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Four ways the Surface Pro 4 is better than the iPad Pro

Microsoft has their new Surface Pro 4 tablet, and it's a hell of a machine. Packing the latest in computing hardware with a design that further refines the best parts of the Surface line, it's a lesson in mobile computing with minimal compromises. Apple has their own take on the large tablet with a keyboard cover, the iPad Pro, but in many ways Microsoft's latest tablet is still ahead of the game.

The kickstand

I'll get this out of the way upfront: I still think a kickstand is a less than ideal solution to a problem that laptops solved decades ago, and something that even Microsoft has acknowledged with the Surface Book. That said, the infinite-position kickstand on the Surface Pro 4 (inherited from the Pro 3) is worlds better than the folded-up-triangle stand that is made out of the iPad Pro keyboard cover. It's as if Apple, after decades of making laptops, decided that their first iPad with a keyboard only needed to support one angle. I have an old Surface RT that has a one-angle kickstand. I very much dislike that part of an otherwise decent design.

The Surface Pro 4's kickstand, on the other hand, has all the positions you could ever want. Prop it nearly upright, push it down until it's almost flat against the table, doesn't matter, it goes all the way.

Surface Pro 4 — with a lay-flat kickstand and an included smart pen

The Surface Pen

The iPad Pro is the first iPad to come with advanced stylus support. And yes, Steve Jobs one day long ago said that "if you see a stylus, they blew it," and that quote's been bandied about over and over every time somebody trots out a stylus for a tablet (Microsoft Surface) or a phone (Samsung Galaxy Note). And the people that do that are wrong and have been wrong the whole time.

What Jobs was talking about was the little pokey sticks that used to be all but essential tools for the resistive touch screens that adorned smartphones of old. Palm used them, Windows Mobile phones relied on them. They were pretty terrible — just little plastic sticks, no smarts.

Now the iPad Pro supports a stylus, the "Apple Pencil" as they would call it. It's an impressive little piece of tech, for sure, communicating with the tablet and offering pressure and angle sensitivity. Here's the thing: Microsoft's is still better.

The new Surface Pen supports 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and the palm rejection tech that Apple's just now implementing. What's more, the Surface Pen also flips around and has an eraser on the other end, and, well, it works exactly as you'd expect an eraser to work. And where Apple's Pencil claims up to 12 hours battery life and recharges only off the iPad Pro's proprietary Lightning connector, the Surface Pen gets an incredible year of battery life. When that year's up, it's a simple replacing the AAAA battery inside.

What's more, Microsoft's updated the button on the end that doubles as the eraser. Double clicking it still launches straight into OneNote, but holding down on it opens the Cortana virtual assistant on the Surface Pro 4. Oh, and it attaches right to the side of your Surface Pro 4 through the magic of magnets when you're done using it. Where does the Apple Pencil go? Your call, but make sure you put it somewhere you won't lose it.

Extra bonus: the Surface Pen is included in the cost of the Surface Pro 4. An Apple Pencil will cost the iPad Pro owner an extra $99.

Bang for your buck

Normally we're not ones to tout spec wars, but in this case we'll make an exception, because when you're comparing the what you get for what you pay, there's a really strong case to be made for the Surface Pro 4 over the iPad Pro here. We'll just let the base model numbers do the speaking:

CategorySurface Pro 4iPad Pro
OSWindows 10iOS 9
Screen Size12.3 inches12.9 inches
Screen Resolution2763x1824 (267ppi)2732x2048 (264ppi)
ProcessorIntel Core m3Apple A9X
Storage128GB + microSD expansion32GB
Rear Camera8MP8MP
Front Camera5MP1.2MP
PortsFull-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Surface ConnectLightning, iPad Smart Connector
Height11.5 inches12 inches
Width7.93 inches8.68 inches
Thickness0.33 inches0.27 inches
Weight1.69 pounds1.57 pounds
Included AccessoriesSurface Pen

And if you wanted to configure an iPad Pro to match the Surface Pro 4 with 128GB of internal storage and a pen? That'll be $1048, please. For that price you could get the Core i5 version of the Surface Pro 4 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB for storage, and still have money to buy the new Type Cover keyboard.

It's worth noting that Microsoft has long been willing to take a loss on Surface sales, only recently turning a profit, but it seems clear here that Apple is primed to rake in serious profits on sales of the iPad Pro. The Apple tablet might have a slightly larger display and be a hair thinner and a bit lighter, but you're getting much computer for the cost. Which leads to our final point...

Surface Pro 4

It runs Windows

Apps on the iPad are good and they're getting better — devices like the iPad Pro will see to that. But no matter what Apple does, short of merging OS X and iOS (which they've repeatedly and emphatically said is not in their plans), those apps will always lag behind in the sheer power of full desktop apps. And that's fine, that's not what Apple's after with the iOS and the iPad, and we get that. But that doesn't mean we have to accept Apple's vision of mobile computing.

That's why there's the Surface Pro line, running a full and uncompromised version of Windows 10. It's a real computer meant to do real computing. As Microsoft's Panos Panay said leading up to the unveiling, Microsoft's Surface team engineers used the Surface Pro 3 to design the next Surface. Full Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint? Check. The complete Adobe Creative Cloud suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere? Yep. Practically any other Windows application in the history of Windows applications? You got it.

And there's the real point in favor of the Surface Pro 4: it's a real computer, made for doing real computer things. The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet, but it's still designed around being a tablet. Microsoft, on the other hand, has made a powerful mobile computer that just so happens to work very well as a tablet too.

What do you think?

