The Surface Pro vs iPad Pro battle pits two of the most powerful tablets against one another. iPad Pro has a slick design and excellent display, while the Surface Pro is quicker and more versatile than ever before and still brings a PC’s capabilities to a tablet-sized device with ease.
Apple’s latest high-end tablet, the iPad Pro, features the company’s M1 Chipset, whereas Microsoft’s Windows tablet was upgraded in 2019 to include new processors and USB-C.
Their costs are comparable, but their methods of operation are vastly different – mostly due to the diverse operating systems and apps they use. Is one better than the other when it comes to high-end tablet devices? Find out in our comparison below.
Surface Pro vs iPad Pro: Pros and Cons
In the battle of Surface Pro vs iPad Pro, let’s check out both the tablets’ pros and cons.
Here are the pros and cons of the Apple iPad Pro.
- Great battery performance
- Faster processor
- Stunning display
- Enhanced security
- Camera with Lidar technology
- No headphone jack
- Can’t fully replace a PC or Mac
Here are the pros and cons of the Microsoft Surface Pro.
- Fast performance with Intel “Ice Lake” chip
- Powerful battery life
- Sharp display
- USB-C connectivity
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3
- Dated design
- The fanless design may affect performance in the long run
|Basis||iPad Pro||Surface Pro|
|Chipset||Apple M1 chip (8-core ARM CPU, 16-core Neural Engine)||Intel Core i3-1005G1Intel Core i5-1035G4Intel Core i7-1065G7|
|Display||12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED backlit IPS with 2732×2048 resolution||12.3-inch PixelSense display with 2736×1824 resolution|
|Ports||Thunderbolt 4 with USB4 Type-C||USB Type-C, Type-A, Surface Connect, 3.5mm audio jack|
|Battery||Built-in 40.88-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery||Battery Nominal (WH) 46.5Battery Min (WH) 43.2|
|Storage||Up to 2TB||128GB/256GB/512GB/1TBMicroSD card slot|
|RAM||8GB/16GB||4GB/8GB/16GB LPDDR4x RAM|
|Camera||12MP front camera with ƒ/2.4 aperture, Smart HDR 3, FaceID|
12MP rear camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture wide, 10MP ƒ/2.4 aperture ultra-wide, 2x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom
|5MP Windows Hello face authentication front camera|
8MP rear camera autofocus camera with 1080p full HD video
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5Optional 5G||Wi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5|
|Price||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
Surface Pro vs iPad Pro: Features Face to Face
This Surface Pro vs iPad Pro comparison featuring a 12.9-inch iPad Pro M1 and Surface Pro 7 will help you decide which tablet is the better choice if you want to boost your productivity.
The iPad Pro is somewhat heavier and thicker than the Surface Pro. Even though the proportions are similar, it has a 12.9-inch screen because of its thinner bezels. In addition, the back of the tablet features a square camera bump for housing cameras.
Only a single USB-C port (with Thunderbolt 4) is available, while the keyboard attaches via connection points on the back.
On the other hand, the Surface Pro has a 12.3-inch display with the same premium feel as the iPad Pro. Compared to the iPad Pro, the corners are a little less rounded, and the camera on the rear is flat with the main body. The Surface Pro’s built-in kickstand, which allows you to put it up on a table without the need for an outer cover, is undoubtedly its most significant feature.
Several additional ports are available on the Surface Pro 7, such as a USB Type-A port, a USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Furthermore, it includes the Surface Connect port, exclusive to Microsoft, and can recharge and link docks. Also concealed behind the kickstand is a microSD card slot, which can enhance the available storage space quickly and simply.
The iPad Pro is unquestionably sleeker and more contemporary compared to the Surface Pro. But because of the wider port choices and the built-in kickstand, the Surface Pro is far more convenient than the iPad Pro.
Mini-LED displays, similar to OLED displays, are included for the first time on the iPad Pro 12.9, making it the first tablet to do so. Compared to a regular LCD, it is brighter, crisper, and has deeper blacks.
The Surface Pro’s 12.3-inch PixelSense display has a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. It does not have the same brightness and power as the iPad; it is a beautiful device for everyday usage, even while you are out in the open.
As previously stated, the iPad Pro’s bezels are thinner, resulting in a more interactive experience on the screen. It also offers significantly more features than the previous model, making it an excellent display. It is crisper, brighter, and smoother thanks to Apple’s ProMotion or dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, which provides a smoother experience.
