Microsoft's Surface Book 'tries too hard,' Tim Cook says

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 71

    He's right. The Surface Book is a half-baked device. Not as good as a "regular" laptop, not as good as a tablet. And touch software for Windows sucks. So few Apps that actually take the time to optimize for touch and just take the easy way out by letting the compiler make them a "universal" App that adds touch ability to their existing legacy App, which was designed around mouse/keyboard in the first place.

     

    What's really funny is seeing all the professional graphic designers and developers/coders coming out of the woodwork claiming the iPad Pro is useless because it doesn't run Visual Studio or 3DS Max. As if their extremely limited use-case applies to the other 99% of the population that will never use this software.

     

    The Surface Book is for the 1%'ers. Not the rich 1%, but the 1% of people who might actually have a bizarre combination of workflow that would benefit from an average tablet and average laptop combined in a single unit.

  • Reply 22 of 71

    M$ wants tablet to be a form factor.  Apple sees tablet as a unique platform.  The SB is just M$' latest riff on their differing take.  

     

    Let's face it, Tim Cook is a great "product guy" - good enough that Job's handed him the key to the city at sunset.  But Cook is no visionary.  He's not even much of a techie if he's honestly not using a laptop or desktop anymore.  Under his watch we've seen the Apple Watch, Apple Music, and supersized iDevices - all good, but hardly visionary, products.  So, I'm going to take his criticisms of others' work with a grain of salt.

  • Reply 23 of 71
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Couldn't one argue that iPad Pro is an exceptional tablet whereas Surface is a crap tablet and just an OK laptop?
  • Reply 24 of 71
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    Putting the more powerful GPU with the keyboard, and thus requiring the tablet to be connected to the frankenstein keyboard for performance is where the surface fails in engineering & design. It's not a great solo tablet, and isn't really a good laptop. MS have it back to front, people dont want laptops where you can pull the screen away for a compromised mobile tablet. They want an always full powered mobile device where one can accessorise options to suit their needs. A keyboard shouldnt be needed to unlock full performance, rather it should only offer benefits like additional battery.
  • Reply 25 of 71
    I think it's a neat concept personally and it'll certainly appeal to a niche. I wonder how many people will actually separate the base and how often though. The only time you'd really want to separate it is when you're drawing on it. Closing it with the base protects the screen and having a physical keyboard is a major plus for most users. Not to mention Microsoft said three-quarters of the battery is in the base. Curious to see how they'll improve it next year though!
  • Reply 26 of 71
    ecats wrote: »
    Putting the more powerful GPU with the keyboard, and thus requiring the tablet to be connected to the frankenstein keyboard for performance is where the surface fails in engineering & design. It's not a great solo tablet, and isn't really a good laptop. MS have it back to front, people dont want laptops where you can pull the screen away for a compromised mobile tablet. They want an always full powered mobile device where one can accessorise options to suit their needs. A keyboard shouldnt be needed to unlock full performance, rather it should only offer benefits like additional battery.

    1) It also needs the keyboard connected to have decent battery life. The laptop battery gets you like 2-3 hours of usage. What's the point of that besides some very niche use cases? I suspect they will sell well to the "trying too hard" to hate Apple crowd, and I suspect they will use it as a notebook.

    2) Having the headphone jack on the display portion seems annoying in a laptop. I wish they would have offered a headphone jack on the keyboard portion, but since they don't, If I had this I would seriously consider an adapter for USB, or a BT setup. Is Win10 good at BT peripherals yet?

