back to article Microsoft Surface Book: Shiny slab with a Rottweiler grip on itself

I've always wondered what people who pay more than £2,000 for a Windows laptop are thinking when they boot the machine. It's a bit like paying a fortune to gain admission to a secret and exclusive members club, only to discover once you're in, that it's run by the bloke who does the pub quiz on a Tuesday night at your local …

  1. adnim Silver badge
    Meh

    looks much cheaper

    than £2k+

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: looks much cheaper

      £2K, and it will be junk in 4 years.

      So, it will be effectively £500 per year to rent, £10 per week.

      Anything over £350 is too much unless there is a company budget paying.

      1. adnim Silver badge
        Happy

        @werdsmith Re: looks much cheaper

        Junk already to me... has Win 10 on it,

        The "I am happy and I wish to express my content" icon.. because I will never want nor have one.

    2. Mark Allread

      Re: looks much cheaper

      I didn't want one of these, I was very happy with my Yoga Pro. Then I saw one in the flesh and boy, they're just lovely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: looks much cheaper

        It doesn't look cheap. But then it doesn't do anything worth doing that a laptop a quarter of the price doesn't do. This is the Audi-VW-SEAT-Skoda model, but applied to PCs instead of cars - they take you for what you can afford, you get to upstage the neighbours with the badge. Whether you see value in this is up to you.

        1. PNGuinn
          Trollface

          Re: looks much cheaper

          Pah.

          Give me a real pre vw Skoda any day.

          Built like bloody tanks. And sound like it. But incredibly comfortable.

          Happy Favorit owner.

          1. Paul Woodhouse

            Re: looks much cheaper

            Favorit, BAH too new... you need a proper RWD Skoda for real fun, I still class my old 136 Rapid as one of my best cars ever...

          2. Kar98

            Re: looks much cheaper

            Favorit? Puh-leeeeese, go old school, get a 105/120 aka Estelle. Now THAT was comfortable. And noisy.

            1. Clockworkseer

              Re: looks much cheaper

              I mostly remember the estelle as the car that made my life an utter misery for several years (because, frankly, there were few worse thing about being a 12 year old than being the laughing stock of your entire school year because your parents bought a Skoda.)

        2. Nigel 11

          Re: looks much cheaper

          This is the Audi-VW-SEAT-Skoda model

          More like the Maserati model. Looks great, goes great on a track, but does it survive much contact with the real world of speed humps and tyre-sized potholes and multi-storey car park spiral ramps?

        3. Mark Allread

          Re: looks much cheaper

          "It doesn't look cheap. But then it doesn't do anything worth doing that a laptop a quarter of the price doesn't do"

          You've seen the 13.5" detachable screen with pen input yeah?

        4. Alan_Peery

          The value of a pen

          > But then it doesn't do anything worth doing that a laptop a quarter of the price doesn't do.

          There's no laptop with pen input the quality of the Surface at 1/4 of the price. If you value the ability to annotate on PDF images, sketch as you present on a webex, or do artwork while travelling then you need that ability.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: looks much cheaper

      Get a pixel C.

      Better in every respect at a fraction of the price.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: looks much cheaper @Stupid Coward

        Get a pixel C. Better in every respect at a fraction of the price.

        No it is not. Go troll elsewhere.

        Pixel C is cheaper even with the $150 keyboard addon, but there's not a lot of something that's better:

        resolution: 2560x1800 (Pixel) vs 3000x2000 (Surface)

        memory: 3GB vs 8/16GB

        CPU: 1.9GHz Tegra vs 2.4GHz+ i5/i7

        Storage: 32/64GB vs 128/256/512/1024GB

        I'd buy neither since both Pixel C and Surface Book seem to be plagued with bad software.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: looks much cheaper @Stupid Coward

          Pixel C software is now very good indeed. 6.01 is rock solid, and the jsnky touchscreen issues resolved.

          Android N beta is superb, and the full desktop coming soon.....

