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Is Microsoft's Surface Book i5 still worth it a year a later?

Xbox One controller PC use

Xbox One controller PC use (Image credit: Windows Central)

It was about a year ago that I picked up my very own Surface Book. It had just launched in the UK, and at the time I didn't really have any money saved to shell out for a super spec'd out model of Microsoft's first laptop. I had two options: be patient and wait until I had the money for a high-end Surface Book, or shell out for the lowest-end Surface Book right away. I did the latter because I have no patience.

The lowest-end model that I purchased is rocking an Intel Core i5, with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. It's by no means a powerhouse, but at the time I didn't care. I was just happy to be part of the Surface Book family, experiencing that incredible craftsmanship coming from the Surface engineering team. I was a big fan of the Surface Pro 4, but I much preferred the Surface Book form factor.

It's been an entire year since then, which I think is plenty long enough to get used to and familiar with a device. I've been using the Surface Book as my primary laptop for basically 98 percent of that year, so it's been used enough to be considered old. How has it held up throughout the year? And is it still worth it? I've had many people ask me to do a follow-up post detailing my Surface Book experience, so here it is.

Surface Book hardware and design

The Surface Book is an incredibly beautiful device. It's a unique looking laptop, and that's a good thing. At first, the oddly shaped hinge wasn't something that I was a fan of, but after a few weeks of using the Surface Book it grew on me. At first, I was worried that it'd allow dust and other things to get caught between the screen and keyboard when closed, but the reality is that just doesn't happen.

What has happened, however, is over time my Surface Book became slightly bent. This is an odd issue that not many people appear to have suffered from, but about six months into using my Surface Book, I noticed that the screen no longer laid flush on a flat surface. It's almost as if someone stood or sat on the Surface Book while it was closed, causing the magnesium chassis to bend slightly. (I didn't, I promise.)

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What I believe may have caused it is stacking one or two other laptops on top of it. I often get a lot of laptops and devices in for review, and sometimes to save space I just pile a few of them on top of each other. This usually isn't much of an issue, but I wasn't thinking about the Surface Book's odd hinge, where the screen doesn't sit flush with the base, meaning weight can push down onto it and allow it to bend slightly. It's an unfortunate design flaw, but one that not many people will encounter.

At first, the slight bend was just a cosmetic issue and didn't hinder my use of the device, but over the last few weeks I've been noticing some oddities with the touch screen. I believe it's due to the bend, but the touch digitizer keeps seeing touch input in places I'm not actually touching. Sometimes it'll happen randomly when typing away, other times it'll happen whenever I'm interacting with the touch screen. It doesn't happen all the time, but I've noticed this odd behavior more than once.

I've also noticed a few dents here and there, likely from accidently bashing my bag on things when traveling or dropping my phone onto it. They're not incredibly noticeable, but they are there. These dents don't hinder usability or performance in any way and are just cosmetic. Everything else is working perfectly fine. The hinge itself still performs great and hasn't lost any stiffness. The detach mechanism still works fine. Even the keyboard and trackpad have held up incredibly well, which is great news.

Performance

Since I got the low-end Surface Book, I was worried that performance would be an issue. At first, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Surface Book handled itself under heavy load. The Intel Core i5 Skylake CPU along with 8GB of RAM handled most of the tasks I threw at it without any issues, but it wasn't good at every single thing I hoped I'd be able to do.

As my Surface Book doesn't have a dedicated GPU, doing screen recordings for software build videos is essentially a no-go without dropping the screen resolution dramatically, and even then you can't guarantee a smooth 60 frames per second (FPS) recording. What's more, it's basically impossible to edit any video in Premiere Pro over 4K, but luckily most of the video editing I do is with 1080p video.

Handling 1080p video is much better, but it isn't perfect. As this is an i5 with 8GB of RAM, you're definitely going to want to not be multitasking when editing any kind of video. Otherwise, you'll notice some slow-downs. What's more, rendering time is not fast at all. In short, if I ever need to do any video editing, I always opt for a more powerful laptop or my desktop instead of my Surface Book. This isn't an issue you'll encounter with the higher-end Surface Book models, and definitely not with the Performance Base.

