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  1. hasasimo's Avatar
    I know, there are other threads like this... and I know nobody can make the decision for me. But after exhaustive research, reading/watching hours of reviews, and some hands-on testing of my own at my local Microsoft Store, I'm still a bit confused. However, I am finally leaning towards a Surface Book.

    I'm posting this in both the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 forums to get opinions from both camps. I apologize to the moderators in advance if that's not a good enough reason to post in both places.

    That said, I'd appreciate feedback from people who perhaps are in similar situations that decided to go one way or the other.

    I'm sure the first questions will be "what do I intend to use it for?", which is of course the most important thing to determine. I discuss that throughout the post.

    I've never been entirely sold on tablets. I never saw the appeal of the iPad for instance, which is basically no more powerful than a smartphone without nearly the same amount of portability.

    My main, home machine has always either been a desktop or laptop. The Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 will be replacing my main home PC, which for the past six years has been a Sony VAIO laptop with a 14-inch display and a first generation i5.

    I always felt that if I could get a fuller PC experience in a tablet, maybe I'd find them more useful. That's when I bought a Nokia Lumia 2520 in 2013, which I've enjoyed but don't really use very much outside of bringing it to work meetings (including typing-up notes using the power keyboard attachment). Maybe because Windows RT just isn't a full PC experience either, despite being a lot closer to one than an iPad?

    When I'm at home, I'm on my now six-year-old Sony VAIO laptop. The thing is always on when I'm home, and mostly used for media consumption though I do some word processing, quite a bit of instant messaging (Skype, WhatsApp Web, Gmail), and the occasional Photoshop.

    It's very rare that I do any video editing, and if I get a Surface Book, I wouldn't be getting a model with the extra GPU anyway because it just isn't worth it vis-a-vis how infrequently I'll do anything more power-intensive than Photoshop.

    As mentioned, the laptop I'm coming from has a 14-inch display, so going down to 12.3 inches is a bit of a concern, especially because I usually have plenty of tabs open, and a second window open side-by-side when streaming video.

    But... the idea of a fully-capable laptop in tablet form is just so darn cool!

    If I do go with a Surface Pro 4, I'd obviously sell my Lumia 2520. That does, however, mean I'd be taking my main home computer to work for meetings (about twice a month)... not sure I want to blur those lines!

    There have also been a few issues with the Surface Book, which is to be expected to a degree with a first generation product. It seems these are mostly software-related so I'm not terribly worried. But it is something extra to think about vs. a 4th-generation product that seems more refined for what it is.

    Another thing holding me back from the Surface Book is how poor the battery life is in clipboard mode. I understand tablet use is meant to be secondary, but I'm spoiled by the Lumia 2520's remarkable, nearly all-day battery life (I know... different processor, OS, etc.) despite how little I use it vs. my laptop.

    There's also the slight screen wobble on the Surface Book, which really is no different from any other laptop. But if I get used to using the Surface Pen, it won't be as steady an experience as with the Surface Pro 4 unless the clipboard is detached or folded over.

    I should also mention that I played with both the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book today at the Microsoft Store. I loved them both, and walked out just as confused as when I walked in. I plan to get an i5 model with 8 GB of RAM and 256GB SSD with whichever machine I choose.

    I don't consider the financial costs to differ much considering you'd have to buy the type cover for the Surface Pro 4 anyway.

    I apologize for how scatter-brained this post is, but this is a lot of dough to shell out and I plan to make this my main machine for the next five years or so.

    I'll conclude with a summarized list of my pros/cons following my research and hands-on testing, to give you a better idea of where my mind is at with each:

    SURFACE BOOK
    PROS: Bigger display, better battery life (only in laptop mode), bit of a better typing experience
    CONS: Various software (and possibly some hardware?) bugs, poor battery life in clipboard mode, not quite as portable as the Surface Pro 4, screen wobble using Surface Pen (as would be the case with most laptops), fewer ports

    SURFACE PRO 4
    PROS: More portable than Surface Book, more pleasant typing experience than I anticipated (though not quite laptop level), steadier use with the Surface Pen (though I don't know if I'd use it much), more refined/fewer bugs than Surface Book, better battery life than Surface Book's clipboard mode, more ports
    CONS: Smaller display, less battery life overall than Surface Book, mildly inferior typing experience, less "lapability" than Surface Book
    11-02-2015 03:32 AM
  2. excalibur1814's Avatar
    That's a lot of text to read.

    I read parts so, basically, I'd like to suggest the Surface Pro 4. With the dock you can then replace your desktop and/or use a wireless keyboard/mouse when required as well as the type keyboard.

    If, however, you like to game then the Book with the dGPU would be better suited.
    11-02-2015 04:32 AM
  3. boltman2013's Avatar
    I came from a Vaio 14" too the E-Series i3...I too was "concerned" over losing some real estate. I looked for years at newer laptops and stayed with my Vaio because it was better..until now (started to wear out slightly)

    For me it came down to liking the SP4 more than the SB or any other computer in fact. Also getting the silence of the M3 is heavenly. Also its STABLE for touch..the SB wobbles as do most Ultrabooks..the kickstand makes it not rock and presents a solid touch interface... I'm using it just fine on my lap and its much cooler than my Vaio was on my lap. I would rather have this than my Vaio on my lap.

    Is it too small NO is is sometimes nicer to have a larger screen YES...for instance I'm using Hyper-V and until the guest OS gets drivers its tiny to install a VM. That is where larger screen would be nice... also I miss to an extent the number keys side pad from my vaio.

    Is that a deal breaker, no as the rest of the experience is absolutely amazing.

    Reason I went with the SP4 is it is 4th generation too, seems more finished than the Surface Book.
    Remember you can always connect a larger screen too.

    I love the SP4 coming from a Vaio similar to yours...no regrets just amazement at how great it is.
    Last edited by boltman2013; 11-02-2015 at 05:11 AM.
    hasasimo likes this.
    11-02-2015 04:59 AM
  4. Hardcore1973's Avatar
    I agree with everyone else on going with the SP4. You will have the longer battery life, portable, and get the dock station to plug in more monitors to get the screen real estate you want. I am typing this on my SP4 and I also have the Surface Book. I find whenever I leave the house (at doctor's office right now) I grab my SP4. It's just more portable and easier to use everywhere.
    hasasimo likes this.
    11-02-2015 10:17 AM
  5. GatsbyGlen's Avatar
    I opted for the SP4 for portability and to use in tablet mode. I already have a workstation level laptop that I'm not looking to replace. The SB could never match it.
    hasasimo likes this.
    11-02-2015 10:23 AM

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