Surface Family

by Volker Weber


Microsoft just announced that Surface Pro LTE is now available to business customers. And since Nina confused us recently with her "Surface Pro Book", I thought we could straighten things out a bit. From left to right: Pro, Book, Studio and Laptop.

I like Surface Pro because it is small and versatile. It's a notebook and a tablet, but not necessarily a laptop. Very difficult to balance. Surface Laptop is a real laptop with a touch screen. You can use a pen, but I think that won't work so well, since you cannot fold it over. And then there is Surface Book, which is three things: a notebook, a detachable tablet and a laptop. The fulcrum hinge may be a bit wobbly, but despite that it's a miracle. And then there is Studio, the fold down desktop.

Which one would you prefer and why?


Studio for my photography workflow would be great. I'll continue dreaming for another year, I think.

Why: workflow takes place at home on big screen - would use and benefit from all Studio features, probably.

Natanael Mignon , 2017-12-03

I would prefer none of them, as they all have the wrong operating system ;-)

I liked Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. And maybe i would have bought a Windows RT tablet if RT did not die that fast.

But with Windows 10 many things got worse for me. Lumia 950 was a downgrade compared to 920. Many things that worked on WP8 did not work any more on W10M.
And then these annoying version upgrades of Windows 10 every half a year that take hours...

And there are a couple of Mac OS only Apps that i would miss on Windows:
- MoneyMoney (best Homebanking software i've ever used)
- Soulver
- Fotos
- Pixelmator

Manfred Wiktorin, 2017-12-03

Manfred, you are not helping.

Volker Weber, 2017-12-03

Manfred - I can't speak to Win10 on mobile, but on laptop/desktop, it's a big improvement over Win8 & worth checking out.

I really love my SurfaceBook (version 1) but I got my mom the Surface laptop & if I didn't have to worry about Lightroom, I would immediately switch over to it. It's a really sweet device, especially for travel. SurfaceBook is much heavier, but the dual GPU is super helpful for photo editing & I like flipping the screen over & using it closed as a tablet. I don't tend to use it as a tablet with just the screen very often.

I'm not a fan of the Surface Pros, but I'm more of a laptop person than a tablet person, which makes all the difference there.

Amy Blumenfield, 2017-12-03

Thanks, Amy, you ARE helping. :-) And I agree on Windows 10 on a PC. It's pretty sweet.

Volker Weber, 2017-12-03

OK, i rephrase my comment.
If i would not know Mac OS, Surface Studio was my machine. This is a really cool device. I like the idea of folding the screen down to the table and use a pen on it. And it still is a PC with a full sized screen (like an iMac).
As i do not create stuff away from home, i have no need for a notebook/laptop. And at home i want a large screen. So i‘m a desktop+tablet guy. For just consuming content on the tablet, i do not need a full operating system. So something like iOS (or Windows RT) is perfect for me on a tablet. I would not spend the money for a Surface Pro.

Manfred Wiktorin, 2017-12-03

I have been very happy with my Surface Book, which was frankly a bit of a surprise (because I worried about Windows 10, mostly). I don't often detach the screen: but often enough I am glad I can and seldom enough I am convinced I don't need a separate tablet. The pen works well, though I spend more time using it as a traveling development machine. The keyboard is good, it last a long time without charging, and is generally a very satisfactory machine.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2017-12-03

I am in IT since ~30 years. Hence, I know MS products (and others) for ages. A couple of years ago I switched completely to Apple and I still consider it a good move.

However, for compatibility reasons in business I am using a Pro with Office365 which I like a lot. (Btw: translation facility from MS garage promises great value-add) On my iMac I have also a VM with Win10 and Office.

My wife has since recently a Studio which I manage. This is a great machine both in HW/SW and in style. Win10 is sometimes boring but I see steady improvements.

I have regrets for the death of Win10 for phones. I like it on my Lumia 650 which I use as a backup phone. It could have been a consistent and compelling suite from phone to mobile to desktop on Win10 but alas, MS missed the phone part.

Kurt Glasner, 2017-12-03

I would own a Surface Studio for home if the internals weren't so low-end. And seeing as it targets graphic designers and CAD folks, which software like Adobe Creative Suite and AutoCade are resource sucks, just makes no sense. maybe the next one.

We have Pros, Books, and Laptops across the team. I think most folks are picking Books or Laptops these days, but I don't hear any complaints. I will stick with the X1 Yoga because the keyboard is so much better.

John Head, 2017-12-04

The Studio is an impressive device - tastefully designed, well built, solid. And the screen ist gorgeous. But I'm not sure if it will find it's place in the market of designers and other professionals. Most likely it will live as a niche product for some time. Regarding the laptops and convertibles I'm not convinced of the mix of touch gestures on screen and conventional handling by keyboard and mouse. It's to confusing for me and besides the versatility makes devices too heavy and bulky. I'm pretty sure that I would leave behind the keyboard after a while, just as I do with my iPad. And as a tablet the iPad is by far the better choice, in my humble opinion. I had a look at the Surface Pro a couple of weeks ago during a conference and it didn't convince me. Well, after all it's Windows. So for the time beeing I'll stick with my MacBook and iPhone most of the time. And I'm with Manfred.

Tobias Vogel, 2017-12-04

I'm with the Surface Book, as it is the perfect system (for me) at home and traveling, and I'm more a laptop girl than a tablet girl. I can use it wherever I want - its not such a balancing act like the Surface Pro - and one charge is amazingly long lasting. Since I switched to touch screen laptops I don't want to miss that anymore. I didn't thought, this feature would hit me so hard, but ... it did.

Nina Wittich, 2017-12-04

Surface Book is my current tool of choice. not that much because of the detachable tablet, more because of it´s power (own it since 1 year now, release 1) and size. I wish i could spring over my shadow and buy the surface studio, but the price is to high - same thing as with the iPhoneX, as i do not spend over 1k EUR for a phone, i not spend over 3k EUR for a PC/Notebook, it´s a personal thing of course).

And, Windows hello is my key feature :-)

ingo harpel, 2017-12-04

IT professional here. I use the original Surface Book. It has replaced every single computing device I own with the exception of my cell phone. I have docking stations with dual screens both at work and at home/ I use it only occasionally as a tablet. My wife uses the Surface Pro exclusively aside from her cell phone. Our children play with both often. Both devices meet our individual needs almost perfectly.

Michael Rohrbach, 2017-12-05

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