Is the Surface Pro 4 really better than the iPad Pro? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • One single reason is enough: an x86-64 CPU vs an ARM SoC. The rest is just details
  • pricing is insane..
  • Exactly. The iPad is a great device, but its more like a Surface RT than a Surface Pro and should be priced as such. They're charging Pro prices for an RT class device. Its insane.
  • Insane, and bound to make them mountains of cash. Hopefully a few people will realise that and get the Surface instead, but there's too many people in love with Apple that they just won't see reason (or want apps in which case, well, you can't blame them).
  • The article failed to mention that the Apple Pencil can't be shared. It's tied to one iPad. So if you lose it, you can't simply borrow somebody else's. Another plus in the Surface's favor.
  • Is that true? Wow, that's crazy. 
  • Agreed.
  • Apple is a follower in the tech industry now a day. Their little gimmick days are soon to be past consumer's interests
  • Apple may be a follower, but they are a *good* follower. It's the difference between bellwether innovations and adoption of a certain technology in some cases. While I like Windows more that OSX/iOS, I have to hand it to apple for making certain forms of tech widely adopted. They also help push the industry to really refine the body and UI of devices to stay competitive.
  • I half agree, half disagree. Apple likes to pretend they are on the leading edge with tech, but they also lag behind quite frequently. And when they do lead, it is for not doing anthing. Think of the great innovations they created - removing the floppy drive, removing the DVD drive, never supporting Blu-Ray (which is foolish since they like to think of themselves as the leader in media design and development, but you cant use a Blu-Ray drive). Other times they "lead" is for doing things that take no creativity. THey made something bigger, something smaller, used a different video panel designed and manufactured by another company that has a higher resolution. Apple fans like to talk about how Apple is always a leader when they do adopt some tech, but when Apple waits a number of years to implement some tech, then the claim is that Apple is waiting for the tech to mature. Not that Apple proactively makes the tech mature, they wait for other companies to do it for them. Think of 3G on the original iPhone. They didn't support it because Jobs said it would kill the battery. I had a Samsung Blackjack (Windows Mobile) for years before then and never had any battery problems. But all the Apple fanboys were convinced, and even supported the idea that slower network is better (but then blamed AT&T for having a bad network connection). When the iPhone 3G was released, Apple was hailed for inventing a phone with such fast network connectivity - something that many of us had been doing for years. It has nothing to do with the tech that Apple does or doesn't use, it is how they convince their users that what they sell is the best they can get.  
  • What about a WIMP operating system with a mouse control when Microsoft was using DOS and keyboard shortcuts? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I am sorry to day this, as I don't like such language, but I strongly feel that Apple is a pretty good shehard and their fans are pretty good sheep. When Apple says the screens should be small enough to be operated by a thumb, the sheep "yes", "phone size should not be bigger than your palm" the sheep say "yes". When Apple launches a 5" and 5.5" phone, the sheep still line up outside the stores to get their hands on one. When Apple launches a device with a stylus, the sheep still line up to get one.  There was talk about 'retnia display' which somehow told that any higher resultion or brightness is unoticeable and therefore uselss. When apple pushes their resolutions and brightness even furhter, the Sheep say 'wow'. I have stopped arguing with Apple fan boys near me. Though can't help teasing them about how they can't share files, music etc. like we do or how they can't even set some of their favorite songs as ringtones or simpy the fact that they have to carry their chargers wherever they go, not to mention how delicately do they need to hold their phones. The list is endless. Unfortunately they have just one weapon, and that is the number of apps some of which are really good on iOS, for which I don't have a reply. But I am sure things will continue to get better on that front too.
  • It's not Apple per se, it's mainly the tech writers who sell Apple. They gloss over shortcomings and hype every thing else. And the public eats it up.
  • Yet there are these Apple fanboys with their benchmark BS claiming that the iPad pro is more powerful. iOS is a joke to run. There's nothing even going on in that OS to strain any processor.
  • The new Apple A9 may shine in some benchmarks, but I'd rather have a Windows PC capable of doing any task, any day.
  • Apple told them that the iPad Pro has graphics performance that rivals consoles, and so they are immediatly believed because they are infallable. Of course, when they said they have console performance, they meant Atari 2600 console equivalent perf, not PS4/XB1 perf. But those are just details.  
  • Seeing iPad Pro and before reading the details, I actually expected it to run Mac OSX with iOS apps compatibility. That would compete with Surface, for position as notebook replacement (with desktop softwares that are available for both OS), and with backing of the iOS app store. But the reality, it's a huge iPad with stylus. OSX users are still locked with their iMac/MacBook away from iPhone/iPad users.
  • You should see the comments on macdailynews about the MS event. It is amazing how narrow minded the comments and the article itself is. But as usual, its always a TERRIBLE idea if it comes from MS, but once Apple adopts it, its "genius". LOL. I have apple products, but the fanboyism is painful to hear/read. If you think the fanboya on wc are bad, go to macdailynews
  • MacBook users have been living in a bubble since the beginning of the Surface Pro 3 launch which is is a profitable business, and if they don't want to see it don't worry, investors know about the Surface and the numbers don't lie.  Even HP and Dell are now shipping Surface Pro 3 devices for business partners which is great. 
  • I think I will avoid that website, thank you very much. I think my head would explode if I read it.
  • I don't waste my time reading news from Apple... Apple stinks, and the iSheeps too.
  • There is nothing as vulnerable as entrenched success. Add a dash of arrgoance and Apple better start paying attention, the ground is shifitng under their feet.
  • I just read few stories and the comments and that seems to be MS hater's paradise. Amazing how trash talk is there.
  • Why is that kind of website allowed on the internet? Ok, I will answer my own question: To keep that kind of commenters away from places like this. And seriously, is there an equivalent website for Microsoft?
