Surface Book Owners Thread

-Dragon-

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This is the first surface product I've received where BitLocker was enabled from the factory. Shame these Samsung NVMe drives have eDrive support...
 

tangoseal

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Reserved for my report when my arrives at Bestbuy on Thursday. I paid cash for it hours ago so I technically am an owner now.
 

heatlesssun

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Got my first battery results in. Been unplugged for right at 6 hours now and down to 8% battery. Sounds bad but I've been using it constantly, installed Office 2016, Alien Insurrection, MSG V Phantom and Bioshock Infinite while on battery and gamed for about 20 minutes total in MSG and Bioshock. I can't get Alien Insurrection to run, keeps crashing to the desktop on start up, having looked into it yet. And I've been surfing constantly and working in OneNote and Word.
 

Jerome36

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Got my first battery results in. Been unplugged for right at 6 hours now and down to 8% battery. Sounds bad but I've been using it constantly...

Yeah, obviously it all depends on how you're using it. It's funny, but two different reviews I watched both said they actually got 13 hours of life (Microsoft claims 12), doing continuous video playback, at 50% screen brightness.

Have you had any wifi connectivity issues? I heard one or two reviewers mention it, but I'm sure it's something Microsoft will fix with a quick firmware update... if it's even an issue anymore, since review units may have been out-dated.
 

heatlesssun

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Yeah, obviously it all depends on how you're using it. It's funny, but two different reviews I watched both said they actually got 13 hours of life (Microsoft claims 12), doing continuous video playback, at 50% screen brightness.

If all I had been doing was video playback I'm sure I'd have done a lot better than 6 hours.

Have you had any wifi connectivity issues? I heard one or two reviewers mention it, but I'm sure it's something Microsoft will fix with a quick firmware update... if it's even an issue anymore, since review units may have been out-dated.

None this far, I was able to download 3 large games from Steam with no issues. The only problem I've had thus far was with converting to drawing mode which is flipping the screen around and closing it down. Before I installed the fine are updates I was getting blue screens and after the updates the video driver would stop responding. seems to be better now.

Also, you detach the screen when the tablet battery is under 10%. It took about 10 minutes from my rundown to 6% to get enough charge to detach.
 

bman212121

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With the SP3 I was copying over an install of Office for someone from a network share, that is what made that device go flaky. I'd imagine they have that sorted but maybe a file transfer of some type from a fast storage device would tell if wireless is solid or not.

EDIT: The pictures look interesting. It almost makes it look like it's a 4:3 device with how tall the screen is.
 

StryderxX

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Got my Surface Book and right off the bat the Pen isn't working. I removed the plastic strip and made sure the polarity of the battery is correct but it never turns on. I even swapped the battery out with the battery from my Surface Pro 3 pen and still nothing. I'm also having an issue where the touchpad on the base just randomly freezes up.
 

Blackstone

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Stuck in recovery loop. Device is bricked. Link to recovery image on Microsoft site does not work! Worst launch experience in history. Useless. Worked GREAT for one hour then crashed!

And guess what I was doing of course when it crashed....yep, redocking to the base with the GPU.
 
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heatlesssun

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Got my Surface Book and right off the bat the Pen isn't working. I removed the plastic strip and made sure the polarity of the battery is correct but it never turns on. I even swapped the battery out with the battery from my Surface Pro 3 pen and still nothing. I'm also having an issue where the touchpad on the base just randomly freezes up.

Did you install the latest firmware: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49497
 

heatlesssun

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I have to manually install the firmware?

I think so. Windows Update did have a firmware package when I did the normal update routine but installing this did seem to resolve the BSOD issues I was having in tablet mode.
 

StryderxX

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I think so. Windows Update did have a firmware package when I did the normal update routine but installing this did seem to resolve the BSOD issues I was having in tablet mode.

You da man! The Pen and the mouse pad seem to be working great now. So weird that the out of the box experience sucked so bad. Right now things seem to be working well. Windows Hello is awesome and the display on the Surface Book is stunning. I'll keep testing and report back if I run into any new issues. :cool:
 

heatlesssun

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You da man! The Pen and the mouse pad seem to be working great now. So weird that the out of the box experience sucked so bad. Right now things seem to be working well. Windows Hello is awesome and the display on the Surface Book is stunning. I'll keep testing and report back if I run into any new issues. :cool:

Sweet, glad that worked. These were just released yesterday I heard about them on Winbeta. The reviews from last week also mentioned that this firmware was with the release of the new Surface devices today. Not sure why this wasn't part of Windows update. There was a firmware update as part of the update but it looks like these updates weren't rolled into WU yet. The BSODs were a very disconcerting today, kind of made the drawing mode useless. I did encounter another one this evening but that as my fault. I've been at the kitchen table and I got some of a placemat in between the keyboard and tablet when I docked it at one point. So yeah, don't do that. It screwed up my install of Visual Studio which I'm redoing now.

