Review: Microsoft's Surface Book 2 is expensive with mediocre performance

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 79
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    To me, comparing a 2 in 1 to a laptop is a bit like comparing a laptop to a desktop.

    * Although, knowing that Windows tablets pretty much suck, perhaps this review is really comparing laptop to laptop?
  • Reply 22 of 79
    thedbathedba Posts: 682member
    ireland said:
    Sensibly, Microsoft has included an SD Card reader. It’s a popular media and not needing to visit dongletown for it is a huge boon for photographers and videographers—a decent percentage of pros.
    Yes there are many port freaks here who will pay $3000 for “integrated” (wow!) SD card and USB-A.
    I can’t understand the whining and complaining of so many posters on these forums that keep on pounding the issue of no ports on the MBP.
    I guess for them one TB3 port that can drive 2x4K monitors, power your machine and provide enough bandwidth for additional ports (USB-A, ethernet, etc.) is no ports at all. And on top of that, the 15” version has 4 of them. 
    But sure let’s applaud MS and other PC manufacturers for giving us maybe one USB-C port, that hasn’t even caught up to Thunderbolt 1 @ 10Mbits/sec. 
    watto_cobraGaby
  • Reply 23 of 79
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,387member
    ireland said:
    ireland said:
    Sensibly, Microsoft has included an SD Card reader. It’s a popular media and not needing to visit dongletown for it is a huge boon for photographers and videographers—a decent percentage of pros.
    Yes there are many port freaks here who will pay $3000 for “integrated” (wow!) SD card and USB-A.
    I never said I’d buy this shitty computer. Say hello to Dongletown for me. We’re not “port freaks”, we’re photographers and videographers. Don’t be a dick.
    Which are using the current MacBook Pro...so what's your point? So you don't want to buy new cables we get it. I totally agree with @macplusplus. Most of the folks that still to this day bitch about this are just port freaks and want them there for the same of being there for the most part. Never mind the current gen is the most versatile Mac laptop ever released as far as what it will connect to. Its such a shame you have to spend $10 on a new cable OMG! God damn new technology anyways!
    edited August 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 79
    "The keyboard on the Surface Book 2 is great, it offers plenty of key travel, and it's well spaced out for a 13-inch laptop. It's a nice refreshing change from Apple's butterfly keyboard which may end up breaking months after purchase."

    Any laptop keyboard could end up breaking months after purchase. Scissor mechanism keyboards break in all the same ways that butterfly keyboards do. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 79
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,251member
    danvm said:
    MplsP said:
    Gaby said:
    Almost everyone I know who has had one of these has either seriously regretted the purchase or returned for something else entirely. And how people can still talk about “apple tax” in 2019 and keep a straight face comparing to some other brands really surprises me. Don’t get me wrong apple products are in general by no means cheap but I personally find them worthwhile overall. 
    Historically, the 'Apple Tax' has largely disappeared when you look at product life. My 2011 MBA was still doing fine until the screen started to go out about 6 months ago.

    I haven't owned a windows machine in years, so my info may be out dated, but I remember the days when 3 years was pushing it. Regardless, $3K is a lot of money for a windows machine with mediocre performance
    From what I have seen, cheap Windows devices goes for 3-4 years as you said.  Quality Windows devices goes for 6-8 years, and even more, without issues.  At least that has been my experience with business  devices, as HP Elite, Lenovo ThinkPad / ThinkStation and Dell Optiplex and Precision workstations.   
    My experience with HP Elite's was not good -- lots of break downs early in the lifecycle.
    My experience with Thinkpads (T series) is the opposite -- bullet proof -- they should last at least a decade.
    My last experience with Elite's was a about 4-5 years ago.  Since then, all my customers move to Thinkpads, and the experience have been excellent.  At the same time, have customers with very old Elite desktpos, +8 years, and still working today.  But same as notebooks, customer move to Lenovo desktops, with very few incidents.  
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 26 of 79
    ITGUYINSDITGUYINSD Posts: 402member
    rezwits said:


    I mean if you want to say, "Well iOS isn't macOS or iOS is not a REAL OS.  Well I got news for you, we've been saying the same thing about Windows for quite some time now.  And really I would almost say iOS is much more comparable to Windows 10, than macOS at this point.  macOS is akin Linux as is Android honestly...