So who is this low-end Surface Book model for? It's for people who don't do much creativity work. It can handle Photoshop and other drawing apps, but it won't handle video editing or 3D animation programs all that well. For most of my usage scenarios, the low-end Surface Book does absolutely fine. I'm a writer, so usually the most I'm doing at any given time is typing up a document in Word while browsing the web with a few tabs in Edge and listening to Music. I often have OneDrive doing file syncs in the background and Slack running minimized.

For people using their laptop like that, the low-end Surface Book is perfect. It's a great device for "work" and an even better one for people like students, who won't demand a lot from their laptops anyway.

Microsoft

Microsoft (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

I have noticed that some websites like TweetDeck cause Edge to hang and crash often on the low-end Surface Book, especially when using Edge with multiple tabs. However, that's more due to the fact that TweetDeck is a poorly optimized web page, and most other websites are handled just fine with the low-end Surface Book.

You can do some light gaming on the Surface Book i5, but I mean seriously light gaming. Unless you enjoy playing AAA titles at the lowest possible resolution and low-quality settings, I wouldn't recommend trying to play any serious games on the low-end Surface Book. It can handle games such as Halo: Spartan Assult and GTA: San Andreas fine, but anything that requires pushing the graphics card is just not going to run well.

Surface Book final thoughts

So how has the Surface Book held up over the last year? Admirably. Sure, there were times in which I wish I had opted for the more powerful Surface Book, and if I were given the chance again I'd absolutely wait until I had the money to grab the high-end model. But for most of what I do, the low-end model has held up incredibly well.

It held up less well hardware-wise but not to the point in which the Surface Book doesn't work. A few dents here, a bend or so there, and the touch digitizer is a little finicky, but everything still works. I've still got a few weeks left on my hardware warranty, so I'll likely be able to trade in my Book for a new one if the touch-digitizer issue continues to act up.

I don't use the Surface Pen at all, and that's likely because I'm not really someone who needs the pen to get my work done. I'm not an artist or an animator, and I knew that when purchasing the Surface Book. Admittedly, the Surface Book is still a one-of-a-kind device when it comes to that 2-in-1 laptop with a pen form-factor, and the Surface Book arguably does pen-integration the best.

The question I keep asking myself: "Do I recommend the Surface Book in 2017?" I don't think so. That's not because the Surface Book is bad, because it isn't. If you're a pen user, the Surface Book is probably a great option for you. I'm almost certain the high-end model will be able to get done whatever task you need it to, but I'm just not sure I can recommend a year-old device, with an Intel SkyLake CPU, for the price you still have to pay for it. The Surface Books haven't really come down in price all that much since they launched, meaning you're essentially paying for a SkyLake laptop as if it were brand new on the market.

For example, the top-end, non-performance-base Surface Book costs around $3,200. That's an incredibly pricey laptop. That top-end Surface Book gives you an Intel Core i7 SkyLake dual-core CPU with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB storage drive. Meanwhile, Dell is selling the XPS 15, with an Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake quad-core CPU with 32GB RAM and 1TB Storage for around $2,500. That's a $700 difference for a generation-old device, and a less-powerful one at that.

It's the same story even at the low-end of the spectrum. Here in the UK, I paid £1,299 for my Surface Book with an Intel Core i5 SkyLake, 8GB RAM and 128GB Storage. For slightly less than that price, I can get a Dell XPS 13 with an Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake, 8GB RAM and 256GB Storage. You get more performance and storage, and a higher-resolution (4K) screen too.

