Computers

iPad Pro vs Surface Pro: Which Pro Tablet is Best for You?

By on
iPad Pro vs Surface Pro
PHOTOGRAPH: Kiko Antonio |

Tablets are now becoming a way of life for some people these days. Most people use a tablet as a tool for entertainment. However, in today’s market, there are tablets that can be used to entertain while at the same time, used for something rather more professional. Case in point are the iPad Pro and Surface Pro from Apple and Microsoft, respectively.

While these tablets have merits of their own, it tends to get quite confusing which one will work best on a user. There a lot of things to consider in purchasing a tablet especially if it is going to be used professionally. Starting off with performance.

New iPad Pro vs new Surface Pro

So far, a lot of first time users of the new iPad Pro have been quite happy with the tablet. There are a number of reviews online praising Apple for the new tablet. Furthermore, benchmark tests revealed that in some cases, the iPad Pro even performed better than a MacBook Pro.

If GeekBench is your main metric for device performance, then the iPad Pro will suit you best. Based on the current results, Apple’s newest tablet can best even the MacBook Pro, let alone the new Surface Pro.

This is mainly because internally, the new iPad Pro has a total of six physical processor cores. On the other hand, the Surface Pro’s Intel i5 chip has two physical cores. With hyper threading enabled, this amount to a total of four virtual cores.

iPad Pro vs Surface Pro

The new iPad Pro (via apple.com)

In any case, it would seem that Apple hit the sweet spot when it comes to making the new A10X Fusion chip. However, since the Surface Pro offers far more models to choose from, this performance issue can be resolved by a simple processor upgrade.

Choices

As mentioned, the Microsoft offers a number of variations for the Surface Pro. While nothing external is changed, most of these differences are made internally. For instance, the Surface Pro can be had starting with an entry-level processor such as the Intel m3. The mid-range version sports an Intel i5 processor while the top-tier one comes with a snappy Intel i7 chip.

iPad Pro vs Surface Pro

The new Surface Pro (via microsoft.com)

In addition to available processors, the Surface Pro also has a number of RAM and storage configurations. Of course, would-be buyers would need to shell out quite a huge sum of Monet for some of these configurations.

Unfortunately for the iPad Pro, the choices are pretty limited. For one, Apple does not offer the tablet on different processor versions, just the custom Apple A10X Fusion ARM chip. RAM is pretty much the same. At the moment, users can only have as much as 4GB of system memory. Meanwhile, the storage is now ramped up to a maximum of 512GB.

Price range

As a basis of comparison, it should be noted that to be as congruent as possible, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be compared to the Surface Pro. That said, both the Surface Pro and the iPad Pro are priced evenly. However, there are some tradeoffs to that.

The $799 version of the Surface Pro has a bigger storage than the iPad Pro. However, in terms of performance, the Surface Pro’s Intel m3 chip lags behind the A10X Fusion from Apple.

iPad Pro vs Surface Pro

iPad Pro with various covers and the Apple Pencil (via apple.com)

Fortunately, as we move along the ladder, Microsoft has quite a few options for the Surface Pro. For advanced users, the top-of-the-line version of the tablet can cost as much as $2,700. This configurations packs an Intel i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. As for the iPad Pro, the top-tier version has a storage size of 512GB and costs less than half of the Surface Pro’s top-end.

Peripherals and connectivity

The most that anyone can get from the iPad Pro in terms of physical connectivity is the Lightning port. With the use of various dongles or adaptors, this can be made to fit any port available on the market. However, the Surface Pro does offer quite more in this regard. It is equipped with a USB 3.0 port as well as a mini DisplayPort for video output and a microSD slot.

The only thing missing on the Windows tablet is the Thunderbolt 3.0 port.  Nevertheless, for some professional users, the mini DisplayPort port can be connected to an external GPU hardware. Something that is useful for people who enjoys a bit of high performance PC gaming. Sadly, the same cannot be said on the iPad Pro.

Both tablets come with a plethora of peripherals. Each has its own cover with with keyboard. However, the Surface Pro cover keyboard wins on this one as it provides an option for mouse or trackpad input. The same goes for the stylus. The Surface pen offers four times as much pressure sensitivity than the Apple Pencil.

Operating system

This is where everything gets interesting. As anyone would know, the Surface Pro runs on the Windows operating system while the iPad Pro still runs on iOS. This could mean a make or break for anyone considering a professional tablet.

iPad Pro vs Surface Pro

Surface Pro with accessories (via microsoft.com)

On the surface, Apple’s iOS is good enough for day to day use. It does, however, have some applications that are suited for professional use. However, since the Surface Pro is running on a full Windows operating system, more application are available to users. In fact, this is where the Surface Pro shines the most.

The verdict

This one is a tough nut to crack, but in any case, the path has been laid out quite clearly for us. For not a lot of money, performance can be had on the iPad Pro. It’s $799 price point is quite attractive to begin with. However, there are some tradeoffs. Chief of which is the OS. But if you are well used to it and it does not bother you that much, then the iPad Pro is the one for you.

On the other hand, for the not so price sensitive, the Surface Pro can offer much more. The tablet can even be used for high-end gaming with the help of an external GPU hardware. If you already own one, then perhaps you should go for the Surface Pro. Furthermore, the vast number of professional applications will give you more reasons to choose Microsoft’s professional tablet.

For more tech updates, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.

Also read: Mac Pro vs iMac Pro: Which Workstation is Best for Professionals?

About the author

To Top