11-17-2016 09:55 AM
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  1. petvas72's Avatar
    Yesterday I got my Surface Book. This is my first Windows PC since ten years! The last ten years I only used Macs privately (for work I always used Windows PCs).

    Overall the experience of using a Surface Book is very good, but there are still some issues here that should be resolved.

    First let me start by saying that I am running the Anniversary edition with the latest firmware for my Surface book.

    The main issues I am experiencing are:
    • Going in tablet mode sometimes results in a blank screen or the touch screen stops working. A reboot resolves that always.
    • Sometimes the fans kick off, even for small tasks.
    • The battery drain when in tablet mode is extreme.. 25% in 10 minutes for watching a YouTube video seems extreme to me.
    • Overall, the experience of setting the Surface Book up and installing applications is still not so good as it is on a Macbook. OS X is still better suited for the basic stuff.


    After having set up everything I enjoy Windows 10. I especially like the keyboard and the display of the Surface Book.
    I would like to see Microsoft resolving the issues when in tablet mode. Everything else is really great.
    11-06-2016 09:49 AM
  2. Migi2015's Avatar
    Dude, save yourself the grief and go back to Apple. Macbook + iPad is a great combination and will not let you down with reliability problems. They 'just work'.
    CraigCole likes this.
    11-06-2016 12:04 PM
  3. petvas72's Avatar
    Dude, save yourself the grief and go back to Apple. Macbook + iPad is a great combination and will not let you down with reliability problems. They 'just work'.
    First of all, there are reasons I left the Apple ecosystem (which are irrelevant to my thread though). Yes, Apple stuff works pretty reliable, but you have to consider that all reliability issues are a result of the 2 in 1 configuration. I prefer to have the Surface Book, because it better suits my computing needs.
    Now, can we stay on topic? Is anyone else experiencing the issues mentioned?
    How is your battery life? I know it is only the first day and I am still installing and testing stuff, but my impression is that the battery life is not very good.
    Another thing to consider is that I am using Chrome and not Edge, which might cause a strain on battery..
    11-06-2016 01:00 PM
  4. petvas72's Avatar
    I also had the fans kick in too often and I found out why this was happening. The Cortana Background host process was using 20-30% all the time. I went ahead and disabled all Cortana features in the Cortana settings. I don't use Cortana for searching, so why should Cortana use my app history and search history? Now my Book is running perfectly. I wish this was the case from the beginning, but we all know that Microsoft doesn't have the same focus in user experience as Apple does. Having said that, I still like my Book more than my MacBook Pro.
    11-06-2016 02:34 PM
  5. peter leung 10586's Avatar
    First of all, there are reasons I left the Apple ecosystem (which are irrelevant to my thread though). Yes, Apple stuff works pretty reliable, but you have to consider that all reliability issues are a result of the 2 in 1 configuration. I prefer to have the Surface Book, because it better suits my computing needs.
    Now, can we stay on topic? Is anyone else experiencing the issues mentioned?
    How is your battery life? I know it is only the first day and I am still installing and testing stuff, but my impression is that the battery life is not very good.
    Another thing to consider is that I am using Chrome and not Edge, which might cause a strain on battery..
    would you please tell me the reason(s) why you use chrome?
    11-06-2016 10:00 PM
  6. peter leung 10586's Avatar
    I also had the fans kick in too often and I found out why this was happening. The Cortana Background host process was using 20-30% all the time. I went ahead and disabled all Cortana features in the Cortana settings. I don't use Cortana for searching, so why should Cortana use my app history and search history? Now my Book is running perfectly. I wish this was the case from the beginning, but we all know that Microsoft doesn't have the same focus in user experience as Apple does. Having said that, I still like my Book more than my MacBook Pro.
    it's strange. my surface book doesn't have this issue. I left almost all settings as defaults.