Hardware and Performance
Apple kept things simple by including the same high-capacity M1 CPU in all iPad Pro models for 2021. This is the same monstrous processor that was used in Apple’s 2020 lineup of MacBook laptops, and it’s a performance powerhouse, as well. The majority of devices come with 8GB of RAM, except for the 1TB and 2TB variants, with 16GB of RAM.
Conversely, the performance you’ll get out of Surface Pro 7 is heavily influenced by the model you choose to purchase. The Surface Pro 7 comes equipped with a modest 10th-Gen Intel Core i3 dual-core chipset and 4GB of RAM, which should be sufficient for the majority of average users’ demands. If you are a power user, you may do better with versions featuring Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPUs and 16GB of RAM, which will allow them to perform faster. Still, they’ll have to pay a significant premium for the privilege, i.e., higher pricing.
Compare the iPad Pro’s M1 CPU with 8GB of RAM against the Intel Core i3 processor from the previous generation, and the iPad Pro is almost certain to outperform the Intel Core i3. Apple has an industry-leading chip in its hands with the M1, and although the Surface Pro 7 models can catch pace with the iPad Pro when under heavy load, like as with games, they can’t keep up with the iPad Pro in all situations.
Although the Surface Pro 7 runs Windows operating system, it also offers a wide range of customization options, including more straightforward file management, personalizing your home screen, and the ability to download free software and documents via the internet browser or other channels.
There are significant differences between Windows 10 and iPadOS. Windows 10 on the Surface Pro 7 is as adaptable as it has always been. It gives you access to a diverse ecosystem of apps, and you may obtain them from any source you choose, whether it’s the Microsoft App Store, the program’s author, or via alternate distribution channels such as the Google Play Store. These programs are typically full-featured copies of the originals.
The Surface Pro 7 will be compatible with the future Windows 11 operating system update. This will bring this tablet up to date to the same level as the most recent Windows laptops, and we anticipate seeing software updates for at least the next few years.
The iPad Pro’s operating system is more constrained, severely limiting the types of software installed, where it can be downloaded, and the exchange of data between apps. However, the iPadOS is also very vast, and you’ll find iPad versions for the majority of favorite apps, whether it’s Microsoft Word, Photoshop, or others. The App Store has different versions of apps too. Sometimes you might not get the exact app you want, but you will get the closest alternative.
The iPad Pro 12.9 has dual rear cameras, the same as those found in the iPad Pro 2020. This features a 12MP megapixel wide lens with an aperture of f/1.8, a 10MP ultra-wide lens with an aperture of f/2.4, and a field of view of 125 degrees. It also has 4K video recording and Smart HDR capabilities. It also supports the LiDAR scanner with the third sensor used in sophisticated AR apps. There’s also a 7-megapixel front camera that supports Face ID authentication.
The Surface Pro 7 is equipped with an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, both of which can capture videos in Full HD 1080p. Users can also use Windows Hello facial recognition technology to log into their Surface Pro 7.
As one could easily gauge from above, the iPad Pro has a far more advanced camera setup than the Surface Pro 7.
Pencil / Stylus
The new iPad Pro M1 continues to be compatible with Apple’s second-generation Pencil, which is a delightful piece of hardware. Drawing with the Pencil is smooth due to its gorgeous matt finish. It’s a natural experience to draw with the Apple Pencil for the most part.
The lifelike feel has been further enhanced by iPadOS, which has reduced the latency of the stylus to only 9ms. Additionally, the 120Hz display allows you to see the outcomes of your drawing twice as quickly as you would on the Surface Pro 7, which can significantly increase precision. Without a doubt, this is a stylish peripheral – we particularly appreciate the fact that it magnetically connects to the side of the iPad Pro for storing and that it wirelessly charges while it’s in place, ensuring that it’s readily up for use anytime you want.
The Surface Pen is an excellent stylus as well, and it provides a really natural-feeling drawing experience with all of the crucial capabilities you require, such as tilt shading, while also being extremely durable. There’s also a new Surface Pen variation, the ‘Slim,’ designed for individuals who desire a thinner and flatter form.
Though it’s difficult to say which pen is the best for you, Apple’s Pencil is widely considered the best simply because it seems more intuitive when making notes or doodling thanks to the ultra-low latency and fast refresh rate of the screen. On the other hand, some creative professionals love the sensation of Microsoft’s stylus against the display’s glass.
Finally, keep in mind that the Surface Pen is still somewhat more affordable than the Apple Pencil – but that the new Surface Slim Pen is pricier than the Apple Pencil.