  • I like to think decades of bashing from the internet humbled down Microsoft fanboys. Also, most peoples can't build good enough arguments. That's why they love it when the journalists/blogger/internet celebrities write a well versed argument for them to quote in their praise/insult. Many of the stronger arguments are against Microsoft, so the less knowledgeable fans don't have lots of ammunition to begin with.
  • Haha if you want a read... The comments are hilarious.  People laughing about getting real work done on a tablet.  I'd be thrilled to have an iPad with OSX. 
  • I wanna slaughter everyone there
  • Whenever there is someone who comments here that is not glowingly complementary towards Apple, it is inevitable that someone starts complaining about how treat Apple. It always follows the same pattern: 1) I am a big Microsoft supporter 2) I don't really don't like Apple 3) They make some nice stuff 4) Competition is good, Microsoft needs to watch out for them 5) Stop saying bad things about Apple, it makes me not want to use Microsoft products any more and switch over It happens every time on Microsoft focused web sites, until inevitably it becomes overrun by Apple fanboys who do nothing but attack Microsoft (look at the site John Callaham used to work at as a perfect example). But then I go to the Apple sites, and you never see those people there. Just all attack, all the time. You may see someone call out the people who claim that Nadella eats babies or some far fetched thing like that. Even on this web site, saying "I like Microsoft's products" and not mentioning any other product can get you flamed by the supposed Microsoft fanboy who just wants it to be fair - there was a band of people complaining that there were too many people who like Win10 on this site so they were leaving.
  • The comments from the users at the macdailynews (rerouted to macrumors) are actually quite pro-MS, since they acknowledge the great hardware and the innovation from Microsoft, and hopes that makes Apple to innovate on their own. The negative comments are software-based, from people that couldn't live without OSX. Even then, they accept these are incredible sexy devices.
  • The very first comment, "Here comes another billion dollar write down." is only about software and not hardware? Microsoft didn't take a write down on their software, just the Surface RT so that is a direct comment on the hardware. (Let's not forget that Apple took a big write down on the iPhone 1, but we are not allowed to make an issue of that) And here are some other jems that show they are quite clearly commenting on the hardware: "Leave us not forget the new Surface Pro Pen has an “eraser” unlike Apple’s Pencil. I anticipate it’ll be a POS otherwise." "DOA for a POS." "Microsoft picked a Magnesium alloy for the case. I wonder why?" "How long do you think that hinge will lose putting it in a backpack with other books etc. That thing is going to get crushed as there is no stability on the sides just a big open gap. CrushGate™" And I can list a few 100 others. They are clearly attacking it on the hardware and software sides.    
  • Someone there said that any device with Windows is doa :P 
  • Everyone on that site would say the same thing about this site.  Fanboys are everywhere.
  • Wow, just visit the macdailynews and readings there comments, it's like Apple fanboy that hate Microsoft so much.
  • Indeed.
  • Agreed, but both Apple is pushing Adobe to make code for Apple CPU while Microsoft is pushing Adobe to do the same for X86-64.  Maybe it's time for Adobe and other software companies to promote innovation in the industry without depending on a specific architecture, what do I mean?  A cross-platform API that can give the same benefits to iOS and Windows 10 devices that use a Pen. 
  • That's not up to Adobe. That's up to Microsoft and Apple collaborating on an open API and inking standard. It's going to require OS level integration to make it work well.
  • Technically, you are describing an abstraction layer rather than an API. APIs are maintained on the platform side and used by higher level software. Anyway, it would be nearly impossible for Adobe to do what you are describing. Windows is a full OS running on more capable hardware. iOS is a mobile OS that has a lot of limitations in terms of both hardware and software. Adobe could really only do what you are describing by crippling the software and targeting the lowest common denominator.
  • The problem with that notion is they'd have to dumb it all down to the lowest possible implementation. the pure processing power of X86-64/Windows10/OSX just can't be done on ARM/iOS/Android (at least not for a while yet) What I am happy to see though is Adobe extending their x86 software to be fully touch optimised as well for use on things like Surface Pro and Surface Book.
  • There is another one IMO, 128GB SSD (+micro SD slot) vs 32GB eMMC
  • Lol.... You are right about that!
  • I would still buy SP3 instead of the new iPad Pro :)
  • You mean iPad RT?
  • You mean MacBook RT.
  • I think he means iPad Plus.
  • IPod touch XXXL
  • MAXiPad
  • Hahahah! That's exactly what I've been calling it
  • You see, I would call it that, but that implies that it's useful for something.
  • (I'm joking, before people rip me to pieces)
  • I think he mean an enlarged iPhone that doesn't have a phone function.
  • So basically an iP'o'd Pro!
  • Surface RT is still more productive than iPad "Pro"
  • Hahahaha
  • I'd still buy the Surface 3 over the iPad Pro.
  • Well, wasn't that confusing, what henocksandy meant, for a while there (short answer: NO!)
  • You know you could make the same article about the surface 3, a more apropiate ipad pro contender and still be right. There is nothing "pro" about an ipad "pro" other than the name.
  • Couldn't agree more. The iPad "Pro" is not even comparable to the Surface Pro line. It's almost downright comical to think about. If they want to compare it to anything in Microsoft's world, in my opinion it would be the Surface 2. The Surface 3 might be too much for it, seeing as it can run any Windows applicaiton it's innards will allow it to handle. Pro? No!
  • Panos nailed it.  He said he wouldn't waste our time even comparing it to other tablets.  If that wasn't a shot at the iPad Pro I don't know what is.
  • Thank you
  • Exactly. While it's fun to read about the comparison between Surface and iPaid Pro, there really isn't a comparison. Apple and Oranges.
  • Of course it's better. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • it's like to compare a top sportive car with a beautiful bicycle
  • That's harsh, dude! Be fair to Apple. It's not like a sports car versus a beautiful bicycle. More like a sports car versus a top-of-the-line moped. Of course, that moped is priced like a Harley.
  • How many bicycles do you see that are comparable in price to a sports car?
  • There are ton's
  • Hold on a min.. Which one is a car and which is bicycle? From what I see Surface pro 4 is both sportive and beautiful!!
  • Four? I could come up with a Top 20 at least. 
