SB Initial Impressions after 1 week

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by Gadget, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. Gadget

    Gadget New Member

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    Just thought I'd share my early impressions and thoughts on the Surface Book and each of the issues in the forums. I've had the Book since launch day, almost a week now. I have the i7, 256 GB, graphics card model. The first thing I did when I got it was go to windows update, so that may have fixed some problems found in the forums before they started. I also don't have the dock, so I can't comment on if the dock works or doesn't work.

    Hinge: In the store, I thought this might bother me the most. It seemed wobbly on the display model. It's still wobbly if I push on it while in laptop mode. But in real world use, it doesn't wobble for me. Or it doesn't wobble enough for me to notice. And if the hinge allowed them to include taller keys on the keyboard, then it was worth it. I have an old HP Envy with a touchscreen, and I stopped using the touchscreen because it gets keyboard key smudges all over it when you close the lid of the laptop. I'm constantly cleaning the HP's screen. I don't have that problem with the Surface Book. The hinge also seems sturdy to me, it doesn't flex enough for me to worry. I'm not sure if Microsoft thought about keyboard smudges and taller keyboard keys when designing the hinge; they might have only thought about increasing the moment arm to balance the display heavy weight. Either way, I like the hinge.

    Keyboard: Works great for me. Big plus. Feels good, and I can type fast on it. Makes me glad I chose the Book over the surface tablet.

    Touchpad: The touchpad is currently working great for me other than 2 finger scrolling. But it seems like 2 finger scrolling got significantly better in some update, or maybe I just got used to how it works. I turned off the touchpad delay setting on the touchpad; maybe that helped. And when I say I have 2 finger scrolling issues, I really mean with Chrome. It seems to work fine with everything else. In Chrome, it seems like there is sometimes a delay before 2 finger scrolling works. Someone mentioned in a different post there might be an update for Chrome that will help this soon.

    Edge Browser: This sucks. I stopped using it. It had color shifting issues when scrolling. I think those were corrected when I turned off the auto dimming, but still. It receives links and then just stalls on them without opening the link. That hasn't been fixed. It also doesn't work with Lastpass, which is a deal breaker for me. If it corrects those deficiencies, I'll try it again. Because it is really fast when it is working.

    Chrome Browser: I'm told this kills my battery. It might, I'm not sure. It works great on this laptop, except sometimes I have problems where if the laptop goes to sleep, when it wakes up, 2 finger scrolling no longer works in Chrome windows that are still open. If I close Chrome then open it back up 2 finger scrolling works again. And if it's a Chrome problem for 2 finger scrolling delays, then hopefully there is an update coming.

    Removing the screen: Works great and easily. No issues on detaching mine. The tablet portion is absurdly light.

    Pen: Works better than any pen device I've used before. I love the eraser feature on the back of the pen. I tried replicating the pen jitter thing, but I'm apparently not good enough of an artist to care about this deficiency. My lines have jitter with a real life pen and paper if I draw slow enough... It might have slightly more jitter when I draw slowly on this screen, but if I use it normally it works surprisingly well. The screen seems so thin and sharp for drawing. But again, I suck as an artist.

    Screen: awesome. One of the best displays I've ever seen, if not the best. I love the 3:2 format. I thought that might bother me, but it's way better for internet browsing than 16:9. If I want to watch 16:9 format movies , I'll use my TV anyway.

    Speakers: They seem good for a small laptop. I have home theater speakers when I watch movies, so for me the speakers are just great for a laptop. I've never really cared about laptop speakers.

    Battery life: It works better than anything other than maybe my Chromebook for battery life. But again, I use Chrome browser and OneDrive backups so maybe that hurts my battery life. It's also a little hard for me to tell about battery life since there are 2 different batteries. The time remaining never seems to be right. I'm not sure that value is calculated knowing there are 2 batteries. Either way, in real world use for me it lasts all day. It just drains faster when asleep than my Chromebook does. But battery life appears better than my other Windows laptops. If you want an impression other than "it lasts all day for my use", read one of the tech reviews.

    Windows Hello: I love this feature. I was considering the new Dell XPS 15, but I would really miss Windows Hello on the XPS 15. I think it's a feature that once you have, you won't want to live without.

    Overall: I'm glad I purchased it. It's exactly what I wanted. A great laptop that can turn into a toy tablet when desired. If 2 finger scrolling works better with Chrome in some update, that'll correct my only real complaint.
     
    fonzman78, unruledboy, kekos and 3 others like this.
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Nice review. Sounds like it's working as it should.
     
  3. geraldem

    geraldem New Member

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    Agree with all of your points and comments. the only thing I am struggling with is battery life. I am only getting on average 5 hours per day. Screen is at 50%, nothing running in the background, hibernate is set ...etc. What are you getting on average per day?
     
  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    An accurate review from my standpoint, also.

    I have the Surface Book i7/512 16, and a docking station. Docking station works for me for all peripherals, though I have not tested video.
    The detached screen, "Clipboard", is remarkably light, balanced, easy to handle, and has a decent battery life, considering that it is part of a laptop. Though I only used to detach my SP3 about 10% of the time, I am detaching the Surface Book screen and using the pen very often.

    Glad I purchased. The Surface Book and I have a bright, clear, 3000 x 2000 pixel future ahead of us.
     
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  5. SeanP

    SeanP Member

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    Battery life is not even close to what was advertised.

    I life my screen at 50% or 75% if I am working in a well lit room. I don't have much running in the background if anything at all.

    I have to use Chrome since Edge has the color changing and stuttering issues that are plaguing everyone else.

    I MIGHT get 6 hours out of it. Seems like I have drained 50% total (average between 2 displayed batteries) within the 1st 2 hours of usage, and all I am doing is email, web browsing, OneNote note taking, and using Office 2016.
     
  6. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    A lot depends on what you are doing and what's installed but I get close to 9 hours of actual use from my SP4 but it's well tuned. I don't use Edge or Chrome.
     
  7. cmatvchuk

    cmatvchuk New Member

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    The Edge Browser issue with the lightening and darkening has to do with the driver for the intel 520. Chrome definitely mugs your battery. Consistently during our burn ins we are seeing close to 20% more battery drain using chrome. Currently we have set up 30 Surface Book I7/512/16. For those who update with the manufacturer driver from intel site the battery drain is considerably worse.

    Overall I will agree with Gadget's review. It is spot on. The only thing we ran into a couple of times, and we cannot track down why, is that the Precision Touch goes out of sync with the settings, so basically it reverts back to a normal touch pad. The resolution was to shutdown, boot by holding down the Volume Up Key and when you get into the UEFI, just exit and let the computer start up normally. It may be a driver incompatibility with some of the development software we use.

    Otherwise, very pleased with the Surface Book. When they patch the few bugs they have, it will totally be amazing.
     

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