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Surface Pro 4 vs. iPad Pro- The High- End Tablets of 2015

by Calin AndreescuOctober 16, 2015

A great number of high- end devices were launched this year. We now have incredibly powerful smartphones, laptops and gadgets. And tablets, of course. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Apple’s iPad Pro were two of the most anticipated and awaited tablets that were unveiled in 2015. The Surface Pro 4 was released at the beginning of October while the iPad Pro was announced last month. Both tablets are pretty big. They could be called laplets in fact. Both the Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro have great specs and features. In case you need to decide which one to invest in, we thought of comparing the two devices. This way you will be able to take an informed decision.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 

The Surface Pro 4 is the big brother of last year’s Surface Pro 3. Although design- wise there are no notable differences between the two Surface devices, under the hood there are a few new things going on. It is true that the new Surface Pro 4 is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, but the base of the design remained the same. And this is not a bad thing at all, because the Surface Pro 3 also looked great. After taking a careful look users will notice that the bezels around the display are also thinner on the Surface Pro 4, so the screen is bigger, although it is the same size (length and width) than the one featured by the Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro 4 features the same clean edges as its predecessor with slightly rounded corners. It has a 12.3- inches PixelSense multi-touch display. It comes with 2736 x 1824 resolution and 267 ppi pixel density. The display of the Surface Pro 4 has extremely high contrast and low glare which combined result in a crisp image that resembles real life.

surface-pro-4

The Surface Pro 4 is made of magnesium alloy. This confers the durability and the premium feel of the Surface Pro 4. It is only 8.45mm (0.33in) thick, which is quite impressive, given the power it houses. Its measurements are similar to those of a sheet of paper, so Microsoft says that it will give the same impression as writing on paper. The lightest version of the Surface Pro 4 weighs 766 grams (1.69lbs). The other versions weigh 20 grams more. A keyboard can be attached to the Surface Pro 4 by a triple hinge magnet. This will be a pretty solid connection so the Surface Pro 4 will actually turn into a laptop when the keyboard is attached. The Surface Pro 4 can also be used with a kickstand.

As far as the hardware goes, the Surface Pro 4 is available with three different processors. Customers can choose between sixth generation Intel Core M, i5 and i7 processors. Another feature that customers are able to choose themselves is the RAM memory of the Surface Pro 4. It can be purchased in 4 GB, 8 GB and 16 GB versions. Internal storage can also be chosen by the users. It starts with 128 GB and goes up to 1 TB. This is quite impressive for a tablet. The Core i7 version of the Surface’s processor runs at a minimum speed of 2.7GHz. As for the ports the Surface Pro 4 is equipped with a full-size USB 3.0, a microSD card reader and a Mini DisplayPort.  The Surface Pro 4 has a 8 MP back camera with with 1080p HD video recording alongside a 5MP front facing camera. The battery of the Surface Pro 4 offers up to 9 hours of video playback.Microsoft-Surface-Pro-4

The Surface Pro 4 also comes with a Surface Pen that can be clipped directly onto the device by magnets. The Surface Pro 4’s Pen comes with a digital eraser and is able to directly launch applications in Windows 10. It also has interchangeable heads which will make some people’s work a lot easier. Microsoft-Surface-Pro-4-surface-penInstead of changing the settings, users will be able to simply change the head of the Surface Pen. Microsoft’s Type Cover was also improved compared to the previous version. It comes in five different colors which match the Pen’s color, it has faster traveling keys, backlighting and a 40% larger trackpad. Another new feature of the Type Cover consists in the fingerprint sensor that is meant to improve the security features of the Surface Pro 4.

 

The Surface Pro 4 runs on Windows 10, so it will offer its users a PC experience instead of a mobile one. This feature makes the Surface Pro 4 to be more like a laptop than a tablet.

  • DISPLAY: – 12.3″ with 2736 x 1824 pixels resolution
  • CPU: – Intel Core M, i5 and i7 with up to 16 GB RAM
  • STORAGE: – 128GB/ 256GB/512GB/1TB.
  • CAMERA: – 8 MP main camera ; 5 MP secondary camera
  • CONNECTIVITY: – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Full-size USB 3.0, 3.5mm jack, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port, SurfaceConnect
  • OS: – Windows 10

The price of the Surface Pro 4 starts at $899.00 and goes up to $2,199.00.

