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  • Does the Surface Book have Apple quaking in their boots already?

    Here's a note how the 950 nvme drives throttle if written to and gets too hot.


    the PM951 is supposedly OEM version of this drive. So in theory it should be capable of that 1700 MB/s but it's likely that to stop it from heating things up too much, the write speed might be capped.


    Despite the throttling and the TBW based warranty, given my current SSD is getting flaky and there's not much choices yet I'm seriously looking at the 950 pro because Intel has not promised OPAL for the 750 that I was looking to get. Kind of important if you want to run Bitlocker otherwise you lose the bleeding edge perf you're paying for when looking at nvme drives.


  • Does the Surface Book have Apple quaking in their boots already?


    Well looking at reviews (of large capacity models) the samsung has generally been near the top. So if I was buying a large capacity laptop, I certainly wouldn't mind having one of the components that have received good reviews. (Of course those reviews are often so cursory that they may ignore things like throttling due to overheating which has been said to be a problem with atleast the previous iteration of samsung pcie ssd's)

    Those models you suggested look rather low end if I as a buyer was expecting nvme pcie ssd like Apple has. (they too have the pm951 I believe)

    If there is a "dumb mistake" here it IMO is all about failing to notice that the lowest capacity model of pretty much every (premium) ssd model I've looked at past couple years is always much worse than the rest. To me the problem is not the choice of SSD model but starting the Book lineup at the lowest end model of a premium line up with high capacity - because they have optimized the configuration for the large capacity models. So for small size you'd have to go for different model. And then you'd surely have to mention in the Book specs that there's different brand components depending on the configuration. Right now I'm not sure they are mentioning the brand at all so MS is free to switch it (though if they switch all the capacities to one of the models you suggest and then the people buying the 256+ GB model will be undoubtedly questioning whether the performance is lower now than in the current PM951).

    I would say that if someone proved the pm951 still has throttling due to overheating that would not happen on some other brand ssd, then there's a good case for switching the brand. Right now the case I see is to remove the 128 GB model or atleast add a note in the specs that different SSD capacities have different write performance so buyers know to avoid the 128 GB model for reasons other than size.

    Though you do have a point in that at this price range, even if it added a bit into costs, sourcing the 128 GB model from another vendor (all else equal) seems reasonable. But you'd probably have to "pitch" why you did it as the "all else equal" may not hold - the write speed might be faster but those other models might be lower in 4K read for example, which is typically where Samsung has benched well. (this would show up in  a small file copy test when comparing equal size large capacity models, so it's likely all the drives you suggested are slower than pm951 in 512+ capacities when copying)

    Perhaps the most relevant bench (lacking in many reviews) I look is simple real world small file copy inside same ssd. Though in case of some of the "premium" models they may have some 3 GB of fast cache in front of the slower memory, or drivers (samsung) that may allow skewing results of this bench if the total amount of small files doesn't far outweigh the cache size.

  • Does the Surface Book have Apple quaking in their boots already?


    Haven't thought about the merits of that protruding design (hinge pictured) - maybe it only sticks out when you were about to attach the keyboard/base. Though some pocket cameras had issue with the lens assembly getting stuck when some tiny grain of dirt gets wedged in and that'd be sort of similar if simpler.

    As to the SSD speeds - the smaller the size the more likely they just removed the nand modules (or whatever they are called) - while the reviews/tests are usually done on a bigger model which utilizes all the controller channels.

    A considerate OEM might have the approach of minimizing spec traps. Worst case of such I know is when OEM mixed TN and IPS panels under same model number - there was a secondary model number hidden in the back that reviews did not always mention, so reviewer might have LG1234a with IPS and shops had LG1234a with TN panel and then maybe the serial number had a hint about what the panel model was etc.


  • October 6th ​Announcemen​ts

    That is a valid question. It really comes to demand of such. It's hard to separate the demand for something of 3:2 - 4:3 AR at 13-14" size and the need for a detachable tablet. Eg. if you want to display bitmaps made in the bitmap age for 12-14" 4:3 CRT's (or old videos/tv), then having right size display and suitable scaling is important (for high DPI). Eg. do bitmap fonts designed for certain size and viewing distance look right on similar size modern display without needing to do scaling that would result in fuzz or artifacts.


    Assuming there is demand for convertible, here's the approaches currently on market that could be iterated on.

    - Apple kind of has a point in keeping the "phone OS" in the tablet - that ensures the app devs are very perf focused when working on stuff running in the tablets. They could do a "Apple Book" that enabled Ipad Pro to run desktop apps after laptop-base is attached to it, making the Ipad just a display.

    - instead of the special hinge, have kickstand that is supported from the bottom, visually this would be very much like the Apple Smart keyboard + Ipad Pro except you'd have the option of a heavy keyboard housing laptop level hardware

    - tablet display with phone hardware and only tiny amount of battery, so when detached it would only be good for scribbling some notes (How much Ipad Pro would weight if battery life was 20% of what it is with rest of battery in the keyboard?)

    - 360 hinge in Surface Book size laptop where customer can build a configuration based on triangle of battery life/weight/performance.




  • October 6th ​Announcemen​ts

    What makes the MBP unappealing even if you don't need a tablet (the lack of kickstand in 13,5" tablet diminishes the usability as mobile display but it's not clear what would've been compromised if it had a stand) is that 15" wide screen MBP is even less portable than my current 15".

