Terrible Build quality II: magnesium alloy body

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by mrfroid, Feb 26, 2016.

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  1. MikemanSP4

    MikemanSP4 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to admit that's pretty awesome! About a year ago I bought a Sony Tap 11 - nice tablet, now my son owns it. But Skinobi sells a kit that was pre-cut and it came out nice - looks almost identical. I am wondering how hard was it to cut your own out? Did you encounter any really hard areas when it came to lets say the charging connection & volume / power buttons? From what I can see in the pic, the camera lens area looks like a pro did it. Perhaps you have an idea for a whole new Thread here on the forums. Thanks for sharing......Headed to hit my "like" button, and I'm greedy on the likes. :cool:
     
  2. Yillbs

    Yillbs Member

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    Thanks! I do like me some likes. I initially did id simply because the Iphone is slippery as hell, and I dont' want a case. I know this is like a case, but its not. It still feels like a thin awesome device. To answer your questions, it looks like a pro did it because that's my 6th try :) . I learned that this stuff is highly moldable when you introduce fire. So let me answer your questions in point to make it easy to follow :

    • The material is just a wrap from amazon, I ordered about 200 feet of it for a project, never did it, and now have tons of the crap. It's extremely thin, and very durable.
    • The cut outs were not a problem, again, if you want it PERFECT, you'll want the 70 dollar kit, i basically cut the holds, introduced fire, then molded it down into the groves, so it looks like one uni-body design.
    • The cut outs up top ( i'm trying to get you better pictures of that ), were done the same way.
    • It does look good close up, but that's because I took the time and removed all the air bubbles. I likely didn't mind having to re-do it so much because I have so much of the wrap. If you think that's cool though ( see attached images ), i did my desk too :)
    If you look closely at the camera cut out for example, you'll see it's not perfect, but because of the design, no one notices it. I've done it for a few people locally ( baby sitter , neighbor, UPS driver, and my parents ) , everyone seems to like it thus far.
     
  3. Yillbs

    Yillbs Member

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    OOps, forgot the images, see below :
    On a side note, i'm not sure why the quality sucks, but meh, sorry.

    IMG_0003.JPG IMG_0004.JPG
     

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  4. MikemanSP4

    MikemanSP4 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yup - headed to Amazon to grab me a roll. I have about 4 extra cell phones laying around to practice on. So from what I've seen on Amazon, a roll will run me about $30-50. I can see a money making venture here as I have a lot of PC clients that love this kinda thing. You mentioned the "introduction of fire". Did you use a heat gun, or perhaps a torch from a distance. I think I will save any further questions for a message as I don't want to muck it up with my rambling - Lord knows I can ramble. Thanks again, and again - it looks phenomenal! Yup - another like.
     
  5. Yillbs

    Yillbs Member

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    Used a lighter, and a torch for the desk.
     
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  6. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    Magnesium is a metal that can't be dyed, and doesn't have a nice color barebone, unlike aluminum.
    But, it is lighter and stronger than aluminum. As weight is a big problem in the Surface Pro line, Microsoft is kinda stuck with magnesium.

    As magnesium can't be dyed, it can only be painted.
    The problem with painted device, is that ANYTHING will scratch it.

    A big reason for Microsoft to switch from black to this magnesium color paint, is that small scratches don't show, if it was black anything will show.

    In my years, I have had a number of magnesium body systems. Here are some advice:
    • NEVER put the system without a protective cover of sorts on your table. Even if it is clean. If you have a Surface Pro model, always put the system on the cover side. If some person put it on the table, do your best to lift the system without sliding.
    • When storing it in a bag or backpack, always put it in a sleeve that the inside is super soft, similarly to a high quality micro fibber cloth. This will keep it like new. Every now and then, inspect the sleeve inside, to make sure it is clean. I recommend to get color black, as it is easier to see potential debris inside.
    • NEVER put any paper, or anything on the side of the paint. It can scratch the finish, and it will show, especially if the system is colored black.
    • Always clean the surface with a clean, lint free, high quality microfiber cloth. Be sure that the cloth is clean before use.
    • Never use any sorts of chemicals to clean the system (in fact you should never use one on a system, point). Using a high quality clean microfiber cloth, wet it until humid only, and use that to clean. Though stains usually comes off with a few gentle rubs. A clean Surface, is a happy Surface. :)

