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Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro Comparison – The Battle of the Tablets

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Microsoft and Apple have an old rivalry and neither is ready to let the other one take the lead. This year, they both put on the market two full-size tablets. While they both can be turned in a 2-in-1 and they have an optional keyboard, while also offering a satisfying user experience and reliable performance, the differences are really noticeable when it comes to the software and the design.

As always, choosing the right tablet can be quite tricky, especially if you are on a budget and you want to be sure that you make the right choice. A new device can take quite a toll on your wallet so it is best to think twice before picking something. When it comes to Microsoft Surface Pro and the newest Apple iPad Pro it hard to say one is better than the other, but the two brands came up with different products that suit different needs. If you want to find out which one is best for you take a look at our review below.

iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro Software

First of all, let us start with the heart of these two tablets: the software. Here we can spot the biggest difference between iPad Pro and Surface Pro, the operating system. And there is a reason for that. Both Apple and Microsoft are companies that created their OS with different devices in mind so it is logical that Windows and iOS will run differently on a tablet.

For example, Apple’s iOS revolves around simplicity. This operating system was designed for phones and it was later modified for other type of devices. As a consequence of that, Apple may lack some of the more advanced features that Windows has. But this can also be a perk for many users. A regular person will want a simple tablet and he does not need complex features.

Another positive thing to note about Apple’s iOS is the fact that the company has announced the next version of the OS and if you are thinking about buying and iPad Pro this is good news: iOS 11 will bring several improvements for the tablet.

Performance

Both Surface Pro and iPad Pro have some impressive specs.

  • Storage

In terms of storage, Surface Pro has the advantage. It comes with 128 GB of storage and it can be upgraded to 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB (for the high price of almost $3000). On the other side, the base iPad Pro has 64 GB of storage and it can go to 256 GB or 512 GB.

  • RAM

In terms of RAM, iPad Pro offers 4 GB, while Surface Pro has three options: 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB. However it is known that iOS and its third party software way requires less than Windows does.

  • Core

If you are one to take benchmarks into account, Geekbench 4 managed to give us details about the performance of the tablets’ cores. Microsoft has a dual-core Intel Core 7th generation processor (and it can be either a 2.6GHz Core m3, 3.5GHz Core i5, or 4.0GHz Core i7, coming at different prices) while Apple used an Apple A10X Fusion processor with six cores (three 2.38 ones and three slower ones). The benchmarking application showed that the Core m3 variant of the Surface Pro was slower than the iPad Pro version sold at that price. The Core i7 managed to be significantly faster than the Apple product but you will also have to pay $900 more for it.

Battery life

Both tablets proved to last enough to get you through the day.

Surface Pro is able to last for 6 or even 8 hours, depending on the version, while iPad Pro surprised everyone in a testing: the models lasted 12 hours or even more with just a single charge. So, no matter what you choose, you can be sure that your table will resist the work hours.

Design

When it comes to look and feel, Surface Pro and iPad Pro sport two different looks that have their subtle differences.

One thing that is noticeable is the kickstand available for Surface Pro. This can prove quite handy for the user as the computer can be propped up while using it. An advantage compared to the iPad Pro that does not have this feature built in.

There are also some differences regarding the size of the tablets, although they are relatively small. The latest Surface Pro is 11.5 by 7.9 by 0.33 inches, while when it comes to its rival it is 12.0 by 8.7 by 0.27 inches.

Surface Pro also comes with various ports that allow multitasking. The Windows tabet has a Mini DisplayPort, an USB Type-A port, and a Surface Connect port for charging and also a microSD memory card slot. iPad Pro appears to lose this battle as its Lightning connector is able to do all those jobs one at a time.

Final conclusions

We tried to examine the design, performance, storage and other features in our comparison and it is difficult to say we have a winner. Both tablets have their own strong points and they both have different targets on the market. With just one look it should be easy to figure out which one is perfect for your own needs.