  • JUST FOUR WAYS... ???? are you kidding ?
  • Surface Pro 4. Four things. Had to draw the line somewhere, otherwise this could go on for days. ;)
  • Lol
  • I would use the very old (many years ago) stylus as a toothpick. Lol
  • You forgot to mention the pen for the S4 Pro comes with a number of different tips for different purposes.
  • Agreed
  • there are actually 102847659337650274749 ways it's better, but one that really matters.... IT'S FREAKING WINDOWS. a FULL desktop OS.
  • If you don't like Windows that's a pretty big negative.  So that can't be the only reason that matters.
  • Even the Surface 3 is better the the iPad pro. Heck even my Lumia 2520 is better. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That last one is an ignorant lie. Windows RT was a predictable disaster.
  • Agreed. Sadly.
  • Only four ways?.. You must be kidding me :D
  • Surface is a new form factor... IPad is not worthy for comparison
  • Even Windows Central is playing into Apple's hand. (it seems the writer is not a WC writer, ok, ok).   4 Ways the SP4 is better than the Ipad Pro: 1) The SP4 is better than the SP3, and SP3 is better than Ipad Pro 2) It is not a comparable product, SP3/4 is a full OS based device, Ipad is a mobil only device. 3) Refer to #2 above. 4) Refer to #3 above
  • They are comparible in price point.  You can buy a toy, or a real computer.  Thats the choice between an iPad Pro or SP4.
  • While at it, why not write another that says 4 reasons SP4 is better than the Samsung Note, I mean they both use stylus, right?
  • You just don't get it!!!
  • google  just kid,crying to chase big boys..... they dont have well establish desktop os,their tablets nothing to mention,android suffer with fragmentation samsung 4gb ram note 5 kneel to iphone 6s plus 2gb.
  • Apple has chosen to refer to their product as a "Pro" product because it now has an Apple keyboard and an Apple Pencil. Apple essentially asked for this comparison by virtue of their name choice.. WCentral is simply accomodating that request.
  • Only 4? How about 100?
  • I could have got more reasons to choose Surface pro 4 over iPad pro(meant for Kids)
  • I'm still in disbelief that someone would do such comparation. Even S3 is too much. It can run real office, can be docked, has full size USB and more importantly drivers... Price range and part of the name is simply not enough.
  • You forgot the most obvious that there isn't anything "Pro" about the iPad Pro. It's still a consumer oriented device.
  • according to satya just install microsoft apps :p
  • They will learn in hard let them copy
  • Minor note: Surface Pen takes a AAA battery, not AAAA ;-)
  • Nope it is AAAA.  A tripple A is fatter than the pen itself.
  • iPad Pro is just a larger version of what came before. The whole Surface line runs full Windows so you can do anything you'd like without the limitation of what is in an app store. A PhotoShop app will never be as good as the actual program.
  • Add to that windows 10 has a app store... Just incase you want apps to
  • Exactly, the Windows app store is growing fast, and the Windows 10 user base is growing even faster. Windwos phones look more enticing as more developers make universal apps even if desktop and tablet screens are their main focus.
  • This should not even be a question. Of course the SP4 is better, it always will be. The iPad Pro is still just an iPad running iOS.
  • The Surface Pen has an eraser.
  • The ipad pro is both thinner and lighter. Therefore it is better. Ask any Apple customer.
  • Don't forget. It also has an official Apple logo on it.
  • Lol!
  • lol..
  • "It's kind of funny that a pencil out there without an eraser, its weird its like backwards."
    Panos Panay
  • that lines stole the funny!!!
  • Yeah, I laughed so loudly when I heard that.
    I felt proud that I am an MS fan 'IDK why lol'
  • Laughed like a boss :)
  • wherever you were!
  • That was beautiful.
  • "..and that's what we call console graphics class.."
    - The best
  • There's no fucking contest, so this article is not needed.
  • there is no comparision between these two. SP3/Sp4 is far better thn ipad in all expects.
  • It's maddening that some out there would still even consider an ipad anything when compared to a surface pro 3 or 4. Sheep... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I wonder just how much of this increased functionality is achievable with the new pen on the SP3? The MS  website states that the SP3 and S3 are compatible.
  • Well, other than pinning the pen to the side via magnets, MS should be able to enable all the other features via software update, so as long as they do that, should be good. The pressure levels are based on the pen, not the display, given the tech they're using.
  • Bitch please.
    Don't compare a toy with a pro computer Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They are not even in the same league... Big Phone vs Ultralight and powerful Laptop 
  • 4 ways only??? I can say more than 100 reasons. The iPad Pro is nothing compared with the Surface Pro 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • The reason the comparison are made is because that's how Apple positioned the iPad Pro. If that's what they want then the fails of the iPad will constantly be highlighted. The reality Apple is going to deal with is the desktop versus mobile OS.
  • i think surface book high end 512gb/16gb/i 7 makes sense than surface pro 4 1tb/16gb/i 7 + type cover...
  • And your point is?
  • There's a reason Panos didn't even bother comparing them.   They are not even close.
  • There simply is no comparison.  Full desktop OS, better storage options, better price. 
  • It's actually useful because it isn't running ARM and IOS.
  • Holly Wacamolly!! me wants it ASAP! 
  • One thing you forgot to mention is the Microsoft Pen tip kit.  The multiple tips makes the pen much more useful to do creative work or even taking notes because each one acts a little different and give you a different feel.  That trumps the Apple Pencil alone.
  • Of course it is better than the iPad Pro. Trying to convince the masses of that is another matter. Unfortunately, it seems people in general buy the iPad for fun. Nothing more. That's where MS is finding it hard going to penetrate. If people bought for practicality, then I'm convinced they would generally lean toward MS. In the long haul of things, we'll see how well MS prevails.
  • Comparing with Ipad pro... Thats the lowest point Surface pro could hit. I am just glad that you didn't include Pixel c
  • Time for some new Mac versus PC ads?
  • I'm loving the heaps of complaining in these comments because the article isn't a novella comparing the two, especially paired with comments saying to not compare them at all.
  • Seriously only 4!!! I've written more than 10 ways on Quora
  • Anyone else read the title and instantly think "only 4?"
  • You should compare it to an Macbook, even without the touchscreen on it.. Ipad Pro has nothing to compete against SP4.
  • I can feel us winning already
