Revisiting the Surface Pro 4

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by dellaster, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Back in 2016 I had an m3 version of the Surface Pro 4 ($810, no type cover—I used a Bluetooth keyboard). I liked it a lot, then it black-screened and had to be returned for a refund. Microsoft’s online customer service via phone didn’t give me any option of exchange. My travels at the time precluded a repurchase, time passed and new, interesting devices appeared. Its day came and went, sadly.

    Lately I’ve had a hankering for something smaller than my ThinkPad 15”, larger than my trusty old Bay Trail 10”, with a good HiDPI non-1080p screen, decent keyboard, and reasonably low power consumption. I bought, then returned a ThinkPad X1 Tablet ($379, 7Y54 CPU, i.e. a Kaby Lake m5). Alas it was DOA, wouldn’t turn on or charge. Ebay had no other sales for that gen 2 model, so I thought “why not give the Surface Pro 4 another go?”. Got one off Swappa.com for $400, an i5 this time, 8/256 with type cover. Originally the cost would be $1299 + $129 for that configuration.

    It arrived in pretty much pristine condition. No issues at all, no visible damage, perfect screen—no sign of the “flicker-gate” flaw. What a great device for $400! I’m liking it a lot. The i5-6300 is plenty snappy enough for my everyday tasks, even light gaming, with a beautiful bright screen, and a type cover that’s a better typing experience than expected. It’ll do.

    Worth a look if one is in the market for an inexpensive 12.3” convertible. :thumbsup::newpalm:
     
    sonichedgehog360 and dstrauss like this.
  2. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Trophy Points:
    181
    It’s interesting (?) that my SP4 is apparently not yet qualified for the 2004 update. It came with 1909, I full-wipe reset it upon receipt to be safe, and it has shown no sign of trying to update further even though I became a “Seeker” by clicking the Update button.

    Searching the internet for info, I gather that it’s hit or miss whether or not a particular model/configuration of Surface Pro qualifies? I wonder if it’ll skip bug-plagued 2004 and install the 2H 2020 autumn update when the time comes?
     
    Bronsky likes this.
  3. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,592
    Likes Received:
    5,896
    Trophy Points:
    331
    That is quite an array of equipment you have in your sig.:newpalm:
     
  4. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Even I think I’ve gone a little overboard this time. :vbeek::vbtongue:
     
    Bronsky likes this.
  5. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,596
    Likes Received:
    751
    Trophy Points:
    301
    i'm going to hope the m3 and subsequent updates have reinforced the Surface Pro 4 from flickergate....but venturing down that path would give me the heebie jeebies regardless of the cost....
     
    dellaster likes this.
  6. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Thanks. The one I have now is the i5 (the 1st one I had 4 years ago was the m3), it’s used and has been operated since the previous owner bought it in 2016. I’m going to hope that if it was going to develop a flicker or any other problem it would’ve happened by now. Knock on wood.
     
  7. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,596
    Likes Received:
    751
    Trophy Points:
    301
    Everything crossed for good luck!

    Sent from my SM-N9600 using Tapatalk
     
    dellaster likes this.
  8. daddyfish

    daddyfish Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    718
    Likes Received:
    515
    Trophy Points:
    106
    I wonder if flickergate can be prevented by throttling the cpu. Like setting max cpu in the power plan settings to 85-95%. I do this with my Pro 1, but for increasing battery life.
     
    dellaster likes this.
  9. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Trophy Points:
    181
    You know, the more I use this “old” Surface Pro 4, the more I wonder why I need anything newer. Startup, browsing, email, and so on are just as snappy as my ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s ninth gen H-class CPU burning energy with its 45W TDP. Regular day-to-day stuff doesn’t need more power than an i5 Skylake or, as folks around here have found out, the Kaby Lake m3 in the Surface Go 2. I think they’re roughly equivalent in performance.

    No signs of Flickergate—the screen is gorgeous, flawless, with not a hint of light bleed.

    Sure, my more demanding games still need the X1 Extreme for its GeForce 1650 GPU (the SP4 does fine with lesser Steam games, however). And there are people who are not me who need the faster CPUs for performance-critical tasks. But for most normal tasks I’m thinking it’s all about marketing and lust for the new shiny. This might be the wisest $275 I’ve ever spent on a computer.
     
  10. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    504
    Trophy Points:
    131
    It is just for the shiny. It's ALWAYS about the shiny. I could have stayed with the SP6... but that's not fun. No. My games now run at an eye bleeding 18fps, instead of the 11fps of the SP6. I still can't game, but it's SHINY!
     
Loading...

Share This Page