1. wataru1's Avatar
    Why do I think the Surface Laptop is a better overall device than the Surface Pro for students, and why do I think it is even a better inking device than the Pro? Here, I am giving you the extreme version of my positive argument for the Surface Laptop over the Surface Pro. (I have used both devices, and a ton of other convertible devices - so I'll speak from experience, not from just specs) Since there are too many bashing for the Surface Laptop already on the Internet, I think it's fare to give it a reverse spin and see the other side of the picture.

    (Be warned, this is a subjective opinion)

    1. Better size for pdf reading and document - better productivity.

    The Surface Laptop has a much bigger screen. 13.5 inch 3:2 aspect ratio equals to a 15 inch laptop in vertical space. It is the first fixed keyboard laptop with a 3:2 AR in the 13+inch laptop space. (Surface Book is not fixed keyboard). All OEM's offerings in the 13, 14, and 15 inch laptops are 16:9, convertible or non-convertible, sad, just sad.

    The 3:2 AR and 13.5inch size are the perfect AR and size for productivity, esp. if you are students readings papers. You can open pdf files and view the whole page in two-page side-by-side view perfectly, without black bars (as in 16:9 AR). You can do the same thing in the Surface Pro, but the small screen makes fonts tiny to see and I have headache reading for more than 15min.

    Why viewing two pages and not viewing one page at a time in portrait mode (as many people would using the Surface Pro)? Because context matters. When you can see two pages at the same time, it gives you the context, and your brain flows better. Same answer as why we use multiple monitors. The benefit extends to word documents - it's incredibly productive to be able to read and edit two pages side by side, esp. if you are working on a paper or your thesis. To give you an actual idea of how productive it is to work on 8 pages at the same time on the Surface Studio (being 28inch, which is exactly quadruple the size of the 13.5inch size screen of the Laptop), I am attaching a photo below so you can see (my Studio). Therefore the 13.5inch is perfect to work simultaneously on two pages, which is not possible on the Surface Pro due to the small screen size.



    2. Better for inking.

    This might sound odd to a lot of people. But here is why. When we talk about inking, we talk about tablet functionality. And the Laptop cannot be transformed to a tablet, so it is a dud. Wrong. I am never a fan of the detachables, or the convertibles. Let's face it. Windows was a keyboard/mouse heavy OS and it still is. You want to have the keyboard available at all times, period, and if it is not available (such as converting to a tablet), you need to be able to convert it back to its laptop form as quick as you can. Unfortunately, none of existing products can do that effortlessly. The popular 360 degree mechanism involves flipping a heavy base and rotating a sturdy hinge, and in the case of SP, you also have to constantly open, close, and adjust the kickstand. It's almost unbearable for me to keep doing brick lifting 100 times a day with the SP. In a word, you are always in a dilemma where you want to use the keyboard AND the pen, and you cannot have both. So you have to switch modes constantly, and what a waste of time.

    With a fixed, non-gimmicky laptop, you don't have to waste your time to switch modes. You simply open its lid, lay the keyboard down when you want to type, and simply lay the screen down when you want to ink (see pic below).



    It's nature and there is no stop in your flow. I know it sounds weird, but it is not. When I have my first detachable, I use it this way and never detach it from the keyboard (what a pain). When I use the Surface Book, I never want to detach that thing (what a joke) and I use it this way. When I use my Surface Pro, I always wish I could just kick the stand all the way back and ink without flipping the keyboard - but the keyboard is always in my way. I know people don't want to use it this way (your don't want others to think you are weird, reputation matters), but it is more productive than those convertibles' gimmicky mechanisms - just try it.

    The Laptop's lid is heavy enough that at 120 degree upside down it is still stable (pic below). Very stable for inking. Best of all, you still have the keyboard available for shortcuts or simple typing. Depending on your working position, you can have the keyboard's back in front of you and you don't have to flip the screen, or you can have the keyboard's front in front of you and you do have to flip the screen. In case you wonder how you can flip the screen easily - you can easily flip the screen (landscape 180 degree flip) with one key (by using the nircmd.exe tool and some autohotkey script - so no Windows 10S love here).



    What's more, the Studo and the Laptop's displays are the only two Surface displays without a hot computer beneath the screen - which means they are at room temperature at all times, unlike the 40+ degree Celsius temperature on all other Surfaces. I cannot say how much I hate the scorching heat on my SP4's screen whenever I want to ink, esp. when the device is plugged into an outlet. Detachable tablets with computer components beneath the screen is dead to me. The inking experience is simply bad (because of the heat generated by the integrated components within a single body). Does not matter if it is fanless, Core M or Atom, being there, scorched, very comfortable. This is why a passively cooled display makes for a better inking device (believe me, a lot better). The Laptop's display, it's cool to the touch. You can ink for hours with the power plugged in. Gains, but no pains.



    Plus, the digitizer in the Laptop should be improved since it comes after the Studio. The Studio has some serious digitizer improvement that many of you don't know (see the video I made below). This makes the inking experience so much better - already better than Wacom in my book. In terms of pen performance, the 200DPI is much better than the 260DPI on the Pro, because the processing load is much smaller on the lower resolution screen. At worst, the inking performance is a tie since the Pro 5 in May 23rd should come with the same tech.