Looks like recharge is pretty quick, took 2.5 hours from 6% to full while using the machine. I imagine it would charge much more quickly off which the Surface Pro 3 does well at already.

Yeah, Windows Hello is much cooler in person than on paper. Of course the issue is trusting it. Tried it out about a dozen times setting up an account for my wife on the device as well and it worked perfectly each time logging us each in to the correct account. That really is pretty damned impressive. And it's faster than a long password for most people.

Really impressed by this thing. It's just bleeding edge and seems to work very well thus far. If I were an Windows OEM I would be a little freaked out right now. Not that the Surface Book at its price range is a threat to the mainstream market, but this device is going to probably grab a decent slice of the premium laptop/ultrabook market. And then of course what's Microsoft next move here. Are they going to make a conventional laptop at lower price points?
 

tordogs

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How is the trackpad? Most Windows/PC pads have been awful and have read this one could work pretty nicely. Also the keyboard--key travel, accuracy, feel? Any test on the dGPU to see what it is really made of? Watching development of this device real close as haven't bought a mobile anything in half a decade or more and Surface Book appeals. Also, can you use the tablet by itself but plugged into the charger so it can be used for long periods of time without draining its battery? Thanks.
 

tordogs

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Yikes, not liking all the bricks passing for Surface Book--firmware or something else?
 

heatlesssun

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Yikes, not liking all the bricks passing for Surface Book--firmware or something else?

I've been scanning a number of plates today and I've not head anything like Blackstone's issues thus far. But there's always going to be some detective units. It is important it seems to install that firmware package I linked to earlier.

My biggest problem with the SB thus far has been the conversion which is related to the GPU drivers and GPU switching. It's not very solid which I kind of figured would be a wonky right out of the gate. But I've not had blue screens doing it since installing the new firmware. I'd expect these drivers to get some work done on them pretty quickly to smooth out the conversion experience.
 

tangoseal

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Yeah, obviously it all depends on how you're using it. It's funny, but two different reviews I watched both said they actually got 13 hours of life (Microsoft claims 12), doing continuous video playback, at 50% screen brightness.

Have you had any wifi connectivity issues? I heard one or two reviewers mention it, but I'm sure it's something Microsoft will fix with a quick firmware update... if it's even an issue anymore, since review units may have been out-dated.

Video playback usees a fraction of processing power that gaming does. Gaming is going to run the CPU/iGPU @ max for the duration of gaming. Clearly this test is not a true test, and by the way thank you for testing it but ....

Microsoft didn't rate battery life on gaming, no manufacturer does period. They rate battery life on the typical usage patterns of someone using the devices as they were designed for the battery in mind.

Processing a video is very linear and uses low energy and you'd be surprised maybe 1-5% of processor capacity consistently which sips power. Chances are your display while gaming was also consuming a high rate of electricty also by constantly manipulating the pixels in the LCD in response to your gaming sessions. Always more to it that it seems right.
 

tangoseal

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Got my first battery results in. Been unplugged for right at 6 hours now and down to 8% battery. Sounds bad but I've been using it constantly, installed Office 2016, Alien Insurrection, MSG V Phantom and Bioshock Infinite while on battery and gamed for about 20 minutes total in MSG and Bioshock. I can't get Alien Insurrection to run, keeps crashing to the desktop on start up, having looked into it yet. And I've been surfing constantly and working in OneNote and Word.

Im going to think this is probably nVIDIA or Intel GPU driver. Give this thing a few more weeks to mature and get some software updates and it will probably be great!
 

heatlesssun

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So I was getting some REALLY bad graphics corruption using the WatchESPN tonight watching the Ravens-Cardinals game. Really started to freak me out. Then it occurred to me that I had Hyper V setup and something told me that Hyper V and the dual GPU setup probably didn't gibe. So I created and boot entry with Hyper V disabled and yep, that was the problem.

So if you're going to use Hyper V you'll might want to do the same:https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2973536.
 

heatlesssun

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Video playback usees a fraction of processing power that gaming does. Gaming is going to run the CPU/iGPU @ max for the duration of gaming. Clearly this test is not a true test, and by the way thank you for testing it but ....

I agree. I wasn't really trying to do a battery test. I just charged it up and let it drain while doing the basic setup I always do on a new PC which is by nature much more power intensive than simple video playback. The 6 hour number for what I was doing I think is very good and getting an 8 hour day of battery life doing pretty heavy work shouldn't be much of a problem for this thing, even the i7 version which is bit heavier on the battery than the i5 version from what I've seen in the reviews.
 