  • Is it better? Without a doubt.
  • Only windows OS is enough to say SP4 is better, why? because this is suppose to be PRO, if you are pro, you should be able to run Maya,3dsmax, 3dcoat, zbrush, allegorithmic painter/designer, quixel stuff, mudbox, BMD davinci/fusion, or AE and Premiere, or Sony Vegas, or Unity, Unreal, Cryengine or stingray engine, Rhino, Revit, Autocad, Photoshop, Manga Studio... should I continue?  So what makes this toy table​t OS, a Pro device? I don't know. so just having Windows OS is enough reason to be better. also the pen is better, hopefully it works as good as wacom, not exactly the same I know, but similar performace so it doesn't matter if you have wacom or SP4, should be enough for the artist. 1024 pressure points from 256 is really good and show what MS can make with Ntrig tech.    
  • Well, they put Microsoft Office on it so it's Pro lol
  • It seems that you're writing more and more articles for Windows Central, Derek. Do I see a hint of appreciation for Team Nadella coming though?
  • Derek missed a 0...It should be 40 :)
  • As Mac & iPhone user I really wonder that there is even a comparison between these two devices. Apple has completely missed the idea of pro on tablet category. They should at least start with some basic connectors and some sort of workable file system to call it even a little pro. MS is doing great things at the moment but on the other hand I feel sorry that they somehow missed the mobile space.
  • I agree 100%.  It's exactly the same way they missed the spreadsheet space to Lotus 123 and the Word Processing space to Word Perfect.
  • iPad Pro like every single apple device is overpriced! Go SP4 I want you to be my next device! Wait, do I am talking to a computer? That sounded like.
  • I could probably come up with 40 reasons it's better. Apple literally has 1 device now that comes in 6 sizes/configurations. The Ipod, the 2 Iphones, 2 regular Ipads and now the Pro. They all look the same, run the same OS, have no expandable memory, no additional ports and can't run desktop software. The same thing the press destroyed Surface 1 and 2 over. Their products might work well but I really think in the grand scheme of things, they are overpriced jokes.
  • Why is there even a comparison to the iPad Pro ? Surface Pro is a laptop with detachable keyboard while the iPad is just a tablet ...
  • Because Apple is positioning and marketing the iPad Pro as a enterprise class, professional tablet device which is what Microsoft has been saying about the SP4 for years. Apple web sites today are running articles about how Apple gave a few iPad Pros to Disney's animated movie department, and they are gushing over how great the device is for their business. If Apple wants it to be viewed as something other than just media comsumption device, then compare it to the device in the Windows community that is more than a media consumption device - and that is the Surface Pro 4. Apple fanboys are happy to make the comparisons between the iPad Pro and the SP4 when they discuss things that make the iPad Pro look better, such as number of apps on the App Store. But when you compare the devices and the iPP looks like another me-too device that doesn't even get close to the SP4, then it isn't a fair comparison and it needs to stop. Just as it usually is with Apple's products, the Apple fanboys think that they get to set the terms of what is being compared in the attempt to make sure that Apple always looks the best.
  • Say hello to every fanboy iPhone user.  Gif of every iPhone user: Don't even argue with them. They're total tools.
  • Just look at the pics above, damn iCopy
  • What it's the need to compare it to the iPad Pro? ... Don't follow the Apple game, they don't even know the meaning of the word "Pro"
  • Stop giving Apple shine. The iPad Pro shouldn't be mentioned with the Surface Pro. Gen one all the way to gen four.
    Maybe the RT. But not the Pro.
  • Are you sure it's not a typo? 4 or 44 
  • Waitasec . . . so the keyboard cover is included with the SP4 now? And for only $899?
  • They should have done that long time ago. Or at least at a discounted price.
  • Nope, but it's not included with the iPad Pro either, and the iPad's is even more expensive, so the comparison without keyboards is perfectly fine.
  • You don't have to keep doing comparisons. Windows is better. Specs don't mean a thing as apple is locked down.
  • What a crap article - you only listed 4 items when I could sit here for hours rattling off reasons the SP4 is better than the iPad Pro.
  • (BTW, I was be sarcastic, not really attacking your article)
  • What a useless article...why is this comparison even being made???!!!...iPad Pro is still a's just a big toy iPhone now, running iOS (not OSX) for you to play Angry Birds and watch Netflix...
  • You are totally wrong.  This is not all you can do with it.  You may recall the iOS store is full of apps that make fart noises.  On an iPad Pro these will obviously be professional fart noises.
  • haha I completely forgot the even had an iPad pro
  • Here are my four
    1: It is a PC which means a computer not a toy.
    2: It is a real computer that can run real programs.
    3: The Surface Pro 4 is way sexier.
    4: It doesn't have Apple's name on it.
  • #4 is the best reason of all. Apple is the worst status symbol. Anyone that thinks they're cool because they have an iPhone is a total tool. 
  • The kickstand is great, even the crappy one of my RT gets used all the time (with the touch cover detached). It's just so convenient to not have to hold the tablet. Sure, if you need to be able to use your device as a laptop (on your lap), then a more "laptopy" device like the MSB is better.
  • Y u no metric?!
  • I could think of 30 ways the Surface Pro 4 is better. Just saying.
  • Uh only 4 reasons why its better? I can think of more.
  • There was never any doubt in the first place !
  • Unfortunately first hands-ons report that there is significant latency when using the pen (very laggy) on the Surface 4 Pro. Plus the screen seems to be wobbly when using the pen. So not really made for professional use.  Also the statement of the eraser is not true. The eraser doesn't work like you would expect an eraser to work. It doesn't erase by pixel but undos whole steps (like ctrl-z).
  • First, no there isnt any more latency/lag in the Pen and actually from my use yesterday and today Id say actually visibly less than previously. Pro 4 has  a coproccesor for inking which reduces parralax/ lag  compared to Pro 3 and from my experience over the last 10 years is lower than anything i've ever seen writing directly on a display.  Surface Pro 4 is not any more wobbly than Pro 3 both are sturdy  and when all the way down(leaving that 30ish degree angle) make for a great drawing tablet. Exellent for professional use.   The eraser can be in either of two modes- one which erases the entire connected line segment and the second which erases a little at a time like a real eraser. the size erased is dependant on the size of eraser chosen. For instance in One Note modern app  the "medium eraser" is currently the only size choice and its a few millimeters wide. The sizes available depends upon the program in use.  