    for battery life, I seldom use the clipboard alone. I always use the whole thing. battery life is satisfactory.
    Chintan Gohel likes this.
    11-06-2016 10:02 PM
  7. petvas72's Avatar
    would you please tell me the reason(s) why you use chrome?
    I use Chrome mainly because of its extensions. I use 1Password, SabNZB and many others. I also use a lot of Google services and the offline capability in the Chrome apps is also important to me. I tried using Edge but I do not see any benefits. I also have an HTC 10 and it is nice to have everything in sync.
    I hope one day Edge grows up and offers more extensibility and sync options.
    Chintan Gohel likes this.
    11-07-2016 01:03 AM
  8. adesonic's Avatar
    I have all the Cortana settings etc. set to default and have very good battery life - I do not use Chrome - I think I read on here that there is an issue with Chrome and battery life on the surface book. The only time my fan kicks of is during a system update or doing some video rendering, never hear it apart from at those times.
    Chintan Gohel likes this.
    11-07-2016 02:06 AM
  9. astondg's Avatar
    Overall, the experience of setting the Surface Book up and installing applications is still not so good as it is on a Macbook. OS X is still better suited for the basic stuff.
    I use Boxstarter (built on Chocolatey) to set up my new PCs. Chocolately being a package installer (like Homebrew in OSX or Apt-Get in Linux) and Boxstarter running a Powershell script of all the packages you want installed. It means I start up the PC, go to the Boxstarter website in IE, give it my script and then come back in 1-2 hours with all of my regular applications and tools installed and many of my Windows settings configured.

    This only works for desktop applications though, it can't install things from the Windows Store.
    Chintan Gohel likes this.
    11-07-2016 04:31 AM
  10. petvas72's Avatar
    The worst part for me was installing the volume licensing version of Visio 2016 along Office 2016 click to run. Microsoft has made it quite a challenge to install an MSI office program together with a click to run one. You have to use the Office Admin Tool and create an xml file that installs Visio. Apart from that everything was ok.
    What I originally meant is that the out of the box experience is nearly not as good as on OS X. First you have to install a zillion updates and hotfixes. This is what takes most of the time. Then you see that the laptop runs hot because many background processes need to run. Compared to a Macbook Pro this is a big difference.
    I don't mind though. I think now that my setup is working ok. The laptop has stopped working crazy, especially after disabling the cortana options.
    Of course there are many things I need to get used to, but overall I am happy with my purchase. I hope that there will be no issues with tablet mode in the future, or with stand by.
    11-07-2016 05:53 AM
  11. Bobvfr's Avatar
    There are a couple of things to consider.

    If the fan comes on it means the processor is working hard, so for one check that you are fully up to date on apps, go to the store, click on your little picture at the top and check for updates, this will also show if any are going on at the moment.

    Go into setting/settings/battery and check battery usage by app.

    Look out for show tips and things like this, they can cause odd issues.
    Chintan Gohel likes this.
    11-07-2016 07:52 AM
  12. petvas72's Avatar
    There are a couple of things to consider.

    If the fan comes on it means the processor is working hard, so for one check that you are fully up to date on apps, go to the store, click on your little picture at the top and check for updates, this will also show if any are going on at the moment.

    Go into setting/settings/battery and check battery usage by app.

    Look out for show tips and things like this, they can cause odd issues.
    Yes, I understand this and this is how I monitor memory leaks and bad apps. Today I am on my second full day with the Surface Book, and I am extremely happy with it. The OS seems to have settled and the laptop is running smooth and the fans stay quiet. Standby also seems to work.
    11-07-2016 10:06 AM
  13. beman39's Avatar
    Dude, save yourself the grief and go back to Apple. Macbook + iPad is a great combination and will not let you down with reliability problems. They 'just work'.
    uh oh, **apple fanboy alert**
    11-07-2016 10:09 AM
  14. beman39's Avatar
    Yes, I understand this and this is how I monitor memory leaks and bad apps. Today I am on my second full day with the Surface Book, and I am extremely happy with it. The OS seems to have settled and the laptop is running smooth and the fans stay quiet. Standby also seems to work.
    btw it always takes a couple of days to perhaps a week to settle with all the updates and fix itself when you first open it up and set things up, then after it does it's thing, it settles down and you're good to go...
    11-07-2016 10:13 AM
  15. ads13's Avatar
    Apple is a STABLE brand !!!