Accessories and Peripherals
The Microsoft Surface Pro is compatible with various accessories and peripherals, all of which are available for purchase separately and are not included in the box when you buy the tablet.
Users can buy a special Type Cover, dubbed the Surface Pro Signature Type Cover, crafted with Microsoft’s Alcantara materials and available in four colors. There’s also a new Surface Pen that you can get, which boasts 4x sensitivity of its predecessor.
The Surface Pro 7 also includes support for the Surface Dial and the option of purchasing a Surface Mouse as an add-on.
When it comes to Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9, accessories are somewhat more restricted. However, they are still available for purchase separately, as none are included in the package. The Apple Pencil (2nd generation) and the Smart Keyboard are two options available.
Also Read: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review
Battery and Connectivity
The Surface Pro 7 and iPad Pro tablets claim to have comparable battery life. However, actual performance will vary depending on what types of apps you’re operating on your device. The features of the two devices are what distinguish them the most. Although their operating systems are fundamentally different, this distinction is essential.
The Surface Pro 7 and the iPad Pro can function as stand-alone tablets; however, we believe the iPad Pro makes a better case for it. Both devices are compatible with extendable keyboard covers, freestanding keyboards, as well as trackpads or mice for navigation. The iPad’s only recently acquired support for a mouse, and using one feels cumbersome. On the other hand, Windows has a poorly designed touch-based user interface. It demonstrates that Apple built the iPad as a dedicated touchscreen tablet from scratch, whereas Microsoft attempted to incorporate tablet capability into a laptop.
The Surface is significantly more expandable. Surface Pro 7 includes more connectors, including USB-A (regular USB), USB-C, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and even a microSD card slot to allow users to connect with various peripherals. On the other hand, the iPad Pro only features a single USB-C port.
Surface Pro vs iPad Pro: Quality and Reliability
Let’s weigh in other comparison aspects of both tablets.
Surface and Surface Pro products are covered by a one-year limited warranty, including 90 days of software assistance. The warranty covers both the devices themselves and peripherals like Type Cover and stylus, among other things. In contrast to other brands, Microsoft covers shipping fees for devices that are returned for repair.
Apple iPads are covered by a one-year limited warranty and technical assistance for 90 days. Even though Apple will provide you with a method of paying for the transportation of your product to the company’s specialists, the manufacturer’s warranty is the best option for people who reside in densely populated areas where accessibility to a Genius Bar is available.
It is possible to contact Apple’s customer support team in various ways if you are experiencing issues with your iPad or any other Apple device or service. Alternatively, you can call them or chat, use the Apple Support app to reach them, or shoot them a direct message on social channels such as Twitter.
The number to call to reach Apple customer service is 1-800-275-2273 if you are located in the United States. When you call this phone number, make sure you have your device’s serial number on hand. When a customer support representative requests it, you will save time by providing it.
Similarly, Microsoft offers live chat and phone help on (800) 642-7676. Even though Microsoft’s representatives may not respond as quickly as those at Apple, they provide excellent customer service. Additionally, Microsoft is boosting the number of retail locations where customers can get face-to-face assistance. And, of course, you can use their social media handles to contact them.
The new iPad Pro in 2021 starts at $799 for the 11-inch device with 128GB of storage and goes up from there. The 2021 iPad Pro 12.9-inch starts at $1,099 for the base model with 128GB of storage. You can choose from all of the same storage levels as before, and you will receive the necessary RAM improvements. A 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 2TB storage could set you back substantially at $2,199.
Apple iPad Pro M1 11-inch (2021)
Apple iPad Pro M1 12.9-inch (2021)
The Surface Pro 7 starts at $749 for the Core i3 model with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, the most affordable model. The majority of professionals — and, in fact, the vast majority of people in general – would not endorse this. We recommend the Core i5 model, which has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for a total price of $899.
The most expensive variant, with a Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage, costs $2,299 in the US, UK, and Canada.
We hope the Surface Pro vs iPad Pro comparison helps you make your buying decision and make a better selection between the two leading tablets.
Both tablets are excellent in terms of build quality and design, and they come with a selection of handy add-ons. Ultimately, it will come down to what you genuinely want your gadget to be able to accomplish.
For those who want to use their iPad first and foremost for entertainment and work on the move, the iPad Pro 12.9 is unquestionably the better option. The Surface Pro 7’s entire desktop app suite can handle most of your requirements if work-on-the-go is crucial to you.