    3) Did you see iFixit's teardown of the Surface Book (Surface Pro 4)? Externally these do look nice, but internally it's amateur hour and/or "we don't care enough to make it well" hour. Just look at the logic board compared to any Apple product. Take the new MacBook as a recent example of Apple pushing that expertise into making the logic board more and more dense, and therefore smaller. MS is wasting so much internal space.
  • Reply 27 of 71
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,865member
    I just wonder what the lifespan on those hinge tensioners is.
  • Reply 28 of 71
    Wow, interesting to read both the article and the comments. Clearly the article does a good job of stating the facts of Tim Coook's opinion on the subject without going one sided. The more interesting thing is reading the mostly uninformed comments. How can anyone who has actually took time to compare a surface book to a macbook come to the conclusion that the surface book is somehow lacking or tries to do 2 things at once but neither well? If you have a surface book, you don't have to ever use it only in tablet mode. If you never detach it, the notebook capabilities either match or exceed the macbook on every stat including weight. If you take it apart, the tablet FAR exceeds every category of comparison to a ipad of any size. So, because the surface book is better equal or better than either product category of apple products, it succeeds at neither? With that philosophy, the macbooks and ipads are failures in their own right... We know that to be untrue, so Tim Cook (and the people making comments) are just blowing steam over either a permanent or temporary situation where MS actually has a product that is better than Apples. Remember, Tim also told us we didn't need a bigger or smaller ipad. He told us we never needed a keyboard or pen(pencil). We won't need a device like the Surface book until it has an Apple logo either.
  • Reply 29 of 71

    With just 1 GB the discrete GPU is a joke, kids ROFL...

  • Reply 30 of 71
    With just 1 GB the discrete GPU is a joke, kids ROFL...

    Any word yet on how that GPU compared to the iGPU in the iPad Pro?
  • Reply 31 of 71
    The Surface Book can be whatever it wants to be. The question is how many people are going to buy it.

    The Surface has been out for 3 years and I have never seen a person using one.
  • Reply 32 of 71
    As a long time Mac user I sold my 12" Macbook Retina and Surface Pro 3 after I used the Surface Book for a week. I still have my 15" Macbook Pro for my heavy lifting, but the Surface Book is a really great machine that works well. The battery life is fantastic, screen is great, and the trackpad is very good. Windows 10 even feels a bit more modern than Yosemite. Would I give up my 15 MBP, no way! I received my Surface Book on day one. Was it buggy? Mine has been good. The only issue I have is smooth scrolling using Chrome could be better, but that is a software issue. Why I love Apple products and have had most of them, I think the comments from Tim Cook are a little heavy handed and they don't want to admit that the Surface Book works well in form and function. An iPad Pro pushing almost $1K can't really do half of what the Surface Book can. It is supposed to be for creatives but if you are photo editing or video editing there is no real good way to get things on and off the device and you can only do so much before you need a laptop. Surface Book does not have that limitation. I love my iPad Air 2, but I can't see doing any real work on it and thus the reason I will pass on an iPad Pro. The 12" Macbook Retina was to me a iPad with a keyboard running OS X, but the lack of support for adaptors with the USB-C is it's downfall. Not being able to hook up a Cinema Display or backwards Thunderbolt compatibility after it has been out this long is surprising. Tim Cook is right there is no device that can really do it all even in the Apple line up, but the Surface Book is not as bad as he would like everyone to believe.
  • Reply 33 of 71
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Any word yet on how that GPU compared to the iGPU in the iPad Pro?



    I don't think the two are bit by bit comparable, since Windows uses Direct X and iOS uses Metal, benchmarks would be illusory compared to real life use.

     

    The point is, whether the software developed for 2 GB GPU which is now mainstream, will run unmodified on the Surface with just 1 GB GPU. No such problem in iOS because it does not claim to run desktop applications unmodified, applications are rebuilt for iOS...

  • Reply 34 of 71
    MacBook logic board v Surface Book logic boards. Can you spot the difference in engineering prowess?


    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/65241/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/65242/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]
  • Reply 35 of 71
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,882member
    That hinge on the Surface Pro is hideous. How much dust, dirt, lint will that collect.
  • Reply 36 of 71
    jungmark wrote: »
    That hinge on the Surface Pro is hideous. How much dust, dirt, lint will that collect.