  • The iPad Pro should be compared to the Surface 3, the Surface Pro is in another league completely
  • Not really: the Surface 3 still runs Win10; the iPP runs iOS. Still no comparison.
  • It can only be compared against Surface RT.  Just cause it's big and thin doesn't mean you can compare it against anything running a full operating system.  It's all about the operating system.
  • Thre really is no comparison.
  • Nah, the steam rolled puff pastry masquerading as a productivity machine is waay better :P.
  • Yes.
  • You can order a pack off Amazon and your sorted for a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.
  • The surface pro does not have a competitor simple as that. No meed for comparism with apple pro.... what, they can try with their next version. All we need now is for the mobile OS to hit the ground running with app store and ios will run of innovation, android doesn't have anything new to offer
  • " The Apple tablet might have a slightly larger display and be a hair thinner and a bit lighter, but you're getting much LESS computer for the cost. Which leads to our final point..."  missing highlighted LESS?
  • I've given up expecting proof reading from the editors on this site.
  • 4? I think you forgot a couple of 0s at the end xD The SP is clearly a wayyyy better than an Apple device! And for as many EXE apps you can run on a Windows machine, that's how many times better Windows tablets are better than iOS tablets.    I can run Dropbox, Fireworks, Photoshop, Office, Musicbee, Line, full wunderlist, Winrar, Network shares, BTSync, Google Music Manager, the list goes ON and ON!    Windows is the way to go for REAL computing. My Android tablet is the best for syncing 7 different mail accounts and just doing some light browsing. I don't even bother booting up a full windows machine for that; but for everything else... Windows :)
  • iPad Pro is just a toy compared to Surface 4 but will be good enough for many people. Surface will win but will suffer anyway.
  • I also think that the Surface Pro 4 is better for work, but you probably agree with me, that there are more games on the App Store and not on the Windows Store. Is true that with Windows 10 there are probably gonna come more cool apps, but for now the iPad I'd the better choice for entertainment.
  • but you can only get games in the APP store and with Surface you can get games anywhere. Windows Store, Steam, Every flash site on the web etc etc etc
  • emulators, dosbox, steam (even though i dont like it), origin, hundred mmorpg. why do you need store? more games will appear eventually. like gigantic, fable and many new will join. its about games anyway. it shouldnt mother where you get them.
  • It would make sense if there are more games for iOS, but that's the opposite of "pro".  If you're going to label something "pro" you can't justify it by saying "we have more games".  
  • "you're getting much less computer for the cost" You left out a word there, significantly changing the meaning.  
  • I literally had an iFan tell me in all sincerity that the iPad Pro was going to be a game changer. If slapping a keyboard on an iPad is a game changer, then yes it is a game changer.
  • Game changing could be only the size and the pencil. Keyboards have been available for  the iPad long time ago. So yeah, let's take a look, which game is changing ;)
  • U know, u really don't need to add that last"What do you think?" In the article. No need. We all think that surface just rocks. It's a Rockstar of all the tablets/tab cum laptops. Srsly no comparison needed
  • Great article. To be fair, I suppose readers of this site know this already. It is the folks over at apple country who need to hear this. I think you should post this over at the mobile nation's apple site.
    We have been graciously accepting the gaps windows phone had - yes I said had - and rallied forward. It is time they hear some hard facts about their precious i-things.
  • I think only someone uninformed would buy an iPad Pro...
  • For those who will come forward and talk about Windows Store. Guys if you missed or say you must not have any interest in Microsoft's event. One of them clearly mentioned that they are working with so many developers and application giants. Srsly that was a Easter egg i guess.
  • So basically better in every way. ;)
  • Is Surface better than iPad? This is not even a question. This is small PC vs oversized phone. Of course Surface is better. It will always be, no matter what insides are.
  • Not even an oversized Iphone, just an oversized Ipod!!!
  • Surface 3 (not the Pro) is far superior to the ipadpro right out of the box. Period.
  • the only reason that matters is that the Surface Pro 4 (as well as the Surface Pro 3) runs a full version of an operating system. the iPad Pro runs the a locked down mobile operating sytem.
  • I could give you 100 reasons about why SP4 is better than the oversize ipad.
  • I'm just worried about Autodesk, Adobe and other software companies, they have invested a lot of money and resources in making great apps that work with the Surface Pro 3 Pen. Suddently Apple wants to change the game and make all this software run in iOS which is based on ARM and requires a lot of reinvention of the wheel.  We know Apple has more cash than Microsoft, and I don't want to see in 2016 that Adobe and these companies are building better software for the iPad Pro.  I think both Apple and Microsoft should get the same attitude and commitment from these software vendors regardless of the platform, so in that way both Apple and Microsoft win in the long term.  The solution is to use a cross-platform API that supports both Surface Pro Pen and Apple Pencil so software devs just need to code 1 good solution instead of 2 and having to mantain 2.
  • The most hilarious comment I read from an Apple Fanboy was the state of confusion he was in because he was not sure what was the difference between the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book.  That coming from some who most likely owns a Mac Book and an iPad those two have me confused... wj 
  • I don't understand iPad Pro, it´s running iOS a mobile OS and at the same time it´s a product where they want people to be productive? Microsoft's idea of having one OS on every platform is really the right way to go if you wanna be everywhere.​
  • If you can't be productive with an iPad, it either isn't the right tool for your specific job or you're doing something wrong. Yes, it isn't for everything. Saying you can't be productive with one, though, is bollocks.   
  • I guess it depends on your definition of "productive", but an ipad pro would not work for me as a productity tool in most situations and I think a decent percentage of people would agree. There are a lot of software limitations on iOS for many work related or industry specific workflows and the inputs/sceen real estate is pretty limited as well. On the orher hand I can, and do, connect my SP3 to a dock and 2 monitors, keyboard, and mouse.  I can do everything I need to do with that device. For me, the iPad Pro would only be useful for meetings at work (i.e. taking notes while talking about the real work that needs to be done), but even then it wouldn't be as useful as my SP3.