        2. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: looks much cheaper @Stupid Coward

          off topic, I remember having a skoda Estelle 120. It *was* built like their tanks, rear engine rear wheel drive was mucho fun in the wet or dry for that matter. An austin metro disintegrated when it rear ended me at some lights, I don't even think the bumper dented on my car, it had nice big "blocks" on the bumpers, a precursor to parking sensors :) The woman was in tears, I just laughed.

          you were lucky to get more than 65 out of it of course, as it was made of pig iron and powered by a lawnmower engine. It also understeered and oversteered (unless you had luggage in the front "boot", then it wasn't fast enough to oversteer). Heating consisted of a number of pipes running to a landrover style radiator and fan, shite in winter, roasting in summer. It frosted more on the inside (there was a cooling leak somewhere in the car) than the outside (I remember spraying deicer on the inside rather than outside one time). The choke was a huge lever that acted as an "idle speed regulator" rather than choke and power steering consisted of a very large steering wheel. Reliability was epic, it took a good 20 seconds to start hail, rain, snow or shine but never broke down on me once. I think the brake drums were made of stone as they never got changed either. If it was advertised as having synchro mesh then they were lieing, double declutching was the order of the day (coming from a land rover this wasn't an issue for me). 1st and third were almost interchangeable too. Reverse was tricky as you needed to be absolutely stationary (not rolling backwards at all).

          It ran for a at least 6 months on next to no oil, the oil light had burnt out and was only picked up on the MOT. After 2 years I traded it in for an XR3i (which was stolen after a few months, shame I liked the escort) but I wont forget the fun I had in it, it certainly taught me a few tricks.

      2. Kar98

        Re: looks much cheaper

        Cheaper than the Surface Pro? Sure. Comparable to it? Hardly. If you must compare the Pixel C to a Surface product, than the dead and not mourned Surface RT would be your choice, and you can find that one on eBay for $99 all day long.

    4. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: looks much cheaper

      I agree. It looks pretty cheap. The hinge especially (unless it somehow looks massively better in real life than in a pic).

      If I was in the market for one of these I'd rather opt for HP Spectre x2. Matter of opinion, but I think the HP actually looks better, has nice(ish) backlit keyboard and is lot cheaper (granted, as I recall it has only 1920x1080 display, but for ~12-13" screen that is quite sufficient.

      1. ntevanza

        Re: looks much cheaper

        The HP has no dedicated PgUp, PgDn, Home, End keys, which makes it NSFW.

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: looks much cheaper

      "Microsoft's Surface Book is the most expensive laptop you can get, short of ordering a 24-carat custom gold plated jobbie."

      I guess you haven't heard of Alienware? Fully loaded, those laptops can cost over £3K.

  2. Simon Ward

    "Except you do get Flipboard and Candy Crush Soda Saga, and possibly some other stuff you didn't want."

    Stuff like Windows 10, for example.

  3. Paul Woodhouse

    The real question of course

    is the hardware compatible with Mint?

    1. Troy Peterson

      Re: The real question of course

      I don't think so... I've not tried yet to be honest, but given the whole 2nd GPU thing and X11's general inability to deal with unusual configurations it's highly unlikely that it will work - at least not fully. I've had mine since November (got it in North America) and I love it.. It's the only Windows machine I have, with Mint on all of my others... and I'd _love_ to put Mint on it... but I'm putting up with Windows because it generally works and the machine is simply fantastic... I doubt you'd be able to separate the keyboard with Linux so that makes it kinda pointless.

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons
      Coat

      Re: The real question of course

      Ah, but would that be Extra Strong, or Polo? The latter has a big hole that could be construed as a vulnerability.

      Mine's the one with the pound bag of Murray Mints in the pocket.

      1. PNGuinn
        Mushroom

        Re: The real question of course - mints

        RTFA

        It's already got the big hole - it's called windows 10.

        I'll see your bag of Murray Mints and raise you a Fisherman's Friend.

        Icon >> Try one.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: The real question of course - mints

          since our local tobacconist (well, only tobacconist) sells winternips, I have a bag of those with me on Mondays and Tuesdays. Fishermans Friends are not mints, they are in the same category as fiery imps - something to clear your nose in a hurry (or get rid of bad taste).

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: The real question of course

      Dunno, but put VMWare player on there, install a Mint VM plus VMWare Tools and you'll never know you are working in the guest OS.

    4. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: The real question of course

      is the hardware compatible with Mint?

