10 Features Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Needs to Compete With iPad Pro

1 - 10 Features Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Needs to Compete With iPad Pro
2 - A Big Screen Is an Essential Feature
3 - Windows 10 Is a Guarantee
4 - Bring on the Free Access to Cloud Services
5 - The Stylus Matters Greatly
6 - Let's See Some Smart Accessories
7 - Don't Make Significant Changes to the Stand
8 - Beat Apple on the Storage Side
9 - Should the Intel RealSense 3D Camera Factor In?
10 - A High-End Intel Processor Could Do the Trick
11 - It's All About Keeping Pricing in Check
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10 Features Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Needs to Compete With iPad Pro

Microsoft could be getting ready to unveil the Surface Pro 4 to introduce a high-end tablet that will compete with Apple's iPad Pro in the enterprise market.

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A Big Screen Is an Essential Feature

There's little doubt that Microsoft will be delivering a big screen in the Surface Pro 4. According to several rumors, Microsoft may announce one version that features a 12-inch screen and another that comes with a 14-inch screen. The idea is for Microsoft to bookend the iPad Pro, which features a 12.9-inch screen.

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Windows 10 Is a Guarantee

Windows 10 will obviously play a prominent role at Microsoft's special press event, and the operating system will be running on the Surface Pro 4. And why not? Microsoft's latest operating system is a major improvement over its predecessor and comes with features designed to appeal to consumers and the enterprise buyers. Windows 10 should and will be running on the Surface Pro 4.

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Bring on the Free Access to Cloud Services

Satya Nadella has said it time and again: The future of his company's business is in the cloud. So it would only make sense if Microsoft offers free cloud services to sweeten the pot on a Surface Pro 4 purchase. By doing so, Microsoft can get more customers signed up to services like OneDrive or even Office 365 and potentially give customers another reason to buy its tablet. Offering free cloud services—at least for a period of time—seems to make perfect sense.

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The Stylus Matters Greatly

Microsoft last year acquired N-Trig, a company that makes a special stylus capable of determining pressure and responding accordingly. Several reports have suggested that the stylus that will accompany the Surface Pro 4 will be based on that technology. If Microsoft truly wants to compete with Apple's iPad Pro, it'll need a device that can capably compete with Apple Pencil. A new and improved stylus for Surface Pro 4 may just do that.

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Let's See Some Smart Accessories

One of the highlights of Apple's iPad Pro is the range of high-quality smart accessories that come with it, including the company's Apple Pencil and the attachable keyboard. Microsoft should showcase some new peripherals of its own, including an enhanced keyboard that feels more like a notebook than a simple tablet-ready option. It seems the accessories war is on, and Microsoft shouldn't want to be behind.

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Don't Make Significant Changes to the Stand

One of the biggest updates to the Surface Pro 3 was its stand, which allowed users to put the device at any angle. The stand won the favor of current Surface Pro owners, and it shouldn't be dropped from the new version. If Microsoft can improve the stand in some way, that would be nice. But if it can't, then it should retain it as it is.

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Beat Apple on the Storage Side

Apple's iPad Pro doesn't come with a ton of storage, topping out at 128GB. Several reports suggest Microsoft is considering launching a tablet that would come with up to 500GB of on-board storage. Let's hope that's true. One of the biggest issues with tablets—and one of the main reasons companies won't replace notebooks with them—is that they don't have enough on-board storage. If the Surface Pro 4 can fix that issue, it'll be far more successful.

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Should the Intel RealSense 3D Camera Factor In?

A nagging rumor surrounding the Surface Pro 4 says that Microsoft is considering bundling the Intel RealSense 3D Camera into the device. The idea is that the camera would provide better pictures and deliver a more "lifelike video chat environment." In other words, it's a better way to communicate with a camera, and it's starting to gather some steam in the corporate community. It would be a nice add-on to what promises to be a high-end tablet.

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A High-End Intel Processor Could Do the Trick

Apple's iPad Pro is somewhat powerful, topping the processing power of several lightweight notebooks, but it's not overwhelming. Success for the Surface Pro 4 would be in delivering even more power than its competitor. The rumor mill says Microsoft could announce Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 models for Surface Pro 4, and if it did, that would mean the device would be far more powerful than the iPad Pro. Let's hope Microsoft takes that leap and goes with a high-end option.

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It's All About Keeping Pricing in Check

Ultimately, for some companies, pricing will play a major role in which tablet they choose. Realizing that, Microsoft should keep its Surface Pro 4 pricing in check. While no one would expect the company to sell a high-end device for under $1,000, pricing the 12-inch model around $1,000 would be a smart move, and offering the higher-end 14-inch version for as close to $1,200 as possible would appeal to corporate users. After all, the iPad Pro's top model goes for $1,079 and wouldn't come with the same level of features. The price-to-value ratio on the 14-inch Surface Pro 4, in other words, could be quite high at that price.

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