Ok, This is a work in progress. So I'll be updating this as I have time. I'm at work right now, so I can't post everything at this moment.
Surface Pro I7 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD.
When I updated the computer for the first time, it got hot when updating (downloading and installing) the win10 updates. Enough where the fan would come on FULL SPEED. The unit didn't lock up. And did get very warm/hot. Same as when my SP2 temp got hot.
Unlike others, who say the unit is cool to the touch and fan doesn't come on, I can hear the fan on when doing normal web browsing. The back gets warm. I'm on default balanced setting.
As an example, I'm just on the desktop with nothing opened, the unit does stay warm on the back. Not cold. But nothing that would alarm me as every other device I had will get warm when on. iPad included.
I'm editing my post on my SP4. Nothing running in background, and my surface is warm evenly on the top back. I don't hear the fan, but in the office with the A/C on, not sure if I would hear it on the lowest setting.
I haven't installed VLC on the computer yet, so I can't tell you how hot the unit gets when watching a movie.
But so far, coming from a SP2 8GB/256SSD, which got very warm when web browsing and almost hot when using VLC watching a movie, i'm not 100% happy on how warm it gets. I was hoping to be cool to the touch on the back with just web browsing.
- I do notice that with any time the unit gets hot, the fan does come on. Unlike how some pre-reviews mention that the unit doesn't heat up, my I7 does get arm enough where the fan does come on. A lot. Web pages will cause this. Almost anything that causes the CPU to get over 50% will make the back of the unit warm and cause the fan to kick on. I haven't played with the i5, but I believe this is normal use. My SP2 i5 did this too, but got a lot warner than this SP4.
Unlike others who hibernate or sleep, I tend to shut down. Since the unit takes around 10 seconds to boot, I would rather just be at a clean start all the time.
I did try and use sleep. But not sure if it was me or the unit. I had it on for about 10-15mins and it was warm and when I put it to sleep, I checked the unit about 20mins later and the back was still warm and when I turned it on, battery was down another 10%.
From 100%, with wifi on, I may have turned it on/off about 4-5 times. Used the notebook throughout the day for no more than 5-30mins at a time. For a total of maybe two to two and a half hours of use? I had about 45% battery left. Which didn't sound good. But this was not a scientific test.
- Battery life is something that bothers me. Like most electronic devices, it's never what the manufacturer claims. My SP2 never got close to the maximum battery. So.. In my uses of the SP4 i7, consider this. If the SP4 is idle and at 100%, it will report close to the 9hrs. But I consider worse case is under 2hrs. And if you're doing something that could use about 40-50% CPU, you battery time is about 3:30hrs. As an example, in writing this, my battery is at 83%, and shows about 4hrs remaining. And CPU is around 5-8% used while I type. Which doesn't sound like much, but I keep my screen at around 50% brightness.
The unit had all three turned on. I disabled the pre and super fetch. And I disabled indexing. Oh, starting at 100% battery, when I turned off indexing and it had to scna my harddrive to do that, by the time it was half way done, the fan was on full, and when finished, I had 92% battery life. Hmm... I would not have expected that. My SSD used 82GB out of 172GB.
Unlike my SP2, the pen tracks WAY BETTER. On my SP2, in the upper left corner, the pen tip could be off by almost 1/8in. Meaning, when the cursor was in the corner, the pen tip was about 1/8in away from the corner. With the SP4, the cursor goes where the pin tip goes.
But, while I haven't messed around with calibration (I'm scared because on the SP2, that could really mess you up) I noticed that pen pressure doesn't work with all programs. I can get pressure to work with FRESH PAINT, but not always with Sai.
I do wish M$ just spent the money and bought Wacom. And made the pencil a drawing pencil. with angle support and everything. Or at least give the option to use one.
The SP2 pen felt like a plastic pencil. The SP4 pen feels like a fat Rapidograph drafting pencil. I wish it was a bit thinner. I do like the metal feeling. I don't like the new clicker on it. Not as easy to find as the one on the SP2 that stuck out more.
I don't use one-note so I have no idea if I'm using it correctly so I can't comment. But at least pressure of the pen always seems to work in One Note.
I do like the screen capture. That's how I've been taking the shots for this review.
Cortana works. With the clicker. But I did previously set it up so if I said "Hey Cortana" it would hear me.
I setup my face with the laptop. I would say, 95% of the time, it works fine. Maybe twice it gave me trouble. And wouldn't you know that it was when I was showing my friend how good it works? Lol. When it works, it takes less than 3 seconds. It says turning on the camera, looking for my face, and I'm logged in.
I bought the keyboard with the thumbprint scanner. If I cover up the camera, and use my thumb, it works fine. It scans my print and logs me in.
Windows startup time:
Very fast. Around 10 seconds, not including face recognition (maybe another 2-3 seconds?). My SP2 loaded Windows 10 in about 10 seconds too. And for me to type my password, about 2 seconds maybe.). So either way, it's fast. My home computer is a Hexacore i7 and a Samsung 256GB SSD. That computer, is slow compared to the Surfaces. Because BIOS takes FOREVER, about 15-20 seconds, and windows about 8 seconds, my home computer still takes about 30+ seconds to start up.
Watching a movie:
Ok, take this with a salt. It's not a benchmark test. Wifi was off. I turned off screen and auto shutoff. I left the laptop in balance mode, screen brightness was set to suggested, which I think how it might have lasted longer? Anyways, I played a 2:38min movie using VLC in full screen and volume set at 30.
Surface Pro 4 : At 100% battery, I started up the computer. And ran the movie. When it was done, I had 60% battery left. I rebooted. And played same movie again. At 1:30 minutes, I had 30% battery. I had to stop and leave.
Surface Pro 2 (i5,8GB RAM,256GB): At 100% battery, I started up the computer. And ran the movie. When it was done, I had 46% battery left. I rebooted. And played same movie again. At 1:30 minutes, I had <10% battery. I had to stop and leave. (I had a warning saying I was at 10% battery)
So I guess if I went on a trip, I could watch about 4-4:30hrs of movies and still have about 20% average of battery left. Which is not too bad I guess. Still can't see 9hrs of casual use though.
Benchmark screen shots:
I figured out how to run different power mode settings that effect the Intel Iris graphic chip in Max Performance/Normal Power/Power Save. Power Save mode I hardly could hear the fan. I know it was on the lowest settings, but nor on FULL like when running the benchmarks for Performance and Normal Power modes.