      I can confirm, from personal experience, that you can disable Secure Boot in the Surface Book's UEFI firmware. If you do so, however, you get a great big red padlock banner at the top of the screen every time you boot - as if to warn "OH MY GOD SECURE BOOT IS DISABLED YOU ARE SO RECKLESS". Haven't tried installing an alternative OS yet but I imagine one might have problems with some of the SB's hardware.

    5. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: The real question of course

      Probably not Mint, as it's based on the last Ubuntu LTS - you'd probably have more luck with the latest Ubuntu beta.

    6. PNGuinn
      Meh

      Re: The real question of course

      Funny, I was wondering how easy it'd be to nuke w10 and stuff Debian on it.

      Seriously? Only 2 usb ports? For this money and spec I'd have wanted at least 4. And an IBM type nipple as an alternatine to a trackpad. (I hate 'em).

      And no bloody ethernet? With a machine this fast? Stuck on the bum end of a weak wifi signal that drops out every few seconds? Fail.

      Anyone know whether it's got a decent non reflective matt screen?

      1. Adam Jarvis

        Re: The real question of course

        The IBM style nipple pointer would be, by far the best input method for a Surface.

        Ok, its (nipple pointer) mainly for touch typists, but it saves moving the hands away from the keys to operate the touchpad/external mouse. How Microsoft overlooked adding this to the Surface Book must be down to licencing issues, especially given Nadella's all encompassing approach. (anyone new sitting there interested in computing, still unable to touch type, put some time/money aside, it reaps so many benefits going forward)

        Some things might seem 'stylewise' - dated, but if they work and the IBM nipple pointer does, it needs to be there on a product like this.

        I never get why an extra few mm to hide that hinge within the casing isn't better than those protruding teeth, they look set up to scratch the screen, if you leave the handheld screen section lying on it. I like Lenovo's Yoga Pro 3's wristwatch strap hinge the best, but its sadly (or rightly) not detachable.

        In terms of Linux Mint, old microsoft would specifically design all these; proprietary hinge, dedicated graphic switching options just so it wouldn't be compatible with Linux, but given the release of SQL for Linux, you have to assume, Microsoft are developing compatible linux drivers for these proprietary options, at this very moment ;).

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: The real question of course

          You fail to notice this is a touch device. Often, it's quicker to touch the screen than moving a mouse pointer to reach the screen point you need. Even scrolling/zooming is often easier using gestures than any kind of mouse interaction.

          1. Adam Jarvis

            Re: The real question of course

            Nope, my right finger has to move about 10mm to operate an IBM style nipple pointer, Using the touch screen repetitively like that, would be like asking me to operate the indicators in a car from a touch screen head up display, rather than stalks on the side of the steering wheel. Once fine, repeatedly, no thanks, I'll pass on that method.

          2. Maventi

            Re: The real question of course

            @LDS: totally agree - but a quality MacBook-style trackpad is where this stuff really shines as you don't have to lift your hand away from the keyboard. Sure a touchscreen is excellent for things like drawing and annotation, but for the use cases above it's surprisingly clumsy.

      2. Alan_Peery

        Re: The real question of course

        The interesting limitation for me is that there is no USB on the tablet -- only on the keyboard. This makes simple storage expansion difficult, and limits your choice of audio devices you could use in an audio conference when you've only brought the tablet because it's lighter and easier to carry when biking somewhere.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  5. TonyJ Silver badge

    FFS MS...

    ...will you stop trying to copy Apple already?

    (In this case I am talking elevated prices)

    1. AceRimmer

      Re: FFS MS...

      eh?? Windows tablets date back to the early 2000's

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: FFS MS...

        "....eh?? Windows tablets date back to the early 2000's..."

        I'm referring to over-inflating the prices beyond what you'd reasonably expect to pay for the hardware.

        1. AceRimmer

          Re: FFS MS...

          Nice edit

        2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: FFS MS...

          Expensive hardware? Cheap hardware's only a relatively recent thing (I still remember my parents forking out £2k for our first pc... by god did I get a bollocking for changing the desktop picture).

          As for MS doing hardware worth noticing, they used to have some of the better peripherals for years (I mean seriously... that damn hocky puck, need I go on?)

          TL;DR - Just about all sides have produced badly designed, maybe it's time for MS to make something good.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        @AceRimmer

        This is not a tablet. Maybe a handful of Surface Pro owners use that as a tablet occasionally, but zero people will ever use this as a tablet.

