Microsoft launches Surface Book 3
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- Microsoft launches Surface Book 3 with new Nvidia GPU options, up to 32GB of RAM, and faster SSDs
- Tom Warren
- May 6 2020
- Word count
- 1004 words
I used a Surface Book 2 for a while over the summer and I absolutely loved it, but I did run into power usage issues when Adobe After Effects was rendering a particularly complex scene. It would drain faster than it could charge.
It's kind of crazy that this thing ships with a 127 Watt charger for a laptop though. For reference, the 16-inch MBP ships with a 96 Watt charger.
It's easily the best Windows laptop I've ever used. If I wasn't such a fan of MacOS, it would be the Windows computer I would get.
They do cost a lot of money though.
This is some real competition for high-end MacBooks. Unfortunately it can't beat MacBooks' most infamous downside: Price. People often mention how ridiculously priced Macs are (they are!) but as soon as you go with quality parts, well, you're in the $2000+, $3000+ range! And if price isn't an issue, it becomes a much harder decision. I love macOS. Like, Apple continuously pisses me off, making me swear to never return every 5 years or so... but macOS is so good. I always come back, eventually.
Same here. I just like MacOS more than Windows. That's why I said in my other comment that I used one for a while over the summer. I ended up returning it and getting the 16-inch MBP instead. The model I got cost nearly $3,000 but I plan on keeping it for at least 4 or 5 years.
I think the car analogy misses a few key points. If you stayed using the exact same software as you got the computer with, never updating, the experience would not degrade. This is a little unreasonable because you probably need security updates, but it is possible. There are plenty of companies that still run old computers with windows xp, or even older operating systems and software. Those computers work the same as they ever did (not counting hardware failures).
Motor vehicles have been ‘mastered’ for a very long time. What I mean by that is all vehicles are pretty much interchangeable for a consumer in terms of physical performance. Now manufacturers compete with creature comforts, reliability, and other ancillary features. Computers, I think, have only recently achieved a similar situation. Any computer now with an ssd, about 4-8 gb ram, and a cpu that isn’t completely terrible will perform just fine for a majority of users. I think the ssd was the contributing factor of this change.
The biggest difference between these markets is that software requirements change over time. If roads got steeper every year, we would see a similar market for motor vehicles.
I honestly think we are to that point with computers. To clarify, I don’t thing we have mastered computer specs for everyone, just the average person. I have to use a variety of computers at work, but mostly just for light web browsing and office applications. Every single performance issue I have is either from domain issues or mechanical hard drives. With an ssd upgrade, something which pretty much every computer comes with by default now, there are no noticeable performance issues. Sure, some things need more power, but a typical workload does not.
I'm running an iMac from 2006, so that's not bad, though it's not a laptop. It doesn't run Catalina, so I'll likely replace it soon when Apple stops OS support.
I'm doubtful that you can get more life out of an expensive laptop than a cheap one due to the battery, but maybe it would work if you can replace the battery. It seems to me that refurbished Macs are a good deal since I bought my laptop that way and it was good as new. Maybe there are refurbished Surface Books?
On the other hand I'm not sure there is any rule that a laptop should cost less than a (used) car. That's what we're accustomed to but I use computers more, how about you?
I don't know, but if you mean the web, it seems like there a lot more animation and higher-resolution images than there used to be.
It's less a case of software degradation and more that newer software is taking advantage of more powerful components and specs(CPU, GPU, more RAM, SSD) and catering to newer devices. The devices without as much resources start having trouble with more modern software and no hardware to help it along.
That being said, it would be nice to upgrade a laptop piece by piece when certain components are needed instead of just trashing the entire thing and getting a new one. I do that with my desktop PC, but I am not restricted by weight and size and portability like a laptop.
I built my first PC in 2011. Only last year did I finally replace the CPU, motherboard, and RAM. I still have them sitting around, waiting to be used, and was toying with the idea of using it as low cost HTPC. I've replaced other components over the years as pieces have died (PSU, GPU, HDDs).
I didn't take your comment as dunking on me at all. I 100% agree with what you're saying for most people. First, I'll talk about my particular situation and then the larger market.
Some background: I have specific needs that most people do not. I do professional video production work, so I need a relatively powerful laptop to do my work. CPUs aren't advancing like they were 20 years ago, but there are still significant advances in GPUs that make things like editing raw 4k HDR video possible on a much more portable laptop. In 4 or 5 years, this laptop should still be perfectly functional but it might not be able to handle whatever video I'm shooting. If I can still use it then, I'll gladly keep it.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I thought about the tradeoffs that come with buying my current laptop - the fact that most of the parts are not user serviceable, the cost, the limited lifespan, etc - and decided that, for my needs, a MacBook Pro is what best fits. Luckily (with financing) I was able to afford it. My last computer was a 2014 15-inch MacBook Pro that I paid $1,300 for because I got it refurbished and during a pretty good sale.
Now, as for the market as a whole, you're right. The average consumer shouldn't need to update their computer that often. Hypothetically, as long as it still runs fine and can run the latest software, then you should be able to keep it running for quite a while.
But over the past decade, laptops (not just Apple laptops but all laptops) have integrated more and more parts onto the motherboard directly. That means that if your SSD dies, you can't just throw in a new one. Or, as with the previous generation of MacBook Pros, you break a key and have to replace the entire top half of the laptop. This obviously lessens the lifespan of a laptop.
To pull in your analogy to cars, the same thing is happening there. As more and more parts are consolidated and controlled by proprietary systems inside of a car, they become less and less repairable and therefore, the lifespan goes down.
But the low end of the computer market is still largely using discreet components that are modular and easier to replace individually. And honestly, for most people, a low end computer is more than enough. Most people just want to surf the web and you can do that on a $500 computer just as well as a $3,000 one.
My MBP is from 2012. I feel no pressure to upgrade, whatsoever, which is crazy for a laptop. The only issue is that I had a chance to upgrade my SSD, which I believe is no longer possible in the newer models. So the longevity argument is fading a little.