In the world of ultraportable 2-in-1 tablets that may work as exhausting as they play, there are however two choices: the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro. And on October 2, Microsoft unvieled not only a refreshed Surface Pro 7, however the brand-new Surface Pro X, an always-on, always-connected pill that appears solely designed to tackle the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. So let’s dive in and see how these two tablets stack up.
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Design
With both the Surface Pro X or the iPad Pro, you are getting a contemporary pill with a large show surrounded by slim bezels, all packed in a skinny, light-weight body:
- Surface Pro X: 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.28 inches
- iPad Pro: 9.7 x 7 x. 0.23 inches
While the Surface Pro X technically has slimmer facet bezels, the highest and backside bezels are wider. The iPad Pro’s bezels, however, are uniformly spaced across the display screen, giving the bundle extra steadiness and symmetry than the Surface Pro X’s.
The iPad Pro has barely flatter edges, whereas the Surface Pro X’s edges have a little bit of a curve to them.
At 1.4 kilos, the iPad can be a bit lighter than the 1.7-pound Surface.
Around the again, each sport a single digicam lens (the Surface Pro X’s is centered, whereas the iPad Pro’s is within the high left nook). And in fact, the Surface consists of its trademark kickstand that blends into the underside half of the pill when not in use.
Winner: iPad Pro
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Display
Both tablets sport a 3:2 show ratio quite than 16:9. The Surface Pro X’s 23-inch show is ever so barely greater than the iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch. Resolution-wise, the 2 shows are very comparable as properly:
- Surface Pro X: 2880×1920, 267ppi
- iPad Pro: 2732×2048, 264ppi
However, the distinction between them is larger than a number of pixels and a tenth of an inch. For one, the iPad’s show has rounded corners that match the gadget and provides the bezels and the display screen a seamless movement. It additionally options two distinctive Apple applied sciences: True Tone, which adapts the dsplay’s shade temperature based mostly on ambient gentle, and ProMovement, which might modify the refresh fee as much as 120Hz to be extra responsive to the touch or stylus enter.
The Surface Pro X makes use of Microsoft’s PixelSense show, which additionally adapts to lighting, however has a normal 60Hz refresh fee.
Both shows function a P3 wide-color gamut, however the iPad is considerably brighter at 600 nits versus the Surface’s 450 nits.
Winner: iPad Pro
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Performance and specs
While earlier (and present) Surfaces all use Intel processors, the Surface Pro X is a distinct animal. Instead of Intel inside, it has the SQ1, a customized Snapdragon 8cx-based processor that Microsoft co-designed with Qualcomm. The 3GHz SQ1 has 8 cores and a couple of teraflops of graphics energy, and relies on ARM, which may trigger points with some Windows apps. Qualcomm has launched some preliminary benchmarks on the Snapdragon 8cx however the SQ1 variant is unknown and untested, so we’ve got no clue the way it stacks as much as its friends.
The iPad Pro additionally runs an ARM-based processor, referred to as the A12 Bionic. It’s a technology behind the newer A13 within the iPhone 11, nevertheless it’s nonetheless lots succesful, with a 64-bit ARMv8 octa-core CPU and a devoted neural engine that runs 5 trillion operations per second. So the SQ1 definitely has its work lower out for it
Because the Surface Pro X is a full-fledged Windows machine, it comes with far more RAM than the iPad. While the iPad Pro has 4GB of RAM, the Surface comes with both 8GB or 16GB, relying in your configuration. That’s a PC-level of reminiscence that straight up blows away the iPad. The Surface Pro X additionally comes with LTE in each configuration, whereas you’ll must pay a $150 premium with the iPad Pro.
Winner: Surface Pro X
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Storage
When it involves storage, the Surface Pro X mannequin begins at 128GB, twice as a lot because the iPad Pro base mannequin. Both supply 256GB and 512GB choices, whereas the iPad Pro goes all the way in which as much as 1TB.
However, you may truly swap out the drive on the Surface Pro X for a distinct one. While Microsoft doesn’t suggest doing it your self and as a substitute suggests you seek the advice of “a skilled technician following Microsoft provided instructions,” it’s an choice that isn’t obtainable with the iPad.
Winner: Surface Pro X
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Ports
The very brief listing of ports on each the Surface Pro X and the iPad Pro inform their very own story:
- Surface Pro X: 2 USB-C, Surface Connect port, Surface Keyboard connector port, nano SIM
- iPad Pro: USB-C, Smart Connector, nano SIM
USB-C is your solely alternative for connecting peripherals apart from the respective keyboards. You can overlook concerning the headphone jack on each as properly. You’ll want both a dongle, or Bluetooth headphones, or USB-C.
Notably, the Surface Pro X doesn’t use its USB-C port for charging. While a USB-C charger will presumably replenish your pill for those who plug one in, you’ll nonetheless want to hold the Surface Connector for dependable energy.
