Surface Book 2 - will you buy/upgrade?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by flar, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Active Member

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    I am writing this comment on my Spectre X360 15 that I purchased earlier this year. It is a gorgeous machine, and the best laptop I have ever owned. I do love the 4K display, and I use the Pen input every single day for a variety of note taking, diagramming, and photo editing. The touch pad of the Spectre is Synaptics, and as such does not have the feel of the Precision touch pad on the SB (I tried installing the Lenovo Precision driver, and that does work after a fashion, but it was a complicated hack...)

    I am very attracted to the 3:2 aspect ratio and better color accuracy, as well as better brightness on the display of the SB. However, for the price difference, no one can fault the purchase of the Spectre. If I were a gamer or video editor, the decision would go to the SB again.

    It is wonderful to have so many options!
     
  2. wynand32

    wynand32 Active Member

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    I've reviewed a bunch of really nice machines this year, and you're right: it's great to have so many excellent options.

    That said, one clarification: in my colorimeter testing, I didn't find the original Surface Book's color gamut support to be very wide (only 70% of AdobeRGB and 91% of sRGB). Color accuracy was good at 1.05 (1.0 or less in indistinguishable to the human eye). I'd like Microsoft to source displays with wider color gamut support for people who need to work with images, though - MacBook displays are much better in this regard (MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar, for example, is 91% AdobeRGB and 100% sRGB).

    Where the Surface displays really shine (no pun intended) is in brightness and contrast (350+ nits, >1100:1 contrast), and gamma is usually spot-on at 2.2. If you work with black text on white backgrounds, there are fewer displays that are better than Surface displays -- and the 3:2 aspect ratio makes things even better for writers.

    For comparison, the Spectre x360 15 display was 74% AdobeRGB and 95% sRGB in my testing. Color accuracy wasn't as good at 1.95. And brightness and contrast were significantly lower at 315 nits and 720:1. Gamma was perfect at 2.2. All of that plus 16:9 4K UHD makes it great for video, which I think is what HP was aiming for.

    No real point here, because both displays are excellent. It's really just a matter of which is more excellent, and that really comes down to how someone is going to use the machines. It's also what makes me so torn between the Spectre x360 15 (especially the updated version) and the Surface Book 2.
     
  3. BearFlag

    BearFlag Member

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    I went ahead and ordered the new Spectre X360 15". It was on sale for $1399 (4K display, 16 GB ram, 512 GB SSD, 8th gen i7 quad core processor) when I bought it.

    With regards to the Yoga 720, MobileTechReview did a comparison video between the Yoga 720 and the early 2017 Spectre X360 and not only said that the battery life was worse on the Yoga as you pointed out, but also said that the typing experience was a bit worse, which is big for me.

    The SB2 is a better machine (GPU, screen, etc.) than the Spectre X360 and I'm going to miss the 3:2 aspect ratio a lot, but I just can't justify paying $1000 more for the SB2. If you don't mind the price, then I would say get the SB2.
     
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  4. wynand32

    wynand32 Active Member

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    That's a great price for the Spectre x360 15 for sure. And, it's definitely a great machine. I also reviewed the Yoga 720, and I agree with MobileTechReview -- I prefer the keyboard on the Spectre over the Yoga's (that wasn't reflected in my review because I do try to be objective and keyboards are really subjective experiences). The only thing the Yoga 720 really has on the Spectre is the Microsoft Precision touchpad -- the Spectre's Synaptic drivers aren't my favorite.

    If anyone's interested, I'll post my reviews below. I haven't had a chance to refresh the Spectre review with the new 8th-gen Core CPU or the MX150, but hopefully, I'll be able to get one soon to look at. And if I do decide not to shell out the extra money for the SB2 (the 15-inch is $1500, or more than twice, as expensive, ouch!), then the Spectre will most likely be the machine I pick up.

    Large and in charge, HP’s 15-inch Spectre x360 makes no compromises
    Lenovo’s Yoga 720 15 is a 2-in-1 that’s secretly a budget gaming laptop
     
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  5. starstreak

    starstreak Member

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    Anybody know if they put in a full version of windows HELLO (RealSense 3D)? One that can be used for 3D scanning? I have no idea why MS didn't include that ability. They made that feature, and they leave it off their own laptops.
     
  6. Niterider4

    Niterider4 Active Member

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    My first SB was a disaster. My refurb warranty replacement was way, way better, but Word still crashes randomly when I close one of two or more open Onedrive documents.

    I love the form factor and the 2-in-1 works beautifully, but the inability of Microsoft hardware to run a suite of Microsoft programs without crashing is just too frustrating. Add that to the exorbitant cost, and I will be looking elsewhere.
     
  7. flar

    flar Member

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    Best Buy is currently discounting the existing SB models $300-$500 now on the web site (discounts last week used to max at $350). The 16/512 config I was looking at is 2299 for the SB+PB model and will be 2899(+pen) for the new SB2 model. $600(or $700 with pen) for slightly more screen and a newer CPU/GPU. Hmmm...
     
  8. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    Just pre-ordered the 15" i7 512GB and can't wait! :D
     
  9. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    AFAIK Realsense 3D is an Intel thing and requires Realsense 3D (back) cameras which are different than the Hello technology (front) cameras. I whish they would include this but I suspect it may not work as well in the real world as the Intel marketing glossy might imply. So, yeah they developed some cameras and demo software in the lab... but if this was the killer app it sounds like, vendors would be allover it like stink on a skunk.
     
  10. Megoapesnut

    Megoapesnut New Member

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    I have to come clean. I am a tech junkie. I really need to seek professional counseling! I am actually a Mac guy, through and through. I have been for 30 years. I work in the graphics industry and have owned every Mac model there ever was. I thoroughly detested Windows up until 10. However, the Surface Book design really intrigued me. It intrigued me enough so that I gave Windows 10 a try. It's definitely a major improvement over any other version I ever played with and good enough that I took the plunge on the Surface Book. I REALLY love this hardware. I would pay BIG bucks to anyone who could get the Mac OS to run on this hardware. That would be the perfect machine IMO. I told myself that I really don't need to upgrade to the book 2. I have a i7 Performance base that is fine for my needs. I still do my heavy duty video editing and Photoshop on my loaded Mac Pro. However, tech junkie that I am, I will probably end up selling my current book and getting the book 2. Especially since they are offering a 15" model. I just can't help it. It's an addiction.
     
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  11. flar

    flar Member

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    It looks like the old specs page was right and the configs listed when I wrote that were wrong as the 2 smaller configs for the 15" model are 16/256 and 16/512. This is odd as it means that the only thing you get for your extra $400 is 256GB more flash. I hope this means that they didn't skimp on the flash module as they have in the past...? Or you can spend another $400 and get 512GB more storage. This is similar to the broken way that phones used to be sold where you paid another $100 to double the storage even though each $100 was buying you more and more storage at each increment. It could also mean that the 256 has one of the older slower SSDs and the 512/1T have updated SSDs? I'm definitely waiting for more indepth reviews and/or tear downs to see what kind of SSDs are being used.
     
  12. Niterider4

    Niterider4 Active Member

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    Don't hold your breath on the reviews as far as the type of SSDs that are being deployed. When MS sent out the original SBs to reviewers, all the machines had high end Toshiba SSDs. When MS shipped actual units to consumers, they replaced the high end Toshiba SSDs with pedestrian Samsung SSDs.

    Another chapter in the shameful disinformation campaign that was the release of the original Surface Book, IMHO.
     

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