Surface Book 2 and Logos 7

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This post has 12 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 4
Leon Coates | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jun 6 2018 9:10 AM

I didn't see much written about this, so here's my experience for others considering the Microsoft Surface Book 2 (SB2) for Logos 7 use.

Having just graduated seminary and received some gifts, I decided I wanted to invest in a machine that would serve me well in ministry. Looking at the recommended specifications for Logos 7, I saw that the SB2 meets those (high!) suggestions, and I really liked the look, feel and functionality of it.

My thinking was that I wanted to be able to use the tablet mode (detached from the keyboard) with the split screen - a pdf doc with the Greek or Hebrew text on one side, for me to annotate with a pen stylus as I translate and make exegetical remarks, and Logos on the other side with BHS/UBS open, along with lexicon, grammars, and a few commentaries.

The performance was not as good as I expected. On moving between different resources in Logos there would some times be a delay of maybe 6 seconds. This was a little frustrating. The pdf annotation was a little slow to load my annotations as I scrolled around, but was not a big issue. I tried various pdf programs but all had the same effect, though different functionality.

It turns out that the problem with the SB2 was that when the screen is detached it uses the integrated graphics processor (GPU) rather than the dedicated Nvidia one, because the Nvidia one is located on the keyboard section of the device. Thinking I might be able to manage with this slow performance while in tablet mode, and switch to laptop mode for my more intensive work in the office I persisted. With some tech support I was able to configure the device to use the Nvidia GPU for Logos. However, this had side effects which meant that I was unable to detach the screen for tablet mode because programs were running that wanted to use the Nvidia GPU on the keyboard section.

I contemplated staying with the machine, nice as it is, but it really doesn't work for the way I want to use it. You could elect to not use the Nvidia GPU to avoid the screen detachment issues, but then your performance is limited and you face those 5 or 6 second delays between Logos resources.

In the end I landed with a Dell XPS 15 9575. It has none of the problems mentioned above. The screen does not detach, but you can fold it over backwards, giving you a tablet feel - with the ability to work on it split screen with a pen for annotations. I also note, that despite very similar specs, the i7 8th gen processor is operating at 3.1 GHz, as opposed to the 2.1 GHz that the SB2 reached.

I hope this helps you if you are looking at a new Logos 7 compatible machine.

Leon

Logos and pdf annotations

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 6 2018 10:15 AM

Yes Thanks for the informative post! 

OSX & iOS | Mac Logs | PC LogsInstall

Posts 510
Dave Thawley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 6 2018 11:03 AM

Nice review, thanks for sharing this.

Trying to be as noble as a Berean , Acts 17:11

Posts 5
Ron Ferguson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 6 2018 12:52 PM

Did you try detaching and turning the tablet (screen) around and reattaching to the keyboard, then folding the tablet down over the keyboard.  In that way you have everything connected with both batteries, and the processor from the keyboard still working on both sides.  Thanks for the heads up as I just inherited a SB from my granddaughter and my primary purpose in getting it was to use Logos.

Posts 4
Leon Coates | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 6 2018 1:05 PM

Good thinking - yes I tried that and the performance was ok. However, having the device configured to us the Nvidia GPU seemed to mean that other processes were trying to use it as well, that didn't necessarily need to (various, apparently background, Microsoft programs for example). This meant that if I ever did want to detach the screen I was unable to. But if you are never going to do that it should be fine.

Having switched to the Dell, though, I'm finding for a cheaper price I have better specs and less issues. In addition to the faster i7 8th gen processor speed on the Dell, it has a dedicated 4GB GPU.

If all you are going to use it for is Logos 7, without detaching it, that configuration you mention should be fine. I also prefer the power cable on the SB2, the way it sits flush against the machine and is magnetized. Whereas, the Dell plugs in to a USB port, and could break if I handle it badly. The Dell is also heavier.

On the other hand, the battery power on the SB2 is not great (if you are using the Nvidia GPU and best settings to get the processing speed out of it. Battery on the Dell seems ok, though the machine does heat up.

Posts 145
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 6 2018 5:17 PM

I have a Surface Pro 4 and have not experienced any lag. It's my understanding that the Surface Book, even with detached keyboard, has specs that are similar to or better than the SP4. 