Winner: Surface Pro X
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Rear digicam
Tablets this massive aren’t recognized for his or her photo-taking experience, and for those who’ve ever seen somebody attempt to take a pic with a 13-inch pill, you may see why. So each have acceptable, however comparatively pedestrian rear cameras:
- Surface Pro X: 10MP with 1080p HD and 4K video
- iPad Pro: 12MP, f/1.8, with 1080p HD and 4K video
While the iPad’s sensor is technically superior, you most likely gained’t be utilizing both one to take photos or movies, even for those who do have fingers giant sufficient to deal with it.
Winner: iPad Pro
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Biometrics
The entrance cameras are much more helpful, and never only for taking selfies. While the specs are mediocre—5MP on the Surface and 7MP on the iPad Pro—each tablets use their entrance cameras for 3D facial scanning. On the Surface Pro Xit’s referred to as Windows Hello, whereas Apple referred to as it Face ID on the iPad, however they’re mainly the identical, utilizing an IR blaster and a digicam to create a 3D mannequin of your face that’s authenticated every time you unlock your gadget or entry a website with a password. It’s quick, it’s simple and, most significantly, it’s much more safe than a fingerprint sensor.
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Battery life
While neither firm likes to inform us what measurement battery is inside their tablets, we all know from teardowns that the iPad Pro’s is 9,720mAh, which Apple estimates will get you as much as 10 hours of “surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music.” In our testing, we have discovered that Apple’s battery estimates are fairly spot-on, if not a little bit conservative.
Microsoft says the Surface Pro X will get 13 hours with “typical device usage,” however these estimates are based mostly on 150-nit brightness, which might be decrease than most individuals will set their screens (we run our assessments at 200 nits’ brightness). So it stays to be seen whether or not the Surface Pro X can last more than the iPad Pro.
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: OS and apps
The variations between Microsoft’s and Apple’s respective OSes are properly documented on the subject of PCs, however the distance between them is even higher on the subject of tablets. That’s as a result of Surface gadgets run Windows 10, whereas the iPad runs iOS (which is branded iPad OS as of the most recent launch).
However, now that the Surface Pro X makes use of an ARM processor, the previous Windows apps aren’t going to work. Developers are going to wish to retool their apps for the brand new structure, and that’s going to take time. For instance, Adobe has introduced that it is going to be bringing its Creative Cloud apps to the Surface Pro X “as soon as possible,” starting with the Fresno drawing app that lately landed on the iPad platform. Obviously, Microsoft’s Office 365 Suite will probably be totally optimized and able to roll.
But whereas the iPad Pro might have extra apps firstly, the potential is way higher for the Surface Pro X. With the total model of Windows at its disposal, the Surface will solely get higher and extra highly effective—assuming builders signal on to assist it. So for now, the iPad Pro has the sting, however that would change rapidly.
Winner: iPad Pro
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Accessories
Because these are each categorized as 2-in-1 gadgets, they every have equipment that flip them into pseudo-laptops. Apple’s Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro will set you again $199. Microsoft sells a daily Surface Pro X Keyboard for $140. The Surface Pro X Signature keyboard, which has a particular charging dock for the Slim Pen, sells in a bundle with the Slim Pen for $270. However, each of Microsoft’s Surface Pro X keyboards embrace a trackpad for controlling a cursor, whereas the iPad Pro’s depends solely on contact, even with the keyboard connected.
The styli produce other variations. The Surface Slim Pen has some neat Office management tips inbuilt, whereas the Apple Pencil is extra of a drawing device. Apple’s second-generation Pencil presents magnetic charging and storage on the iPad itself, and it prices $129. The Surface Slim Pen, which is accessible individually for $145, can cost by way of USB-C with an included charging base, or cost wirelessly when nested within the Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard.
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Price
As you may need guessed, these tablets aren’t low cost. You’re taking a look at 4 figures regardless of which mannequin you purchase, and probably a complete lot more–and keep in mind, these costs don’t embrace the keyboard or pen equipment:
- Surface Pro X, 8GB/128GB: $999
- Surface Pro X, 8GB/256GB: $1,299
- Surface Pro X, 16GB/256GB: $1,499
- Surface Pro X, 16GB/512GB: $1,799
- iPad Pro, 4GB/64GB: $999
- iPad Pro, 4GB/256GB: $1,149
- iPad Pro, 4GB/512GB: $1,349
- iPad Pro, 4GB/1TB: $1,549
While they might look very comparable, the Surface Pro X consists of LTE connectivity on its value, whereas Apple costs an additional $150 on high of the above costs. That means the Surface shines on the low finish, however the high-end iPad is $1,699, $100 lower than the Surface and with twice as a lot storage.
Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Conclusion
Ultimately, the selection between these two tablets comes all the way down to OS choice, however all issues being equal, the iPad Pro will get the sting for one motive: We know what we’re getting. With a brand new ARM processor, the Surface Pro X cannot be judged on the energy of its predecessors, so we’ll must run a barrage of assessments to see if it is nearly as good as Microsoft says it’s. But for those who want a pill proper now, go get a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. After all, you may at all times promote it later.