So, I can't recommend the Surface Book right now, especially at the prices Microsoft continues to sell it. If prices came down a bit, I'd definitely reconsider. When Microsoft releases the Surface Book 2, I'm sure these prices will be justifiable again, but until then, I'd buy something else. If you don't care about my opinion on the matter, you can check out the Surface Book at Microsoft's website.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

72 Comments
  • I don't own a Surface Book but seems like a cool device not for me tho, I think my HP is amazing still. But looking forward for surface book 2...
  • I own a hp x360 really good 2 in 1
  • What some people DON'T understand is that, that hinge allows for a smooth flow of the hot air (from exhaust vents) when the display is closed and the laptop is being used for gaming or heavy editing on a LARGER display.
    .
    You can set it up like that.
  • @AbhiWindows10 Finally someone that brings sense to it...  I too was undecided with the gap design but after getting the SB i7,16,512,dGPU model this past November, I have fallen in love with it... (even after various puzzling issues). I researched a lot before getting it and I read that the hinge was strong enough to hold KIDS weight (not on a daily basis) by anecdotic experience... so I took the chance.... and to be fair, I haven't mistreated my Book nor have I added excessive weight to it... but I really appreciate this article for warning us about something we need to consider... though I don't think of it as a design flaw. In fact, the only hardware design flaw I see on the Surface Book (besides the headphone jack position which might as well be a limitation by the Muscle wire location) is the fact that the body WILL get scratched overtime with the magnetic plug of the charger.... so knowing this after using a Surface Pro 3 I placed a couple of pieces of transparent TAPE to the sides of the connector so the plug will rest over them instead. I got my Surface Book for  US$ 2200 and I would loved to be able to get the Performance Base, however for my needs which are 3D mechanical/industrial design, and office use it is perfect after tweaking.... I will try to upgrade when the design incorporates Thunderbolt 3 which in my opinion is the missing component to the perfect formula. They should replace the Surface Connector in both the Tablet portion and the base for USB Type C - Thunderbolt 3 and that's it (obviously upgrading internals as well)...  
  • We have 2 Surface Book in my household: wife uses a Core i5, 8GB, 256GB SSD, dGPU and I use a Performance Base Core i7, 16GB, 512GB. Wife is non-techie, upgraded from her MacBook Air to the SB and is very happy with it. It does all the browsing, email and Office work she does admirably and she loves flipping the screen around for browsing the web.  Myself, on the other hand, have been happy with the performance of the device, but not thrilled. Some applications such as Adobe Lightroom are less than snappy on it, video editing at 1080p works really well but at 4K things get a bit hotter and slower, Photoshop is sort of the same when using complex filters or tools and so on. For Visual Studio and running virtual machines, it works well. I have looked at the top-of-range XPS 15 a few times and feel very tempted but I'm now too used to the touchscreen and pen support so I can't bring myself to drop it all for a more traditional laptop.  I'm waiting to see what Microsoft has in store for the next Surface Book. I'd like a quad-core chip, better GPU, 32GB of RAM and Thunderbolt 3. If they tick those boxes I'd be happy to hand over my money. The quad-core CPU is unlikely to happen tho. Right now there isn't a laptop on the market that is a total no-brainer for me (regardless of OS). If someone would mash the functionality of the Surface Book with the internals of the XPS 15 I'd rush to give them my money.
  • You dont have to wait - HP Spectre X360 15t - All of your requirements (save for maybe quad core, but a Kaby i7 is no problem) and you can have it TODAY with great pen support, great touch reviews, and a MUCH more palatable costs with more screen real estate.
  • Yeah, the Spectre X360 seems great but its spec falls short of my needs in a few ways: I need 1 Tb of storage and 32GB RAM. 16GB/512GB are not sufficient for my needs any longer (Visual Studio 2017 alone consumes nearly 10% of that storage). Also, I don't understand the choice of GPU. The GeForce 940MX is a significant downgrade from the 965M that I have on the SBwPB and now given that Pascal options are available, I would be reluctant to get a Maxwell chip.
  • Thanks for this article, it is very useful to me as I will be looking to buy my son a new one as a graduation present for high school.  