  • You seem a little dismissive, putting productive in quotes, so I'm going to help you out. Would you consider a doctor making rounds being productive? I do. And I do thimk most would rather carry around an iPad for their patients' charts than something that even weighs half a pound more. Aside from that, there's a higher chance that the hospital already has an app for use in hospital than on a Surface. Basically anything where you're going to be holding it out for prolongwed periods of time or a specialized app is where you might see a lower weight iPad Air 2 shine.   Regardless, though, you should always use the best tool for the job. Whether that's Android, iOS, Windows 10, or Ubuntu Linu, the best tool is the best tool. A person should never just settle for something less simply because they don't like the tool.
  • There's no way I could get my job done on iOS.  I develop web applications.  There's nothing "pro" about iOS and there never will be.  It's an OS designed for consumption and simple tasks, like reserving seats at a restaurant.  
  • Think about ....... Continuum .... what sense will it make, when you're not looking at it in a kind of productive way? And it's running a mobile OS.
  • They should make a video of someone playing tozzle on an iPad and then someone editing Jurassic World on a Surface Pro 4. Can you edit video of yourself playing tozzle in iMovie? Sure, but you can't do your job in it.
  • I don't need a professionaly written article to know the Surface Pro 4 is miles ahead of the iPad Pro. ;)
  • How did you choose the 4 you listed from the vast number of reasons the Surface 4 kicks the iPad Pro's butt?
  • Bring it to India :-) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The first surface pro was already better than the iPad Pro is now ;) Seriously. Are we going to compare iOS to WINDOWS??? Maybe I need to say it again. THESE MACHINES RUN THE FULL WINDOWS SOFTWARE!!! Apple products are SHIT compared to it. Don't compare it with an iPad. Compare it with an iMac or Macbook. Oh wait. Surface pro is still better ;) Can we please stop comparing the surface with bullshit products? Maybe you guys didnt notice the facts that Surface isnt dependant on APPS. It runs Graphical programs, games full windows. So just because its a tablet doesnt mean an iPad is on the same level. This machine is the only machine you need. It replaces your tablet/laptop and desktop.  
  • We all agree and likely the writer as well.
    The point is that Apple is marketing it as a laptop replacement - the same as ms is doing with the surface. That's why they're being compared Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The biggest thing the surface has on the ipad is you dont look like a pretentious douche using the surface. 
  • There are at least those four reasons.  But lets address the issue of Mac fanboys (and Microsoft fanboys, for that matter).  It doesn't matter what they believe or think; there is a reality to be seen.  I work in the tech business. A medium sized popular Software-as-a-Service scheduling software company. We offer hiring incentives to developers and executives.  I work in operations, they don't care about us so we don't get this bonus.  But the incentive allows them to choose the device they want to work with - in the vast majority of cases, developers will choose an Apple Macbook or a Macbook Pro (depending on their badassery and/or connectedness).  Our software runs on Apache, JAVA, and linux.  We have some Windows in the infrastructure (arguably the critical stuff).  What do many of these developers "need" a Macbook for?  They need it to that they can install Windows on them!  Not for occasional use or some kind of testing, but because they wanted a fancy expensive Windows laptop.  That is the reality.  It doesn't matter if Mac users don't acknowledge what MS is bringing to the table.  Microsoft ignored what Apple was doing for mobile almost a decade ago and look what happened to them.  The tables can easily turn - and if Apple doesn't innovate beyond mere aesthetic and proprietary improvements, then they risk following into the same trap of greedy apathy.
  • BTW I apologize for the typos. EDGE is being VERY uncooperative as of late.
    Congrats Microsoft! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • REKT!!!! Posted via.........deez nutz!!!!!!
  • " Double clicking it still launches straight into OneNote, "  One click opens One Note. Double Click takes a screen shot, opens One Note and pastes the screen shot in the One Note page.
  • Sorry Jony, Panos' SP4 just kills your iPad Pro. I can't see any reason why someone would choose the iPad Pro over the SP4.
  • Ha! I've never seen bigger bait for Apple bashing in my life. (BTW isn't it sad that my BlackBerry autocorrected apple to have a capital A) asking the wc community what they like better between the sp4 and iPad pro?? Lol if anyone were to say the iPad they'd be boo'd out of the room. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Four? why stop there?
  • iPad Pro is still a toy, therefore, it cant be compared to the Surface 4 Pro.
  • #Windows10Devices like a BOSS!
  • Getting tired of these Surface to iPad comparisons. There isn't any. One is a PC and the other uses an OS designed for a cell phone. It doesn't do anything. I speak from experience (and a deflated wallet drained by various iGizmos). Can we stop now with this nonsense? I expect this kind of crap from unenlightened news outlets looking for another MS vs. Apple brawl but seriously... from people that know better? Really?
  • Four? There's a thousand more reasons why it's better. Now, I disagree with respect to the stand. First, I think that any use of a notebook computer on your lap is a misuse of the device and its design, and as such is a minor thing to hold against the Surface's stand. Then, I personally like better the limited angle approach of previous Surfaces, I think that probably the best solution is to have 3 angles. It's better to have predefined angles which have been researched to offer the best ergonomics and viewing angles, etc. than just putting the Surface in any possible position. But I'll grant that it's a matter of taste. The thing is that even with the originbal Surface's one position kickstand, it's light years away from iPads. Remember, if you don't like the laptop mode, you can still flip the keyboard cover and use it as a tablet. End of the problem.    
  • This article shouldn't even exist. The iPad Pro doesn't even compare with the Surface Pro 1.
  • And yet people will still flock to the iPad Pro just cause it's an Apple product.
  • Are they flocking?
  • Yes, many people don't realise it is running ios and can't install desktop app.  They think pro is "PRO"... go figure... smh
