Surface Book Five Months Later: Finally Recommend Without Caveat
It’s hard to believe that it has been five months since Microsoft first announced the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 in New York. Since then, the device has overcome a number of hardware and software issues and with the latest firmware update, the machine has finally found its groove and is a serious contender in the premium PC space.
I have been using the Surface Book on a nearly daily basis since it first came out, and it wasn’t until last week when I was in Redmond filming the closing remarks for day 2 of the TechNet virtual conference that it finally hit me that this machine is fixed. The sleep bug has been squashed, my issue with the keyboard frequently not responding to input and forcing me to reattach the display have been remedied, and Windows 10 has also received several stabilizing patches that make Windows 10 run much better.
As with the initial review and my two month follow-up, the primary issue with the device was the fact that it could not sleep and would drain the battery when it was supposed to be turned off. It was because of this issue that it was hard to recommend the device without warning the consumer or business user what they were really buying into with the Book. Seeing as this major issue is fixed, the Surface Book is finally the premium PC Microsoft pitched back in October.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
If you are wondering why I didn’t write this post after the firmware patch was released, it’s because I needed to make sure it actually fixed the problem and more honestly, you forget about technology when it works correctly. It was only when the Surface Book created barriers, such as not sleeping or the keyboard not responding, that you think about reminding others of the issue. Now that these problems are gone, you forget that the device was once a questionable choice for taking on the road with and as my last trip has come to a close, the Surface Book performed flawlessly.
You will likely still read and hear about hardware issues in forums, but this is the same for any laptop, there will always be manufacturing hiccups with any PC.
If you were on the fence about buying a Surface Book, now is likely a good time to make the purchase. The machine is now usable without caveat and you have a significant length of time before we should see the next version released.