Could experienced SB and SP 4 users recommend a Surface for me?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by Jesse Segovia, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. Jesse Segovia

    Jesse Segovia Member

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    I'm ready to upgrade my Windows PC and I'd love a touch screen and something I can also use as a tablet so I wouldn't need a separate Windows laptop and iPad anymore. For work I do Lotus Notes development which I think is far more RAM than CPU intensive as well as web development, I browse the web a LOT often having more than 20 separate Explorer tabs open, I use Office 365 fairly seriously, especially Outlook which is always open, and I'd love to be able to watch all my iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and UltraViolet videos on the device. I also edit music on Cakewalk SONAR X3 and would like to get into more video editing with Vegas Pro and maybe Premier Pro, mostly for fun but maybe for work in the future. I have well over 700 GB of iTunes media and right now iTunes media is stored on an external 1TB My Passport Ultra drive - it's EXTREMELY slow to make any changes to any of the song info, upload new songs from my disk, etc.

    When I have lots of apps and browser tabs open my 4GB Dell i5 laptop often goes on RAM holiday - the hard disk light pegs and I can't do anything at all with the laptop for sometimes over a minute - this is my biggest problem right now.

    Based on this, I'm thinking I need either the SB or SP 4 with the i7, 16 GB of RAM and a large drive, at least the 512 GB. Does this sound reasonable? And based on my usage as described above which would be better for my needs, the SB or the SP 4? And by the way, I do like to take my iPad around with me and use it just as a tablet for extended periods of time - I gather I won't be able to do that with the SB in clipboard mode, given the shorter battery life, right?
     
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  2. barry.pearson

    barry.pearson New Member

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    I've been a Surface user for a while owning a Surface RT, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 3 and now a Surface Pro 4 and while I absolutely love them as machines I think you could get another machine which will give you much better value for your money. My current Surface is the Surface Pro 4 i5, 8GB, 256GB with a 64GB MicroSD card inserted and this is what I've gotten up to:
    1. I use Photoshop with ~50MB RAW files, typically I may leave 1-3 of these open while working.
    2. I do some drawing and doodling on Clip Studio (also called Manga Studio) with a second screen connected with some reference images open and music playing through iTunes in the background.
    3. I use Office 2016 with OneNote, Word and around 10 Edge tabs open in work. I often also have Photoshop open doing some smaller scale A4/300dpi images.
    4. I do occasionally dip into Premiere for some light 1080P video editing, have no issues with working on files with 10+ clips and 15+ layers.
    While using my Surface for these actions I always have mail and Skype running in the background. As for running Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and UltraViolet videos the machine won't break a sweat. I think the main issue is your large iTunes library, I only have a modest library of around 4GB which I keep in the cloud and just call down when I need them, for playlists I listen to more often I have them downloaded onto the MicroSD which for a few albums works well.

    The issue with your Dell whereby the memory seems to be writing back and forth from the RAM to the HDD and back again isn't much of an issue with the faster SSD in the Surface Pro (I'm assuming that your Dell doesn't have an SSD here). While sometimes I can notice a dip in speed, and maybe a split second while I wait for the machine to catch it's breath, it's never an issue.

    The two programs I am unsure of are Lotus notes and Cakewalk SONAR X3 as I don't have any experience with these at all. For an idea with Lotus Notes though my OneNote collection is almost 400 pages across 61 Notebooks. Also the Surface Pen + OneNote saves me so much time in planning and sharing ideas.

    This is only my opinion on what I use it for but I hope it helps. I do think you may get better value out of a dedicated laptop however, you'll likely get more storage, similar processor and ram and maybe a dedicated GPU for the same price as a Core i7 Surface Book or Surface Pro 4.
     
  3. Jesse Segovia

    Jesse Segovia Member

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    Thanks, Barry. Yes, the Dell is an older (about 5 or 6 years now) Lattitude which was very nice when I bought it but right, no SSD. I'm also hoping that with 16 and even 8 GB of RAM it won't need to do nearly as much memory swapping.

    I'm sure I can get a much nicer dedicated laptop for less money but I really would like to use it as a tablet. I occasionally borrow my daughter's SP 3 to watch videos or catch up on social media and I love it, although my daughter says she cannot play videos on iTunes with her SP 3.
     
  4. barry.pearson

    barry.pearson New Member

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    I'm surprised to hear that, my girlfriend has an i3 Surface Pro 3, 4GB, 64GB SSD and watches movies she rents through iTunes with no issue. I'll go and check on that though for you.

    Update: Just checked and it ran Despicable Me through iTunes with no issue (don't judge it's the one only movie she has purchased).
     
  5. Telstar1948

    Telstar1948 Active Member

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    Sounds like the SP4 i7/16/512 is what you need since you want tablet action for extended periods of time. I have a SP3 i5/8/256 and a SB i5/8/256/dGPU at this time. As you commented, the SB has the clipboard, but probably no more than about 3 hours away from the plug and perhaps less depending on what you're doing would be the norm. As Barry suggested, there are other options out there, but if you like the Surface line, and want a robust tablet experience, SP4 is the way to go.
     
  6. Jesse Segovia

    Jesse Segovia Member

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    Thanks, Telstar, I think you're right. I just went to my local Microsoft store and while the Surface Book is an awesome machine and I would definitely love to have it, the price difference of almost a grand and the lower battery life for the SB in clipboard mode make me lean strongly towards the SP4. Unfortunately they're out of any i7 units so I either have to buy it online or wait until December 11th at the earliest. :(

    And thanks again, Barry. I'm looking at my daughter's SB 3 right now to take a look and see what's up with iTunes video.
     
  7. Micropel

    Micropel New Member

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    I'm going to keep my response short and sweet.

    Versatile: I use my Surfacebook for My Photography and Branding company, Gaming, Meetings, Presentations and more.
    Cost Effective: My Surfacebook cost 2100. My custom rig I built cost 3200 in parts not including the Asus QHD monitor.
    With that said I'm carrying around a i7 with 2.4GHz 6th Gen/8GB RAM GDDR5/ 256GB SSD MVNe PCIe/
    Integrated and Discreet GPU.
    Portable and Durable: VaporMG Casing all around, and under 4 Pounds.

    If put aside a few of the software issues that are present this device hands down is a game changer and a great investment.
     
  8. TonyJackson

    TonyJackson New Member

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    Well, according to your description, a SP4 is better for you with its super portable ability and yet high performance. It's nearly half weight of SB and not much different on the display and typing, performance except GPU. If you want a large display, an external monitor is good. The result is, if you don't have super GPU requirements, SP4 is better either for performance or cost. Clipboard mode is tricky and not practicable when you use in real situations and exactly it is a laptop. I will consider the keyboard of SB as a peripheral device of SP4. (Unfortunately it does not support SP4).
     

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