    I mean if I had some client or family member say they were looking at getting. a really nice machine (especially "starting out"), I would say:  "Well you like the iPhone right?  What about a nice 12.9" with 512 (4GB RAM) or 1TB (6GB RAM), a pencil and your choice of 3-4 keyboards?  for under $2,000?  I honestly would be WAAAY happier if they choose that, because I wouldn't have to worry, very much about anything...  you could push them off on their own and they would be just fine.  Give them a Windows 10?!?  are you kidding me?!?  But purely when iOS 13 hits, then that's that, iOS 13 ~= Window 10... (if we even want to give Windows that much credit :P )


    This is some of the funniest stuff I've read in a long time!  Have you even USED Windows 10 lately?  Probably not.  You do realize that >80% of all computers run Windows?  And it's not a real OS?  Yet you consider iOS, which has no mouse support, a real OS?  If you travel outside your little box and imagine the world's office workers all sitting in front of mouse-less iPads and tiny keyboards, trying to do their daily work, how many of them would be thrown out the window or in the trash?  Currently, the iPad is NOT a replacement for a computer.  Someday, maybe.  I want to use my iPad Pro as my travel laptop, but lack of apps and no mouse support is a deal breaker.   I was excited to hear there was some form of mouse compatibility with the new iPadOS, but turns out you can't really do much with it other than click on something.  

    bigtds
  • Reply 27 of 79
    RajkaRajka Posts: 32member
    When my MacBook Pro died, I briefly considered a Surface for its replacement. In the end, the specs just weren't there. Too many corners cut for no reason. I'm willing to pay for a premium experience. That's why I no longer buy anything but the least expensive Apple toys. The value proposition just isn't there any longer. When that changes, I will gladly purchase the best of the best. It's about value, not price. Get it, Tim Apple?
  • Reply 28 of 79
    CheeseFreezeCheeseFreeze Posts: 1,041member
    This is a bit of weird review. Why focus mostly on specs and usability?
    The bigger question is: what does it enable? For example I find the iPad, even with iOS 13, too restrictive and cumbersome for serious work. Which is why I use a MacBook Pro. However that laptop is a ‘classic type of machine’. Microsoft went for a true hybrid, for better or worse. I would like to learn more about how it was used in a work or creative setting, how third party software integrates, etcetera.
    The specs can be brilliant, the usability might be perfect, but if it doesn’t enable me for the things I want to accomplish, it’s worthless or for another group of users (which one?).

  • Reply 29 of 79
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    thedba said:
    ireland said:
    Sensibly, Microsoft has included an SD Card reader. It’s a popular media and not needing to visit dongletown for it is a huge boon for photographers and videographers—a decent percentage of pros.
    Yes there are many port freaks here who will pay $3000 for “integrated” (wow!) SD card and USB-A.
    I can’t understand the whining and complaining of so many posters on these forums that keep on pounding the issue of no ports on the MBP.
    I guess for them one TB3 port that can drive 2x4K monitors, power your machine and provide enough bandwidth for additional ports (USB-A, ethernet, etc.) is no ports at all. And on top of that, the 15” version has 4 of them. 
    But sure let’s applaud MS and other PC manufacturers for giving us maybe one USB-C port, that hasn’t even caught up to Thunderbolt 1 @ 10Mbits/sec. 
    i know!   "Parts is Parts" -  right?
  • Reply 30 of 79
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    "The keyboard on the Surface Book 2 is great, it offers plenty of key travel, and it's well spaced out for a 13-inch laptop. It's a nice refreshing change from Apple's butterfly keyboard which may end up breaking months after purchase."

    Any laptop keyboard could end up breaking months after purchase. Scissor mechanism keyboards break in all the same ways that butterfly keyboards do. 
    The one on my 13 year old ThinkPad still works perfectly.   But, if it ever does fail, I can replace it in about 5-10 minutes for about $40.

    "Everybody does it" is always a favorite excuse. 
  • Reply 31 of 79
    NotMuch-You?NotMuch-You? Posts: 18unconfirmed, member
    It's not a charging port, it's a multi-purpose charging/dock port called the "Surface Connect" port.  Using the dock provides the following extra ports without using any of the other built-in ports:
    • 2 Mini DisplayPorts
    • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
    • 4 USB 3.0 ports
    • 1 Audio out port
    • (power for the laptop and dock comes from the included power supply)
    It still costs too much...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 79
    NotMuch-You?NotMuch-You? Posts: 18unconfirmed, member
    "The keyboard on the Surface Book 2 is great, it offers plenty of key travel, and it's well spaced out for a 13-inch laptop. It's a nice refreshing change from Apple's butterfly keyboard which may end up breaking months after purchase."

    Any laptop keyboard could end up breaking months after purchase. Scissor mechanism keyboards break in all the same ways that butterfly keyboards do. 
    They don't break nearly as often as the butterfly keyboards do.  Period.