  • Awww, isn't that cute! The iPod Touch XXXXXXXXXXXXXL is tryng so hard grow up and be a professional. Silly Apple, tricks are for kids (and those that believe them).   Wait....did I just say those words???? Shame on me!
  • It's insulting to both Microsoft and WP Cenral to even make this comparison.
  • This was written because most of the mobile nations team uses Apple products. I'm sure they are all shocked and upset by the Surface Book. Little world shattered.
  • Why are they even compared? One is a full PC running a full OS. One is still like a entertainment device running a mobile OS...  Not romotely the same thing.  Just got my bf to pre-order the surface pro 4 to replace his dated macbookpro.  He was debating between the ipad pro or macbookpro.    
  • it is not about the spec, but about the experience, ipad is a tablet and provide awesome experince for that, surface is a laptop that pretend to be a tablet, its tablet experience is awfull, so yeah , if what you need is a laptop surface is better.
  • Why was there an article comparing a proper computer to a toy
  • There is no comparision b/w two of them. One runs full windows and is capable of running any x86 program as well as Modern apps while other is a toy which is used only for media consumption. I wonder why is even word "pro"  with ipad.
  • Hands down, baby!
  • Why does everyone automaticaly assume that the "Pro" in iPad Pro stands for "professional".  Maybe it stands for "probable" or "proficient" or "problem" or "prosthetic".  We all know how utterly clever these Apple marketing gurus are.  Personally, I think it stands for "prohibitive" since it prohibits you from attaching a simple USB flash drive.
  • The Surface Pro 4 is better than the iPad Pro in every way not just 4 ways. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I find the statement wrong - 'MS had been willing to take a loss on Surface sales'. I don't believe that they ever took a loss on sale of Surface... I know I am taking only Manufacturing cost into view and theres more to Devices than just this cost... But the only way you recoup R&D/Marketing cost is if you sell enough of these devices... And they have started selling in good quantity only since SP3...
  • Works really well as a tablet? Really? Windows 8.1 was great for tablet usage, Windows 10 not so much yet. And what about apps to be used in tablet mode? Windows store has yet deliver on the app front
  • Although it is hard to tell without trying them, I would rather have the Apple pencil over the Surface pen. Angle sensitivity is a great feature if you're interested in illustration. Other than that, the Surface's hardware is much more compelling, especially considering price. In the other hand, it still lacks apps supporting tablet mode. One can hope that Windows 10 will attract more developers but the right now an iPad -- but not the Pro, which is too expensive and heavy --  is a better option if you want a tablet experience whereas the Surface is a better choice if you want to use it as a laptop.
  • I just want to have the Surface Pro 4 right now!!!! Apple's iPad Pro doesn't compare for me to the Surface in any way.
  • Bro, do you even compare?
  • Please stop comapring these 2 machines, they are just not equivilants. Don't allow this myth to go on.
  • Definetly YES... by far!!!
  • This isn't even a discussion. Of course the Surface Pro annihilates the joke that is the iPad pro. 
  • Not a fair comparison at all...  One is a tablet pretending to be a laptop & the other is a laptop pretending to be a tablet.  I have both a Surface 3 Pro i7 fully loaded and Ipad. Both have their strenght & weaknesses. I love my Surface but  User interface and experience in tablet mode is simply awful and poorly executed IMHO. I'm surprised MS still touts it as a "tablet that is also a laptop" since the table mode seems to be an afterthought....
  • Hey Derek. Enjoyed your previous article. I am really excited about the MS lineup this time. I am wondering, though, why you thought this comparison was something that needed to be done. This after Panos himself said they were not even in the same class.
  • Click count...
  • I don't get why there always has to be hate towards "the other platform."  I use iOS android and Windows. They all have good and bad points.  They all manage to irritate me every time I use any one of them.  And I still like using all of them anyway.  
  • The reason is pretty obvious. On enthusiast sites people want to rep their team. The lack of a truly unbiased source that isn't contantly giving an unfair (often unwarranted) deferential to all things Apple created this environment. While all sides are guilty in some ways because of the environment that exists now, it's Apple that is benefitting from it more than others. It's gotten to the point that the public is disserved by the way things are done now. The Taste Maker sites and bloggers who basically just play for their team need to somehow be neutralized and replaced with people who really want to educate users on what these devices are capable of so they can make the best decisons for themselves based on real world use and not anecdotal factoids that may not apply to their situation.
  • Choosing the iPad Pro over another version of the iPad is one thing but choosing an iPad Pro over a Surface (whether it is the 3, the Pro 4 or the Book) is a completely different ballgame. When it comes to any task that you can throw at both devices,  the Surface option will do it better at pretty much any price point. In fact, it is safe to say that the iPad Pro is flanked on all sides by what can only be referred to as 'better options'.
  • Apple should be embarassed to label anything with iOS on it, "pro".
  • If they could tweek Win10 to give me 10-12 hours battery life ,then I'm sold .It usually is 5 hours if rated for 10 .The mail app seems buggy ,so I use google .It is a sweet machine with 16Gb and 1Tb available .I hope other OEMS realize that a REAL computer needs REAL storage amounts ,not 32Gb .Windows should have more stock apps ,like a PDF manager (merge ,split,annotate,create from web page or pics etc).I would like a Win tablet to REPLACE my iPad ,but  a.Battery life b.useful apps c.easy to use word processor .Here is the real fix : double battery size ,Goodnotes ,PDF creator ,Instaweb, mobile version of office (tablet mode) and I want one .And the scaling issues with Hi res screens (make dock icons 4 times larger as an option ).        
  • Single tap on the pen brings up OneNote. Double tap brings up screen capture (selectable area, to OneNote). At least that is how Surface Pro 3 works. Added is the hold for Cortana. That is a software addition so shoulsd be implementable on the 3. I've always thought there should be more options configurable on the Bluetooth pen button. It could work like the multi-function button on a headset. Pause/Play of music is playing, Answere a Skype call id it is coming in. Doesn't need to be limited by what a pen normally does.
  • I'm wondering why MS didn't make their pen rechargeable.