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I've Changed My Mind: The SP4 is Terrible

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
It's interesting to note that the above 2 responses refer to "surfaces" or "SP3/SP4/S3." To be clear, I only spoke about the SP4, not the other surface devices.

I find it hard to believe that that above 2 posters used their SP4s for mission critical purposes during the period prior to the February and March 2016 fixes and didn't run into any problems, particularly if they were doing cutting edge things. At the vey least, I'm sure they experienced multiple video driver crashes during that time frame. I also suspect that they had to resuscitate their SP4s using the secret 2 finger salute a few times. How quickly we forget...
SP3, S3, SP4 (SP4 predominantly since release). All work perfectly. The only issues (as in one which had a tangible effect) I've had have been as a result of being on fast track insiders and almost entirely related to inking in desktop onenote. I bought my surfaces for university, specifically the pen capabilities. They have been used since day one, and were on the fast track insider program the moment it was available. During term time, they get used all day every day, and are a charm to use. You will find that there are many members on this forum using their sp4 for their job, and get on just great.
 

DavidZ

Active Member
SP3, S3, SP4 (SP4 predominantly since release). All work perfectly. The only issues (as in one which had a tangible effect) I've had have been as a result of being on fast track insiders and almost entirely related to inking in desktop onenote. I bought my surfaces for university, specifically the pen capabilities. They have been used since day one, and were on the fast track insider program the moment it was available. During term time, they get used all day every day, and are a charm to use. You will find that there are many members on this forum using their sp4 for their job, and get on just great.
Are you saying that you never experienced a video driver crash? Or had to resuscitate your SP4 using the 2 finger salute?
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
I've experienced a video driver crash or two, but I'd hardly call that an issue for me. Screen flashes black for a second, and then I carry on as normal. And In 2 years I have never once done a 2 finger reset. I always shut my surfaces down as opposed to putting them into sleep, so never had to worry about any wake-up bugs (such as not waking up, requiring a reset, or waking up in a bag and draining the battery). I will add though that my surface has a very specific use case, and doesn't really get used for anything more (chrome+office). Most bugs I come across are just small things due to being on the fast track insider program.

There are certainly bugs, but not things I'd consider an issue, in that they do not effect my usage. For instance the current build I am on, tablet mode doesn't work, but it doesn't present itself as an issue for me and I can keep on working just fine. So while bugs do not present themselves as issues to me, to others they may. I won't deny that MS need to work on giving everyone the same (good) experience. It can be hit and miss as this thread shows, but when they work, they are wonderfully reliable.
 

Dim-Ize

Active Member
Wow. So sorry to learn of your issues. I've had the SP, SP2 and now an i7 256 with 8GB SP4. The only issue I have had was with the Anniversary Update - delivered through Auto Updates. I had three weird issues - one where MAPS wouldn't open at all, one with the XBOX app not opening and had to get a beta version, and one with the new Windows Ink Space where sticky notes wouldn't open.

Being OCD, I did a clean install with AU and have been very pleased with the stability and reliability of this device. I use this as my only computer / tablet and am very thankful to be able to depend on this device consistently.
 
Pretty broad statement. I've used my surfaces as "mission critical" for 2 years straight. Never had an issue. If I were to have an issue (other than desktop onenote while on the insider program), my future at university would be in serious jeopardy, but I don't worry about that in the slightest :)
Same here. Two SP3s and now an i5/512/16 SP4 have been my daily driver for going on two years. An IT guy for 32 years now who's owned dozens of notebooks/laptops over the years, I travel extensively and utilize my machine for development, including heavy virtual machine usage. I love blowing through airports and my productivity whilst on the road is higher than ever.
 
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MikemanSP4

Super Moderator
Staff member
I know some folks are frustrated with the SP4 - and I can understand the why. But think about it for a moment. With the handful of upset, disappointed and frustrated users - there are millions more satisfied and happy with their product. I foolishly ran out and bought the SP4 the moment it hit the shelf and paid a top shelf price for it ($2000.00 + $145.00 for the keyboard) - I have been in heaven since I made this costly purchase. Now I don't condone the power issues, there is NO wiggle room here when we are dealing with a "Professional" line of computers / tablets, and there is NO excuse for this what so ever. But a LOT of these issues are not Microsoft, or WINDOWS - but End User lack of know how.

If you want to be absolutely certain your machine will fire up when needed, a simple battery check prior to a COMPLETE Shutdown might be in order. Since it only takes my SP4 14 seconds to boot up, turning it completely off makes for a sure fire 100% turn on when needed. I did some reading on the reasons for the power drain and or wake-up, and that made it clear to me - turn the damned thing completely off when not in use. Sure, waking from hibernate or sleep sure is quick, but what can I do in the 14 seconds it takes for it to completely boot up? Not too much, but I usually use the time to wipe any smudges from my screen, or I just wait the whole 14 seconds for it to boot up.

