Is the Surface Pro line a good alternative for an iPad/Mac combo?

M.Rizk

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Since the Surface Pro line is a two in one, and because my MacBook Pro died three months ago, I am really considering selling my iPad Air and switching to the Surface Pro line (4, or whatever comes next) to use it as a tablet for simple streaming, and media and also as a full PC for editing documents, presentations and taking notes + playing Xbox One on its screen when I am in a place with no TV (or TV being used by others).

I would like to know how the Surface Pro functions as a tablet so I really wish if you guys tell me your main opinion about it, and if possible also answer the following questions:

1. Can the tablet be kept on 24/7 for like a year (as in locked screen / standby mode). Like a typical tablet? How is the battery in such case?
2. While in standby / screen locked mode. Does it have support for Push notifications and will I actually hear a notification sound? Like a notification for email, Facebook. Also most importantly calls from Skype / Viber contacts?
3. Is an antivirus required or should I just depend on Windows Defender + Malwarebytes? I already have a Norton Security for 5 devices license but I am worried this might slow it down (I am targeting the i7, 16 GB RAM model because I won't be upgrading before it literally dies, just like my 2012 Mac)
4. How does it feel streaming YouTube videos or Netflix on it. Do videos fit the screen like a TV, or it looks like playing a movie on iPad due to different aspect ratio?
5. Regarding the Type Cover. Does the color change with age? Even the Signature Edition one?
6. Is the tablet scratch resistant? Not talking about screen since it will always be covered by a type covered unless I am using it anyways. I mean the tablet body itself.

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Last question for those who bought it from the US and took it back home. How is the Surface Support / Repair service from Microsoft? Do they honor its warranty? Does having an extended warranty (redirected to US) have any benefits outside the US?

Thanks all, I really appreciate you reading all this. Thanks again :)
 

xandros9

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Since the Surface Pro line is a two in one, and because my MacBook Pro died three months ago, I am really considering selling my iPad Air and switching to the Surface Pro line (4, or whatever comes next) to use it as a tablet for simple streaming, and media and also as a full PC for editing documents, presentations and taking notes + playing Xbox One on its screen when I am in a place with no TV (or TV being used by others).

I would like to know how the Surface Pro functions as a tablet so I really wish if you guys tell me your main opinion about it, and if possible also answer the following questions:

1. Can the tablet be kept on 24/7 for like a year (as in locked screen / standby mode). Like a typical tablet? How is the battery in such case?
2. While in standby / screen locked mode. Does it have support for Push notifications and will I actually hear a notification sound? Like a notification for email, Facebook. Also most importantly calls from Skype / Viber contacts?
3. Is an antivirus required or should I just depend on Windows Defender + Malwarebytes? I already have a Norton Security for 5 devices license but I am worried this might slow it down (I am targeting the i7, 16 GB RAM model because I won't be upgrading before it literally dies, just like my 2012 Mac)
4. How does it feel streaming YouTube videos or Netflix on it. Do videos fit the screen like a TV, or it looks like playing a movie on iPad due to different aspect ratio?
5. Regarding the Type Cover. Does the color change with age? Even the Signature Edition one?
6. Is the tablet scratch resistant? Not talking about screen since it will always be covered by a type covered unless I am using it anyways. I mean the tablet body itself.

-------------------------------
Last question for those who bought it from the US and took it back home. How is the Surface Support / Repair service from Microsoft? Do they honor its warranty? Does having an extended warranty (redirected to US) have any benefits outside the US?

Thanks all, I really appreciate you reading all this. Thanks again :)

1. I can't say for sure. Windows will want to restart to install updates maybe about once a month or every few weeks. If issues arise, a reboot can solve quirkiness. Battery won't be any better or worse.

2. That's a good question, and I don't have an answer to that since I don't own one myself nor do I really use them.

3. Windows Defender and Malwarebytes is a fine combination. I use Avast, but you have leeway here. Don't sweat it.

4. It has a 3:2 aspect ratio which doesn't fit the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio of most videos. The Surface Pro and Pro 2 were 16:9 for reference.

5. It can become dirty, but I don't think it'll outright fade.

6. I don't know personally.
 

M.Rizk

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1. I can't say for sure. Windows will want to restart to install updates maybe about once a month or every few weeks. If issues arise, a reboot can solve quirkiness. Battery won't be any better or worse.

2. That's a good question, and I don't have an answer to that since I don't own one myself nor do I really use them.

3. Windows Defender and Malwarebytes is a fine combination. I use Avast, but you have leeway here. Don't sweat it.

4. It has a 3:2 aspect ratio which doesn't fit the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio of most videos. The Surface Pro and Pro 2 were 16:9 for reference.

5. It can become dirty, but I don't think it'll outright fade.

6. I don't know personally.

Thanks for the reply. Yea I wouldn't mind it restarting every now and then for updates. All devices do that anyways.

I am trying to find anyone who can answer the notifications question because this is really in integral part of being an alternative to a tablet.
 

michail71

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I recall my Surface 3 doing notification sounds in standby but I'm not sure about my Surface Pro 4. It could just be the way it is setup or that I often have the volume on mute. The SP4 will maintain network connections while in standby. I remember reading the connected stand by mode runs for about 4 hours and then hibernates. It's possible that could be configured in power settings. On power you can set it to never sleep.

I've often kept my SP4 undocked for 2 or 3 days and still had plenty of power with light periodic usage.

The back of the SP4 is tough but it can pick up scratches. The fabric of the type cover can get dirty and scratched but a microfiber cloth usually makes it look like new. I dropped mine about 3 feet onto the floor the other day. Thankfully no damage! :)
 

astondg

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1. Theoretically yes, this was one of Microsoft's claims for the Surface Pro 3 I think. BUT it does this by going into Connected Standby for about 4 hours and then Hibernate after that. It can stay in hibernate for a long time on battery power (e.g. Microsoft claimed a year). Hibernate impacts your 2nd question though:
2. In Connected Standby it definitely receives push notifications and plays reminder sounds, etc. BUT in Hibernate it does not. So by default you would get about 4 hours of that Connected Standby functionality before Hibernate starts. You can change the power settings to never Hibernate but the trade off would be much short battery life. I don't know how short but more likely 1-2 days and nothing like a year.
3. I can't answer this
4. The ratio is 3:2 so there are black bars when playing 16:9 content. I still find the experience good. The Surface Pro is heavier than your iPad so that's a factor if you're holding (but then the SP4 does have the built in stand)
5. I had the blue SP3 cover and now the black SP4 cover. The blue cover did discolour slightly as it aged, it didn't look bad but it did look used. The black cover has picked up a couple of minor marks on the keyboard side (that I haven't tried removing) but is largely the same as when I bought it.
6. I can't answer for the SP4 but the SP3 can pick up scratches

I can't speak about the Surface line but I bought a Microsoft Band 2 from the US and had it replaced under warranty in Australia.
 

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