Laptop: Microsoft Surface Book

I purchased one of these Surface Books the first week they were released. I loved the look and feel of the device; it certainly was different than anything else on the market and felt like a premium device.

SBookBut then I turned it on and began using it and ran into issues. In fact, it was so frustrating to use, I exchanged it for a trusty Surface Pro 4. My thanks to Best Buy for being so easy to work with on the exchange.

As a laptop, it feels a bit bulky because the hinge adds unnecessary depth. It’s still a good size, but hinge design just makes it feel bigger than it is, especially compared with the hinges on other competitors. The hinge also allows too much wobble, IMO, when using the touchscreen in laptop mode.

As a tablet, it feels even more bulky and unwieldy. You can’t exactly keep the tablet portion in a case to make handling easier, since it normally sits mounted to the keyboard. It doesn’t have a fold-out stand like the SP4 does, which makes it easier to hold and balance in tablet mode.

Further, the screen would routinely lock up when either removed or returned to the keyboard. It was incredibly frustrating.

Basic specs:

  • Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 3GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: Intel HD graphics 520; Nvidia GeForce graphics (1GB GDDR5 high-speed memory)
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi) PixelSense Display
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe3.0 SSD
  • Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, SD card reader, mini headphone/mic combo jack
  • Connectivity: 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • Camera: Windows 8MP rear-facing auto-focus camera (1080p HD), 5MP front-facing Hello face-authentication camera (1080p HD)
  • Weight: 3.48 pounds (1.58kg)
  • Size: 12.3 x 9.14 x 0.51-0.90 (W x D x H) (312 x 232 x 13-22.8 mm)

I blame most of the problems with the SBook on the fact W10 was not ready for prime time when the device was released. I presume most of the problems have since been corrected, but I can only review based on my experience.

In terms of positives, the keyboard is the best laptop keyboard I have ever used, and I absolutely loved the trackpad. The screen is large and displays a gorgeous picture. The SBook is very fast and chewed easily through any program – as long as it didn’t freeze up.

I wanted to love the SBook. But the fact is, it was so frustrating that I had to return it. I hope it’s better now.

Putting a final review rating is hard because I truly believe the laptop is much better now than when I tried it. Unfortunately, my experience was so bad that I feel I’d be making excuses and lying if I gave it anything close to a positive review even though some aspects (for instance the keyboard) were fabulous.

Final: Hate (regretfully)

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