Surface Book reviews

I’m keeping an extremely close eye on all things Microsoft lately. I’ve even stated, publicly, that I think if they continue on their current course they are going to be beating Apple on several fronts within half a decade.

One product out of Redmond I’m watching closely is the new Surface Book. Even though today is the day they are supposed to be out, most stores that carry Microsoft products do not have them. Not even for display. Even Microsoft’s own retail stores only have them on display and you can’t buy one yet. (This information came from multiple calls to multiple stores, not from me physically visiting one.)

As the embargo on reviews has seemingly been lifted the reviews are pouring in. I’ve read/watched a few so far… notably Norman Chan’s, Mr Mobile’s, Dan Seifert’s and Dana Wollman’s. Go read/watch their reviews.

Here are a few other details I’ve picked up:

  • The new Surface Book isn’t new. But the base, or keyboard, is. The Performance Base, as MSFT calls it, comes with a GPU now and it didn’t before. There are also a few subtle configurations that are different now.
  • The Surface Book gets no where near the battery life that Microsoft claims. The only reviewer that got anywhere close to the same battery life as Microsoft claims was Dana Wollman at Engadget. And this was only because she set up the Surface Book simply to play video rather than do any real tasks. Norman Chan and MrMobile both got abysmal battery life.
  • Apple catches a lot of flak for the MacBook Pros doing away with ports, but the Surface Book is also lacking many of the ports you’d want on it. It rather relies on a proprietary port and a $200 box you can use to extend the port offerings.
  • When gaming (which I never do) it gets pretty hot.

I was very eager to purchase the new Surface Book. I was ready to trade in my MacBook Pro and get one today, actually. But I’m glad I didn’t after these reviews. My excitement has been squashed a bit. It shows it pays to wait for the reviews to come out rather than rely on what Microsoft puts on display during their events.

So now I’m back to being truly torn. Do I purchase a new MacBook Pro or the Surface Book? I have no idea.

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