    Additionally, if a key breaks, you can fix it yourself.
    https://www.replacementlaptopkeys.com/microsoft-surface-book-2-keyboard-key-replacement/
    edited August 2019
  • Reply 33 of 79
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    This is a bit of weird review. Why focus mostly on specs and usability?
    The bigger question is: what does it enable? For example I find the iPad, even with iOS 13, too restrictive and cumbersome for serious work. Which is why I use a MacBook Pro. However that laptop is a ‘classic type of machine’. Microsoft went for a true hybrid, for better or worse. I would like to learn more about how it was used in a work or creative setting, how third party software integrates, etcetera.
    The specs can be brilliant, the usability might be perfect, but if it doesn’t enable me for the things I want to accomplish, it’s worthless or for another group of users (which one?).

    For me, a computer is just a machine -- like a washing machine.   And your question is the only one that matters.

    I admit specs and performance tests help to predict what it will ultimately be capable of.  But, as I mentioned earlier, comparing a 2-in-1 to a basic laptop simply makes no sense.   It's like comparing a laptop to a desktop -- try taking your desktop to Starbuck's!  Or try using your laptop as a tablet.
    CheeseFreeze
  • Reply 34 of 79
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member
    macxpress said:
    ireland said:
    ireland said:
    Sensibly, Microsoft has included an SD Card reader. It’s a popular media and not needing to visit dongletown for it is a huge boon for photographers and videographers—a decent percentage of pros.
    Yes there are many port freaks here who will pay $3000 for “integrated” (wow!) SD card and USB-A.
    I never said I’d buy this shitty computer. Say hello to Dongletown for me. We’re not “port freaks”, we’re photographers and videographers. Don’t be a dick.
    Which are using the current MacBook Pro...so what's your point? So you don't want to buy new cables we get it. I totally agree with @macplusplus. Most of the folks that still to this day bitch about this are just port freaks and want them there for the same of being there for the most part. Never mind the current gen is the most versatile Mac laptop ever released as far as what it will connect to. Its such a shame you have to spend $10 on a new cable OMG! God damn new technology anyways!
    Thank God we're not all like you. We'd have to suffer those shitty keyboards forever if you just assumed Apple always know best and that's it. Apple made a decision to kill the SD Card port. Now us photographers and videographers must (not only buy) but go get our cable every time we need to connect to our Mac. It's an inconvenience. Apple made a choice, and many of us disagree with it. Had they killed the SD Card and had a clever solution that was even more convenience we'd be delighted. But they killed it and pretty much said fuck you to those users. I'm sure Apple's pro workflow team just loves the missing SD Card slot now. You have your opinion, I have mine. I find needing a cable annoying.
    edited August 2019 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 35 of 79
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 829member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    This is some of the funniest stuff I've read in a long time!  Have you even USED Windows 10 lately?

    Actually I have used Windows since, Windows 3.11 around 1996-97, and beyond.  The main reason for my post is:

    I was simply comparing the "tearing off the display" and having tablet mode.

    Secondly, I had my 3rd PC (personal, not counting work) die on me just this Thursday.  :tired_face: 

    So I felt like yeah, I'll post, but I have watched/listened to the podcast, Windows Weekly, on the TWiT network, for over the last 6+ years, and OMG is that some comedy.  I would say the comedy level, is a SOLID 10 out of 10.  MacBreak Weekly (podcast) comes in at about 5 or 6 out of 10.  :wink: 

    Oh and by the way, there are probably over 3-4 Billion DVD players out there too, WOO HOO, BIG DEAL, what's your point?  Your argument (about how many Windows installations there are out there) is WAY OUTDATED...  You need to catch up to the times.  10-20 million Americans that stare at their Windows PC all day while drinking their coffee, getting their water, waiting for their lunch break, coming back from lunch, going to the bathroom, browse Facebook, click print on the ole Excel Spreadsheet or Word Doc, put it in a folder and give it to their boss, DAY IS DONE punch out!

    OH WOW!  Amazing work people, you guys really get thru some stuff...  please...

    Microsoft is actually starting to "deprecate" or should I say just flat out stop supporting machines from HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and anyone else, because they can't keep up anymore supporting all the various models and configurations from all the different manufacturers, ON WINDOWS 10!  Windows 10 is basically going to be EOL on PCs, and MS has said THIS IS THE LAST Windows they are going to make.  So if Windows 10 is so great what are you going to do if you don't have. a PATH anymore because you don't have compliant Hardware Components (i.e. CPU/GPU)?  Guess what, better start learning Linux, because that's where Microsoft is going to put you.  EXCEPT for their (Microsoft's) HOME GROWN PCs that THEY make, they'll support them the distance, but MS's ARM based Surface? haha please.  Because they want to be like Apple, except the only problem is Apple has 30+ years experience building "PCs" where Microsoft has about oh 5-10?  BAH!

