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RNZALR

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#273240 12-Aug-2020 08:06
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Hello,

 

I’m contemplating replacing my existing MS Surface Book which is about 3 years old with a newer, later and faster version.  I do a lot of work using Power BI which appears to be quite memory and processor hungry which makes sense given what I’m asking the software to do.

 

 

 

I do love my surface and am happy to get another one but equally would consider other platforms.  Budget is not a factor as I’m happy to pay for a top of the line surface.  

 

So with that background, here are my questions:

 

  • What’s the difference between to surface laptop and surface book?  Is it simply the ability for the book to be used as a tablet?  (I rarely use it as a tablet so this isn’t really a factor in my decision).  Based on what I’ve read I think I’m leaning more towards a book than a laptop
  • Are there alternatives that I should be considering?  I do really love the slim line design of the surface.  I currently used a 13.5 inch version which is perfect for me on the road and isn’t a factor in the office as I have a hub which connects it to three 24 inch screens

Many thanks in advance for your help


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hairy1
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  #2539055 12-Aug-2020 08:20
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I have been using a 13.5" Surface Book 2 for the last couple of years and had the same quandary as you. I loved the Surface Book 2 and the ability to use it as a tablet but found I was hardly using the tablet function. I have a dock here and wanted to keep using the Surface dock. In the end I went for a 15" Surface Laptop. It's the same weight as the Surface Book 2 13.5" but bigger screen and keyboard.

 

I haven't looked back to be honest. It's early days but the 15" Surface laptop is great. It still begs the question about whether I could have got more bang for my buck in another brand laptop however.

 

Cheers, Matt.





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dafman
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  #2539064 12-Aug-2020 08:42
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We've replaced several Surface SP4 Pros with the i7 13.5" Surface laptop 3.

 

We chose the laptop 3 over Surface book as it is lighter, more compact and nobody requires to disconnect the keyboard (which is the only advantage I can see in favour of the Book)..

 

Everybody that has swapped prefers the laptop 3 to the SP4.

 

It's a great piece of kit - my only complaint is that fan cuts in under load, so there is the noise. Not often, once or twice a day when malware scanning cuts in or other high load processes are running.


 
 
 
 


timmmay
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  #2539065 12-Aug-2020 08:44
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I've had surface pro (the one with the removable keyboard) and have surface laptop 2. I don't like them much, the get the job done but have annoyances. The surface laptop only has one USB 3 port which is really annoying, I have to use a USB hub with an ethernet port to get enough ports to be useful. WiFi on the surface devices is pretty poor.

 

I really like the HP Probook / Elitebook laptops. Great quality, fast, and often significantly cheaper than Surface devices.


RNZALR

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  #2539130 12-Aug-2020 09:26
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That’s a really good point re the dock Matt.  I also use the Surface Dock and love my set up so would prefer to continue with it as is.

 

So the only difference you’ve found between the Book and the Laptop is the tablet function is that correct?  Same speed, processing power, memory etc?  Essentially I’m looking for the biggest bang for my buck as I want to be able to build and refresh fairly large Power BI models with it.

 

I also rarely use the tablet function as well.  It’s mainly used on flights when watching movies I’ve downloaded because my kids have stolen the iPad!  And given the current state of the world, I’m not going to be taking any long flights for quite some time!

 

 

 

hairy1:

 

I have a dock here and wanted to keep using the Surface dock. In the end I went for a 15" Surface Laptop. It's the same weight as the Surface Book 2 13.5" but bigger screen and keyboard.

 


hairy1
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  #2539238 12-Aug-2020 11:06
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It is two years newer so obviously there is obviously an upgrade in speed. I used to use the tablet when flying a fair bit also. Turning around the display was very handy on a plane.





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Lias
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  #2539255 12-Aug-2020 11:31
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I've got a work Surface Pro. For a lightweight portable device for office work, it's great. But equally it annoys the crap out of me because it's an anti-workstation, it's just not suitable for anything but web/office stuff. The couple of guys in my team have Surface Books say they are better than the Pro's, but not that much. 

 

If you want power in a portable form factor go with an HP Z-Book imho, or else pair a surface with grunty workstation or VM and do the heavy lifting remotely. 

 

 





hairy1
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  #2539266 12-Aug-2020 11:41
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Typing on the Surface Pro was less than adequate. The Surface Book provides a great typing experience and the Surface Laptop 3 is better again. The touchpad on the Laptop 3 is much better than the Surface Book 2 however I have also gone up size.





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kiwifidget
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  #2539272 12-Aug-2020 11:48
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@hairy1 we are very happy with the Surface Book 2. :) 





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hairy1
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  #2539273 12-Aug-2020 11:49
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Yes. So was I! It is a great piece of kit!





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RNZALR

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  #2539274 12-Aug-2020 11:49
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Surface Pro is not on the short list.  I had one and upgraded that 3 years ago to the Surface Book (SB2 I think).  The SP isn't suitable for my needs.  In fact it's starting to die and my wife is complaining about it so I've said she can have mine and I'll upgrade because I need to bigger processing power more so than she does.

 

The snap on keyboard is nowhere near as good as the Book's permanent keyboards.

 

 

 

Lias:

 

I've got a work Surface Pro. For a lightweight portable device for office work, it's great. But equally it annoys the crap out of me because it's an anti-workstation, it's just not suitable for anything but web/office stuff. The couple of guys in my team have Surface Books say they are better than the Pro's, but not that much. 

 


TwoSeven
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  #2539330 12-Aug-2020 12:59
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I have been happy with my original surface - it still going strong.  Recently I have been looking at The Dell XPS 17 (developer edition).  The main thing for me is thunderbolt support. Although I may delay until machines start arriving with thunderbolt 4 - I think Rocket Lake chipset.

 

 





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MikeAqua
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  #2539459 12-Aug-2020 15:03
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I've never used the BI software.  However, I used to do some fairly grunty number crunching in R (stochastic business modelling for example).  I found my SP3/4 (I can't remember which model, as that was in my last job, but it was the top model at the time of purchase) struggled a bit. 

 

These days I have a laptop and it runs comparatively demanding tasks much more quickly.

 

 





Mike


RNZALR

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  #2539468 12-Aug-2020 15:18
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Power BI Supports R and also Python.  Take a look at it.  It's a phenominal piece of kit that produces interactive dashboards.  It really helps me show and explain business insights to my clients (I'm a Virtual CFO) - be that financial data or other types of data.  Enterprise DNA have brilliant courses to learn it.  From memory, membership is about $600USD and you get an absolute wealth of knowledge and support.  It's actually a NZ company but pricing is in USD and members are right across the globe.  They also have dozens of free basic tutorials on their website and on YouTube.

 

I definitely won't be considering an SP as I know that it won't meet my goals.  Top of the line Surface Book or Surface Laptop is where I think I'm headed.  Probably a 13.5 inch so that it still fits in my existing case and satchel.  The size doesn't really bother me given 85% of my time is in my office where the Surface is closed and connected to my Surface Dock.  That's also why I think I'll stick with a Surface over other products i.e. I don't really want to swap out my dock which works brilliantly as it is.

 

 

 

MikeAqua:

 

I've never used the BI software.  However, I used to do some fairly grunty number crunching in R (stochastic business modelling for example).  I found my SP3/4 (I can't remember which model, as that was in my last job, but it was the top model at the time of purchase) struggled a bit. 

 

These days I have a laptop and it runs comparatively demanding tasks much more quickly.

 

 

 


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