  6. mscha

    > and weirdly, an Alt Graph (Alt Gr) key, a throwback to pre-GUI IBM PCs.

    No it isn't. It's still very much in use as a modifier key on international keyboard layouts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Alt Gr

      The angriest key on the keyboard, fact.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        most used to get the euro € too (altgr+4 if you didn't know)

  7. Thought About IT

    The keyboard is pretty hopeless for editing text, with the Home/End/Page Up/Down keys sharing function keys F8 - F11, so you're frequently having to toggle or combine with the Fn key, and there's only one Ctrl key.

    The clever hinge doesn't allow the screen to be pushed back far enough, so when it's sitting on your lap, the top of the screen is much closer than the bottom, which doesn't help those with presbyopia.

    The Edge's scroll bar is very thin, on its high definition display, and contantly disappearing, so drag scrolling is a challenge.

    The Surface mouse "scroll wheel" makes an electronic click whenever you touch it, which gets very irritating, and it's all too easy to touch it accidentally, causing whatever you were looking at to scroll out of view.

    It's fast and the screen is high quality but, on reflection, I wish I'd bought another ThinkPad.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

    Windows has always sucked in this area.

    I have just this at the moment. A W7 laptop with a USB3 drive connected. Windows says the equivalent of

    'Sorry Dave, I can't let you do that'.

    When I tell it to eject the drive.

    Yet, there is nothing using it. I've even restarted explorer. Still no joy.

    The only solution it to reboot the sodding computer unless I just yank the plug.

    Can't they ever get it right? Perhaps I haven't paid homage to Bill Gates often enough?

    Never happens to me on Linux (lsof to the rescue) or OSX

    1. tony72

      Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

      You can just yank it out if you're sure that nothing is writing to it. Since Windows 7, the "Safely Remove Hardware" tray icon is hidden by default for a reason. I'd imagine people starting to use Windows today wouldn't even know it existed.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

        You can just yank it out if you're sure that nothing is writing to it.

        But can you be 100% sure that there is nothing cached and not yet flushed to the device? On Linux you have sync. On Windows ... well, lots of kids do mostly get away with it. But I have to wonder, how many of the corrupted USB sticks that despairing students have asked me to try to salvage got mangled by being unceremoniously yanked out of the socket?

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

          Never had a usb stick corrupt with Windows (only just using Linux). But I only remove once docs/media is written and explorer/folders closed down.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

          "Quick remove" is the Windows setting you are looking for.

    2. Mark Allread

      Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

      "Windows says the equivalent of

      'Sorry Dave, I can't let you do that'.

      When I tell it to eject the drive.

      Yet, there is nothing using it."

      Something *is* using it, you just don't know what it is. Sure Windows ought to be better at telling you what is using it and in fact Windows 8.1 onwards does usually tell you.

    3. malfeasance

      Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

      Hey,

      I suspect you have some kind of indexing / search turned on for your USB drives; so windows probably isn't wrong, just you have no idea what is using the drive.

      My boss gets this whenever he doesn't turn off spotlight (mac) for USB keys; he's made a few of mine "not well" even though he says he always clicks the eject button.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

        Its probably the cryptolocker virus hard at work on the USB drive, we're talking Windows after all.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

          "Its probably the cryptolocker virus hard at work on the USB drive, we're talking Windows after all."

          You know there is a native Linux version and a Linux NAS version of Cryptolocker? And that unlike the Windows versions, those don't require user interaction to spread?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

      First, I've noticed with Windows 10 there's 2 ways to get ejection permission: the symbol down in the lower right of the screen (which sometimes takes TWO tries to make it work!), and the eject option in Windows Explorer. Sometimes one will work where the other one will not.

      Secondly, if all else fails and you're tired of turning the PC off to eject, you need to find out what's holding the device. Go get the free Microsoft utility Sysinternals Process Explorer (a Task Manager on major steroids, if you haven't used it) and it can tell you what's got it. I discovered a process created by my DVD software (!) was holding it, Lord only knows why. I use Process Explorer to kill the process after turning the PC on (or after the surprise Windows 10 Update reboot since I often leave the PC on). Then no more eject problems until next power down. (I keep Process Explorer pinned to the Taskbar, so it's easy to bring up.) So in this case it seems an ill-behaving app is my problem, not Windows - altho not being a super-techie I guess I can never be completely sure. (There are utilities for the specific purpose of releasing ejection holds, but I didn't really trust the few I looked at.)

