I've Changed My Mind: The SP4 is Terrible

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by Philtastic, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    Over the past 3 years, I've found myself often defending both the SP2 and now the SP4 among the plethora of threads complaining about issues such as automatically waking from sleep, battery drain, bleeding screens, and faulty keyboard ports. No more. This Anniversary Update has been kind of bad: it has seemingly locked CPU clock speeds to their maximum which, after more use, has definitely affected my battery life, and I've had my device wake from hibernate on its own and get stuck on the initial Surface load screen with the circle of dots while draining loads of battery. Of lesser note, the background image of my lock screen always shows a blue background when waking from sleep/hibernate instead of the picture I chose which is kind of annoying.

    Overall, these by themselves are not deal breakers. What has really changed my mind about both the SP4 and Microsoft in general is that this has been our experience since the Surface Pro series originally came out. In theory, the devices are excellent but, in practice, they're frustrating experiences with bugs that are not bad enough to write off the products but annoying enough that they really bug me. I have never had a completely care-free experience with either the SP2 or SP4. I've always needed to watch my battery life, make sure certain things (namely cloud services) aren't running all the time since they drain battery, make sure that I put the device to sleep in a certain way to prevent it from automatically waking up and overheating in my bag, and, most notably, I've always had a sense of dread whenever major updates come out since I don't know what will be broken next. That last thing is possibly the worst part of my experience: Microsoft often fix one thing only to break something else or re-introduce problems that were fixed (such as the automatic waking from sleep).

    For a product that I paid ~$2000 CDN for, this is a premium product that I use for work. I expect something that actually works well and doesn't have major issues months after discovery. I expect a device that I don't have to continually worry about and wonder whether it'll actually turn on and work properly when I want to go over something with my boss. The fact that I'm not even 100% certain that the device will turn on when I need it to speaks volumes to how terrible the Surface devices actually are (to be fair, it usually turns on except for that 5% of the time when I really need it to OR something is screwed up and I need to restart OR maybe it completely burned through the battery over the 2 hours it was in my bag and won't turn on).

    And today, I just learned how delicate the device actual is. I let my aunt use my SP4 on the couch since she wanted to show me some pictures. She put it awkwardly on her lap in a way where the stand wasn't on her lap and the only thing preventing it from sliding off was her hands resting on the keyboard which was now bent back in a way that put it almost parallel with the screen (as in, making a Z-shape with the tablet since it was magnetically sticking to the screen for typing). She only had it in this position for about 3 minutes but, later that evening, I found that the trackpad no longer works well: the cursor skips all over the screen UNLESS I bend the keyboard in a similar way as earlier. So now I need to make a trip to my local Microsoft Store to try to get it replaced under warranty, a process that I am familiar with since my first SP4 had a dead keyboard port.

    The SP4 isn't the only victim of Microsoft's awful QA. Skype used to work pretty well. After the last major update, however, I sometimes don't receive messages for days EVEN WITH THE APP OPEN AND SENDING A MESSAGE TO THAT SAME PERSON! I recently received a message one day after the fact AFTER I SENT THEM A MESSAGE AND THEY REPLIED! This is both the desktop app preview and the Android phone app. Microsoft has been doing instant messaging for decades: I don't know how they've screwed up the 'instant' part of that.

    Overall, I have lost all confidence in Microsoft to deliver a completely working product and won't be recommending any of their products or services for a very long time. Thankfully, Windows 10 seems to work well on my desktop but I kind of wish there was a compatible competing OS that I could switch to.
     
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  2. Becosemsaida

    Becosemsaida New Member

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    I bought this device to replace an Android tablet and made a lot of sacrífices to buy it. First thing that i encountered was the very weak battery, only lasted for about 5 hours but i can live with that. Device was what i needed so i can make sacrífices....... After the AU i have had nothing but problems with my surface and honestly had to go back to my trusted Android tablet. Why i spend so much Money on this piece of.......... i don't know. I reverted back to the version before the AU and have it for sale now..

    Strangely is that i have the AU installed on my laptop with all the updates done and have absolutly NO problems with it. I already replied in other forums but couldn't find any Support confirming this.

    Beco
     
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  3. awwshoot

    awwshoot New Member

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    Honestly have to agree with you. I bragged these devices up and down even with Microsoft fixing the Sleep of death one month and brining it back the next!

    I ordered 21 of them for our Surgery Center and spend quite a bit of my day dealing with issue Microsoft SHOULD HAVE CORRECTED MONTHS AGO!

    Still fighting
    1. Tablets that do not wake/power on
    2. Loose all input functions Touch, Pen, Keyboard
    3. Require the keyboard to be remove and re attached once in a while before it will respond
    4. Battery now drains when in sleep (Used to be able to get a week out of my tablet with sleep mode. Now it is dead or close to dead whenever I leave it for a bit.
    5. occasionally stays partially running while in sleep mode heating up and kicking in the fans
    6. Staff go through Pen tips and Microsoft still cannot sell just a set of the same tips! (Dell gave multiple tips with their pens!)
    7. Finicky pen/touch where it acknowledges you are doing something but never activate the "click/selection function when taping the screen with your pen or finger!