    Laters...

    edited August 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 79
    KITAKITA Posts: 382member

    In Unigine Heaven we received a score of 529, an average frames per second of 21, and a max frames per second of 48.3. Comparing that to Apple's 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro. The base model 13-inch MacBook Pro received a score of 784, and an average frames per second of 31.1 with a max frames per second of 66.7, while the top-spec 15-inch MacBook Pro with Vega 20 graphics pulled in a max FPS of 147.4 and an average of 82.3 with an overall score of 2072.

    Why was my comment deleted?


    It's quite clear that the graphics performance test done for the Surface Book 2 was incorrect.

    No way did the Iris Plus graphics in the MacBook Pro 13 outperform a GTX 1050 2 GB. The Iris Plus 650 offers only 30% of the performance of the GTX 1050 2 GB.
    TechSupportCarnage
  • Reply 37 of 79
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    rezwits said:


    I mean if you want to say, "Well iOS isn't macOS or iOS is not a REAL OS.  Well I got news for you, we've been saying the same thing about Windows for quite some time now.  And really I would almost say iOS is much more comparable to Windows 10, than macOS at this point.  macOS is akin Linux as is Android honestly...

    I mean if I had some client or family member say they were looking at getting. a really nice machine (especially "starting out"), I would say:  "Well you like the iPhone right?  What about a nice 12.9" with 512 (4GB RAM) or 1TB (6GB RAM), a pencil and your choice of 3-4 keyboards?  for under $2,000?  I honestly would be WAAAY happier if they choose that, because I wouldn't have to worry, very much about anything...  you could push them off on their own and they would be just fine.  Give them a Windows 10?!?  are you kidding me?!?  But purely when iOS 13 hits, then that's that, iOS 13 ~= Window 10... (if we even want to give Windows that much credit :P )


    This is some of the funniest stuff I've read in a long time!  Have you even USED Windows 10 lately?  Probably not.  You do realize that >80% of all computers run Windows?  And it's not a real OS?  Yet you consider iOS, which has no mouse support, a real OS?  If you travel outside your little box and imagine the world's office workers all sitting in front of mouse-less iPads and tiny keyboards, trying to do their daily work, how many of them would be thrown out the window or in the trash?  Currently, the iPad is NOT a replacement for a computer.  Someday, maybe.  I want to use my iPad Pro as my travel laptop, but lack of apps and no mouse support is a deal breaker.   I was excited to hear there was some form of mouse compatibility with the new iPadOS, but turns out you can't really do much with it other than click on something.  

    I use Windows 10 (current build) everyday and it’s still a joke as a graphical OS and can’t be taken seriously at all for touch - it’s borderline fraudulent.
    Like most other professional, office-based workers, I didn’t decide on Windows and would use a Mac or iPad Pro in a heartbeat. The decision to use Windows was made by people who have no clue what business productivity is.  Given the BYOD/user-chosen tech stats I suspect most of those 80% Windows users would rather not be.
    If you could leave the 80s behind for a moment, you’d realise few people need a mouse (or local filesystem access). If only Corp IT would listen to its customers, we’d trade our total IT spend for a bunch of iPads + in-house software so we could leave our desks & do our real jobs rather than be chained to those desks by that disastrous desktop OS.
    rezwitswatto_cobraGaby
  • Reply 38 of 79
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    We have two users at work that have the prior generation surface books - one complains about the awful performance the other about it just not working - constant problems of all types. Who wants to pay $3k for that nonsense. The company has since stopped purchasing. I have a top of the line Lenovo thinkpad work laptop that’s ‘not bad for a Windows machine’ - but comes with all the nice Windows features like flakey print drivers, a docking station that randomly doesn’t recognize the monitor and attached devices, failed update installs constantly, a horrid/unusable trackpad, and poor battery life. But I’ve learned to accept that’s what Windows is - and at my company I did not have a choice of OS. Yet we all use reliable iPhones - go figure.
    watto_cobraGaby
  • Reply 39 of 79
    ITGUYINSD said:
    I was excited to hear there was some form of mouse compatibility with the new iPadOS, but turns out you can't really do much with it other than click on something.
    As opposed to all those mice out there that let you make toast? :wink: 

    99.99% of people using a mouse are happy that it will move the pointer and let you click on something. I can't tell you how many times I've had to introduce people to the concept of clicking with the secondary button and getting a contextual menu, and I don't have hard data on how many of them promptly forgot about the capability.

    I'm looking forward to seeing if the mouse support in iPadOS will help with text selection, that's the only thing I care about right now.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobraGaby
  • Reply 40 of 79
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 965member
    I own a Surface Pro and have had no problems with it at all and it cost less than my iPad Pro.

    I have not seen a difference in performance compared to the MacBook Pro 13 it replaced, but I am not a gamer and use desktops for heavy lifing.

    My only complaints about the Surface Pro are battery life and the frumpy power adapter. Would be incentive if they would just switch over to USB C like Apple has done on my iPad Pro.

    GeorgeBMac
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