Microsoft Surface Pro vs. iPad Pro: A New Contender Enters the Ring

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Image source: René Ramos

In the realm of high-performance tablets, the iPad Pro has long held the throne, lauded for its sleek design, impressive processing power, and seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem. However, the latest entrant into the market is Microsoft’s Surface Pro, which is gaining a lot of attention and posing a serious challenge. In this piece, we compare these two giants to determine if the Surface Pro is in any way a contender to the iPad Pro.

Design and Build

The Surface Pro has an impressive design with its kickstand, which makes it suitable for various purposes, whether for creative work or business needs. The build quality is excellent, with the phone featuring a magnesium-aluminum alloy frame that gives the device a premium and robust look and feel. On the other hand, the iPad Pro still carries the minimalist design with its aluminum finish. It is much lighter and thinner than the Surface Pro, although it is not as portable as a typical tablet. Design-wise, they are on par with each other, but the Surface Pro has a better kickstand and a slightly more laptop-like experience.

Display

Image credit: Kyle Cobian

Microsoft Surface Pro

The Surface Pro and iPad Pro have excellent displays with high resolutions, but they offer different options for users. The iPad Pro has a Liquid Retina display that is bright and colorful, with impressive color reproduction that will be appreciated by artists and business people. The ProMotion technology along with up to 120Hz refresh rate provides fluid scrolling and touch response.

On the other hand, the Surface Pro comes with a PixelSense display that is Surface Pen and touch enabled. It may not have the same refresh rate as the iPad Pro, but it gives more control to users who prefer using a stylus for note-taking or drawing, making it ideal for digital artists and professionals who require accuracy in their work.

Performance

On the inside, both tablets have the necessary specs to be used as a laptop for most people. The iPad Pro which has Apple’s M1 chip offers incredible performance and can perform tasks such as video editing and 3D rendering without any lag. Thanks to the integration with iOS and specially optimized apps that take full advantage of the hardware, its performance is excellent.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro that uses Intel processors also has great performance. It excels with the support of full-fledged desktop applications, including the Windows OS environment that many users are familiar with. This makes the Surface Pro very flexible, it can run complex spreadsheets, heavy duty graphic software and many other things as if it is a laptop.

Software and Ecosystem

This is where the action really starts. The iPad Pro uses the iPadOS, which is a very touch-optimized operating system and comes with an app store that has a vast number of apps made for the tablet. However, its mobile-first approach can be limiting for users who require full-fledged desktop applications.

The Surface Pro from Microsoft is a Windows 10 device, and this makes it capable of running full desktop applications. This is a great benefit for those who use software like Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD or even programming IDEs which are by their nature desktop-oriented. This capability of running a full version of Windows makes it easier to fit into most professional environments without the need for any complex configurations.

Battery Life and Connectivity

Both devices provide all-day battery life, but the iPad Pro tends to have slightly better battery endurance due to the M1 chip and the more power-efficient iPadOS. For connectivity, both support USB-C ports; however, the iPad Pro boasts better cameras than the Surface Pro but the Surface Pro has more ports and supports expandable storage.

Conclusion

Microsoft Surface Pro can be considered as a strong rival to the iPad Pro, especially for those who appreciate the possibility to work with a full-fledged operating system and the capabilities of a conventional laptop. While the iPad Pro shines in its efficient workflow and app integration, the Surface Pro stands as a viable contender with its laptop-inspired design and comprehensive software support.

The rivalry between these two Goliaths is as close as it has ever been and it comes down to preference and need. Whether one prefers the artistic and stylish touch of the iPad Pro or the versatility and power of the Surface Pro, the consumer is the ultimate winner with such great devices available.

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