comscore Apple iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Which one you should buy?

Apple iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Which one you should buy?

surface pro 4

Microsoft today finally launched its latest Surface Pro 4 tablet in India. Touted as the tablet that will replace your laptop, the new Surface Pro 4 is exclusively available via Amazon India for six months with price starting Rs 89,990. With such steep pricing, Microsoft is certainly not looking at the usual laptops segment, but is eyeing the niche segment. Also Read - Microsoft Surface Pro 8 launched along with new Surface Slim Pen 2: Check price, specs

Also Read - Apple to launch new iPad Pro with Thunderbolt port next month

The Surface Pro 4 is set to take on Apple s premium iPad Pro tablet, which is also vying in the same niche segment. With features such as the stylus, type cover and relatively large display, the iPad Pro seems highly inspired from Microsoft s philosophy for the Surface series. The iPad Pro 128GB model is priced at Rs 79,900. Also Read - Apple iPad mini 2021 could get a new design with slim bezels, Face ID; reveal leaked photos

Considering that the both the devices are similarly priced and feature-rich, which one between the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Apple iPad Pro should you choose? We compare the two equivalent variants – Microsoft Surface Pro 128GB /Intel Core i5/4GB RAM and Apple iPad Pro 128GB (Wi-Fi only) – on the basis of a few use cases. Let s check out how the two premium devices perform.

Laptop replacement

Both the Apple iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro 4 look to be an alternative to your laptop. If you are simply looking to replace your laptop, you should prefer the Surface Pro 4. The Microsoft device gives you full fledged Windows 10 operating system, whereas on the iPad Pro you get iOS, which is somewhat limited, especially when it comes to multitasking or accessing the file system.

For instance, something as simple as saving a document attachment from an email, working on it and sending it back requires going through multiple hoops on the iPad Pro. Or for that matter, something as simple as opening two windows on a browser side by side isn’t possible on the iPad Pro, unless you open different windows on different web browsers and snap the two apps in multi-tasking mode.

Surface Pro 4 006

The Surface Pro also offers two full-size USB ports that you can use to attach peripherals like a USB pen drive or even a USB modem. That’s just not possible on the iPad Pro, unless you want to invest in expensive third-party accessories.

Like we said in our review, the iPad Pro cannot replace your laptop, it can somewhat substitute it and offer a somewhat compromised experience. The Surface Pro 4, on the other hand, is a complete PC in a tablet form factor.

Winner: Surface Pro 4


In terms of aesthetics, both the tablets are quite good looking. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has the similar design language of the Surface Pro 3, though it has slimmer bezels that makes the display appear slightly bigger. In terms of dimensions, the Pro 4 measures 292.10mm x 201.42mm x 8.45mm and weighs about 786 grams. The Apple iPad Pro, on the other hand, is a big update in terms of design from the previous iPads. The new iPad Pro measures 305.7 mm x 220.6 mm x 6.9 mm, and weighs about 713 grams. In terms of sheer dimensions and weight, the iPad Pro edges past the Surface Pro with its slimmer and lighter design.

Surface Pro 4 007

However, the Surface Pro 4 makes its design more interesting with magnesium casing, a multi-angle kickstand and magnetized edges for housing the Surface Pen, which by the way comes in the box. For the iPad Pro, you need to buy the Apple Pencil separately, which costs Rs 14,500 and there is no place to store it either. Similarly it lacks a kickstand, which works very well for the Surface Pro 4 to prop the tablet for viewing media.

Both the Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro come with an optional keyboard accessory, which look and feel quite similar. The iPad Pro’s keyboard cover costs Rs 14,900 while the Surface Pro 4’s Type Cover costs Rs 12,490.

Winner: Surface Pro 4

Apps and Games

There is no doubting that Windows 10 is the best version of Windows from Microsoft thus far. But the growing competition with Android and iOS has adversely impacted its app store, which has significantly lesser third party applications than its counterparts. Even though Microsoft has improved the app store of late, it is still way behind the Apple App store. If there are any specific third-party app that you use, which provides a better user interface or is simply not available in a browser, you would be better served with the iPad Pro. There are several apps for architects and artists, that have been built specifically for the iPad Pro. The app gap is pretty noticeable on Windows 10.

apple ipad pro

Same goes with the games. Apple s app ecosystem gives you a wide range of options including several graphic intensive games. Most of the major gaming titles are now coming up with special versions for the iPad Pro, which takes the gaming experience to the next level. Combined with the graphics processing chops of the A9 processor and the four speakers, the iPad Pro provides an immersive gaming experience.

Winner: Apple iPad Pro


In terms of productivity, the Surface Pro 4 delivers much superior experience than the iPad Pro. The difference maker is Windows 10, which provides you much better experience be it doing multitasking or accessing full-fledged legacy desktop applications. For those who work on heavy duty desktop applications or perhaps want to quickly access and share content from pen drives,

the Surface Pro 4 with Windows 10 is much better option. Toss in the Type Cover, which is now much better with well spaced island-style keys and more importantly a bigger trackpad, the Surface Pro 4 is a much suitable option for productivity-focused users.

Surface Pro 4 014

The iPad Pro, on the other hand, lags behind mainly because of iOS 9. The latest iOS version, though superior from the previous iterations, does well at optimizing applications for a tablet form factor, but struggles when it comes to basic productivity tasks such as multi-tasking or for that running desktop-level applications. Absence of full USB ports make users dependent on cloud sharing and internal storage, which again is a bottleneck when you want to transfer data offline. There are tonnes of applications that can be done with ease with trackpad support, something very important missing on the Apple keyboard.

Winner: Surface Pro 4

Multimedia experience

In terms of multimedia experience, Apple s iPad Pro easily thumps the Surface Pro. The iPad Pro delivers much superior graphics when it comes to viewing ultra high resolution videos or games.

As mentioned in our review as well, the iPad lPro delivers an amazing sound quality, courtesy four built-in stereo speakers. Along with top-notch audio quality and Retina Display, multimedia experience on the iPad Pro is outstanding.

The Surface Pro 4 does have better display sound quality than its predecessors. But, it doesn t match the experience on the iPad Pro. If you are a movie or music buff, the iPad Pro will definitely impress you.

Even when it comes to editing video, iMovie remains unsurpassed and provides a great editing experience when combined with the iPad Pro’s hardware.

Winner: Apple iPad Pro


If you are looking for a high-end tablet that can replace your laptop, you should go for the Surface Pro 4. From ease of use and productivity point of view, the Surface Pro 4 is a complete laptop package in the tablet form factor.

The Apple iPad Pro, however, seems to be a tablet that can do bit more as compared to other tablets. It cannot replace your laptop permanently for sure. But, if productivity isn t the main agenda, and you are more focused on multimedia, need some specific apps or games or if you are into sketching and drawing, the iPad Pro would be a better option.

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  • Published Date: January 7, 2016 7:36 PM IST

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