That being said, I also have an iPad Pro, 10 inch. I find myself using the iPad Pro far more, mainly because it is smaller and lighter than the Surface Pro 4, but not so small that I find myself wishing I had more screen real-estate. In my opinion, 10 inches is the perfect balance for between size and weight. I wish Microsoft would create a 10 inch Surface, but that will probably never happen. 

The one program I miss having when using iPad is Drawboard PDF. It's the best PDF reader/editor I've ever found. The best alternative on iOS is Goodnotes.

Posts 4
Leon Coates | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 6 2018 6:14 PM

The latest surface pro has 7th generation processors, rather than the 8th generation, which Logos suggests in their recommended specs. That's great that you had no lag. I'd have loved to go with the ipad but I wanted both the full version of Logos (rather than the webapp) and I wanted to use a pen to make annotations. Apple doesn't have a product that allows both of those things - unless I missed it!

I find 10" too small for split screen work, but I suppose it depends how you work.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 6 2018 6:27 PM

Apple does not, will not, and just recently doubled down on their position. Another company modifies Macs and resells them (modbook). 

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Mary-Ellen | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 7 2018 7:07 AM

I too am thinking about my next generation of hardware to support Logos, and the tradeoffs between power and size (with a priority on ergonomics), and how a tablet fits into the picture.  Sitting in one position for long stretches of time is to be avoided, as we baby boomers are discovering the hard way. 

When I've been running searches, etc., on my laptop, and then find an article I want to sit back and read carefully, I've taken up the habit of opening the resource on my iPad, as a sort of e-reader, and moving to a more comfortable reading position.  This is great as far as it goes, but is not entirely seamless.  And it would be so much better to have the full functionality of Logos on my "e-reader."

One option I'm thinking of is a laptop-plus-tablet combo, taking advantage of the new Windows 10 "Connect" utility, to send a Logos floating window to a Win 10 tablet when I want to move away from the desk to read.

Has anyone experimented with the Connect utility and Logos?

Toshiba Satellite L50t-B, Intel Core i7 2.0 & 2.6 GHz, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

iPad Air, 128 GB

Google Pixel, 128 GB

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Posts 82
Dave Gifford | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 12 2018 12:32 PM

Thanks

 this thread was what I was lookin for!   I was considering an iPad pro but have never used apple products.  Goals: Run Logos, read the inter-webs, ebooks, music, Netflix. No hardcore word processing.  The dell looks great and runs windows but the Ipad is trendy.  Opinions?

Da

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 12 2018 12:42 PM

Dave Gifford:
Goals: Run Logos

How much of Logos do you want to run?

The iPad app does what it does very well - but it doesn't have anywhere near all the functionality of the desktop program

Posts 82
Dave Gifford | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 13 2018 6:55 AM

Thanks

I found a used MS Surface Book (first generation) I7 16gb 256 SSD. Still under warranty and the price is right.  That is what  I am going to get. Thanks everyone!

Posts 19
Tom Traubitz | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 15 2018 11:51 AM

The SB2 comes in different models, the higher end model uses 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U (quad-core) with up to 4.20 GHz Max Turbo.  Microsoft uses a number of techniques to maximize run time.   Out of the box, SB2's are set for middle-of-the road performance which reduces drain speed on battery and increases recharge speed when connected to power.

There are two batteries in an SB2, one in the base (keyboard) and a smaller one in detachable display.   When the display/tablet is detached, it automatically throttles  to the next to lowest battery usage and restricts the processor and integrated Intel GPU accordingly which is fine for many tablet-like uses (web browsing, video playback, etc.)   For Logos7 and and other high compute uses, you will want to set the battery usage to "better performance" or "best performance"  (the two highest settings) if you are bothered by lags in changing/searching resources.  This is done by clicking on the battery icon, and using the slider.

I use my SB2 15" for significant graphics processing and when the processor is cranked up from the default power-sipping modes on battery, it can deliver quite handsome performance for most applications including Logos7.

(Surface Book power tip:  if you are using just the slate, but are near an AC outlet, you can connect the power adapter to to the bottom of the slate/screen to the same port that the slate uses to attach to its keyboard.   This is an intentional design feature to keep the slate going or to attach to Microsoft's Surface dock.)

HTH,

-T

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