Another which device to buy thread?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by GMPwr, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. GMPwr

    GMPwr New Member

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    Hello, I've searched the forum, but I can't seem to get the right advice for my use case. I'd love some input.

    I've gotten a new job at a small mechanical engineering firm and they've asked me to pick out a workstation. After years of lugging around an unnecessarily heavy dell workstation at the large corporation I am at right now I know I want something light and portable. I've really zeroed in on the Surface Book or Surface Pro 4.

    The most taxing software I will be using is likely just Autodesk Inventor, possibly some light FEA in the future. Assemblies should not get too big. I'm really intrigued if having a pen and a touch screen can improve my work flow in ways I don't think of today (would love some input from engineers if this is true). I think possibly for recording hand calculations and maybe some sketches.

    Now this is an expensive device, so I want to make sure I get the choice correct at a new job that is pretty old school (don't want to look like I am just buying a gadget).

    Both the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book seem like they would be able to handle the computational load (i7, 16b, with dGPU or Iris graphics). My use case will be mostly using it with a dock, monitor, and keyobard at a desk and then some use at meetings and various locations around the small facility. I like the Surface Book for the sweet keyboard, extra battery (not sure how necessary that will be), bigger screen, and more realestate for writing with the screen flipped over and folded down. It is also a little more powerful with the dGPU. I like the Surface Pro 4 because it was a lot more sturdy for writing in any upright position and it is the ultimate in portability. Also, it is a much less expensive sell.

    My last question is if anyone recommends to avoid these devices completely. I've read of so many issues it makes me a little anxious to order it to be my main work computer. Or has it become more reliable in the last couple of months.

    Thank you.
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome, @GMPwr

    I am an engineer and rock physicist. I use a Surface Book i7/16/512 and a Surface Pro 3 i7/512.

    The Surface Book is especially well-suited for me. When docked, my desktop consists of an HDTV, the docking station brick, and the Surface Book, which may be open or closed. I can press a keyboard button to detach the Clipboard (amazingly, the actual Surface Book computer) from its Base Unit (the battery and keyboard) and work in Tablet mode. Touching with my finger, or writing with the pen works great.

    I deal with many maps. Pinch and zoom are fabulous, on the screen, and on the touchpad.

    I'm also an Apple guy. I like apples and oranges. Both are good fruit. But both of my MacBook Pro Retina computers are getting a bit lonely. One has become the server at my home.

    The hinge is fabulous.

    Regarding the issues - these are growing pains. Microsoft has done well to replace any faulty units, and improve software. Others have been bearing the pain for you, including me. I am on a 'future' build of Windows 10, to be part of the public version soon enough. Great new features, many of which are made to work with Surface computers (or other hybrid Tablets)

    Did I mention the hinge? I'm an engineer. Stress concentrations worry me. The hinge is reminiscent of reticulated segments providing motion in Nature. The detachable hinge is my favorite feature.
     
  3. GMPwr

    GMPwr New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! That was very informative. Seems like a Surface device is a good choice. So you would definitely recommend the SurfaceBook over the SP4?
     
  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Surface Pro 4 would be fine.

    But for me, a continuing Surface Pro 3 owner, I find the hard cover, magnetic attachment for the pen, and full keyboard to be important features.
     

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