    Then at ~13" MBP only has 800 vertical pixels assuming 200% zoom is used. The smaller size and weight help with handling but it still is not optimal.

    The more portable the device is supposed to be, the less the wide screens make sense as you're not only making it harder to balanced when handling/carrying but also cutting the vertical resolution when horizontal, or horizontal space when held like phone.


    Now as the video review already showcased some handling concerns

    - it moves around easily on smooth surfaces like airplane trays, glass tables - you see the device even moves when the reviewer tries to open it up with single finger due to this

    - unclear if the magnesium case is at (dis)advantage when handling it, eg. is it more/less slippery

    - the review units so far appear to be a bit rough in the edges - in the advertisement video the device looks smoother or maybe it's due to the different lighting - the residue/scratch left in the table support this


    Possible "solution" even if a bit ugly (if ugliness is for functional reasons, a good marketing dept can turn it around to a positive) some 2cm wide high friction strip at location where your fingers might be when carrying/grabbing it. So even if you lifted the device in unbalanced manner, the friction from the strip to the grip would be enough to prevent it from dropping from your hand. Would need some empirical testing to determine if say having these strips at front and back end of the bottom would be enough, that would avoid visible ugliness at the top. Though I think the current Windows logo on the device top cover already looks a bit ugly - You could probably make a kickstand sized Windows logo so the kickstand looked like the Windows logo when the kickstand was not in use.



  • October 6th ​Announcemen​ts

    Something I just thought about and noticed in the video linked:

    When the Surface Book is "wobbling", it looks as if the reviewer is not "holding it right"... and by that I mean, the hinge is not opened beyond the point at which it becomes wide, because they are comparing it to laptop which may not open wide enough to get you 0 degree view to display when on lap.

    It would make sense that due to the heavy display, it would have to be more stiff or "lock in" somehow, like it does, so the hinge should solve the wobble but all the reviewers I see actually seem to adjust the display so that they aren't actually viewing it at 0 degrees like LCD'd should be in order to avoid the color/contrast shifting.


    Granted, there is a problem in tight space like airplane/cars if you have the Book on a tray, it is so high that you might prefer shallow angle (display nearer to 90 degrees). In that case it would really need some way to "make it stiff" at any angle, this could be made automatic with touch detection so when no touch detected it becomes stiffer.

    Another complaint was that on some surfaces like those cheap plastic train/airplane "trays", the product does not offer friction to keep it still. Some sort of thin large enough rubber/sorbothane mix mat could fix and the sorbothane may help dampen vibrations/bounces.

  • October 6th ​Announcemen​ts

    Ok finally a video that shows the Book properly from side fully opened:


    Many reviewers mentioned that there's a wobble - it looked from the video that it could be serious issue. Not sure how to solve that - skyscrapers have some sort of system that helps incase of earthquakes or wind but I doubt that fits here.

    edit: Well sounds like there might be some insurmountable issues:



    It's possible that there's no other solution than to make the tablet a phone-equivalent performance device if it's detachable and have the cpu etc that need more cooling in the keyboard (ssd & ram in the display, cpu/gpu in keyb)... Or go for those 360 designs.. or just forget this hybrid deal.


    edit: In this video it can be seen that the MBP also wobbles but it settles quicker and the initial swing isn't perhaps as large, so it's harder to notice.


    Though solving this wobble doesn't still address the top heavy comments, so if one prefers a slower and lighter large tablet with fast laptop(keyboard base), then that solution suggested in previous post would address those needs.


  • October 6th ​Announcemen​ts

    Perhaps more concerning is the point he makes about scratching the table, though solved with some adhoc solution. (I put some tape below device rubber feet as they tend to come off due to friction, not sure if that would work here)


    Looking at SP4 vs SP3 side by side, I can't help but think that the 12.5" still looks too wide when the keyboard is attached. Maybe this 12.5" would be more interesting with 4:3 display. the 3:2 seems fit for the 13.5". Weird.

    In looking at Ipad Pro vs SP4, it clearly looks that SP4 should have been 4:3 if it was 12.5".  That would also leave even more space for trackpad.

  • October 6th ​Announcemen​ts

    Found good surface book review, shows there's other stuff that need looking at:



    This guy pays attention to the kinds of things I do, the feel and sound of keys etc was really good observation to demonstrate that few reviewers would demo that closely. Wonder why there's so much thumbs down.

    The only negative about this comparison is that he demonstrated that you can push the Book open to wider angle, but didn't actually show if at that point it would tip over (which doesn't make sense as then you'd need that kickstand - well unless the idea was that your hands on the keyboard prevent it tipping). To me it's very important that you can have it open at wide angle - other reviewers actually didn't notice you can push it to wide angle. obv. a larger Surface Pro 4 (w/iris pro) to which you could attach this Book keyboard would be ideal but you'd prob. have to sac the battery life of standard SP4 (given the larger size already adds to weight).

  • Cool videos


    Damn shame they took so long to get this to kickstarter, now it's a bit underwhelming. At one time this engine looked better than anything out there - now after everyone has seen Star Citizen etc and Chris Roberts has promised everything under the sun (probably with exception of the only game mechanic that would actually make space sims really interesting). OTOH I haven't seen any mention if the mechanic is in this game so I don't really know how enough to get very excited. (I did tell the lead dev about the mechanic some 5 years ago so who knows if I did get my way or not)