of ram.

Sounds like they are pretty much in line.

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Canuck
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2015, 09:28:12 PM »

My problem is the limits in customizing. Say for example I want an i7, but I want to keep the cost down and go for 128GB of RAM. Can't do it. Or maybe I want to stick with the M3 but I want a lot of memory to go with it. Can't do it.
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Zinfan
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2015, 11:03:23 PM »

Quote from: gangeli on October 16, 2015, 04:37:21 PM

Eh, apple charges $200 to go from a 128GB ssd to a 256GB model.

So, for an extra $100, you also get another 4 gig of ram.

Sounds like they are pretty much in line.



Apple also charges $100 for the pencil/wand/whatever it is that I think comes with the Surface.
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gellar
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2015, 05:32:09 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on October 16, 2015, 05:14:24 AM

I bitched about this with my Surface Pro 3 (I own one and I love it), and I'm gonna bitch about this with the Surface 4:

OMGWTFBBQ does Microsoft rip the everfuckinglove you off with their 'upgrades' for their Surface lineup.

It costs $300 dollars, THREE HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS, to go from 4GB to 8GB of RAM and to go from a 128GB SSD to a 256GB SSD.

Did you know that 256GB SSD drives BY THEMSELVES cost on average 50 cents per GB, or about $128? And RAM costs next to nothing (seriously, 4GB is like $20-30 or so, if even). So for the AT MOST $100 upgrade (~$64 for the SSD upgrade, ~$40 for the RAM) Microsoft charges you $300 for.

And I thought Apple was bad.

Absolutely do not buy the i7 version. There is absolutely no use for it whatsoever unless you're going to be using say AutoCAD on it or rendering videos constantly. It is a complete and total waste of money, ESPECIALLY for the stupid-insane prices that Microsoft STILL charges.

Its pretty in line with Apple Macbook pricing, I think. I personally agree about the i7. The only time I ever had an i7 in my laptop was when work was footing the bill for a monster Macbook Pro. For my money, an i5 is plenty (and probably overkill, if we're honest).

Quote from: gangeli on October 16, 2015, 04:37:21 PM

Eh, apple charges $200 to go from a 128GB ssd to a 256GB model.

So, for an extra $100, you also get another 4 gig of ram.

Sounds like they are pretty much in line.



Yup.

Quote from: Canuck on October 16, 2015, 09:28:12 PM

My problem is the limits in customizing. Say for example I want an i7, but I want to keep the cost down and go for 128GB of RAM. Can't do it. Or maybe I want to stick with the M3 but I want a lot of memory to go with it. Can't do it.

The problem with customization is that to keep these things slick and integrated, Microsoft is probably soldering memory chips to the boards (just like Apple has done for years). Not to mention supply chain - Microsoft wants you to go into their store (online and virtual) and either walk out with a machine or have it on your doorstep in the matter of days. If you want customization, you aren't the market for the Surface Book. If you want probably the best made Windows laptop on the market, you are the market.

It's the first Windows machine I've wanted since the days where I lusted after Falcon-NW computing rigs. I've never thought of a Windows laptop as anything close to desirable from an aesthetic/build quality standpoint, but this thing looks like its going to change my mind... and this is coming from a guy who switched to Apple in 2007 and never looked back. For years my answer to the question "Best Windows laptop money can buy?" has always been "Macbook Pro running Windows." Might be different now.
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rittchard
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2015, 07:49:21 PM »

Got my SB delivered today but haven't opened it yet, will try to get some impressions up at some point when I get time.  If you have any specific questions let me know.
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Zinfan
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2015, 03:39:23 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on October 26, 2015, 07:49:21 PM

Got my SB delivered today but haven't opened it yet, will try to get some impressions up at some point when I get time.  If you have any specific questions let me know.

Any updates rttchard?  I ended up buying a Surface Pro 4 i5 8Gig 256 Gig model the other day and I like it on the whole but there are issues that need software updating.  At times either the type cover or the screen itself will stop taking touch inputs, the pen also will stop working.  These are quickly fixed by a reboot but irritating to deal with.  I suffer from screen flicker when scrolling web pages that have imbedded video files (this is pretty common behavior with the SP4 and SB according to what I've read) but it doesn't bother me that much.  Sketchbook won't run and says I have a missing .DLL file that I've tired to install but get the same error.  I also get messages that the display driver has stopped working and again it seems to happen when scrolling web pages with imbedded videos and gifs, this does not reboot the screen but causes the screen to refresh at times.  The pen sometimes acts funny as well, you are supposed to be able to click the erasure button once to get OneNote to open up, two clicks takes a screen shot and holding it down activates the Cortana audio search function.  Sometimes the pen just won't do the one click open OneNote thing but will do the two click and hold things, weird.

