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Last post Author Topic: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?  (Read 3333 times)

Deozaan

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2016, 12:50:05 AM »
Surface Pro 4 is on sale for $50-$150 cheaper than usual:

Surface Pro 4 Sale: Microsoft Offers $50 To $150 Discount


wraith808

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2016, 07:23:48 AM »
They run those fairly often, truthfully, which is why I haven't posted them.

Deozaan

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2016, 05:00:19 PM »
You're right. I'd seen them before but didn't remember them being discounted so much ($150). But now that I think about it, maybe that's the usual discount.


Dormouse

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2016, 01:56:12 PM »
Have come across my first major problem.
The failure of the dock to work with my monitors. Seems to be a common and well known problem.
My monitors are not on the list of monitors that don't work, but not on the list of monitors that should either.
I got one to work (once) by connecting it directly and then back to the dock. But it stopped when I switched it from duplicating to extending screen. Hasn't worked since. And the other  (identical) model has never worked on the dock or on the Book directly.
Means I cannot use the Book as I intended, and the dock isn't very useful at all. Might send them both back.

Shades

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2016, 08:20:44 PM »
@ Dormouse:
If you used DVI cables to do the connecting...there are many DVI protocols out now. In theory all of them are backwards compatible, but in practice there are a lot of issues that do spoil the "fun" of interconnecting devices.

Those old DSUB (xVGA) cables, without any hint of DRM measures built into that standard, give you much less headaches like this. Likely your Surface and/or dock has a much more modern version of DVI onboard which could be conflicting with the old(er) HDMI ports on your monitors. The HDMI standard isn't that much better in this regard.

Dormouse

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2016, 03:07:06 PM »
Thanks.
It has been a real pig to deal with and isn't stable.
The ports on the Surface and dock are mini displayport.
I have been through connections via Displayport, HDMI, DVI and VGA on the monitors.
Nothing worked initially on the dock. But I got them (mostly) to work direct. And sometimes they would then work on the dock. Though not necessarily twice. And not at the correct resolution.
I now have 2 monitors working from the dock. One on DVI and one on VGA. Not at the optimum resolution but functioning. Although the function has been coming and going. I can live with this although it is not what I planned and may not prove reliable.

Would have been easy to be diverted by Internet memes that said my intended monitors  (I switched one out. I hadn't got it working but may have been able to but changed my mind about which monitors to use.) didn't work on W10. I knew they did because they did before.

So, sort of OK for now. Judgement suspended.

wraith808

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2016, 08:36:07 PM »
It has been a real pig to deal with and isn't stable.

Are we talking about just the monitors?  Or the device in general?

Dormouse

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2016, 03:17:15 AM »
Device in general remains really nice.

Apart from the monitor issue, the dock usually works.
The monitor issue has really irritated me. Seems to be a widespread issue affecting many monitors and makes, and should,  I  would have thought, have been fixable but no sign of MS doing so. It would be easier if it worked or didn't work but when a solution works sometimes, but not always, you can never sit down to work knowing it will be there.

I've switched one of my big monitors back to my desktop.  Probably a better idea tbh. I can manage OK with the current set up so long as it keeps working and keeps its settings. Maybe I'd have fewer resolution problems if I'd got the graphics card option but saw nothing on the Internet to suggest that.

Dormouse

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2016, 03:19:56 PM »
I think, maybe, I might have found a working solution.

The setup described above stopped working completely, let alone just being unreliable. I think I have tried every known type of cable, adapter and interface (active and passive) but the Surface Dock never simply worked/s with them although there have been occasional glimmers of function. Latest drivers and Windows OS installed. I considered getting other monitors; would probably have been cheaper in the end than all the cables and adapters etc but would have been a relatively big expense in one lump and I had no faith that even an approved monitor would work.

I found that the Surface was becoming by far my least used device. I used my Samsung Note extensively - a better tablet anyway - and also used my desktop quite a lot. And the Surface only when there was no alternative. A much nicer device than my other laptop but equally under utilised.

But now, I hope, (and actually believe) I have a solution. I have attached another dock. This time a Plugable USB dock. I attached it first to the Surface and then to the Surface Dock and it simply worked as if working was never something to be questioned. I am using both docks mostly because I have them both, but prefer to avoid regularly attaching and detaching the dock to the USB port; the MS magnetic charger/connector is easily attached and detached without any mechanical stress on the port. It is very early days, and it might turn round and bite me, but it feels stable just as it ought to be.

It will mean I use the Surface very much more. I've been happy to use it for portability and when I'm just doing one thing, but I really like a lot of screen space for my usual multitasking.

Dormouse

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Re: Surface Pro 4 (etc); observations from long term use?
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2016, 11:29:36 AM »
And has carried on working.
Bought a mouse/keyboard combo just to use with it (Logitech MX800). Tried a cheaper one first (but mouse button didn't work) and then the MX800 (but had to return it because the i key didn't work - but knew it was a much better option for me). And in doing that worked out why the Dock was such a big issue for me.

I spend a lot of time leaning back in my chair, keyboard on lap, mouse on chair arm. Eyes about 4 or 5 feet from the screen. I use the backwards/forwards/zoom controls on the mouse all the time. Productivity slumps if I can't do it.

So now using the Surface most of the time as my main computer, though it still doesn't displace the Samsung. Happy bunny  :)