Apple and Microsoft want to replace your laptop with their powerful new tablets, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the 2017 Surface, respectively.
Both tablets come with high-end specs and features, enhanced productivity, powerful performance and advanced software, but which would make a better laptop replacement? The new Surface Pro or the 10.5-inch iPad Pro?
We’ve pitted the two devices against each other to see how they stack up, taking a number of major aspects into account.
The new Surface Pro promises great productivity features thanks to the full Windows 10 OS, aiming to offer the power and functionality of a laptop with the portability of a tablet.
The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, meanwhile, promises more power, better visuals, and better functionality than its predecessors, and it should get even better once iOS 11 hits the scene with all its neat tricks and treats.
Both slates are set to start shipping this month so if you’re torn between the two, here’s a brief comparison touching on the main areas of concern.
2017 Surface Pro vs 10.5-Inch iPad Pro: Hardware Specs
Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Pro has the most attractive bezels in the iPad lineup and renders visuals in a 2,224 x 1,668 resolution, which translates to a pixel density of 264 ppi. The tablet’s display also boasts up to 600-nit brightness, HDR, a wider color gamut, and an impressive 120hz refresh rate.
The 2017 Surface Pro, meanwhile, features a 12.3-inch PixelSense display with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 pixels, which translates to a pixel density of 267 ppi. That’s slightly higher than the 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s, but the difference should be invisible to the naked eye.
Under the hood, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro packs Apple’s hexa-core, 64-bit A10X Fusion chip, promising top-notch performance without compromising battery life. The tablet should last for up to 10 hours on a single charge.
The latest Surface Pro packs seventh-generation Intel Core m3, i5 and i7 (Kaby Lake), which should deliver a beastly performance without breaking a sweat. In terms of battery performance, the 2017 Surface Pro promises up to 13.5 hours of battery life on a single charge.
When it comes to internal storage, the Surface Pro seems to have a leg up in the competition. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes with 64 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB of storage, while the Surface Pro offers 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB storage options.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro, however, wins in the camera department. The tablet features a 12-megapixel main camera and a 7-megapixel front shooter, while the Surface Pro has a 9-megapixel rear shooter and a 5-megapixel front camera. At the same time, the iPad Pro’s rear camera has 4K video recording capabilities, while the Surface Pro can only shoot in 1080p.
10.5-Inch iPad Pro vs 2017 Surface Pro: Accessories
Both tablets have attachable keyboard options that allow them to turn into laptops, but the accessories are available separately.
The Apple Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro costs $159 and includes an extra row of number keys, as well as a sleeve for the Apple Pencil, but it doesn’t have a touchpad. The Apple Pencil is also available separately, at a $99 price point.
For the Surface Pro, Microsoft’s Signature Type Cover costs $150, while the Surface Pen costs $99, marking the first time the stylus is not included in the price of the tablet.
10.5-Inch iPad Pro vs 2017 Surface Pro: Software
Software is also one of the most important factors that typically weigh in one’s decision to purchase one product over another. The iPad Pro comes with iOS 10 and will get an upgrade to iOS 11 later this year, but users accustomed to traditional Windows desktops might not find it all that impressive. While it will get new features with iOS 11, such as a new Files app, and drag-and-drop functionality, these have already been available on PCs for a good while.
Desktop users might find the Surface Pro running the full-fledged Windows 10 OS more attractive. On the other hand, iOS 11 also boasts some new tricks such as a new application for scanning documents, and it’s also deeply integrated with the Apple Pencil. Artists and other creative users might find iOS 11 more appealing from this point of view.
2017 Surface Pro vs 10.5-Inch iPad Pro: Pricing
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts at $649 for the 64 GB version (without the keyboard and stylus), going up to $749 and $949 for the 256 GB and 512 GB variants, respectively.
The new Microsoft Surface Pro, meanwhile, comes with spicier price tags, especially for the higher-end models. The entry-level version with a Core m3 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage costs $799, arriving as the cheapest option. The Core i5 model with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage costs $999, while the Core i5 variant with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage goes up to $1,299. For the i7 models, prices are going further up: the model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage costs $1,599, the one with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage goes up to $2,199, while the most expensive version tops out at $2,699, offering 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage. The Surface Pro is currently available for preorder at the Microsoft Store.
2017 Surface Pro vs 10.5-Inch iPad Pro: Conclusion
Of the two tablets, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has a lower starting price (albeit lower storage than the entry-level Surface Pro), better cameras, and iOS 11 later on. The 2017 Surface Pro, however, comes in higher configurations with more storage, more RAM, powerful processing options, a larger display, and the full Windows 10 on board.