Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro – A Comparison

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro Review

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro Review

In many ways the iPad Pro from Apple is being regarded as a direct answer of sorts to Microsoft Surface. At the very basic level, iPad Pro is the first ever 2-in-1 from Apple. In terms of size, Surface Pro 4 comes in three sizes – 201 mm, 8.5 mm, and 292 mm. The three sizes for iPad Pro are 221 mm, 6.9 mm, and 306 mm. Microsoft and Apple market their keyboards separately and that is a little strange considering the fact that both the aforementioned tablets are pretty big. Experts feel that till the time these devices are being used as artistic devices or laptops such size will not be of much use for the owners. In terms of size, iPod Pro is 10% wider and 5% longer than Surface Pro 4. It is 18% thinner as well.

Weight and Build

In general, the various models of iPad Pro are lighter than Surface Pro 4. iPad Pro LTE is 713 grams heavy and the Wi-Fi model is 723 grams heavy. The Core M model of Microsoft is 766 grams heavy and the Core i5 and i7 models weigh 786 grams each. In terms of build, both the devices come with high-class bodies made fully of metal. Microsoft’s tablet is made of magnesium, while Apple’s product is made of aluminium.

Kickstand, Colour, and Display Size

The kickstand is where Microsoft has scored over Apple. Its Surface Pro 4 has an in-built kickstand, which the iPad Pro does not have. The Apple device is dependent on a separate keyboard in order to help it stand up like a tablet when it is being used in the laptop mode. However, in terms of colour, Apple offers greater variety for users with gray, gold, and silver versions as opposed to the sole variant of Microsoft – silver. iPad Pro also has a display size of 12.9”, which is 14% more than the 12.3” size of Microsoft.

Display Resolution and Stylus

Both the devices are almost neck and neck when it comes to display resolution. The measurements for Surface Pro 4 are 267ppi and 2736 X 1824. The similar statistics for iPod Pro are 264ppi and 2732 X 2048. The two devices are also equipped with their own styluses. Surface Pro 4 comes with a Surface Pen and it is the Apple Pencil for iPad Pro. However, in case of Microsoft’s product, the stylus is part of the package while in case of Apple it will cost you approximately $99 more.

Keyboards and Keyboard Trackpads

In case of both the devices the keyboards are optional but expert advice suggests it may be necessary to use them at some point of time. These things also need to be taken into consideration when you go to buy these devices. The Surface keyboard has a starting price of approximately $130 and the Smart Keyboard is priced at approximately $169. Microsoft has the edge over Apple in the sense that it has a keyboard trackpad, which Apple does not have. The glass trackpad of Surface Pro 4 helps one use it like a conventional laptop. However, since there is no such facility on the iPad Pro, you may face certain problems like having to touch the screen a bit too often.

Mouse Support and Facial Recognition Login

The Surface Pro 4 is better than iPad Pro in this case as well. It provides mouse support, while it is only the Pencil or fingers for the Apple product. iPad Pro also does not allow logging in with your face, which Surface Pro 4 allows through its support of the Hello feature, available in Windows 10 phones. There is no need to type in the password.

Following are some other interesting comparative data of both the tablets in question:

Area of Comparison iPad Pro Surface Pro 4
Desktop apps None Windows desktop software, file system access, non-sandboxed apps, command level control
Split-screen multitasking Yes Yes
Processor A9X, 64-bit Intel Core m3/i7/i5, dual core, 64-bit
RAM 4 GB 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB
Storage 32 GB, 128 GB 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
MicroSD None Yes
Battery 38.5 W-h, till 10 hours of video watching Till 9 hours of video watching
USB Port None Yes
Video out Lightning Mini Display Port
Camera megapixels 8 MP rear, 1.2 MP front 8 MP rear, 5 MP front
Software iOS 9 Windows 10
Starting price Approximately $799 (only for tablet), approximately $1067 with keyboard and pencil Approximately $899 with tablet and pen, approximately $1029 with keyboard
Fingerprint sensors Yes Yes
Cellular facilities Yes No 

Is Samsung Joining the Fray? 

The battle for supremacy in the market for tablets is expected to heat up in the days ahead with Samsung set to launch its 18.4 inch tablet named, quite literally, Galaxy View. With its launch in the US market through AT&T this will be one of the larger tablet phones in the world. Its outright price is approximately $600. It has a pixel capacity of 120ppi and is also compatible with 1080p. Its operating system is the Android 5.1 Lollipop and it has an Exynos 7580 processor with a 1.6 GHz octa-core. It also comes with a Mali-T720MP2 graphics processing unit.

Following are some other important features of Galaxy View:

  • 2 GB RAM
  • Wi-Fi
  • 64 GB internal memory – can be increased to 128 GB using MicroSD cards
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 2.1 megapixel camera
  • MicroUSB 2.0
  • 5700 mAh battery that cannot be removed
  • GPS with GLONASS and AGPS
  • 4G LTE