      1. ben_myers
        Happy

        Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

        Careful about premature ejection. It can be troublesome!

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

          The worst thing I ever did was tell people here at work about "testdisk" and photorec. Now people just yoink USB sticks, USB hard drives etc. Then complain when you get the off stick that testdisk wont recover.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

        Yes, there are some stupid applications, usually some photo/video ones, that registers themselves to be notified when a new device is plugged to search for photos and videos (they usually also install some background running software for that). They may also register to be notified is some files have been added, so they can put their greedy hands on them asap. They should also process "device is being removed" events, but not all developers car about that...

    5. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

      > Perhaps I haven't paid homage to Bill Gates often enough?

      Try ritual incantations, if that does not help try process explorer.

    6. Kar98

      Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

      Just yank the plug. Live a little! Explore your dangerous, devil-may-care side!

    7. Alan_Peery

      Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

      I believe that you can use the SysInternals tools to find what's got the device locked. Better if it was surfaced for the less-skilled enduser...

  9. oldenoughtoknowbetter

    Designed to walk away on its own

    We got a few to try out. Some users want an "Enterprise" tablet, something that they can treat like a tablet but still have a full dock-able workstation, etc.

    Got the idea that maybe one would make a nice device for a new guest check-in kiosk in our lobby, something that could sit on a pedestal that people could touch or type on. Then we looked at how to secure it.

    For this price they couldn't include a slot for a lock?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Designed to walk away on its own

      But.... It is running windows 10. Who would want to steal it?

      Perhaps that is why they didn't include a kensington lock slot?

      See Icon

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Designed to walk away on its own

      There would have to be two Kensington slots, one on the keyboard and one on the base.. Apart from looking shit that's quite a bit of space to take up on what I can only assume is a pretty rammed laptop.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Designed to walk away on its own

        Way back in the days of CRTs* worth nicking**, there was a precursor to the Kensington lock which you epoxied to the case.

        But I fail to see why one would put one of these to kiosk duty in a public space when there are other machines that could easily fill that role for a fraction of the price.

        * Stuff like an 21" Eizo or NEC Multisync

        ** "Did anyone see an Arnold Schwarzenegger lookalike trying to inconspicuously leave the premises with a rather bulging jacket?"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Designed to walk away on its own

        Not sure a Kensington Lock has ever saved a Laptop or other device in my experience - yet 4 expanding cheap 10mm bolts with large washers through the base of a Desktop, into a concrete floor, has. The mini tower server machine was kicked to sh.it, but it remained intact, and better the still the disk was there and still worked, some hardware survived, not the motherboard though. The times we live in I suppose.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Designed to walk away on its own

      That power and price for a guest login kiosk? Guess there are better all-in-one options, touch included.

  10. Sokolik

    O! Do I Feel Foolish

    Obviously, I've missed something. Something big.

    What happened to the circa 1990 agreement DoJ would leave MS alone as long as MS didn't make hardware?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: O! Do I Feel Foolish

      It's no longer 1990. MS has no longer that dominant position. Or Google shouldn't be allowed to have its smartphone hardware?

      1. Sokolik

        Re: O! Do I Feel Foolish

        Had not realized Windows' market share had significantly declined. That is what I had missed. It makes perfect sense now (since circa 1990) there are *so many* new types of platforms and the OS's that run them. Thank you.

  11. DainB Bronze badge

    Was abput to buy one until realised

    that there's not a single USB port on tablet part when it is detached from keyboard. What a silly decision to save few bucks.

  12. Bottle_Cap

    Does it still get really, really hot like most of the surface pro 3's I've had to deal with?

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Really hot like its got a quad (or more) core i7 inside it?

      Yes, it gets warm.

  13. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    Re. Fresh Paint

    If you have £50 to spare, I recommend ArtRage. It is a semi-pro drawing program which is so simple to use that 5 years old children can use it confidently (mine did), and the brushes and paint mixing and other tools are very well made. It works best with a Wacom tablet, but this laptop already have a pen anyway. My wife recently moved from ArtRage to gimp (to complete a drawing course) and she keeps repeating that ArtRage is better (and she keeps getting back to it). It may lack 90% of gimp features, but when it comes to actually drawing it is hard to beat.

