Should Apple Make a 15-inch iPad Pro →

November 12, 2018 · 10:02

Chance Miller, on 9to5Mac:

With the recent push towards smaller bezels, some are calling for Apple to make an even bigger iPad Pro. While the largest iPad currently sold by Apple is 12.9-inches, some iPad fans say Apple could push that to around 15-inches.

For instance, a couple of weeks back, developer Steven Troughton-Smithshowed off how iOS would need little work to be capable of running on a 14.9-inch iPad Pro. Safari, for example, could show two side-by-side tabs, as well as a third app with a 14.9-inch display.

I had the opportunity to use a 15-inch Surface Book 2 for a few weeks and I found myself using the screen detached quite a lot. Sure, it’s unwieldy at that size, but when I sat down in a comfy chair, I used it in portrait, resting the bottom on my lap. At 15 inches, it was a huge reading slab, perfect for browsing my RSS feeds or the web, for example. The funny thing is that the 12.9-inch iPad is actually worse in this scenario — it’s too small to use rested in my lap and too heavy to use one-handed.

July 21, 2018 · 22:55

There’s something amazing about using a 15-inch tablet, weighing only 800 grams or so. It might not be as refined as an iPad but there are areas where it offers so much more. Kudos to Microsoft for the Surface Book.

The Surface BEAST →

November 28, 2017 · 11:43

Blair Bunting:

For me the Surface Book 2 was the MacBook Pro that we had all wanted/expected from Apple, it just wears a different logo. While other reviews will read off the spec sheets and talk about the 17 hour battery life and GX yadda yadda yadda processor, they sometimes forget that we (the creative professionals) use these as tools. What Microsoft has done with the Surface Book 2 is make a system void of gimmicks, because gimmicks don’t hold up in the working world. Our jobs will not benefit from being able to tap an emoji on a scroll bar, they will benefit from the ability to get work done. As a photographer, it feels extremely odd to say this, but I sincerely feel that the Surface Book 2 is not only a strong contender for the laptop to own, but actually the clear cut choice of the computer to have on set.

I am so tempted by the Surface Book, just to use it with Lightroom. Switching out my MacBook Pro would however completely kill my workflow. And I definitely couldn’t live with it for writing — Windows is still missing crucial software and keyboard shortcuts. This doesn’t change the fact that the Surface Book is much more attractive than the MacBook at this point, while the iPad Pro is still lacking in software.

Microsoft Could Fix The Surface Book 2 By Slowing The Machine Down →

November 16, 2017 · 16:19

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:

One issue I did run into with the Surface Book 2 is the power supply. Microsoft has only supplied a 102-watt charger with a machine that has an Nvidia GTX 1060 inside. Most similar laptops are gaming ones that have 150-watt or even 200-watt power supplies. There are two batteries inside the Surface Book 2, one in the base and one in the tablet portion (screen) itself. The base battery discharges too quickly with the supplied charger, meaning the Nvidia card (located in the base) will disconnect in the middle of a long gaming session at maximum performance even if you’re plugged in.

Microsoft is currently investigating this issue, and believes I have a faulty power supply. The company says the “Surface Book 2 is designed to supply enough power to maintain and charge, even under heavy load (including gaming).” I didn’t notice the discharge with apps that rely on the GPU, but most productivity apps simply use graphics power in short bursts rather than long periods like in games. I suspect the 102-watt charger isn’t enough for full performance gaming sessions, which will disappoint many who were hoping to use this as a gaming laptop alongside work tasks. I’ll update this review if the replacement charger makes a difference.

I have also tested with an old 65-watt Surface Book charger and the base still drains too quickly during gaming. I’ve also tested with a Surface Dock, rated at around 90 watts, and this still doesn’t hold the base charge to keep up while gaming. In all scenarios I also tested with the recommended “best battery life” setting, but the base still failed to charge properly during heavy gaming loads. If a replacement charger doesn’t work, Microsoft could potentially fix this in software by reducing the GTX 1060 clock speeds further and slowing the machine down.

Or… you know… they could just supply a more powerful charger.

9 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Ditch Your Mac and Take a Serious Look at the Surface Book →

February 22, 2017 · 12:23

A post on Photography Talk:

Here’s nine reasons why I think you’ll be ditching your Mac soon in favor of the Surface Book.

I can list ten things I love about these types of posts1.

Sure, the Surface Book outweighs the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro by nearly 300 grams. Of course, that’s due in part to the innovative design of the Surface Book that makes it a laptop and a tablet in one.

So, the extra weight and thickness of the Surface Book aren’t all bad because the Surface Book is just simply more versatile than the MacBook.

I’m willing to bet that if the Surface Book was lighter than the MacBook Pro, it wouldn’t be listed under cons.