While it seems to be a long list of things wrong with my SP4 I have to say I really enjoy having it.  I can see the pen could be fun to work with and it has a good feel to drawing with it.  I'm up in Reno at the moment and forgot my Steam password so have yet to get any games going on it.
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« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2015, 01:04:05 PM »

Zin, with the pen, try deleting the bluetooth pairing and do it again.

leave W10 on the bluetooth settings menu, then hold the "eraser" for 7 full seconds - there is a tiny LED on the side of the pen (size of a pin-hole). When it is blinking it is discoverable. I've had this happen on my SP3 with Win10 before.

Note: I was in SF recently and got my hands on both a SP4 and a SB.

I want both, but if I'm being honest, I could just upgrade my pen and keyboard for the SP3.

- this is the reasonable side of me who will cave in 3... 2...

slywink
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 01:05:52 PM by Purge » Logged

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rittchard
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2015, 09:03:06 PM »

No updates worth much yet, just haven't had enough time to spend with it.

A few first impressions.  Definitely seems fast and very quiet, even the fans seemed quieter than other laptops I've used.  I really like the hinge design on the one hand, but as reviewers have noted it definitely creates a bit of excess bulk that you don't see in other designs.  Screen looks great thus far and the touchscreen responsiveness is one of the best I've experienced on a laptop.  I generally don't like to use touchscreen on laptops but this one seems to just work well naturally.  The keyboard and trackpad are both OK, not quite as comfy as a Mac but very good, definitely in the top PC convertible/laptops I've used.  Overall, it definitely functions like a standard laptop very well, so much so that I haven't actually detached it yet.  A little heavier feel than I'd hoped, but comparable to other laptops.  More later I hope.
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2015, 01:12:40 AM »

Quote from: Purge on November 03, 2015, 01:04:05 PM

Zin, with the pen, try deleting the bluetooth pairing and do it again.

leave W10 on the bluetooth settings menu, then hold the "eraser" for 7 full seconds - there is a tiny LED on the side of the pen (size of a pin-hole). When it is blinking it is discoverable. I've had this happen on my SP3 with Win10 before.

Note: I was in SF recently and got my hands on both a SP4 and a SB.

I want both, but if I'm being honest, I could just upgrade my pen and keyboard for the SP3.

- this is the reasonable side of me who will cave in 3... 2...

slywink

I'll keep that in mind Purge, the pen has started working all the time after a reboot so I'll just keep an eye on it for now.
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2015, 02:08:28 AM »

Ritt, try popping the screen off and turning it the other way...

now try writing on it while it's up not laying flat (phrasing!). 

Yeah. That gives me pause. Otherwise I'd love to have a dGPU. :/
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2016, 10:32:02 PM »

I haven't tried the pen, but that aside, thus far I am really happy with the Surface Book.  This is probably the best Windows laptop (in the "ultrabook" class, not talking about desktop replacement/gaming laptops) I've ever used, and definitely is the best tablet/laptop convertible.  Though the hinge makes it look a little goofy, overall the design is fantastic and the usability is great.  Detaching and re-attaching the tablet is seamless, and the functionality as a tablet is solid.  Still I find myself using it pretty much as a laptop in general, and it is pretty much a really good experience.  The keyboard is lacking compared to the Macbook Air, but better than the 12" Retina Macbook.  On the other hand you get a really nice high resolution touchscreen and the capability to turn into a top of the line tablet, while not that useful for myself, is a feature that stands out above the Apple line.  Not to mention the clever dGPU designed into the keyboard, I love that design as it offers the possibility for upgrades of the keyboard portion only to dramatically improve graphics performance.

The one place I'm finding the latest round of ultrabooks lacking in is battery life.  Not talking about the test numbers or the advertised ones, but the actual usage.  I don't know if the MBA I have has some weird magic to it or what, but the battery life is levels above the Macbook and Surfacebook, primarily because it doesn't seem to drain when in sleep mode.  I didn't touch my MBA over an 11 day period, and when I opened it up it was at 85% battery life.  Generally over a weekend it stays at 100%.  Pretty much every other laptop I use will drain significantly even after 4-6 hours.  I really don't know if it's a software or hardware thing, bu
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