MacBook or Surface if Someone Buy It for You

Hi all

I narrowed down my options between macbook pro 2020 and surface book for less than $3000.

As per title, which one is better for programming, mainly java (eclipse), node.js, light photo and movie editing?

I tend towards Macbook because I am always thinking to buy it one day, the screen looks fantastic and bright.

But Latest Macbook pro looks old With DDR3 and i8 processor. The top spec is more than 3K.

Thanks all


  • +4

    As a huge iOS fan and user, I just can't get into Mac OSX at all and personally would prefer the Surface.

    Ultimately, it depends on the software you want to use and which OS is better suited to them. You didn't list any.

    • Is copy and paste important to OP?

  • +2

    Over the 10+ years, I haven't been able to get over the Apple trackpad's quality, accuracy, scrolling and the keyboard. The hardware and software of a mac works so seamlessly making the user experience just amazing.

  • +2

    I like iphones but I hate Mac OS. It's just the slowest piece of shit in the world. Multitasking is like so much harder and changing options and customising the OS is impossible. Windows 10 and search bar is da bomb. With Windows 10, you don't ever have to go to the Windows Store. lol
    With Mac OS, the App store is like a must to do anything.

    • With Mac OS, the App store is like a must to do anything.

      Nope. I have a Windows desktop and MBP, and in the latter's case, don't have a single frequently used program from the App Store.

  • +1

    Definitely Surface!

  • -2

    I'd get the MacBook. Surface will be a distant memory to Microsoft in a few years, but Apple supports their MacBooks for long time. They've promised to support Intel Macs for a long time coming. Then wait until Apple release whatever the iPad Pro is going to turn into a few years from now.

    • In terms of OS, that is not true. The upgradability of a windows machine is not limited by Microsoft but by hardware. i.e. you could try to run windows 10 on a ancient Pentium if you like. Of course, it’s just not going to do well in terms of speed. One thing I do have to note is that windows on an ARM machine (Surface X) is really bad.

  • Thanks all for reply.

    Software that I mostly use is Eclipse, VSCode, node.js, soapui, etc for software development .Occasionally photoshop, photo element, I would like to get i7 and max out RAM to 32 GB

    Actually, the budget is around $2500 and weight less than 1.3 kg. With Macbook 13-inch, I can get i5 gen 8, 16GB DDR3 for $2599 (which is perfect but old technology) .The next level is i5 gen 10, 16GB DDR4 for $2999 but out of budget :-(

    I expect the laptop will last longer (> 5 years). Is Mac OS easy to pick up (such as installing third party software, setup environment variables)?

    • How urgent is it? There's a chance the new surface range are using amd processes which are better for workload activities.

  • for programming, nothing beats the mac. The only thing i’m not happy is with their stupid butterfly keys which is a disaster and is a ticking bomb. If possible try to get the 16” which has better keys (i know it’s 3000+). But even the base model is more than sufficient for your needs.

    • This model MBP has the new keyboard too which by all accounts is very good. and as noted above, the superiority of Apple trackpads are amazing. It isn’t that hard Dell and HP. Just copy it! My daughter has the previous model to this base MBP which has the same processor but the butterfly keyboard. She loves it and hasn’t had any trouble with the old keyboard, touch wood.

      And as a regular user of macOS and win10, I prefer the simplicity and consistency of Mac OS, although it has become more iOSy lately, and I suspect will continue to do so, with the coming one chip architecture to rule them all.

      The only real negative with the base model MBP they are looking at is the eighth gen processor, and it would be better to stump up the extra to the next model up with tenth gen for better performance all round. But then it would be expensive compared with the Surface and possibly cracking their budget.

      On the other hand surface machines seem to have peaked and they are also due for an update. They don’t seem as visible as they were say two years ago. Plenty of alternative windows machines at a lower price, in which lies the probable answer. Look at a HP spectre or Dell XPS.

      I think Apple deliberately kept the base MBP 13 at eighth gen as it will be one of the first machines to go A14m SOC (Apple Silicob) or whatever they call it, around October-November I suspect. So the performance increase will more marked.

  • +3

    Hmmm. $2500 can get you a maxed out ThinkPad T14 AMD with Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe, 14" touch screen in a 1.5kg chase — and $500 to spare. That would be a better programmers' laptop.

  • Surface is great! But I just dislike how they’re design is stuck in 2015 with relatively bigger bezels. Various reviews on youtube and reddit also note reliability issues with the docking mechanism on surface books. On the other hand, this isn’t the best time to get a Macbook given that ARM Mac is most likely to come out after the iPhone event.

    Alternatively look at the XPS13/15 for a great windows machine.

  • Thanks all for chipping in.

    I would love to wait for the ARM Macbook but alas this opportunity will not last. It is kind of special occasion and once in life time opportunity that someone will pay it for me).

    All my current and previous laptops are Dell latitude and XPS. I also have the old surface pro 4, love its design and lightweight but it is under performance for heavy workloads.

    I might go ahead with Macbook pro i5 and 16 GB ram. Hope the resell value will not so bad in the near future.

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