    1. PNGuinn
      Thumb Up

      Re: Re. Fresh Paint

      If you're still locked into legacy software try Irfanview.

      Claims to be a free image viewer. Which it isn't. OK, it's free (but not, at least when I last looked, open source), and if it can't open an image you'll probably struggle to find anything similar that can. It's actually also a very intuitive and capable image editor.

      I believe it can be installed under Wine, but I've not tried myself

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Re. Fresh Paint

        > If you're still locked into legacy software try Irfanview.

        > Claims to be a free image viewer.

        It is. As in free beer.

        > It's actually also a very intuitive and capable image editor.

        It's excellent, have used it for the longest while.

        > I believe it can be installed under Wine ...

        I use it under Wine in Mint 17.1

        Cheers.

  14. Captain Obvious

    So I looked at it based on this review, and the core I-7 is only 2 core, and the Nvidia is a paltry 940m equivalent. Not really a desktop replacement, especially for $3000 US Dollars! Certainly not worth it. Still like my Dell XPS 12 that has a real keyboard and screen flips for a tablet.

  15. wsm

    $$$ for weirdness

    The boss has one of these. She likes the latest and shiniest stuff--finally dropped her Lenovo laptop for this one.

    The only real problem seems to be that the 3000x2000 display doesn't really translate to anything else and external monitors sometimes don't wake up. The Microsoft dock we got didn't work at all for displays and the Dell dock we got works, but only one external display can be 4K to semi-match the desktop arrangement on the Book.

    But the twin 4K externals we got for her do wake on a reboot, just not always when hitting the mouse or keyboard. Definitely irritating when putting in a full day at the office.

    Price for this irksome setup? Over $4,000.

  16. ben_myers

    Break a Surface Book and see...

    Hmm, let's follow up by breaking a Surface Book, then seeing how easy it is to repair, considering availability of spare parts, availability of repair manual, use of custom tools required for repairs and, finally, ease of disassembly and reassembly.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Break a Surface Book and see...

      "seeing how easy it is to repair"

      It's very easy - just fill in the warranty form on the Microsoft support website and ship it off via the supplied label....

  17. Richard Wharram

    Crysis?

    Can it really do games? Could I leave my desktop at home at a LAN-party?

    (Man, I feel so old saying LAN-party :/)

  18. Jason Hindle

    Well I bought the Surface 3 (none pro version)

    Just to get the full Windows 10/hybrid experience. At the moment, I think the OS is the Achilles heel of this device; Windows 10* still feels unfinished. That said, when I replace my old MacBook, in the next year, I will take a serious look at Windows and Surface.

    * Though I do quite like the overall experience.

  19. apepper

    Alt Gr isn't that odd

    The Alt Gr is used as a alternative shift key; want to type a euro symbol and you press alt gr+4 - on UK keyboards, there's a euro symbol bottom right on the 4 key. I've also got some accented characters that you can access using alt+gr.

  20. Halfmad Silver badge

    This is why I hate reading MS comments sections on the red

    Fanboys of any type descend upon it, MS, linux, rarely any discussion worth reading.

  21. John 104

    Passed

    I looked at these briefly when they first came out here in Seattle.

    The hinge is...Interesting. It is very well engineered and nice to look at. However, its a bit bulky and close up very tidily. mechanically it is fine, it just looks weird when it is closed.. The Lenovo is far superior and nicer to look at.

    The price. You guys are getting screwed. I think it listed for $1500 or so.

    The tablet gimmick. Meh. Tablets are fun for around the house, or as a chart plotter on my boat. For productivity, I have yet to see them in wide use in the enterprise.

    Fit and finish are very nice (other than the weird hinge). I suspect that these are made by HP as the material feel is similar to the Envy I got instead; magnesium/aluminum. Keyboard looks very similar as well. (what, you thought Microsoft made these themselves? hahaha)

    I think detractors for buying these are price and flexibility. I got my i7 (skylake) Envy for $850. It's half an inch thick, fast as fuck, and looks fantastic. I could almost buy two for the price of one Pro. Plus, I have Mint on it (dual boot win 10 for a few apps). Disable secure boot and you are off to the races with no nagging by MS.

    To each his own, but I don't see this as more than a niche device.

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