"Bring back the SurfaceBook"

From the Verge and one of the few writers there I actually sometimes can tolerate.

OTOH, I’m pretty sure MS wont as I’ve heard repeatedly that it was a money loser, even at the price they asked for it and never sold in the numbers they projected.

Bring back Microsoft’s Surface Book - The Verge


My son is still using his Surface Book 2, and if it had just had Wacom EMR, I’d’ve had to get one for myself.

I had the first Surface Book and really liked it. Popping off the screen and flipping it backwards to close over the keyboard felt so much more solid and natural than the current SLS sliding hinge mechanism. But I can’t say I’d buy it again in any event.

I had a nice honeymoon with my OG SurfaceBook w/dGPU, but my normal practice in playing a game on it was to flip the screen around on a laptop stand and use a external keyboard. After it screwed up releasing and reattaching enough times, to the point of needing a paperclip more than once, I got fed up with it and just left it that way, with the screen turned around 100% of the time. At which point of course there was no longer a reason for its unique nature. A Yoga would do much better since I never used it detached after a few awkward attempts.

Kudos to MS for sticking with it for three generations despite all its shortfalls and unpopularity. :+1:


A electronic retention mechanism always seemed completely overengineered in my opinion. Like I don’t know why it didn’t just click into place and have a spring-loaded mechanical release to separate the two parts. Even my cheap Cube Book that I bought for like $350 was able to do that. (Of all the ways in which that device eventually failed, this mechanism was not one of them).

But still the obvious solution has been there all along, and many people here have said it before. Surface Connect or Thunderbolt or whatever proprietary variant that MS wants to do on the bottom of a future Surface Pro, and some structural holes on the bottom that a true keyboard dock with a sturdy hinge, GPU, and extra batteries can mount to. There’s very little reason for the Book to be an entirely separate line of devices with where technology is at.


I will say in the commercial market, we get inquires for Book 3 & (“is there a 4?”) all the time, it carved out a very dedicated fan base.

I doubt Microsoft would ever go back to that, even if the Surface Laptop Studio has been somewhat of a flop, I think they will at least do another Studio iteration before giving the book another try.

Frankly I feel they are better off sticking with the Studio since its form factor makes it easier to at least use more powerful CPUs. Even without the Graphics card, having a 35W CPU is a substantial jump up from the 15w class.

I’d rather they make a Book add on to the Pro Line. Is really that difficult to envision something like the Brydge Keyboard line but with an added battery and a gpu.


Died to have one for years. When covid hit, i had a chance to get one on sale at best buy. HATED it. Too big to use as a tablet. Also really wonky with it randomly turning on by itself.

I think this was needed to prevent users from undocking while the GPU in the base was in use, which I imagine would cause some bad crashes.


It’s a really difficult design challenge. I want a solid laptop experience, a quick and easy conversion to an inclined writing surface, and a lightweight detached tablet mode. There still isn’t a single system that does all of that.

X1 Yoga: not super light (3lbs or so), and switching from laptop to ‘tablet’ is a big move (flip the whole thing inside out) meaning you might have to disconnect from a dock, and it’s clumsy on the plane. The tablet mode is also not inclined by default, you have to prop it up by hand. And of course: no detached tablet option.

Surface Book: going from laptop to docked tablet required a slowish disconnect reconnect. The disconnected tablet was unwieldy because of the lack of a kickstand. Battery life was also very short (~1.5h) to keep the screen portion thin and light.

Surface Laptop Studio: very easy to switch from laptop to slightly inclined tablet, but it’s heavy (3.8lbs or so) and no separate tablet mode possible. It also has quite a bit of flex during writing because of the very thin screen.

Surface Pro: closest, but no solid laptop mode. Divine tablet mode (perfect kickstand) and decent ‘floppy laptop mode’, but incomparable to the solid laptop mode of e.g. the SLS.

As @jhoff80 mentioned, the device that does it all would have a (battery filled ~2lbs) base and a docked Surface Pro as the screen portion. It would be an odd duck though, having both a laptop hinge and a kickstand. I think it would be an easy system to make fun of. Still, it gets close to having everything in a single system, at ~3.8lbs.

The other approach that could get close is something like the 11" iPad on a magic keyboard that could fold nearly flat, as seen in an Apple patent application. Downside: still no kickstand in tablet-only mode, but a potentially convenient switch from laptop mode to inclined tablet mode. I honestly think this would get the closest to a realistic solution, but of course just to annoy us, Apple will only offer it with iPadOS. :sweat_smile:

So overall: not a problem with an easy answer! I guess all we can do is Wait-and-hope™.


That’s exactly the reason. Though the whole mechanism is most certainly overengineered more than just a bit.

To your point though, for example when using an egpu via Thunderbolt on the Pro 8, if you disconnect the TB dock, you will get a hard crash.

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That’s exactly the switch we were able to make (including myself) once the Pro 8 gained Thunderbolt.

However as I stated in another post, if you live disconnect some TB docks with something like an EGPU connected you will get a hard crash.

But this gives Apple a chance to sell you a tablet mode cover as well, so a win for consumerism, so of all the things being discussed here, it’s the one which might happen.


BTW: We’ve heard from multiple sources including an engineer that worked for us for a time and previously was on the Surface team, that an original SurfaceBook design goal was dual processors with a high power one in the keyboard and a power efficient one in the tablet portion.

Obviously that never happened, but the latching mechanism could be a legacy of that design goal


Love my SB2 i5 DGpu. Use it mostly undetached.

This is the only reason I didn’t get one when I got my IPP for art. If the Surface Book 3 had Wacom EMR, I would have a Surface Book right now and not an IPP or MBP. I’d imagine one of the reasons it didn’t gain the traction MS was hoping was due to the pen tech not being good enough for artists. Why do we need a dedicated gpu for creativity when the pen is such a hinderance?

With the new Slim Pen tech being on par with Apple Pencil and nearly EMR levels of nice, a refreshed version of the Book might actually be a good idea. I would personally want that newer tech in a more traditionally styled pen, but I wouldn’t mind the extra bulk for art at home over my IPP. It might also encourage me to downgrade to a smaller tablet for actual tablet-y things where I’m not all that happy with my 12.9 IPP but also have a hard time justifying a second smaller tablet that does the exact same thing as the larger.

Basically, I’m saying, a little bit of marketing fixes, along with better pen tech, and this could be great for artists and maybe sell a second time around.

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I think there is (oops - not detachable), but the price would even give an Apple fanatic with a MacBook Pro M1 Max nosebleed:

With low end i7, max brite (100nit 1920x1280) screen, 1tb ssd, and g5


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Monica does do a pretty good job, and often well grounded - besides, she’s my hero for calling Apple “COWARDS” for not putting MacOS on the M1 iPad Pro!


Sorry but I’m in the Apple camp on this one. Especially as I use my new Pro 12.9 with the beta of IOS 16.2 I’d much rather they keep improving IOS and stage manager.

BTW: We’ve heard a story that every time the lead engineers for the iPad Pro get a request like that, they respond with this.

The Homer | Simpsons Wiki | Fandom

PS: we hear that official iPad OS 16.2 is coming next week


And I always respond that I would totally buy that car! :joy: I do agree its market appeal might be limited.


Regardless that’s also one of the all time great Simpson’s episodes as well IMHO

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