Forum member hands on reviews of the Surface Book

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by leeshor, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Taking my Surface Book on the road tomorrow. Office, iCloud, Visual Studio, maps, (dongle) GPS, Corel Creative Cloud, and every app I've ever bought is on it, except the Mandarin lessons. All works. Production machine.

    Fast.

    The screen is spectacular. It is late evening, and the colors and resolution are very easy on my tired eyes.

    When detached, the screen is lightweight and actually fun to touch.

    I don't wish for much more - maybe an SD slot that recesses fully, and a GPS, but I truly have a sense that I am getting premium value for the premium price.
     
    GSprunk likes this.
  2. MrRedHat

    MrRedHat New Member

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    The screen doesn’t wobble when I’m typing. I’m typing this on my lap on one knee and I don’t notice the screen wobble at all. Taping the screen, with the keyboard attached, I don’t notice any wobble either. I can see it wobble, if I look at it from the side, but I don’t notice it wobble when I’m using it. I also don’t notice wobble when I’m writing on it with the pen either. Screen wobble will not be an issue for me. It’s not even on my radar anymore.

    I really like the keyboard and I’m glad that I got the Surface Book instead of the Surface. I don’t think I would have been as happy if I went with the Surface because of the keyboard. I think having the keyboard makes the Surface a much more capable device. For instance, I can open up Microsoft Word and just started typing away on the keyboard. If I want to move to one note and want to write things by hand, I can detach and start writing. I know the Surface has a keyboard you can get, but this is a REAL keyboard.

    I think the worst part about the Surface Book is my wife. When she came home from work I showed her all the neat things you can do with this device. She said she wanted one and we drove to Best Buy to see if we could get one. We ended up getting the last one they had which happened to be the 512GB+16GB model (same as mine).
     
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  3. EMINENT

    EMINENT Active Member

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    Dang, that wallet pain...
     
  4. unruledboy

    unruledboy Active Member

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  5. unruledboy

    unruledboy Active Member

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    512 GB SD card...... bro, you are so rich
     
  6. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Just need lots of removable media with my line of work.
     
  7. MrRedHat

    MrRedHat New Member

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    Yes, my wallet is feeling it. We will have to eat rice and beans for a while to afford all of these things. My wife never asks for much and she works hard, so we’ll make it happen.
     
    dstrauss and Red-Oak like this.
  8. doublestack1

    doublestack1 Member

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    I used my SB in a real world situation today while meeting with a new customer. Using the clipboard to show an animation video as well as PDF clinical data, the device worked well with no errors. The screen detached flawlessly.

    Still having Win 10 apps crashing as well as random freezes.

    Jury still out if it will replace my SP3.
     
  9. redstar92

    redstar92 New Member

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    My Device:
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    New member here, but I thought I would add my 2 cents. Had it for 30 hours or so and spent a bunch of time playing with it (working, gaming, a little drawing, using plex, kodi, hdhomerun plugin, etc...)

    Positives:
    * Keyboard is awesome (used a Macbook pro and Lenovo thinkpads in the past and this sucker is just as good if not better)
    * Touchpad is pleasant and easily the best one I have used on a windows device (still slightly worse and draggier (is that a word) than a macbook pro but nothing horrid
    * Pen works better than on a Surface Pro 3 (which I also own and will be replacing with SB)
    * Screen is great on mine (no dead pixels, weird shading ,etc,...)
    * Windows Hello - Oh man, this is facial recognition is working really well for me :)
    * Its fast! It was opening up large spreadsheets with ease (I am on 256GB, 8GB, Nvidia version) something my SP3 always struggled with but it was only a 4GB comp.

    Software Tried:
    * Runs civ 5 and divinity original sin really well (which is what I need :)
    * Plex Windows 10 app worked fine. One crash but thats expected with Plex :)
    * Kodi HD HomeRun plugin worked fine as well - little live video stuttering but it happened on other computers over wifi as well so not really worried.
    * Office runs like a charm
    * Browsers (Edge is a bit strange, some random artifacts, etc..., Firefox seems to be fine)
    * Nextgen Reader worked perfectly, its a joy to read on this 3:2 screen
    * LastPass plugin - weird installation screen look but once I got past that it is working ok

    Negatives:
    * Couple of random intel graphics card errors (seem to occur when I was doing a lot of movement around the hinge) not taking the tablet out but laying down in bed while using it
    * Unplugging the tablet part is buggy. I dont hear weird noises but it did give me a couple of errors and one BSOD (however at that time I did not have the latest Firmware update from WU)
    * Had a random sound driver issue that got fixed with the restart (also before the latest FW update)
    * It is really expensive


    Not trying to present a super rosy picture but I am really impressed with this thing so far. Its been pretty awesome for me.
     