    I want to get him a good laptop for college. He had his heart set on a Surface book.
  • Nice! Could you adopt me?
  • As a student with an entry level Surface Book, I couldn't be happier. Basically you just have know know the limitations of the hardware before buying one. The build quality is amazing and the user experience is smooth as butter but anybody who knows anything about hardware shouldn't expect to be able to do GPU intensive tasks like 4k video editing without a dedicated card.
    That being said if your son is looking to study a field that would require such tasks, a Surface Book may not be ideal but if he is just doing standard work like taking notes, browsing the web, ect., the entry level book is more than powerful enough.
    It can even play many less graphically intensive games fine.
  • If its for Graduation and you're willing to pay today's prices, have a look at the Spectre X360 13t first for the specs and comparable functionality, and please wait for the Surface Book 2 to "surface" (heh) before the end of the school year powered by Kaby Lake and other improvements in design. If he wants the Surface over the HP because of the Mac-like prestige of the Surface, maybe the Spectre doesn't make as great of a gift, but it IS a better machine, especially when compared to the non-dGPU model of the Book. The Spectre 15 has a discreet GPU option if he wants a large machine, but I wouldn't recommend it for the college-bound.
  • I own the same configuration and i can say it holds up pretty well. Ive had my i5 Surface Book since release which might well be over 13 months and i can say the hardware has held up well. I notice my device has a subtle curve to it on the base and a few dents around the Microsoft emblem on the rear, but at the end of the day from just a few inches away it still looks like a brand new device. Its holds up well over time. But. I suggest everyone to opt for dGPU configurations(esp. Perf Base) or wait for the next iteration.
  • A few weeks left of warranty? Send it today.....please.
  • I wonder if they would replace the device under warranty when they see that it's bent. It might even be why the digitizer is acting up.
  • Depends if a design issue causes the bend - Remember all of those iPhone 6's? If they see it a lot or there's a bulletin on it they just might.
  • Thanks for the article. I am interested in getting a base Book for college use. I just love the premium design and the ability to turn the screen around and write on it. I don't need a dGpu, just a fast computer for office docs and groove.
  • Thanks for the article. I am interested in getting a base Book for college use. I just love the premium design and the ability to turn the screen around and write on it. I don't need a dGpu, just a fast computer for office docs and groove.
  • I am not an HP employee, but if you don't need dGPU you should really look at the Dell and HP offerings - The XPS13 and the Spectre x360 13 are much higher specced (sans GPU) and offer more bang for buck.
  • Very insightful article. Thanks. Now as far as exchanging your Book for a "new" one because it's still under warranty, I'm not sure if you'll actually get a "new" one. I recently went to a MS store to exchange a Surface pen and a SP4. The pen had stopped pairing and the SP4 no longer recognized the micro SD card. The tech guy did some diagnostic work and ultimately decided to exchange them. The "new" pen and SP4 were packaged in plain brown boxes. They gave me the items, but kept the brown boxes. I asked if the items were refurbished. The guy gave me a hesitant look and said, "No, they're new, but they don't have boxes. They're for replacements." So, I'm still a little unsure if they're really brand new. They look new (no blemishes), but the SP4 they gave me has a much lower S/N than my old one (indicating it was manufactured way before mine). Anyone on this thread with experience on MS "replacements" parts, please chime in :-)
  • Doesn't really matter right? So far it's 'practically' identical to a new one, I think that's fine...
  • Yes, knock on wood. I've only had these replacement items for a little over a week. Hopefully, they'll hold up fine. I just don't want people to go in there with the wrong expectations when exchanging stuff still under warranty and thinking they're gonna get a brand spanking new item off the shelf.
  • From working in repare shops for many years I know that most devices, when used as replacement, sent to repair and even stores, come as brown box . It saves the mfg. lots of money in the long run. Having said that some manufactures simply tell the stores to "pull sales items" especially when they're not a common replacement.