    Talking about tips, for the screen, I highly recommend thin (thinner the better) glass screen protectors. Why?
    • Your pen and finger slides the same way as it did on the device without a screen protector. Plastic sheets are not smooth enough to give you this feel back.
    • Easier to install. One step that is usually forgotten on instructions to install glass screen protector, is that you need to wear pvc/plastic/latex gloves that are smooth at the outside, and clean. The moment your finger touches the underside of the screen protector, even if you hold it by the side, expect a bubbles most of the time. So get some, and be sure to do it in a very clean room to avoid dust particles to come in. Removing the screen protector, as it is glass, is possible, but very tricky. You definitely don't want to use your nails, as it will go under the screen protector, and shift the adhesive which will make a bubble, not to mention not very flexible. So be sure you pick a brand that has good replacement policy, and take your time.
    • No wholes (except maybe for the proximity sensor, and mic/speakers (if it is a phone, and those are on the screen)). Unlike plastic sheets, glass is truly transparent. Transparent plastic is sadly not transparent, and not perfectly smooth, which affects image quality of the camera, hence why they cut a whole for the camera. It gives the device a cleaner look.
    • In the case of the Surface Book, you are better off putting the device on the screen side down, as you have your screen protector, than on the painted side.
    • Larger the screen, the more expensive glass screen protector gets, and harder it is to put it straight. You may want to use good stickers which you use as tabs to re-lift the screen protector to adjust it. Again, you don't want to use nails or something to separate the screen protector form the device else the adhesive will shift and you'll have a bubble at that area.
    • No bubbles. Assuming you install it right, you should have no bubbles. If you do, it will be big ones which you can push out easily as the glass is non very flexible, so it applies pressure itself which makes the process easy.
    • I recommend Gorilla Glass based screen protectors. Don't get whatever tempered glass. You'll just waste your time and money. Why protect the device with essentially the same glass? Well first of all the screen protector that you can replace, if it gets scratch or cracks, the one on your device... not so much. Also, as both glass are the same, you know what to expect in terms of experience.
    • Another upside of glass screen protector, is that on devices like on the Surface Pro 3 and 4, or Surface Book, the glass is extra thin, a screen protector will add strength to the glass, as it is now thicker. This can help reduce the pen bending the glass and touching the LCD panel that device has (will require more force).
    I hope these tips helps. Do you have any other tips?
     
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  7. mrfroid

    mrfroid New Member

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    As it's too late for me to stick with some kind of transparent option, I'll probably get something from Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Skins | DecalGirl SP4 might look cool and really unique with some of them.
     
  8. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck Member

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    SMH that people are talking about the use of magnesium as though it's a "quality problem," or something that Microsoft is "stuck with."
     
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  9. mrfroid

    mrfroid New Member

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    I understand your point, but... Can you imagine Ford making a car from paper? What's wrong with that? You put that car into stainless steel titanium case and there it goes - as safe as a car can be. OK, i can change the subject from “magnesium alloy body“ to the “paint on magnesium alloy body“ if it changes anything. For me, having in mind how tablet is used, choice of magnesium is wrong by design.
     
  10. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck Member

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    Your equating use of magnesium in the body of the Surface to using paper as the material for an automobile body pretty much establishes your level of credibility. Your arguments are ridiculous.
     
  11. mrfroid

    mrfroid New Member

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    Credibility? :D Are we designers here or what? It's just my opinion after using SP4 for a month (compared to device x). “ridiculous, level of credibility...“. Have a nice day too! ;)
     
  12. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with Max.

    Think about this:
    As we don't know the full composition of magnesium alloy, lets' just assume it is full magnesium, as it mostly that.

    -> Would you prefer a Surface device that has the same shape and form as now, but in aluminum but because of this is 33% heavier? (magnesium is around 33% lighter than aluminum)

    If we look at the Surface Pro 2. A big complaint about the device is that it is too heavy, and I mean to a point that people didn't considering the system for purchase as it was too heavy for usage as a tablet. So, the Pro 3, which has near identical hardware as the Pro 2 rev 2, was made lighter by using 1 fan/heatsink, instead of 2. The Pro 3 faces with throttling problem, while the Pro 2 you can push it hard, and beside a warm system, it is a-ok. The Pro 3 sold like hot cakes compared to the Pro 2, despite the issue with performance.

    Basically copper is heavy, and by cutting the cooling power of the device by half almost, the device is now much lighter and that is what people want, even though it meant throttling issues, which you would think would be an issue with consumers. But nope!

    My point is that Microsoft does a lot of marketing research in knowing how to design the next product, and weight is a HUGE factor.

    Apple can get the light weight it needs, because the whole system is essentially a phone. And the larger back side is used as a heatsink, and can afford a bit faster processor version of the iPhone. Because the circuitry is tiny, and the CPU is weak in performance as it only cares about running mobile apps, with a light weight, simple OS, it doesn't need a large battery.

    Sadly, the Surface runs full blown Windows. And that means it needs a full computer, and a power hungry CPU.

    However, we now have the Core M CPU, which is powerful, yet power efficient. Of course, it is no wear near a Core i5 U series CPU performance, but faster than Atom. So yes, if Microsoft uses a Core M CPU, that would allow for smaller battery. However, Microsoft focuses the Surface line as a powerful unit, that is why it avoids using Intel Y series. If you want a light weight Core M series, then look at many OEMs offerings. That is why they all focus on that.

    But I just contradicted myself. I said that performance doesn't matter, weight does, and now with the Core M, it is the reverse... Whhhaaaaa?

    Let me take a step back. People like the Core i5/7 U series as it is faster than Core M, even if we consider the Surface Pro 3 cooling solution. Because, most people don't play games on their Surface Pro's. They only want/need burst of performance, and that the Core i5/i7 U series does deliver despite the not so great cooling of the Pro 3. And that is why the throttling issue was not an issue with most of its users.

    So in others words, it is a delicate balance. The cooling of teh Pro 4 is better than teh Pro 3, as it is larger (and heavier), but the battery allows to be a bit smaller as the system is more power efficient.

    Will one day Microsoft do the switch? Probably. But now the company has been known, or I should say branded as magnesium color system, much like you think Apple when you think aluminum device.
     
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