    These are the first tablets where I have had to tell other not to run updates because the last 2 months have added far more problems than they have fixed!

    With the Surface Pro 4, I have started to look at Microsoft as a joke since they cannot even get their own device running smoothly!
     
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  4. bluegrass

    bluegrass Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you folks or suffering with your Surfaces, while I'm sure you are among a very small group that suffers so much with their Surface computer. May the bytes flow in the right direction for you with your future choice in a computer.
     
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  5. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yup. Sad that you guys have had these experiences. Mine have all worked perfectly and I don't think I'd ever buy a different form of computer after 2 years with them. It's a shame that Microsoft are still struggling with their QC in both software and hardware. When it works, it is a joy, but it is the sad truth that a number of people find that their device has significant issues.
     
  6. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    It is SO GOOD when it works the way it's supposed to, and there have been periods of time where this has been the case... but then an update makes this illusion crumble like a house of cards.

    Another annoying but not deal breaking problem that I'm not sure if it's been fixed or not but it's been around since the start: I always have to remember to pull the charging cord FIRST before putting it to sleep, otherwise I have no idea if the device will stay asleep or wake up in my bag and get hot while chugging away in spite of it being set to go to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity.

    Edit: I took my SP4 into the Microsoft Store and, low and behold, my keyboard is working perfectly again without any apparent changes. Now, I was pretty sure that it was a hardware issue because a) I had restarted 3 times with no change in my keyboard's behaviour and b) it would work fine if I bent it back but not work when lying normally. My guess is that bending it tugged a connector just a tiny bit loose and then letting it sit in my bag upright on the keyboard port over night pushed it back in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  7. nnthemperor

    nnthemperor Member

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    I had an almost trouble-free sp3 i3 version, but I wish I could say the same about the SB. It is a pack of bugs. Especially since the AU, I've had to reset the device twice and each one fixes one thing to break another.

    First, it was the banner notifications not going away and freezing the taskbar with any interaction, then the problem of every website crashing in edge and asking to reload, then YouTube videos not playing in any of the three browsers, edge, IE and Chrome unless I detached the device and used the clipboard only. Way too much frustration that I did a reset, now the problem seems "solved" , but now the device won't connect to the MS wireless display adapter with the base (DGPU) attached, unless I detach it, and the videos lag so much.

    It's a same that I've been using my HPE8N tablet more and that device has been much more stable than the high end SB. Watching videos with the Miracast wireless adapters has been quite smooth and everything runs A-ok. Shame of MS, they should get out of the hardware business already. Why come out with a device they can't deliver a good experience on. The SB is a total failure of a device, period!

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
  8. DavidZ

    DavidZ Member

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    I love my SP4. That's because I only use it for travel and play. The only things I've ever plugged into it are a mouse and a flash drive. I loaded MS Office on it, but that's about it.

    If I had to use it as my mission critical/daily driver, I would not be a happy camper. It's not reliable enough for that kind of use, IMO.

    I suggest you buy a nice high end ultraportable or 2-in-1 for use as your daily driver and relegate your SP4 to fun and recreational travel use. It may cost you a bit more, but your happiness index will go up dramatically..
     
  9. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Pretty broad statement. I've used my surfaces as "mission critical" for 2 years straight. Never had an issue. If I were to have an issue (other than desktop onenote while on the insider program), my future at university would be in serious jeopardy, but I don't worry about that in the slightest :)
     
  10. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, well, I have used a SP3 and now a SP4 (with a S3 playing a side but critical role) on what you refer to as "mission critical" matters and these instances have been across three continents. Everytime the Surface device(s) have worked magnificently. And so, while I do accept that experiences will vary, but at a personal level I can't say that the SP3/SP4/S3 are not reliable devices.
     
  11. DavidZ

    DavidZ Member

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    It's interesting to note that the above 2 responses refer to "surfaces" or "SP3/SP4/S3." To be clear, I only spoke about the SP4, not the other surface devices.

    I find it hard to believe that that above 2 posters used their SP4s for mission critical purposes during the period prior to the February and March 2016 fixes and didn't run into any problems, particularly if they were doing cutting edge things. At the vey least, I'm sure they experienced multiple video driver crashes during that time frame. I also suspect that they had to resuscitate their SP4s using the secret 2 finger salute a few times. How quickly we forget...
     
  12. Becosemsaida

    Becosemsaida New Member

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    Well i tried it another time........ Clean install, AU update, drivers all updated, Win10 all updates (1607) done...... NOTHING installed but office 2013..... 6H battery life on editing docs and some WWW, youtube . Freezes continue (2-10s) but it freezes the whole device "input" sytem since the music/video keeps on going. Drivers form the touch/typepad for sure.

    Contacted Microsoft and they are aware of the problems but have no solutions. Must be waiting for us , users, to solve their problems.

    Once again i have the same on my laptop and NO problems, i informed them of this and they didn't know what to say.

    Beco
     

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