Is it okay to buy now?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by gman713, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. gman713

    gman713 Member

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    It seems like there are still a lot of mixed reviews in this forum about the SP4. I actually bought one when they first came out - I got the i5 256 gb model, but sold it after having issues with short battery life and graphic driver crashes. I purchased a 2016 MacBook M7 which is Apple's maxed out Skylake version. I really like my MacBook but feel it still lacks the power I would like and I miss having a touchscreen. I think the base SP4 is a great value but I'm concerned if the 4 GB or ram is too little? I basically use it for productivity, email, surfing, movies, streaming services and occasional gaming (old games and some current at lowest settings). Would the base SP4 be more than adequate vs. the 8 GB model? Would the base unit beat out the latest maxed out MacBook (m7 512 GB w/8 gb ram)? Are there too many ongoing issues with the SP4 to hold off on a new purchase? I really appreciate any honest feedback.
     
  2. mva5580

    mva5580 Member

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    I'm not sure I see the point in buying an SP4 right now (unless you maybe got it for really cheap,) when the SP5 isn't far off.
     
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  3. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    I don't trust anything from Microsoft anymore having owned both a Surface Pro 2 and now the SP4 so I can't recommend it. If you are still thinking about getting a Surface, I would wait as mva5580 said for possible news of a Surface Pro 5.
     
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  4. mclark2112

    mclark2112 New Member

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    If you are using it as a standalone device, yes, the latest updates have made it solid. I manage 7 SP4 machines at work. The IT dept (all two of us) is using them with Docks as our primary computing machines. Most of the goofy issues that remain are with docking and undocking. But that is more of a Win 10 issue and how it treats high DPI displays.

    I love mine, and when I had the chance to order something else, I decided to keep the SP4. You can't beat the portability and the utility of the pen and touchscreen. I have certainly had my frustrations, but I wouldn't trade this device for anything else right now.
     
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  5. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    I bought my SP4 not very long ago - maybe a month or two max. I had originally not planned to buy it as I was happy with my SP3. But I noticed that the screen was yellowing very fast from the edges and fearing a screen problem and the fact that I use the Surface as my primary device, I opted for the SP4.

    But I have been scouring this and other forums on the SP4 and noticed with alarm (like the OP!) the various issues that seemed to be plaguing the SP4 (and the SB). Nevertheless, I went ahead and bought a SP4 (i5/8GB/256GB).

    Out of the box, I noticed nothing out of the ordinary where the OS and stability was concerned. Of course the screen and finish are gorgeous. If I remember correctly, I applied the AU and a firmware update and a couple of cumulative updates. In short, my device is currently running fully updated. I am also in the Insiders' Release Preview ring. And, I am also running O365 (Insiders) on it.

    I have to point out a few things.

    Battery life: Granted I don't push my device. But I do move around a lot and I am constantly on the device. I get about 7-7.5 hours consistently. While I have set the screen brightness to low, I have left almost all other background services running. I would say I am satisfied with the performance thus far. Yes, a little more battery life would be great and I am sure MS will at some point optimize the OS further.

    Stability: Now, contra the issues being reported here and elsewhere, I can't say I have encountered any of them thus far (touch wood!!). This does not mean that I am denying the problems that are being reported. I am just saying that in my experience with the machine I have not encountered them thus far. In my experience, the device has been stable and, thus far, reliable.

    Heat: One of the issues with the SP3 was the heat generated even when doing mundane tasks. This is not happening on the SP4, which also means, I have not heard the fans come on except one time when that firmware was being installed. In my experience, the device runs cool.

    Blessing: They lost that Windows button on the screen!!!

    As for whether you should buy it or not?

    If you need the device, yes, I think the OS and the hardware have settled down quite a bit. Compared to what I read about the state when the SP4 was first released, I think the state the OS and the SP4 is right now is what the initial release condition should have been.