  • Based on your experience, the replacement items that come in brown cardboard boxes, are they new? Or are they refurbished?
  • Ah, the MicroSD card issue. Every Surface I ever owned would randomly stop reading the cards when resuming from sleep, requiring a reboot to get them back. It made it impossible to put any OS-critical folders on that storage (like Library folders). I eventually gave up. You'll find some long threads on Microsoft support forums about it. 
  • Unfortunately this is very true. This was the second SP4 I had to exchange because it didn't recognize the microSD card. The first one I bought during last Black Friday didn't recognize the card right out of the box. So, I exchanged it within a week and they gave me a brand new one off the shelf. It lasted for about 3 months and stopped recognizing the card again. This time it was over 30 days, so they gave me a "new replacement" in a brown cardboard box. Though they denied it was refurbished and used the term "replacement" to describe it, I'm now convinced it's not new. I just inspected it very carefully 10 minutes ago and could clearly see minor blemishes  on the back side of the display from a certain angle. I missed them at the store last week because I only briefly glanced over it. A little disappointed because my old SP4 was only 3 months old and in pristine condition due to all the skin that I slapped on it. Also disappointed that their tech guy told me the microSD card was not a common problem when I know that's not true.
  • It's been a problem since the original Surface Pro and RT. I would have suspected it was a problem with Windows, but I had an XPS 10 that never had this problem. I want to like MS hardware, but it's problems like this (and the type cover not always detecting on resume) that keep me on the outside looking in. 
  • Those exchange items they give are new, but lack the fancy packaging.  That's why they're for replacements.  Also, quite often they'll only give you a replacement for the part of your device that actually needs replacing, rather than an entirely new device.  A phone for example.  They'll give you a new phone without a backplate as they figure you can use your old backplate.  So they have all these replacement parts stocked separately for that purposely specifically.
  • Yes, they gave me a SP4 replacement and even kept the brown cardboard box. No accessories whatsoever like you said. Had to use my old power cord. And I totally understand why there's no fancy packaging since these items are for replacements only. It's a cost saving move. I feel better you said the exchange items are new, but how do you know that? Prior retail sales experience?
  • No, I've never worked there but I visit my local Microsoft store often.  Mostly for purchases, but I've also had two phones replaced and two bands, so I ask a lot of questions.
  • They're likely "service stock" parts/units that were manufactured as part of an earlier batch but aren't distributed as quickly. If they were refurbished, I believe they're required to state so on the brown boxes or on a label on the device. Besides, if they solve your problem, look great, and the warranty status on that earlier serial number is sound, who cares?
  • I had similar phantom touch issues on an original Surface RT. I kept thinking it would go away, but it got worse. MS replaced and I never had it again. I would definitely use the warranty before its up on that issue.
  • My mother's Surface RT has this issue. Unfortunately, it never got returned. So we just have to restart the tablet when this happens. She's pretty unsatisfied with it.
  • My wife has had her SB for about 4 months now and loves it. No problems, does all she needs. She was always going to get a Mac but is very happy to have gotten this. She uses the pen and loves the touch screen and different form factors. I feel a little jealous of it must say, but very happy with my Pro 4 used with Surface Keyboard via Bluetooth. She was able to pick it up for almost 25% off because of specials and company based discount, so - very happy. It's very difficult to think of owning another laptop that doesn't have the flexibility of use that these machines have, including the pen. Like, yesterday I took my SP4 and my foldable keyboard and pen (have a nice leather holder for the pen) and my 650 to a café to do some work. I had to write using word, and do some drawings (plans), and that awesome low tilt angle allows perfect sketching. I just couldn't see another device that can do all this!!!!! 🤓