Blackstone

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Update: I am back up and running now. I had to totally restore the system from a USB drive. Tech support walked me through the procedure. Insert USB key, hold down volume down button then press power button. First installed from a generic Windows 10 installation but functionality was not the same. Then I downloaded the Surface Book recovery disk from Microsoft. This one brought surface book back to its factory settings glory. If you don't use a surface specific recovery disc, some functionality does not work as well, touch screen, ect.

Everything seems fine now. A very nice piece of hardware.
 
D

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Congrats on un-bricking it as the case may be, it's nice to see that if someone does have such a situation that there appears to be a solution and thanks for posting what you did specifically. A lot of times with threads like these people will have a problem, then they'll make a post like "Oh never mind, I fixed it..." and then they move on to something else and never post what they did to fix it which could be useful info for the next person with the same or a similar issue who then ends up posting a request for that person (the one that fixed their issue) to specify what they actually did to fix whatever the problem was in the first place.

Talk about a runaround. :)
 

tangoseal

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Update: I am back up and running now. I had to totally restore the system from a USB drive. Tech support walked me through the procedure. Insert USB key, hold down volume down button then press power button. First installed from a generic Windows 10 installation but functionality was not the same. Then I downloaded the Surface Book recovery disk from Microsoft. This one brought surface book back to its factory settings glory. If you don't use a surface specific recovery disc, some functionality does not work as well, touch screen, ect.

Everything seems fine now. A very nice piece of hardware.

I get my SBook this Thursday via instore pickup at Bestbuy so I do not know what is included accessory wise with this machine.

Is there a recovery USB key that comes with it or something? Or was it an image you had to download from Microsoft tech support. Just wondering and congratulations on getting it back to good working order.
 

Greeley

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To the people who've tried gaming, can you post a screenshot of one your games ?

I wanted a surface pro to stream games off my desktop's gpu, but if the book can play them in low or medium at native res or 1080 it might be the better choice
 

StryderxX

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I get my SBook this Thursday via instore pickup at Bestbuy so I do not know what is included accessory wise with this machine.

Is there a recovery USB key that comes with it or something? Or was it an image you had to download from Microsoft tech support. Just wondering and congratulations on getting it back to good working order.

Here are some helpful links:

Download a recovery image for your Surface

https://www.microsoft.com/surface/e...ervice-and-recovery/downloadablerecoveryimage



Create a USB recovery drive

https://www.microsoft.com/surface/e...folders/create-a-recovery-drive?os=windows-10



Using a Surface USB recovery drive

http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en...ervice-and-recovery/usbrecovery?os=windows-10



Microsoft Surface Book

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49497
 

heatlesssun

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To the people who've tried gaming, can you post a screenshot of one your games ?

I wanted a surface pro to stream games off my desktop's gpu, but if the book can play them in low or medium at native res or 1080 it might be the better choice

I've tried a few later gen games, Bioshock Infinite, the latest Wolfenstein, MGS V Phantom and will probably try Arkham Night when it re-releases tomorrow as that's been such a performance nightmare. So far I've been impressed. I was able to get all of those games to run decently with low to medium settings and 1400x900 and 1376x768 resolutions. The Surface Book can definitely be used as a light mobile gaming device. Certainly wouldn't buy it for desktop gaming or as a main desktop gaming device but for on the go desktop gaming it looks to be able to do that reasonably well.

Of course the definition of reasonable is going to very greatly in a place like this and for a device that price of a Surface Book where there are certainly better desktop gaming options for less money.

I'll try to do a few benchmarks tonight and look around for others. I was perfectly happy with the results thus far. I really do what to see how Arkham Knight holds up on this thing. I may wait and start with it first since I think that'll pose the most problems of anything I've tested thus far.
 

StryderxX

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So far battery life on the Surface Book with Nvidia graphics isn't to good. I've been using the laptop all morning and the SB just went into Battery Saver mode after 5 and a half hours of constant use. I was just using the Edge browser (mix of flash, audio and video) and listening to podcasts. The screen was at 50% brightness the entire time.
 

heatlesssun

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So far battery life on the Surface Book with Nvidia graphics isn't to good. I've been using the laptop all morning and the SB just went into Battery Saver mode after 5 and a half hours of constant use. I was just using the Edge browser (mix of flash, audio and video) and listening to podcasts. The screen was at 50% brightness the entire time.

Edge can start to eat up CPU on certain sites if you don't keep an eye on it. Ad heavy sites, Disqus and the like can end up sucking a lot of power. You can switch over manually to the iGPU with the nVidia control panel, indeed it's like the only thing you can do there.
 

tangoseal

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So far battery life on the Surface Book with Nvidia graphics isn't to good. I've been using the laptop all morning and the SB just went into Battery Saver mode after 5 and a half hours of constant use. I was just using the Edge browser (mix of flash, audio and video) and listening to podcasts. The screen was at 50% brightness the entire time.

I owned several gaming laptops with nVidia Optimus and let me tell you ... manually choosing to run EVERYTHING but games via the igp is the best option for saving power.

