Got my SP4 i5 256GB 8GB Ram this morning. I have to say I'm disappointed. This is my first windows tablet experience and first experience with a high pixel density screen with windows.
I think the hardware of the SP4 is superb. No complaints there. As the previous poster noted, windows Hello works great. My disappointment is with windows 10 itself as a tablet OS. It seems the app development is very poor even for what I would call CORE apps.
For example, the MAIL app is terrible. When composing an email you can't push a button to add a contact to the TO list. When viewing email, it does not display emails correctly with inconsistent text scaling and image scaling as well as background colors/images not working. Sure I could just go to the website and just view and write email there, but that defeats the purpose of having a tablet PC. I may have well just purchased a traditional laptop (Not what I was looking for).
I have a huge issue with scaling in general. I don't know who app/program developers are writing for but it must be for people with the eyesight of Super Man. Everything is super tiny and when I boost up the DPI even CORE apps don't scale properly. How does Microsoft expect developers to scale their apps when even they can't do it correctly.
I would go as far as to say the Quality of apps for windows 10 tablet is much much worse the android and I think android apps are much much worse then IOS apps.
Anyway enough ranting about the software aspect of the SP4. For hardware everything seems really fast and smooth (ignoring poor apps/programs). One thing I noticed on the hardware side tho is when I am downloading something (not using a lot of CPU) the tablet gets really warm with the fan on full. Anyone else observe this on theirs?
I also forgot to add, the track pad on the typecover is good except when I do 2 finger scrolling it feels like there is a delay like I have to put 2 fingers on it then wait a second or so before it realizes that I want to scroll.
Allow me to help with the Kindle issue. You have to think, not in terms of the device's shortcomings, but its strengths. One of the strengths is that because it is a full PC, you can run other operating systems on it.....in this case, I'm referring to how easy it is to run Android on the SP4 by simply installing Bluestacks. This is a trick that's not so easy to do on ios or Android. (I recommend Bluestacks over Amiduos because Bluestacks has the ability to pin each individual Android app to your Start screen or taskbar). Because of this easy trick, you can then download the Android version of Kindle and use it. It runs flawlessly.....with the one possible hiccup being that it takes a few extra seconds to start the app on a Windows device than it would on an actual Android device.I guess I've just been spoiled with the iPad experience. Good to know the fan while downloading is normal.
The one 3rd party app that was really bothering me is the kindle one. The App wont open a textbook of mine and the desktop program sucks.
I'm installing office 365 with outlook. I'll have to see if that will satisfy me.
Again I think the hardware is phenomenal so far.
How is Bluestacks as far as battery usage? I'm afraid to install anything that would impact the battery as a background process...Allow me to help with the Kindle issue. You have to think, not in terms of the device's shortcomings, but its strengths. One of the strengths is that because it is a full PC, you can run other operating systems on it.....in this case, I'm referring to how easy it is to run Android on the SP4 by simply installing Bluestacks. This is a trick that's not so easy to do on ios or Android. (I recommend Bluestacks over Amiduos because Bluestacks has the ability to pin each individual Android app to your Start screen or taskbar). Because of this easy trick, you can then download the Android version of Kindle and use it. It runs flawlessly.....with the one possible hiccup being that it takes a few extra seconds to start the app on a Windows device than it would on an actual Android device.
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.
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%.
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.
Benchmark screen shots(sorry for the large pics, not used to posting pics here):
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Big thanks for the 3DMark scores. I have been wondering where the Iris 540 fell on something like Firestrike. This review was very helpful, many thanks for the effort.