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Looking for a reason to buy the Surface when a laptop is probably better


Hi all, new to the forum. I used Windows machines most of my life and I've also worked in a MS shop repairing desktops/laptops for several years. I have an underpowered Windows 7 netbook and a custom Vista desktop I built for gaming a long time ago, neither of which I ever use. At my current job my last two machines have been Macbook Pros. My current work laptop is a Macbook Pro 15" Retina ~1 year old. I can't really find any fault with the machine - it's probably the best computer I've ever owned (but it's my work machine - thus I don't own it). I'm not a big fan of OS X, but it's probably the best OS for devs right now and I really prefer the keyboard layout on Macs (no more pinky strain trying to reach for the left-control key like on all the Windows keyboards I've used my whole life).

Anyway, I'm looking for a new personal machine for myself primarily for software development (and of course surfing the web/photos/simple games). I've been a fan of the Surfaces since they came out. I think they're definitely the most interesting computers on the market (definitely looking forward to the SP4 announcement tomorrow!).. I'm also kind of rooting for MS to make a comeback so I guess there's some emotional factor in play. But I have a feeling that even though I find the hybrid tablet/laptop thing really awesome and the pen is super fun to play around with in the MS Store, after the initial few weeks of excitement is over I'll be using it simply as a laptop and for that use case it's inferior (mainly due to the keyboard and screen size). I'm probably asking the wrong audience :) but I was just wondering if anyone else returned theres for a laptop because they're not really using the 2 in 1 functionality or pen as much as they thought. Anyone here using the SP3 for software development?



Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum

This is second had but I have 2 customers wit quite a few employees, one a software company, and if IT has their way all previous laptop users will have Surface Pros by the end of the year. Not one person has been sorry they switched.


Staff member
I develop geophysical software on the SP3 i7 512 with Visual Studio. Graphics and mapping are very important to me, too.
And my music.
And games with kids.
And work and personal email.
And fun.

Still have a couple of MacBook Pro Retina computers. They are nice, too. But they can't even scratch the Surface.


Staff member
Don't make any decisions until you see tomorrow's announcements, I think you'll find what you're looking for....


Active Member
It'll be interesting to see what they announce today, but I'm not expecting it to fundamentally alter the Surface format, so I don't think it will really change your decision one way or the other, unless you just want a new toy to play with. The Surface is great if you want or need the tablet and/or stylus features. It makes a passable laptop replacement. I'm personally ok with 12" screens as my primary devices these days, although I do dock to a large monitor at the office. That said, it's really the keyboard, trackpad, and how they all work together that lets the Surface down as a laptop. My SP3 is work-provided, (I purchased it of my own choosing however) yet after 6 months with it, I purchased my own 12" MacBook as my personal computer, and I much, much prefer it as a laptop. The Surface now stays at work instead of coming home with me.


Super Moderator
Staff member
NDAs are a B!tch ;)
He hold his tongue well
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All I can say is, wow! The Surface Book announcement seems likes a direct response to my thread :) I almost pre-ordered but have some questions. I wish they followed up the conference with a more in depth technical discussion. Also, the SP4 seems to have a much better touchpad and keyboard, two of the things I was weary about with the SP3.