Remember that Microsoft rated the battery life on the lowest end model without the nvidia part in it.

Now days everything is using GPU acceleration it seems and therefore you need to do your due diligence and ensure that you have manually toggled everything to use the igpu instead of the dgpu. Unless you need it turn it off is my saying.

I bet you will get 2 more hours of battery life overall just manually going in and setting literally everything but choice programs to run with the IGP. Also keep in mind if I were microsoft and wanted to legitimately make a claim of 12+ hours on batteries I would have tested it with the maximum power savings mode turned on and minimum LCD brightness to the point of being useless but technically it would not be telling a lie. Just how corporations work. Much more to think about than taking something printed on the box with these companies. 6 hours of battery life with heavy usage is an AMAZING feat given the power of the hardware in these new hybrids. Amazing!
 

Blackstone

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Battery life on my i7 with GPU is not what I expected. More like 6 hours. Same issues as StryderX. Same thing. Doing work and the battery life is no where near 12 hours.

Also I just found the thing, lid closed, roasting away in my briefcase, fan billowing. The clamshel was closed but the unit was on and running HOT HOT HOT. Battery life is now down to like 2 hours and I barely used the thing today.

I frankly would like to just disable to the GPU it is not necessary and was a waste of money. I regret this purchase frankly.

Mark my words, when this machine gives up the ghost, it will be the NVIDIA GPU that goes. The GPU is always the first thing to go. Its more of a liability than anything in a work machine.
 
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Blackstone

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I get my SBook this Thursday via instore pickup at Bestbuy so I do not know what is included accessory wise with this machine.

Is there a recovery USB key that comes with it or something? Or was it an image you had to download from Microsoft tech support. Just wondering and congratulations on getting it back to good working order.

Image I had to download and it took 3 hours it was running less than 1MB per second download.

The actual Windows 10 key is embedded in the system there was no need to enter it even with a totally clean install. You CAN just install any Windows 10 from any recovery media, but the functionality is not as good as if you download the actual Surface Book recovery disk.

Also make sure the first thing you do is update all software and firmware. There will be a firmware update. The lack of firmware update may have been the cause of the bricking to begin with.

Now if I can just figure out how to get the fricking thing to go to sleep when I close the lid.
 

StryderxX

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Edge can start to eat up CPU on certain sites if you don't keep an eye on it. Ad heavy sites, Disqus and the like can end up sucking a lot of power. You can switch over manually to the iGPU with the nVidia control panel, indeed it's like the only thing you can do there.

I don't see an Nvidia control panel on my SB. Where would I find that option?
 

-Dragon-

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Did anyone get the extra nibs with their book? I thought these things were supposed to come with them but don't recall seeing them in the box, then again that thing is tiny so maybe I missed it...
 

lordsegan

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Battery life on my i7 with GPU is not what I expected. More like 6 hours. Same issues as StryderX. Same thing. Doing work and the battery life is no where near 12 hours.

Also I just found the thing, lid closed, roasting away in my briefcase, fan billowing. The clamshel was closed but the unit was on and running HOT HOT HOT. Battery life is now down to like 2 hours and I barely used the thing today.

I frankly would like to just disable to the GPU it is not necessary and was a waste of money. I regret this purchase frankly.

Mark my words, when this machine gives up the ghost, it will be the NVIDIA GPU that goes. The GPU is always the first thing to go. Its more of a liability than anything in a work machine.

I had similar issues for a long time with my Surface Pro 2. I think they finally fixed it with a firmware update.

I think you are right about the GPU. I don't like the Surface Pro form factor, but I think trying to have a gaming machine and a work machine on the same computer is a bad idea. Better to just have a dedicated gaming machine.
 

StryderxX

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Battery life on my i7 with GPU is not what I expected. More like 6 hours. Same issues as StryderX. Same thing. Doing work and the battery life is no where near 12 hours.

Also I just found the thing, lid closed, roasting away in my briefcase, fan billowing. The clamshel was closed but the unit was on and running HOT HOT HOT. Battery life is now down to like 2 hours and I barely used the thing today.

I frankly would like to just disable to the GPU it is not necessary and was a waste of money. I regret this purchase frankly.

Mark my words, when this machine gives up the ghost, it will be the NVIDIA GPU that goes. The GPU is always the first thing to go. Its more of a liability than anything in a work machine.
Same thing happened to me. Went to lunch and closed the lid. When I got back the laptop was very warm and the fans were audible (I don't normally hear the fans going). As per the Nvidia control panel I finally did find it. Just right click (or tap with two fingers) the start button then go to "Control Panel". You'll see the Nvidia Control Panel next to "Network and Sharing Center". I changed the Global Settings option from auto to "Integrated Graphics" and applied the setting at the bottom of the page. I'll keep using the SB and see if the battery life improves.
 
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