How Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Fares vs. Apple iPad Pro

How Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Fares vs. Apple iPad Pro
Let's Start With Display Size
An Inside Look at the Key Specs
What Operating System Do You Prefer?
Storage Matters to the Enterprise
Comparing the Stylus Options
Graphics Could Be a Difference Maker
Examining the Camera Differences
What About Portability?
The Take on Stands, Keyboards
How Pricing Factors Into the Equation
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How Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Fares vs. Apple iPad Pro

The Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro both have new features that will appeal to enterprise users and consumers. Here's how the tablets stack up against each other.

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Let's Start With Display Size

The Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro have different display sizes. The Surface Pro 4 comes with a 12.3-inch touch screen boasting a resolution of 2,736 by 1,824. The iPad Pro, meanwhile, has a slightly larger 12.9-inch screen with a resolution of 2,732 by 2,048. If display quality matters, therefore, the iPad Pro wins out—at least on paper.

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An Inside Look at the Key Specs

The iPad Pro launches with many of the features an Apple customer would expect, including the company's A9X processor that Apple says delivers even more power than many competing notebooks. The iPad Pro also comes with the M9 motion coprocessor. Choices abound on the Surface Pro 4 side, where Microsoft is offering the sixth-generation Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 processor. It's hard to tell until benchmarking is completed, but the Intel Core processor may be more powerful than those in Apple's iPad Pro.

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What Operating System Do You Prefer?

Before choosing between the iPad Pro and the Surface Book 4, customers should take a hard look at their operating systems and decide which one they prefer. The Surface Book 4 comes with Windows 10 Pro, which should be sufficient for most enterprise customers and consumers. The iPad Pro, meanwhile, runs on iOS 9 and takes advantage of that operating system's new features, including split screen and improved multitasking.

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Storage Matters to the Enterprise

In the enterprise, the amount of storage a company can load into a tablet is of utmost concern. Realizing that, Microsoft has delivered several storage options in the Surface Pro 4. The device's solid-state drive (SSD) options range from 128GB to 512GB. The iPad Pro tops out at 128GB of onboard storage (there is a 32GB version available for those who don't want the higher-end option).

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Comparing the Stylus Options

The stylus will is an important accessory for both the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4. The iPad Pro supports the Apple Pencil, a device designed to reflect the feel of an actual pen and respond to how hard it's pressed down on a screen. The Surface Pro 4 comes with the Surface Pen, which has been improved to adapt to over 1,000 input pressures and even features an eraser.

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Graphics Could Be a Difference Maker

For corporate users, especially, graphics performance is a major selling point. Realizing that, Microsoft offers several graphics options in its Surface Pro 4. At the simplest level, Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 has an m3 Intel HD graphics 515 GPU. Users can also bump that up to the Intel HD graphics 520 with the Intel Core i5, or the Intel Iris on the i7. Apple didn't do much to tout the graphics capabilities in the iPad Pro, saying only that it'll do a fine job for any task thrown at it.

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Examining the Camera Differences

Although cameras aren't the first features consumers try out when they get their hands on a tablet, the components are still important. Both the Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro come with 8-megapixel rear-facing cameras that are capable of recording in 1080p. The front-facing camera on the iPad Pro tops out at 1.2 megapixels, compared with 5 megapixels for the Surface Pro 4.

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What About Portability?

Although the "Pros" are designed to be more functional than mobile, portability is still a factor in the buying decision. Realizing that, Microsoft has made its Surface Pro 4 just 0.33 inches thick, weighing between 1.69 pounds and 1.73 pounds, depending on the version. The iPad Pro weighs between 1.57 and 1.59 pounds, depending on the version, and is 0.27 inches thick. In other words, the devices are about equal when it comes to portability.

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The Take on Stands, Keyboards

Both the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4 support an attachable keyboard. Apple's keyboard attaches to the device and acts as both a stand and a handy way to type out messages. It's a full-size keyboard, similar to those available in its MacBook. The Surface Pro 4, like its predecessors, comes with a stand that allows users to view the screen at any angle. There's also an attachable keyboard that, like Apple's option, is slim and lightweight and makes typing out content easy.

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How Pricing Factors Into the Equation

When it's all said and done, pricing matters greatly to consumers and enterprise users alike. The iPad Pro comes in three versions, including two WiFi-only models that cost $799 and $949. The cellular-equipped version costs $1,079. The Surface Pro 4, on the other hand, comes in several versions that start at $899 for the cheapest model with 128GB of storage. Those who want the highest-end Surface Pro, complete with Intel Core i7, 16GB of memory and 1TB of storage, can expect to pay $2,699.

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