Apple iPad Pro

The iPad Pro was announced in September and is expected to be released in November. The new iPad Pro has the same rounded edges its predecessors have but it has a certain elegance that is more appealing than it was with the other devices. It is incredibly thin, and light. Although it is bigger than the Surface Pro 4 it is both thinner and lighter than the Microsoft laplet. It feature a 12.9- inches Retina display with 2732 x 2048 resolution at 264ppi pixel density. It comes with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, fully laminated display and anti reflective coating. The iPad Pro has an incredibly clear image, there is no bad thing to say about its display, that is certain.

Apple-iPad-Pro

The body of the iPad Pro is made of aluminium. This makes the iPad Pro a pretty durable and strong device. It comes in three different colors: silver, gold and space gray. It is only 6.9mm (0.27 inches) wide and is extraordinarily easy weighing only 712 grams (1.57lbs) with keyboard. Just like the Surface Pro 4, the iPad Pro also supports a stylus and a keyboard can be attached to it. These are the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard, but we will take a closer look at them a little later.

The iPad Pro is powered by a A9X processor which should run at a max clockspeed of 2.25GHz. It comes in two storage versions: a 32 GB and a 128 GB version. This is a lot less than the internal storage the Surface Pro 4 has to offer. The Microsoft device starts at 128 GB and goes up to 1 TB. The iPad Pro features only the Smart Connector, there is no USB, nor full size, nor micro. It doesn’t have a card reader. Although the Smart Connector is quite versatile, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea not to have a traditional port on their tablet/ laplet. Just like the Surface Pro 4, the iPad Pro has a 8 MP back camera. The FaceTime camera is smaller, it only has a 1.2 MP sensor. The back camera has an iSight sensor and is able to record 1080p video. The front facing camera is able to record 720p HD video and offers backside illumination. The battery of the iPad Pro is a built-in 38.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. it’s supposed to ensure up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi, watching video, or listening to music.ipad-pro

The stylus of the Apple iPad Pro is called Apple Pencil. It remains charged for an hour and can be repowered via Lightning cable that connects directly to the tablet. Even so, it is not as versatile as the Surface Pen and it doesn’t offer all the features the Surface Pen does. Using incredibly fine‑tuned pressure and tilt sensors, Apple Pencil instantly recognizes when you are pressing harder or shifting its angle.apple_ipad_pro_smart_keypad The keyboard, the Smart Keyboard, as it is called,  has all the utility of an ordinary full‑size keyboard. It is formed from a single sheet of custom‑woven fabric that has been laser ablated to precisely form each key. This is said to ensure a satisfyingly responsive, accurate, and natural feel. The Surface Pro 4 has an advantage in this area too. While the Surface Pro 4 keyboard comes in several colors, the Smart Keyboard will only be available in a single color. So users can’t really choose how to personalize their device.

The Apple iPad Pro runs on the recently released iOS 9. It offers its users the chance to install a great number of apps. It already comes preinstalled with some of these apps.

  • DISPLAY: – 12.9″ with 2732 x 2048 pixels resolution
  • CPU: – A9X, M9 motion coprocessor
  • STORAGE: – 32GB, 128 GB.
  • CAMERA: – 8 MP main camera ; 1.2 MP secondary camera
  • CONNECTIVITY: – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, the cellular version includes Apple SIM — U.S. and UK only
  • OS: – iOS 9

The price of the iPad Pro starts at $799 and goes up to $1079 for the Wi- Fi and cellular version.

 

Conclusion

The Apple iPad Pro is certainly a great device. Its Retina display is better than the Surface Pro 4’s display, and it is also slimmer and lighter despite its larger screen. But these are all its advantages over the Surface Pro 4. The Windows 10 device has bigger storage, better secondary camera and the most important feature: it runs on Windows. This way Surface Pro 4 users will be able to enjoy the experience desktop users have but on a light and highly portable device. Another great advantage of the Surface Pro 4 is that it can be configured any way customers would like. It gives a lot of possibilities for users to buy exactly what they want. The choice of colors is also a way to personalize the device. It also has a better stylus in the Surface Pen. Since the smaller version of the Surface Pro 4 is already as powerful as the larger iPad Pro the price shouldn’t be the criteria customers will decide on. Power and operating system both make the Surface Pro 4 the better device out of the two presented laplets.

 

 

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About The Author
Calin Andreescu
I have always been eager to try out any gadget I could get my hands on. I became a tech journalist so that I could always be around technology and see the newest devices. I use gadgets every day to make my work and life easier. I have enough experience to know If a device is actually improving my activity, offers something useful or new. I will post my honest opinions and judge a device as objectively as I can.