  10. mkenny28

    mkenny28 New Member

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    My Device:
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    Initial impressions of my Surface Book I7/512GB/16GB are that it is the best laptop I have owned to date. There are a couple issues that I am not crazy about but they are likely fixable via firmware. First the trackpad works really well on most things but Scrolling on Chrome is attrocious in my opinion. Just not close to anything resembling smooth. The Second issue I am having is battery drain when it is supposedly asleep but I can deal with that for the most part (at least until it is fixed). Lapability is fantastic and I don't really notice any wobble. The only crash of sorts that I have had was right after the firmware update it just hung on the Surface start up screen but I left it alone for about 25 minutes and it worked itself out. It was probably doing it's thing in the background, even though I did not see a spinning circle. Since then it has been rock solid and blows my Yoga 2 Pro out of the water.
    I also own a 15" MacBook Pro with Retina and 2.2 Ghz I7/256GB/16GB and have been comparing them side to side with a lot of my daily work stuff. The Surface Book goes toe to toe (and actually does most things faster) but works out so much better for my work environment and is significantly more portable. Some reviewers talk about the noticeable heft when in full laptop mode but my experience has been the opposite; I was shocked how light this thing is. The keyboard is incredible and more comfortable to type on than my Mac. The Mac still wins in the trackpad department but I am definitely impressed with the leaps and bounds Microsoft has made in this department. Battery life has so far been stellar minus the Sleep battery drain I am experiencing.
    I am going to spend another week or so really putting it through its paces and then I will follow up with some more thoughts. If anyone on the edge of buying one has any questions feel free to ask. I am a gadget equal opportunist and own tons of Apple, Google, and Microsoft products so I can compare a lot of functions.
     
    unruledboy likes this.
  11. kodos

    kodos Member

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    My Surface Book story starts out awful, but gets better.

    First, I pre-ordered a i7/8GB/256GB unit. I then got the sinking feeling in my stomach when I realized I would be out of town on 10/26, and wouldn't be back in town until 10/29. The Microsoft store said they'd only hold the unit for 48 hours before releasing it. So, I called on the 23rd, and they promised that they would keep it until Friday. Given that people sometimes 'forget', especially when a device is in high demand, I texted the store manager when I was out of town and she promised to hold the unit. That was great customer service, very thrilled with the Frisco, TX Microsoft store.

    So, I come in town - and as promised the device was waiting for me. It didn't start off well. The battery was flat, and when I booted up the machine I found out it was in an odd state. It was at the lock screen (but I hadn't created an account) and there was a default account on the screen. The video driver was sluggish, everything was super slow, and I couldn't connect to Wifi or anything. I reset the device (Power + Volume), and it finally rebooted and went to the setup process. Phew! Got everything working, installed updates, installed Visual Studio, and my umpteen development tools, Office, etc. - and then disaster started. The system would lock up randomly. Hard crash, no BSOD or anything. It was completely unusable. About 10 minutes on average, it would hard lock. With a sinking feeling in my stomach as I read through various forums, it appeared as if I had a lemon with a HW defect.

    I packed it up and took it back to the store. Unfortunately, the tech there confirmed that this was a unit with a HW issue. He said that there were two other units that had the same issues. They didn't have any other units in stock - so they were going to have to start the replacement process (3-5 business days). This bummed me out because I was supposed to be out of town next week, and I had really hoped to have my Surface Book so that I wouldn't have to lug my Lenovo W541 (almost 6lbs of Quad Core i7 nVidia Quadro power - also only 5 hours of battery!). I had wanted my Surface Book for the trip. They took pity on me, and one of the guys came from out back with a replacement machine(!). Turns out that someone else had pre-ordered, but had not come to pick up the machine even after several contact attempts, so they swapped out the machine for me! What awesome customer service. This was the Frisco, TX store. Wonderful people there.

    I was still a little concerned - this was another pre-order unit, and maybe there was a batch of bad machines out there, and maybe this machine and my old one were built with the same defective HW batch. Who knew? But I am pleased to report that this one booted up immediately to a proper setup screen, and so far has not locked up even once. So grateful.

    So how do I like it? I love it! It has its bugs. The display driver occasionally freaks out when the screen is detached, Edge has all sorts of issues, sometimes I lose touch on the clipboard when I reinsert it in draw mode. The unit doesn't seem to sleep properly either so I'm going to have to get hibernate put on this machine. Deja Vu with my Surface Pro 3. Why can't Microsoft get this right at launch? I don't know.