But in this case, it’s not just the larger size but also the number of pixels. The Surface Book i7 sports 3000×2000 resolution compared to the MacBook’s 2560×1600 resolution.

This is valid — the new 2016 MacBook Pros should have a 2800×1800 px panel, to support the new default resolution of 1400×900 pt.

Microsoft’s offering also achieved a better Adobe RGB score in testing, as well as a higher contrast ratio. That means you get a higher quality picture with the Surface Book i7 than you do with the MacBook Pro because it’s 67 percent brighter with 25 percent more colors.

No it hasn’t. It covers 100% of sRGB, but still has a way to go to cover Display P3.

Put simply, the Surface Book shines when it comes to storage space.

Ooh, does Microsoft now offer 2 TB of storage?!

The i7 models range from 256GB to 1TB, giving you plenty of options for your storage needs. If you opt for the less expensive i5 version, you can choose between 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB.

Hmm, no.

But on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, your only options are 256GB or 512GB. Even an upgrade to the 17-inch model still only gets you 256GB or 512GB. To get the same 1TB of storage offered by the Surface Book, you have to order the machine straight from Apple.

So… both offer a max of 1 TB, but since Apple’s MacBook comes from Apple it’s worse than Microsoft Surface Book which comes from Microsoft? I see no logic in this statement. None at all. And the 17-inch model (which doesn’t exist; I assume the author is referring to the 15-incher) goes up to 2 TB.

(…) the Surface Book wins in the battery life department.

The new MacBook can last about eight hours unplugged. The Surface Book offers about the same amount of time.

The Surface Book wins because it gets the same 8 hours as the MacBook Pro? Gotcha!

The fact that Apple removed the SD card slot won’t be a big deal for some people, but for a lot of photographers, it could be a deal breaker.

I do miss my SD card slot, but it’s not a deal breaker in real life. It’s not even a hassle.

Where the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro runs $1,499, the entry-level Surface Book is a mere $1,299.

First of all, the Surface Book is currently on sale. Its regular price is $1499. For that money, you get a 128 GB SSD, while the MacBook Pro has a 256 GB of flash storage. The i5 Surface Book with 256 GB of storage comes in at $1699.

A bump up to the entry-level Surface Book i7 will set you back $2,099. To get similar processing speed and storage capacity, you have to upgrade to the entry-level MacBook Pro, which runs a cool $2,399.

The i7 Surface Book is indeed $2099 and it includes a 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM. For $1999 you can get a MacBook Pro with a Core i7, a 256 GB SSD, and 16 GB of RAM. So the Surface Book is more expensive in all regards, with the top model maxing out at $3199 (1 TB SSD, 16 GB of RAM, dGPU). The MacBook Pro (13” with Touch Bar) maxes out at $2899 with the same specs, although I have to note that it does not include discrete graphics. You could just get a 15” model for almost the same money. It comes in at $3199 for the Core i7 2.7 GHz (which is a quad-core CPU!), 1 TB of storage, a dGPU, and 16 GB of RAM.

I’m sure that the Surface Book is a great machine, but the author’s arguments unfortunately aren’t.

  1. That’s sarcasm, yes.

More People Are Switching From Macs to Surface Than Ever Before →

December 12, 2016 · 16:34

Brian Hall:

More people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before. Our trade-in program for MacBooks was our best ever, and the combination of excitement for the innovation of Surface coupled with the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro – especially among professionals – is leading more and more people to make the switch to Surface, like this. It seems like a new review recommending Surface over MacBook comes out daily. This makes our team so proud, because it means we’re doing good work.

I have been considering this too, but the Performance Base Surface Book is just too expensive (and not available for purchase in my country) — the model that fits my needs best costs $2400. That’s 15″ MacBook Pro territory.

I Expected More From the Surface Book’s Battery Life →

November 11, 2016 · 09:54

Dan Seifert:

Also missed on me is the increased battery life. In our rundown test, the Surface Book lasted 10 hours and 21 minutes, which is quite good. But in my real-world usage, browsing the web, jumping between a half-dozen apps, writing email, monitoring social feeds, etc., it struggled to last a full work day before calling it quits. Most days, the Surface Book would last between six and eight hours, which is about average for a laptop of this size. (Using the Book as a tablet worked for about two hours before it died, which is unchanged from last year.) That’s a far cry from Microsoft’s claimed 16 hours and less than my colleague Vlad Savov could get with the new 13-inch MacBook Pro. Fortunately, this Surface Book has no issues going to sleep when it’s closed and in my bag, which is a problem I’ve encountered with numerous Windows 10 laptops over the past year.

When Apple showed the new MacBook Pros, I actually looked around at the competition, and the Surface Book was one of two laptops that piqued my interest, mainly due to 16 hours of battery life. I had foolishly assumed that I could indeed use it for that long without a charge.

One other thing that completely put me off is its weight.