  • I simply can't buy another portable device without an active pen (i.e. 2-in-1). Having owned the original Surface Pro for over 2 years now, I can safely say it has transformed my life and the way I work, particularly in my design research (working on chip designs...). Schematics, ideas, rough drafts, equations, plots etc. These are things I do every day. OneNote+Surface has become the ultimate engineering tool!
  • quick question please, answer would be appreciated.   i currently have a lenovo ideapad 305 INTEL CORE I3, 4GB RAM, 500GB. i want to get this exact surface(soon). considering football manager 17(i play often) runs okay in 3d on my current laptop, would it run fine on the the lowest spec'd surface book? not really that knowledgeable about the whole graphics card topic.  thanks 
  • no
  • how comes?
  • Sorry that was my knee jerk answer.  The lowest spec Surface Book should run Football Manager 17 at least as well as your current laptop does, but if you want optimal in-game processing and graphics performance, you should get a laptop that has a dedicated/discrete GPU.  The dGPU handles virtually all the graphics processing while the CPU resources are able to more efficiently handle all the other instructions for the non-graphical processing.  The Nvidia GTX 965M is mediocre, but much better than sole reliance on the "integrated" Intel "HD" graphic processing instructions that are a part of the CPU's functionality.
  • hmm, thanks. really surprising that it wouldnt run better than my current laptop. i mean i currently play matches in 3D fine etc, only problem is loading time multitasking, which i always assumed was due to the ram 
  • I italicized "should" because I don't know how you will be using the Surface Book while gaming.  Sorry for any confusion.  The lowest spec Surface Book will most likely run the game better than your current laptop and should load games faster, however, since the i5 does not hyperthread, multitasking should be done at a minimum if you will be buying an i5 Surface Book that has no dGPU.
  • I really hope to see that hinge killed on the SB2. Not only does it look atrocious, apparently it also poses a structural problem to the durability of the device.   That said, I personally still don't see the point of the Surface Book for most people. It's worse than a laptop (though equally expensive) but not that much better than the Surface Pro line although much heavier. I still rather recommend the Surface Pro to anyone looking for a machine to do Office work or simply browse the web, see email and all that jazz. It's great, it's light, it doesn't have the ugly hinge and it's cheaper. And you get an array of colours for the type cover which allows you to at least make it a bit more yours.
  • But some people still want that 'laptop first' design, but with the option of truly becoming a 'standalone pen+tablet'. I think it's more for people that use it in laptop mode most of the time, but have important tablet mode uses. An example is a Professor I know in my research lab - he uses it as a laptop all the time, except during his class lectures where he uses it to annotate projected lecture notes in real time. He swears that the Surface Book has changed his life lol. He really wants only a laptop, but that tablet+pen mode is indispensable for his lectures. I think that is the ideal SB use case.
  • I have wondered why no industrious company ever tried to make a laptop base for the Surface. There have long been keyboard bases that turn iPads into basically hinged laptops. One for Surface would have been awesome and could have solved the "lapability" issue long ago for those that really needed it. 
  • There is! Check out out.
  • I really like the hinge design.  Hope they keep it.
  • I prefer Lenovo's "watchband" hinge. 
  • I could be mistaken, but...  Pretty sure your high-end comparison is looking at a 1TB SSD in the SB amd a 1TB 5400RPM HDD in the XPS.  You'd also likely be losing half of your battery life with the higher-class chip in the XPS. (I have the XPS, and love it, but I really want to upgrade the drive to an SSD.)
  • I went with i5 for the battery life
  • About what I expected for a year old device. I bet the touch screen issues is definitely the bent chassis.  We own several Surface devices (Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and even an old Surface RT) and all devices work perfectly still. Okay, well RT can't hold a charge for long, but on the Surface 3 we did have a strange issue with what could be described as ghost inputs.  It detected touch or pressure changes that weren't happening. It was like having a palm touch pad and typing and having the cursor fly all over the place or subtly at inconvenient times.  Turns out the screen was installed incorrectly and didn't align with the chassis properly. We noticed the sight bend/ alignment problem after a few weeks of use but chalked it up to rugged use.  Nope, manufacturing.  BestBuy replaced it no problem.  We don't have the Surface 3 anymore and I can't find the darned pictures. But I would certainly make use of that warranty if you still have it!