Each update has always been either great, or unnoticeable. I recently slapped the "Anniversary Edition" Redstone or 1607 -if you please onto my SP4 - and I loved it! The ONLY Downside was "Error 52" as NON digitally signed drivers were not allowed to be loaded onto the machine - which was a simple fix. Other than that....I haven't really had a "bad update" where guesswork as to what will, or will not function after the update - has ever come to mind. Each update has been pleasant and usually welcomed as Microsoft has really done a BANG UP job with Windows 10 - since Windows 8 seemed to have been designed by 8th graders on a chalkboard.

I have recently built two gaming machines for customers using top of the line everything. Quad-Video, INTEL Extreme i7's - ASUS Extreme ROG MB's - the works. And while fascinating and brutally fast - I would often think about my SP4 - Running an i7, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD - All compacted into a tablet. While I cannot run CRYSIS III at maxed FPS & 4k resolution whilst overclocked at 5.1GHZ Stable, water cooled - I can close my SP4 lid and pack it into my backpack and head on down the road. I mean an i7 in a tablet is insane when you get to thinking about it (more like IF) - and the lack of issues when all things considered the possible issues could be MONGOSSO. I mean a 4k Screen that's bright as hell, vibrant colors, screaming fast game-play - In a tablet is insane and I give a big fat hats off to Microsoft for developing such a superb work of art in the SP4 Lineup. Microsoft has sold more SP4's than the Xbox One - so complainers - well....I guess the proof is in the SP4 -

I respect the dislikes of the SP4 - completely - and I have a suggestion - Go grab an Apple and enjoy their work. If you don't mind running everything you do by them before or as you do it (iStore, or iTunes). If you burn a DVD to an ISO and want to watch it later on your APPLE - good luck. I've heard JailBreaking has come to be next to impossible, and makes the OS completely unstable. But HEY- at least you won't have to worry about those 14 seconds of boot time! Well worth it right? As for me, I am going to stick with Microsoft - until someone comes up with something that out-performs Windows and is universally driver / peripheral compatible. Which sadly hasn't happened in almost 3 decades. Grab a MAC and see how you like them APPLES- (Pardon me if you already have / love one)

Edits (Typos and Punctuation)
 
Last edited:

Becosemsaida

New Member
I know some folks are frustrated with the SP4 - and I can understand the why. But think about it for a moment. With the handful of upset, disappointed and frustrated users - there are millions more satisfied and happy with their product. I foolishly ran out and bought the SP4 the moment it hit the shelf and paid a top shelf price for it ($2000.00 + $145.00 for the keyboard) - I have been in heaven since I made this costly purchase. Now I don't condone the power issues, there is NO wiggle room here when we are dealing with a "Professional" line of computers / tablets, and there is NO excuse for this what so ever. But a LOT of these issues are not Microsoft, or WINDOWS - but End User lack of know how.

If you want to be absolutely certain your machine will fire up when needed, a simple battery check prior to a COMPLETE Shutdown might be in order. Since it only takes my SP4 14 seconds to boot up, turning it completely off makes for a sure fire 100% turn on when needed. I did some reading on the reasons for the power drain and or wake-up, and that made it clear to me - turn the damned thing completely off when not in use. Sure, waking from hibernate or sleep sure is quick, but what can I do in the 14 seconds it takes for it to completely boot up? Not too much, but I usually use the time to wipe any smudges from my screen, or I just wait the whole 14 seconds for it to boot up.

Each update has always been either great, or unnoticeable. I recently slapped the "Anniversary Edition" Redstone or 1607 -if you please onto my SP4 - and I loved it! The ONLY Downside was "Error 52" as NON digitally signed drivers were not allowed to be loaded onto the machine - which was a simple fix. Other than that....I haven't really had a "bad update" where guesswork as to what will, or will not function after the update - has ever come to mind. Each update has been pleasant and usually welcomed as Microsoft has really done a BANG UP job with Windows 10 - since Windows 8 seemed to have been designed by 8th graders on a chalkboard.