    But MS is going more popular in term of their Surface Family. I like that. ;)
    Magdy Samir likes this.
    11-07-2016 12:46 PM
  16. Cane Prevost's Avatar
    I just made this switch as well. I've owned nothing but Apple since the 80's. My surface book arrives on Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing how the other half lives. The machine looks brilliant and touch input and pen support is going to be great.
    petvas72, rdubmu and Leonel Funes like this.
    11-07-2016 01:32 PM
  17. beman39's Avatar
    I just made this switch as well. I've owned nothing but Apple since the 80's. My surface book arrives on Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing how the other half lives. The machine looks brilliant and touch input and pen support is going to be great.
    just remember your first initial set up, the next couple of days to MAYBE a week your device will be sorting itself out, with updates and settling itself, so you might have higher than normal CPU usage and little other things going on in the background, so be a little patient and then after it will calm down and go back to normal...
    11-07-2016 03:39 PM
  18. petvas72's Avatar
    just remember your first initial set up, the next couple of days to MAYBE a week your device will be sorting itself out, with updates and settling itself, so you might have higher than normal CPU usage and little other things going on in the background, so be a little patient and then after it will calm down and go back to normal...
    This! I was spoiled by Apple and OS X (or macOS). When you setup a new Mac, you most probably restore your last Time Machine backup. After a couple of hours you are good to go. Spotlight (search indexing on OS X) will take some time, but everything runs smoothly from the start.
    With the Surface Book my first day was not that great. I installed many apps, updates and configured a lot of things. The Surface Book was snappy all the time, but it was interesting to see that it was not as smooth as a Mac on its first day.
    The things that bothered me were:
    • The Surface App complained that it didn't have access to the Pen. After one or two reboots and some updates, it started working properly. Who knows why the problems at the first place.
    • Standby. The Surface Book would continue running even when closing the device. This is something I hate and I hope it will never occur again. Today it worked perfectly. Closing the lid put the device in stand by.
    • The Cortana Background process used 20-30% CPU all the time. Disabling all Cortana options solved that. I might revisit these options and re-enable them later. We will see.
    • Tablet mode inconsistencies: Some times the screen would go blank, or the keyboard or mouse would stop working. All these things now seem to be gone.
    • I installed the Google Drive app but searching would not work. After a lot of troubleshooting I discovered that the SYSTEM did not have full control on the Google Drive directories, and that caused the issue. I wonder why. Anyway, this is also solved now.


    Today I used my Surface Book all day, working with Visio and Word. The device is amazing. Everything is fast and the fans do not kick in anymore.
    Today I felt that I was much more productive than on a Mac. The keyboard is amazing, better than the one on the 2015 Macbook Pro. The display is great and I love the 3:2 screen ratio. Much more screen estate compared to a 16:9 display.
    Working with Visio and Word was also much better than on a Mac (Visio with VMWare Fusion on OS X).

    Today I do not miss OS X anymore. I really like the new Start menu and the ways I can customize it. I love the Windows Hello feature also. The Surface Book will recognize my face and automatically log me into my desktop.
    Kudos to Microsoft for the Surface Book. I just wished that the first day experience were better. Now, I am a happy owner of the Surface Book.
    Mach_E and rmeigs like this.
    11-07-2016 04:10 PM
  19. ajaffarali's Avatar
    Fantastic to read your opinions. I'm in a somewhat similar boat- though at the moment, it's temporarily.

    When the new MBP was announced, I put my 12-inch MacBook for sale. It got sold a lot faster than I thought it would (one of the advantages of Apple products) and the new MBP is over a month away. So I found a good deal on a used Surface Book (i7/16GB/512GB for $1400) and thought I'd try it for a month and see how I like it. It's been two days and so far, it's both good and bad.