    Likely that MS will refresh the SP4 as a SP5 in the near future - be that towards the end of the year or at the beginning of the next. If the SP4 is considered to be an "evolutionary change" of the SP3, then the SP5 will be a further evolutionary change over the SP4 and I suspect that the degree of change between the SP5 and SP4 would be less than between the SP4 and SP3.

    So, if you can wait till the SP5 is announced, then yes, perhaps you should as the difference that you will experience between the SP3 and SP5 will be noticeable. But if you need your machine now, then the SP4 will not disappoint and you would not lose out much by not waiting for the SP5.

    On the 4GB RAM question: My SP3 had 4GB RAM and for the tasks that you mention, it worked just fine. But maybe it is me, I do notice however, that the SP4 seems to be a bit quicker on various things. But it could just be me imagining things. If your budget allows you, I would recommend getting the 8GB version as it will future-proof you to some extent, which means you could probably - all things remaining constant - wait it out without any real inconvenience for the SP5 or even the SP6.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
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  6. gman713

    gman713 Member

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    Great responses from everyone! It seems it is about a 50/50 verdict. I really don't need it right now, but I want it for work primarily so I can use it as a notepad and just write my notes in One Note versus scratching down stuff in a pad and forgetting to go back to what I wrote. I want my information to be searchable for me. Secondly, I would like it for entertainment on the go or moving around my house, both inside and outside. My MacBook is good but I'm finding that it just isn't that powerful. I still get beach balls and lag with the top of the line machine. I think I'm going to give this one to my wife since she keeps MacBooks for years. I have no plans on docking the SP4 but will probably want to hook it up to a 1080p TV occasionally. I thought about waiting for the latest version, but I would probably want to get the base unit, thinking it would probably be comparable to the i5 or i7 SP4 that is currently available.
     
  7. dariuson

    dariuson New Member

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    I just bought a new surface pro 4 with i5. :) I will report the testing result later.
     
  8. clouds5

    clouds5 New Member

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    I got the SP4 m3, 4GB about 2 weeks ago. I had to replace my first unit because of screen flickering at low brightness, but my second one is pretty much perfect. I use it for basically all my computing things, even gaming works quite well. But I only got it because it was a very nice deal (700Sfr =~700$ including the keyboard). It's amazing value. I also didn't have any software related issues so far. Sleep and standby works fine, no sudden death issues, good battery life (~7-8h for doing tablet stuff, browsing, video, reading etc.), no crashes or weird things going on...
    I'd say go for it, use it for a few days and test everything and you should be happy :)
     
  9. Exhile

    Exhile New Member

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    I also just bought an SP4 i5 as well though with 16GB of RAM. It looks like Microsoft is trying to clear inventory that isn't selling very well as the other SP4s. I will get it on Monday.
     
  10. gman713

    gman713 Member

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    I picked up a brand new core i7 version for $1300. I think that is a good deal. I should get it next week. I'm sure they'll release a new one next month but I'm sure this version will be more powerful than the new upcoming base version, or maybe not. That's okay, because I'm hoping I'll see a noticeable boost over my maxed out MacBook m7.
     
  11. gman713

    gman713 Member

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    I received my new SP4 Core i7 model. I'm going through the updates right now and everything seems fine, except initially I was worried why my machine was shutting off right when trying to set it up for the first time. I think it was the battery because it was around 1% charged at that moment. Anyway, I'm trying to use the built in Mail application and it keeps closing almost as fast as it starts up. I tried restarting a couple times, but the same behaviors persists straight out of the box. Is there some future update that will stabilize this fairly important default app? Also, I noticed the system came with a Dell warranty card stating it supports the SP4. Does that mean I cannot take my unit to a MS Store in the future if something goes wrong with my system?
     
  12. Exhile

    Exhile New Member

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    I also got my SP4 as well and did the updates however the Anniversary Update is not available for install. Did Microsoft pull the plug on the Anniversary Update because it was breaking so many of their customers laptops? I've never had my tablet shutdown during the setup process even if my battery was also at 5%. My tablet only restarted after minor updates were installed. Besides that, all in snappy!
     

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