I have recently built two gaming machines for customers using top of the line everything. Quad-Video, INTEL Extreme i7's - ASUS Extreme ROG MB's - the works. And while fascinating and brutally fast - I would often think about my SP4 - Running an i7, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD - All compacted into a tablet. While I cannot run CRYSIS III at maxed FPS & 4k resolution whilst overclocked at 5.1GHZ Stable, water cooled - I can close my SP4 lid and pack it into my backpack and head on down the road. I mean an i7 in a tablet is insane when you get to thinking about it (more like IF) - and the lack of issues when all things considered the possible issues could be MONGOSSO. I mean a 4k Screen that's bright as hell, vibrant colors, screaming fast game-play - In a tablet is insane and I give a big fat hats off to Microsoft for developing such a superb work of art in the SP4 Lineup. Microsoft has sold more SP4's than the Xbox One - so complainers - well....I guess the proof is in the SP4 -

I respect the dislikes of the SP4 - completely - and I have a suggestion - Go grab an Apple and enjoy their work. If you don't mind running everything you do by them before or as you do it (iStore, or iTunes). If you burn a DVD to an ISO and want to watch it later on your APPLE - good luck. I've heard JailBreaking has come to be next to impossible, and makes the OS completely unstable. But HEY- at least you won't have to worry about those 14 seconds of boot time! Well worth it right? As for me, I am going to stick with Microsoft - until someone comes up with something that out-performs Windows and is universally driver / peripheral compatible. Which sadly hasn't happened in almost 3 decades. Grab a MAC and see how you like them APPLES- (Pardon me if you already have / love one)

Edits (Typos and Punctuation)
While i am eating my apple i just have read this long post....... Something i have read on another fórum: most of the people don't even know how and what to check in Windows, as long as the docs are edited and the youtube movies are running they are ok.

For now and i hope this stays like this my surface is working well if they only can solve the "freeze" problem, i already tried to revert drivers but without luck......

Now let me get another piece of fruit, be right back........

Beco
 

eholbik

New Member
I received the S4 as a gift so i think that changes the way i felt in the beginning about this unit.

For the first 2 weeks i only noticed small problems and then BOOM i started getting hit with all the bugs/problems that everyone else was experiencing. Since i already was a tablet PC user and since i really liked the design and feel of the S4, i pushed through even thought the experience was not fun.

the main issues for me were:
I purchased the Surface 4 Dock and that was complete garbage for several months. The dock would not connect multiple VGA monitors ( the sole reason i bought it for) Finally MSFT released the surface dock app and some updates and a week or so after that-- it finally started working. Today at my office i have a sweet setup with multiple monitors, Bluetooth mouse, and headsets..etc. Just took like 8 months to work. :)

My pen stopped working all the sudden. One time i brought it back to life but it survived only for another day or two. MSFT sent me a free replacement which was nice but since i live overseas it took a few weeks before i got it.

The wake up/battery issues still are alittle bothersome but now its much better than before.

The experience was frustrating but i pushed through. For me there really isn't anything in the market that compares to this machine--- so there was nothing for me to jumpship to. Im not an Apple person and didnt want to mess with Android stuff as my primary machine.

At the end-- i enjoy this machine.


Sent from mTalk
 

DavidZ

Active Member
I received the S4 as a gift so i think that changes the way i felt in the beginning about this unit.

For the first 2 weeks i only noticed small problems and then BOOM i started getting hit with all the bugs/problems that everyone else was experiencing. Since i already was a tablet PC user and since i really liked the design and feel of the S4, i pushed through even thought the experience was not fun.

the main issues for me were:
I purchased the Surface 4 Dock and that was complete garbage for several months. The dock would not connect multiple VGA monitors ( the sole reason i bought it for) Finally MSFT released the surface dock app and some updates and a week or so after that-- it finally started working. Today at my office i have a sweet setup with multiple monitors, Bluetooth mouse, and headsets..etc. Just took like 8 months to work. :)

My pen stopped working all the sudden. One time i brought it back to life but it survived only for another day or two. MSFT sent me a free replacement which was nice but since i live overseas it took a few weeks before i got it.

The wake up/battery issues still are alittle bothersome but now its much better than before.

The experience was frustrating but i pushed through. For me there really isn't anything in the market that compares to this machine--- so there was nothing for me to jumpship to. Im not an Apple person and didnt want to mess with Android stuff as my primary machine.

At the end-- i enjoy this machine.


Sent from mTalk
Why not just buy a simple desktop for the office and use the SP4 for travel? Seems like that would have saved you 8 months of frustration.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
But a LOT of these issues are not Microsoft, or WINDOWS - but End User lack of know how.
I can assure you many of the SP4 issues have absolutely nothing to do with the users knowledge or lack thereof. IF you got an SP4 with no issues you're either lucky or something else.

The SP4s I had and returned had definite hardware problems as I'm sure many have. I still see reports of the same problems I experienced unfixed to this day. Given that, I don't think they will ever be fixed. If you have one that's less than perfect return it, if it's too late for that try to get a working replacement, good luck, otherwise I feel for you.

I will probably try the next model but if there's any sign of problems it's gong back. My S3 and SP3 have issues but not as bad as I experienced with the SP4. The S2 I have was flawless and still is flawless although limited.
 

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