    Love the design, the screen and the keyboard. Don;t like how many apps still don't take advantage of the "Retina" display and show up blurry. Also, facing the standby issue. Closed the lid and left my office and came back home to a rather hot laptop and realized it never went into sleep mode for whatever reason. And one thing I miss from my MacBook is that it would always turn on when you flipped the lid open. With Surface, that works sometimes but other times, I need to press the power button.
    11-07-2016 10:57 PM
  20. Lumious's Avatar
    Welcome back to the Windows Ecosystem.

    I absolutely love my Surface Book and it is worth every penny imo. I do have some issues though and they are similar to yours.

    I have to say i hate Edge with a passion. I want to use it, i want to like it, i really dont like Google but Chrome just works so much better than Edge in almost all ways. If Edge was up to the level of Chrome i would switch and never look back but i am forced to stay on Chrome because of the issues with Edge.
    petvas72 likes this.
    11-08-2016 09:39 AM
  21. beman39's Avatar
    Welcome back to the Windows Ecosystem.

    I absolutely love my Surface Book and it is worth every penny imo. I do have some issues though and they are similar to yours.

    I have to say i hate Edge with a passion. I want to use it, i want to like it, i really dont like Google but Chrome just works so much better than Edge in almost all ways. If Edge was up to the level of Chrome i would switch and never look back but i am forced to stay on Chrome because of the issues with Edge.
    what issues are you having? I find edge is working fine, even WAY better than IE11... now that has become a disaster!
    11-08-2016 09:52 AM
  22. petvas72's Avatar
    Today I am on my third day using the Surface Book and I am loving it. My only remaining gripes so far are that it is not as stable on the lap as other laptops, I guess due to its 2 in 1 nature. This is not a problem per se but it is something to consider when getting used to all new things about it. Performance is absolutely amazing, at least for the tasks I need my laptop for. Chrome, Office, Hyper-V and sometimes a bit of video and picture editing, all these tasks work great on the Surface Book.
    I haven't played any games yet, and I would like to purchase Civ VI in the next days. We will see.

    As far as the Edge browser concerns, it is still not up to the standard of Chrome. It lacks many extensions and has no option to synchronize with Android devices. I agree that Edge looks beautiful, but I prefer Chrome in every way. I hope Microsoft one day catches up.
    11-08-2016 12:43 PM
  23. petvas72's Avatar
    Regarding the standby issue, I just found out that it is a non issue, it's a feature. It's called connected standby and I am not sure I like it :)

    Anyway, now I know how to disable it if I want too: Disabling Windows Connected Standby | Windows Client content from Windows IT Pro

    Update: It seems that connected standby cannot be disabled on the Surface Book. I will have a look into that and post again if I find something.

    Overall I am really happy with my Surface Book and I do not miss my Macbook Pro at all.
    11-08-2016 05:20 PM
  24. zerospace-net's Avatar
    Regarding the standby issue, I just found out that it is a non issue, it's a feature. It's called connected standby and I am not sure I like it :)

    Anyway, now I know how to disable it if I want too: Disabling Windows Connected Standby | Windows Client content from Windows IT Pro

    Update: It seems that connected standby cannot be disabled on the Surface Book. I will have a look into that and post again if I find something.

    Overall I am really happy with my Surface Book and I do not miss my Macbook Pro at all.
    Connected standby is basically sleep mode -- you can "disable" it by telling the machine to hibernate on closing the lid, or just shut it down entirely when not in use. Go into your advanced power options and change the action that occurs when 1) you close the lid, and 2) you press the power button. I did this during the time when sleep was very, very unstable on the Surface Book late last year/early this year. Works fine and less or no power drain in between use.
    11-09-2016 10:26 AM
  25. worwig's Avatar
    Regarding the standby issue, I just found out that it is a non issue, it's a feature. It's called connected standby and I am not sure I like it :)

    Anyway, now I know how to disable it if I want too: Disabling Windows Connected Standby | Windows Client content from Windows IT Pro

    Update: It seems that connected standby cannot be disabled on the Surface Book. I will have a look into that and post again if I find something.
    Just change the power setting to Hibernate, instead of sleep.

    Once I get the updates 8 months ago my sleep mode has been fine.
    11-09-2016 10:38 AM
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