    But on the positives - keyboard is excellent! Minus some odd decisions about the PgUp/PgDn and Arrow Key design, I really like the board. One of the best keyboards I've used on a laptop. The trackpad is nice - has a little bit more lag than I'd like - and I miss the Trackpoint from my Thinkpad tremendously.

    Lapability is great - screen doesn't bounce. I don't know what people are doing to make the screen bounce but it is rock solid for me even when typing up a storm. Battery life: Not too sure about yet, because I've been installing and thrashing the HDD with indexing. Don't want to make any firm conclusions until things settle down (get maybe 7 hours on it right now with current usage). Still better than my 5!

    The screen is fantastic. Best screen I've used on a computer. I've had a rMBP 15" (first year), and it wasn't nearly as beautiful as this display. Of course there are some Windows programs that positively freak out with the 200% scaling, but hopefully more and more apps are updated to work properly.

    Enjoy the multitouch trackpad gestures, almost like my days in OS X and Macbooks. Missed that.

    I also missed my Surface Pro 3's touchscreen when I moved to my Thinkpad (needed a discrete GPU for my work). I was one to scoff at touchscreens on computers, until I got my Surface Pro. Then I suddenly saw the value of it. Glad to have it back. Cannot tell you how many times I poked at my Lenovo's screen just to get no response!

    I also missed the Surface Pen. I loved doing document (PDF) reviews and using the pen. I'd often be in a meeting and would use the pen to fill in notes in the agendas, reports, etc. Was weird not having it on my Thinkpad. Sometimes I'd take the Surface Pro 3 with me, and you can only imagine how heavy my bag was with computers (around 8lbs of computers!).

    I love the way this thing looks and feels. It feels chunkier than you would initially expect. It's odd, because when I pick it up, I expect that I'm going to pick up a Macbook Air (I have an 11" one that has been circulated down to my older children), but instead I have to remember that I have to compare it to a 13" Macbook Pro's heft, and then everything makes sense. Not sure what it is - but the unit feels dense, which is good. Very hefty feeling, even though it technically isn't very heavy at all.

    Haven't used the Clipboard by itself much yet. I plan on doing more with it soon.

    So far, I am still in love with it. I am on the fence on perhaps returning this in the 30 day window to get the 16GB model, or whether I should keep it and trade it in and upgrade to the SB2 next year since they will refine a lot of the issues with the machine. Not sure, will continue to see how this thing works for me for the month. Either way, I am expecting to keep the SB, just a question of whether I upgrade. Thanks to the MS Store's 30 day return window, I can make the decision after my upcoming trip.

    I know there's been a lot of frustration (and I would be one of those stories, if the Microsoft Store didn't have a replacement unit for me), but when this thing works - it is a fantastic experience, and I believe only going to get better. Too bad they didn't launch with the kinks worked out. Maybe next time.
     
    Telstar1948 likes this.
  12. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    I finally completed my migration from my SP2 to the SB! :D

    However, there really needs to be a standard way for apps to store their configurations so that it then becomes a standard method to export and then import all of your app settings from one device to another. Re-installation isn't the issue; it's the re-configuring that's the big PITA! :mad:

    Anyway, all done now and here are my comments:
    • First and foremost, a very beautiful-looking device. Absolutely gorgeous!
    • As a typist, the only keyboard that I have ever been totally happy with was the IBM Model M mechanical keyboard; nothing else comes remotely close! ;) As a result, I've been through numerous external keyboards and most recently settled on a custom-ordered IBM Model M-type keyboard. However, I must totally admit that this is the first time in several eons that I have felt that there was no need to use an external keyboard! One word: WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
    • Screen size and hinge are great.
    • Screen resolution is absolutely gorgeous.
    • Screen wobbles when touch-screening, not when typing.
    • Total weight (clipboard and keyboard) is heavier than I thought--not that it is an issue for me, but it is just that it has looked so featherweight in the videos from the conference, that I expected featherweight. :)
    • Surface Dock has tremendously removed a lot of clutter from my desk! This, especially, because I had an SP2 and was using a USB hub as my dock.
    • Windows Hello has certainly not been a let-down and continues to be a great joy to use. LOVE IT!!!!
    • I now seem to be experiencing what numerous others have been when using the Surface Pro 3 dock with multi-monitors: Inconsistent and buggy functionality. :mad:
    • Unable to boot in WinPE mode with native touchscreen and keyboard functionality.

     
    drFrank likes this.

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