Price and options
Both devices have a range of price options available, depending on the configuration you want.
The 10.5in Wi-Fi-only iPad Pro starts at $979 for 64GB storage, ranging up to $1,429 for 512GB. The 12.9in Wi-Fi-only model ranges from $1,199 for 64GB to $1,649 for 512GB. Cellular (4G) capability adds $200 to the price of any model, and you also get an option of four different colours.
Microsoft offers a much wider spread of models and prices, starting from $1,199 for a Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage. If you want more grunt and storage, the $1,999 model offers a Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The top-of-the-range $3,999 model includes a Core i7, 16GB and 1TB, but if none of these suit, there are six different configurations to choose from. 4G is currently not available, but it’s apparently coming, for those who prefer not tether with their phone.
So, overall, the iPad Pro will generally work out cheaper, but the Surface Pro offers a greater range of configurations – and more choice is always a good thing. And with the Surface Pro, you are getting a genuine laptop replacement, while the iPad Pro is still essentially a tablet – albeit a very powerful one.
However, we can’t stress enough our disappointment in both companies that the keyboards and pens are significant extra costs.
Verdict: Surface Pro
While both devices are great in their own right, only the Surface Pro is capable providing that all-round hybrid experience that customers want from a laptop replacement.
The iPad remains first and foremost an Apple tablet, a device capable of performing perfectly well without optional extras. It has an excellent screen, great build quality, and a healthy selection of apps. However, the inclusion of a keyboard provides only a quasi-laptop experience, which is handicapped by its mobile OS. It has the power, but little to back it up.
Compare that to the Surface Pro, with which a keyboard becomes a necessity to get the most from the device. That excellent TypeCover offers the sort of typing experience you would expect from a top-end ultrabook, and at a desk you will soon forget you are using a tablet sat on its side. And with the potential for some serious hardware configurations, backed up by a full Windows 10 experience, it is by far the better option for replacing a laptop.
Final verdict: Surface Pro
This comparison is based on an article that originally appeared at IT Pro.