    Don't forget it's surrounded by fan holes all around.
  • Reply 37 of 71
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by alumis View Post

     

    I'm going to take his criticisms of others' work with a grain of salt.


    The fact is Tim Cook is surrounded by some of the most brilliant engineers in the business. His opinion, like most of ours is influenced by their observations and opinions as well. And I don't necessarily disagree with him.

     

    That said, the Apple guys can be a little myopic. I think the ?Watch is trying to hard. Doesn't mean I don't like it, but Apple put everything but the kitchen sink in that thing for the first gen, leaving them very little room for growth. And unlike the iPhone and iPad which added features over time, doesn't really give people the opportunity to slowly explore and make use of what's offered before they start expecting more.

     

    But more to this comment, if Microsoft had made it about the iPad Pro, the folks around this forum would have been touting the quote as famous last words, from a panicked and doomed company. 

     

    Steve Jobs got away with it. I don't think Tim Cook should be making comments like this, I'm not sure how it serves Apple -- I mean why play the competition's game when Apple is so clearly head and shoulders above them?

     

    And frankly, other than being Windows (which I have thankfully only been forced to use for 3 short years of my professional life), the Surface seems like a pretty cool device, however much it pales in design elegance compared to Apple's products, and I can certainly see the utility in it for the Windows crowd.

  • Reply 38 of 71
    Mercel wrote: »
    The shortcomings of Microsoft's ecosystem for its tablet make the Surface Book superfluous. Too, enterprise customers of Microsoft have much cheaper alternatives for an ultrabook than Surface Book. This product will gain little traction due to price, weight, and the compromise of converging a PC with a neutered tablet.

    Since when did 3.3lbs become heavy?!?! If that's the case the iPhone 6s is to heavy since it weighs more then the iPhone 6...

    All I have to say is that Tim Cook had a few choice words about the Surface Pro in 2012 and here we are in 2015 with hmmm an iPad Pro that sports a Stylus and keyboard that can be attached and conformed into a stand.

    At first I was confused on why they decided to call it an iPad Pro since it can't run full software applications that corporations use for day to day work.

    But then I realized the Pro was added for marketing reasons only to confuse the average consumer who is looking at buying a hybrid that can run full software applications. Most holiday shoppers, thanks to misguided tech writers who compare an iPad and iPad Pro to a Surface Pro, will likely buy an iPad Pro thinking it is a hybrid laptop.

    Can't wait for the MacBook Pro 2 in 1 in 2017 that has a touch screen that can be removed from the base and become a MacBook Tablet.
  • Reply 39 of 71
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member

    I think its okay for a laptop.

     

    But Windows 10 (or any version) is not a tablet OS, no matter what MS says.

  • Reply 40 of 71
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post



    I think it's pretty COOL that it tries too hard.



    It's not for me, and not for most people--but it has a niche, and I'm not at all sorry to see that niche filled.



    For most people, the frankenOS and frankenTablet are not the way to go. Awkward compromises that make a worse laptop coupled with a worse tablet. Weight, battery life, thickness, performance, and UI are all compromised with one another, bound up in the legacy of the past that iOS managed to shake.



    BUT... for some subset of the (still large) Windows market, that set of compromises is acceptable and even useful--or they'll just enjoy the novelty for a while and then accept the drawbacks. As a gadget freak, I know that novelty IS fun! (Look at people who drive less practical cars but love the fun of them all the same.) And if the thing turns out to be well-built, it gets some respect from me. Not recommendations to buy it, just appreciation that MS made the experiment and it exists.



    Agreed. I like that Microsoft is trying something different. It's better than a competitor that's simply trying to copy everything you do, the instant you do it. If MS pulls it off, great. If not, at least they explored a different trail and gave us options. I'd love to be able to use modo or ZBrush on a Mac tablet, but I understand the reasons Apple doesn't think laptops and desktops are great fits for the touch paradigm.

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