  • I run SQL Server 2016 and Visual Studio 2015 on my Core i5, 4GB, 128 GB Surface Pro 3 with Windows 10 Pro, and it still performs great. Any Surface Book is still definitely worth it.
  • I bought the lowend Surface Book recently for my legal work which is mostly dealing with large PDFs and Word files. I'd highly recommend it for that kind of work. The lack of a gpu doesn't matter and you get a far better typing experience than the surface pro keyboards plus you get the extra refinement of the Surface line vs other laptops. The docking experience alone was worth the cost to me.
  • Got the Surface Book (i7/8GB RAM/256GB) over the holidays when prices were actually decent and I love it every day. Came from a 5-yr old low end ASUS PC... Needless to say this is a welcomed upgrade.
  • Is it sad that I am waiting two more years to buy the this on the cheap! Cheap!?
  • Agree with you
  • I purchased this model after having a Surface 3 for the purpose of editing 1080p video using Adobe Premiere Elements. I typically had been editing video on a Mac Mini with Final Cut Pro X. But I wanted a mobile solution and at work I use exclusively Windows applications. So I wanted a device that I use for play i.e video editing and to do my real job all on one device.  I will say after editing Final Cut Pro X with a Mac Mini with 4GB of ram and it doing so without rendering issues. I'm a little disappointed that with 8GB of ram on my Surface Book I have dropped frames and slow rendering times with Adobe Premiere Elements and this isn't Premiere Pro. Now in defense of this device Adobe Premiere software is not optimized to run well on PC without discrete graphic cards where as Final Cut is optimized to run well on OSX. However if I had to do it over again; I'd probably would have either spent more for a SB with dGPU or a cheaper Dell XPS option. I purposedly went with the SB because I knew that Microsoft would always provide timely updates and features on it's own hardware. Oh also I find myself not using the Pen much on the the SB; but I did use the Pen more when I had the Surface 3; probably because it was a smaller screen (10 inch). I only detach the clipboard screen to use the Texture app to read magazines; so I don't use it detached as much as I thought that I would. I think part of it is when detach it doesn't have the kickstand like the Surface 3 or Pro 4 has. If they could some how incorporate the kickstand with the Surface Book 2 that would be cool.          
  • Umm, I've been using full Premiere Pro on a Surface Pro 3 to edit 1080p video for over 2 years and have never dropped a frame. Ever.
  • Amazing
  • He said Surface 3, not Pro.
  • Actually he was talking about his experience editing video on a surface book i5 with 8GB RAM, which is more powerful than the surface pro 3 and therefore should not have those kinds of problems, given that the surface pro 3 does not
  • Me: Brit, 69, working abroad, currently in Bosnia till April next year.  I am not into video or heavy graphics work, just performance analysis and reporting for water utilities. I got my Surface Pro 3 (i5, 8 Gb RAM, 256 Gb SSD) in July 2015, happy with it, though I bought a SP4 keyboard later, definitely better.  At the time of purchase I had a 2013 Lenovo Yoga that developed spots on the screen and and which the UK distributor refused to take back.  This Lenovo has been passed on to family. I then realised that working abroad - mainly in developing countries, and the odd conflict zone - I would have a problem if my SP3 needed repair or even investigation. My one-man business can only afford a bottom of the range Surface Book which I bought in December 2016.  So far I am happy with it and it meets my needs for spreadsheet work, presentations, Visio diagrams and the like.  A lot of my data is stored on OneDrive, and I do make a regular backup of the SB SSD. I tend to be a bit neurotic about the way I care for my IT kit, spares etc.  My SB goes into a zipped, padded Gearmax sleeve, the SP3 into a Maroo slip case, and both fit into the rear compartment of my STTM Haven work backpack, which itself has external padding for the back. I tend to use the SP3 during journeys for watching films, video clips, both that and the SB have microSD cards for leisure, music etc. I do find I am making more use of OneNote and the Pen, useful. The Surface Book is a nice piece of kit, but I may not need a more powerful notebook again as I look to start wining down.  
