Monday, November 16, 2015

First impressions on the new Surface Book (and Windows 10 stuff)

Hi everyone!

I've now used the SurfaceBook for a little more than a week and I think it's time to write down some first impressions of using this for my work. As you might know my work mainly involves speaking to audiences and delivering training, and A LOT of travelling.

I can't help by first saying that I spend some time yesterday with the new iPad PRO at the local Apple Store. I honestly have no use for that device although I use an iPad in the living room with my family. Compared to Surface Pro 4 or especially the Book it just seems to lack in every aspect. It's VERY big and I just don't like the keyboard.. It just felt like something that wasn't really thought through..

Another thing that I was very pleased with was the actual change from my old computer to the new SurfaceBook. I was amazed on the amount of time it took me to really dump the old laptop. I'm used to working a day or two to get my own computer up and running exactly like I want it to. I can make my customers deploy computers in a matter of minutes but I've never enjoyed that experience on my own devices. Me and my wife are my company so I hope you give me some slack on this matter. This time everything was different and to my surprise I was totally migrated in two hours! How is this possible? Here's a short list:

  • Microsoft devices have a limited amount of bloatware
  • The change from Windows 10 Pro to Enterprise only requires the product key for enterprise and a few minutes to process
  • All my data is in the cloud
  • My Intune installs my needed software
  • Office migrates most of the settings automatically
  • UE-V migrates rest of my settings
Now for the first week with my SurfaceBook. This list of experiences is in no particular order but just as they happened to me and I took note of them. This also only applies to my profession only and I don't really test the GPU stuff that much. But here we go:

  1. I started instantly with a course to teach in the Netherlands. The most important thing here is the fact that I could ditch two devices and replace them with the Book. I used to have a Surface 3 just for drawing mid presentations and my Fujitsu S904 to run everything, I loved the fact I could again travel with one device only through the security checks etc. On the flight I just unplugged the keyboard so I could use it while taking off and landing.
  2. The battery seems to make through around 8 hours for me. The bad thing is that my old Surface 3 could be charged with micro-USB but this really didn't bother me as much as I first thought it might. I anyway needed a charger for my laptop already before this. The only minor thing that had to get instantly is a longer radio power cord. It's maybe two feet at max and I find myself all the time out of reach of an outlet.
  3. I took the SurfaceDock with me and I have to say it's the nicest dock I've had. Just plugging in the power plug and nothing else, seems slick and works very well.
  4. The first thing to note is that I instantly needed to take into use my old USB3 Hub + Ethernet. That is something I'm not too happy about. My Fujitsu was fine with no additional adapters but the Books two USB3 ports just isn't enough for me. And the Ethernet - Well I couldn't live without it. Luckily it's just one device:
  5. At this point I have to say that the Pen is AWESOME!! Nothing to add just perfect for me! And no charging it - I love it! And it snaps to the screen for storage - Nice! Some programs still need some training from my side for me to be fluent in using the pen in my trainings with just one device.
  6. Before the noon of the first day my display adapter had crashed a few times. It's not noticeable like it was in Windows 8.1 as there's no black screen - not even for a second. But this bugs me and I hope to get a new Firmware upgrade or a driver soon.
  7. I had to take the US keyboard.. For me there are two things that piss me off with it. 1. The lack of <>| button next to the Z key compared to the Nordic keyboard I normally use. 2. The different placement of the '-key and Enter. Writing PowerShell is hard for me - as if it wasn't hard enough with the Nordic keyboard already.
  8. I loved my Fujitsu for the fact it had a full size VGA and HDMI. These are after all the most important things in my profession. So in the morning the first thing on top of the USB3+Ethernet adapter was to plug in this: Luckily it has never failed me unlike the "HDMI to something". My trust in DisplayPort in these cases is many time greater that towards any other connectors.
  9. The touchpad is good compared to many. I do have some trouble in learning at what point exactly does it believe I'm clicking a button.. A bit too big an area is reserved for the buttons from the lower part of the pad - in my opinion.
  10. I'm currently preparing for my tomorrows TechMentor session on Windows 10 and I can't wait to get to show my new demo on Windows Hello without an external camera. This is awesome on a laptop! I would still like to have fingerprint reader as well but I've quickly learned to live without it as well. I actually already ordered this for demos as well:
  11. Next thing I figured I'm missing was the 4G WAN I had built-in before with the Fujitsu. I'll survive but it would be a nice add in. I lost the Wifi for some reason and that's when I figured this was missing.
  12. After teaching my normal life continued by hitting the gym of the hotel. The hinge and the mechanism keep me wondering time after time how they pulled it off. It's awesome but I have to say it has failed once already showing this message to me:
  13. When I got to the gym I only took the screen/tablet with me. The size of the screen is crazy! It's thin so it fits on the treadmill very nicely and it's amazing to look at. The screen is actually so nice that I felt bad carrying it in my sweaty hands when returning to my room. The BIGGEST smile I must have had when I placed the tablet on the treadmill and it just said "Hello Sami Laiho - Welcome!" The Windows Hello feature works in this scenario - better than anything I've had :)
  14. Talking to family on Skype I can say that the Mic, Camera and Loudspeakers are the best I've had in a long time.
  15. The amount of people approaching me in different places just to ask if they can take a look at the Book, and many of them being Apple users, I have to say I've never been as proud to carry a Windows laptop than I am now - Finally Microsoft is Cool!

Anyway it's easy to end by saying it's hands down my favorite Windows device ever!