    In a word, the Laptop is a better inking device. When you want to ink, you simply tip off the keyboard and lay down the screen (you do need a screen protector for the laptop lid though). No transformation, no stop in your work flow, no screen rotation, nothing - just as easy as lifting your hand. If you feel the keyboard is in your way (which is not always the case, again, you have to see it yourself), simply rotate the thing and press a key, tada! Seriously. I don't understand why so many people say that you'll need a 360 degree hinge to be able to ink. I hereby tell you that you can ink on this device just as fine, if not better, than any 2in1s you can find in the market. (And I spoke from experience of years of inking this way)

    3. Better performance and battery life

    This will beat the Pro 5 no question. The Laptop uses i7-7660u in the top spec, and assuming the Pro 5 uses the same, the Laptop will have an advantage in better thermal capacity. The Laptop destroys the Pro in battery life. I sold my SP4 because it only lasts 2hrs. For students, that's no way acceptable. The Laptop all the way. Don't tell me that students cannot ink on the device - on the contrary, I see it as a better device for inking. Best device for school.

    -ps. I know this is a fan site and this is my first post, aiming to gear up the fans of the Laptop. No offense to Surface Pro, Surface Book, or Yoga lovers. Just my 2c so you can see the other side of the picture. Yes, I speak from experience. The photos were taken from my trip to the MS Store. I already pre-ordered. Of course, we all knew the sole purpose for this thread - the WC give away! Good luck to every one!
    05-21-2017 08:38 AM
  2. Jeffery Holderness's Avatar
    Interesting read. I haven't ever seen anyone actually use their laptop this way before. neat.
    05-21-2017 01:13 PM
  3. manjitrupbikram brahma's Avatar
    Great insight. Thanks.
    05-21-2017 02:24 PM
  4. kaktus1389's Avatar
    Nice opinion, though I find it awkward and inconvenient to need to turn it around but maybe I would try it out and see what is it like for sure. Most of people would probably prefer Surface Pro on 0/25% brightness if heat is their issue and they want to save battery life.

    I agree with you on the battery life, it's definitively going to be better due to lower screen resolution and bigger space for batteries. If they however don't release a Surface Pro 5 but "just" a Surface 4 running on Snapdragon 835 device, then I highly doubt it that it that Surface Laptop would consume less battery.
    05-21-2017 02:51 PM
  5. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    Took the time to read, interesting view, but I don't agree with your opinion.

    I do agree with the inking on a hot screen aspect, it's why I prefer drawing on Samsung's Note tablets, they run much cooler.
    05-21-2017 04:04 PM
  6. Ezhik's Avatar
    So flipping it like that is an actual thing people will do, lol.
    BryanMahendra likes this.
    05-21-2017 04:16 PM
  7. Mucephie's Avatar
    I dont think flipping it like that will be a good idea, it will scratch the top severely and could risk cracking the screen or hinge
    05-21-2017 07:18 PM
  8. Bskill's Avatar
    Interesting points about the inking. I think I will continue preferring the Surface Pro, as I use my Surface Pen for more than just mere comments and annotations. In my opininion, laying the laptop screen down like you suggest wouldn't work well for sketching and drawing..
    05-22-2017 06:20 AM
  9. anon(10237065)'s Avatar
    Very interesting, clearly you are not a fan of detachable devices! Fair enough and very impressive explanation for each point. From my personal experience when studying though, Surface Pro is still amazing. I've got no doubts that most of students will prefer Laptop for reasons you've mentioned, like I (and plenty of others) said before - it's just like MacBook in many regards and students will love it.

    But from my experience, I prefer mobility of Surface Pro and just to take it into my hands in the almost way as a proper book, reading one page at the time though I haven't been struggling with that. Also I don't use keyboard on Surface Pro very much actually and yes, partially it's also because writing longer documents is not as comfortable as on a bigger keyboard and yes, Laptop will be perfect for that. And regarding inking, like I said, I don't take my keyboard with me very often, so I can use Surface Pro as a book which I can turn it into a notepad in a second. And I write notes often, at work, at the uni, at home, I still prefer to write notes by hand, so for me Laptop wouldn't be a top choice and I love 2-in-1 devices for that. Of course Laptop is killing it in battery life, but I've got to say that since the Creators' Update, I feel the battery life in SP4 has been improved and I can work in OneNote for many hours throughout the day without any need to plug it in.
    05-22-2017 07:13 AM
  10. k1s23's Avatar
    I dont think flipping it like that will be a good idea, it will scratch the top severely and could risk cracking the screen or hinge
    hey there, i totally agree with this. most of the weight is on the bottom so i can see the hinge breaking.

    ive never handled the surface laptop though; are there feet supports underneath?
    05-22-2017 10:11 AM
  11. Chris_NH's Avatar
    VERY interesting ideas. Thank you. They may change my views about whether to buy a traditional clamshell laptop, or a 2-in-1 laptop, in the future. But I still think that when I'm in the drawing mode (or mood) that a tablet configuration is best. It is most similar to writing on a real pad of paper or paper notebook, especially when sitting in a comfortable chair using the PC on your lap, as opposed to on a desk. You can achieve the tablet mode using a 360-degree hinge (HP Spectre x360) or rip-off keyboard (Surface Pro) but not a clamshell design (Surface Laptop). So at this point, because I expect to often use my future laptop PCs with a digital pen, I'm still leaning towards buying a laptop with 360-degree hinge or a pro tablet, such as a Surface Pro 4 (or whatever the next gen Surface Pro is called) as my next portable PC.
    05-22-2017 10:45 AM
  12. ajcletus500's Avatar
    A nice view point of how the surface laptop can be used for inking but I don't think I can be the weird guy who inverts his laptop for inking, plus I'm a 2 in 1 tablets.
    05-22-2017 10:57 AM
  13. k1s23's Avatar
    A nice view point of how the surface laptop can be used for inking but I don't think I can be the weird guy who inverts his laptop for inking, plus I'm a 2 in 1 tablets.
    im with you on this. i wouldnt want to be the one that seems like i dont know how to use a laptop. also with the laptop handled that way, i can see the top of the surface laptop getting scratches on it easily. it just wouldnt seem feasible to me.
    05-23-2017 02:51 AM

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