  • What is the price of Surface Book core i5??
  • They commonly run sales for it for $1500, which is what I paid for it at BestBuy.
  • Many people like me are the biggest fan of Microsoft but the Microsoft products like Surface Book, surface pro 4 are still out of our approach and we can't buy them as these products are very expensive
  • Microsoft I hope creates a cheaper but good product line of Tablet /laptop hybrids like the Surface Pro Tablets. Microsoft says they wants to reach out to people and give them the tools to be creative but their Surface Devices cost too much for some people. The discontinued Atom CPU "Surface 3" was not a powerful Computer but it could run MS office OK and surf the Web, play netflix OK it did basic computer stuff. it cost way cheper than an entry level Surface Pro 3. hopefully ARMS CPU Windows tablets running full Windows 10 with Microsoft's new X86 Emulation software will be cheaper to buy and work well enough to use.  
  • The amount of times I see "I don’t use the pen" is unbelievable. Or “the pen is a gimmick” I am not a graphic designer, I run shopping malls for a living and I own a surface pro 3.  I bought the surface pro 3 because of the pen! What I don’t own now is well a “pen” or a “pad of paper”, I make all of my scribbles on the surface.  I take meeting minutes on my surface Pro and then have OneNote type up my notes in an instant using handwriting recognition. 10 minutes to format and hey the minutes are ready to publish.  Or I just take notes form my own benefit. I have made some custom pdf templates for new projects or task that I write on and it feels so natural.  You are really missing the trick here. I cannot afford the cost of a surface book or even the new super doper studio, but if I could I would buy them all because of the pen
  • best laptop ever when i got it and i can't imagine not having it to use the last year and a half.  probably not the best laptop out there today though.
  • I've got the Surface Book Core i7 + GPU since about 1 year. Using it 12 hours a day.  Simply the best laptop I ever had. Using it as a tablet at least 10 hours per week. And I use quite often the pen. Great for collaboration with screen sharing during skype sessions. It's really fun to see the apple fan boys looking at my PC, and being deceived when I detach the screen and I show that's it is also way better than any iPad.        
  •   Ok, I read this article and it's all nice and all...but how on earth can the end conclusion be that it is a descent device that is still holding up? You paid £1,299 ​for it and it is bent! Touch screen is having issues....and the touch screen is one of the main reasons to favor a Surface Book over a MacBook Pro. I see this more often: people claiming to be happy with their Microsoft Surface products and not understanding why people complain so much. But if you dig a little deeper you see those people have similar issues, but just don't seem to bother as much. These are issues that would be annoying but acceptable if you run into them on a Xiaomi Notebook Air that you bought on Aliexpress. But not for a Microsoft product at this price. I would be pretty much p*#ed off! Typed this on my Surface 3. The fourth one in a year. This one is about to be replaced as well because of the same issue. This is remarkably cheaper than a Surface Book and still I am not happy with what I get for what I paid....
  • Isn't the touchscreen/bent screen issue alone a reason not to recommend it? How about software issues like battery drain while sleeping a problem too (more than a year after initial release they are still releasing driver updates to improve the battery: it appears it's not 100% working after that time).
  • The battery drain while sleeping issue was a huge problem when I bought my i5 back in August. I'd take it out of my backpack piping hot and nearly drained after coming home from work/school every day.  I am happy to say, though, that one of the updates somewhere along the line corrected the issue for me; I'm really happy with sleep mode's power economy today.
  • I bought the same entry level model about 7 months ago. I have some small dings, but it's definitely not bent. As an artist's tool, the Surface Book is priced fairly. The large drawing surface is incredible, and well worth the price of admission. Its not a laptop, but Microsoft's interpretation of the Asus Transformer. If you don't plan to use the tablet portion, Pen, or touchscreen often, you won't get your monies worth. Look elsewhere. My issue is the "Muscle Metal" connection. Tilting the surface book on its side makes it think the clipboard has been detached, even though it isn't.
  • I'd say so given that I'm on a 128GB SP2 and it still runs like a dream!