Microsoft uses weak arguments to say Surface Pro 7 is better than iPad Pro

Posted:
in iPad edited April 5
Microsoft is continuing in its attempts to claim its Surface Pro 7 is better than Apple's products with another comparison video, putting its tablet against the iPad Pro.




Microsoft launched a marketing campaign in January that compared the Surface Pro 7 against Apple's products, with a video pitting the MacBook Pro against Microsoft's tablet. In April's second attempt, Microsoft is doing the same thing, but this time against the iPad Pro.

Following the same formula as the first video, the second "Still the Better Choice" piece on YouTube takes the form of a tech comparison video. It also follows the same pattern of pointing out perceived benefits of having a Surface Pro 7, in areas that it attempts to show the iPad Pro as weak.





The first segment, "Design," starts off by highlighting the built-in kickstand of the Surface, which the iPad doesn't have. To emphasize the point, despite the comparison being the Surface and keyboard versus the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, the actor lets the iPad slam down onto the wooden table surface to demonstrate the lack of stand.

The detachable keyboard argument from the first video reappears, with the Surface Type Cover able to be attached with a click. Holding up the Magic Keyboard, which the actor names as "the iPad keyboard," the comment is that it is "a lot heavier."

On to "Connectivity," the Surface is shown to have multiple ports, while the iPad Pro "has one," discounting the existence of the Smart Connector completely.

To underline the apparent connectivity issue, the actor holds up the iPad with an attached USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and an additional headphone adapter, before asking "You want to be this guy?"

Under the last main section, "Power," the actor states the iPad Pro is "just a tablet," then says the Surface "is a full computer and a tablet."

Lastly, Microsoft compares the price, which it puts the Surface Pro 7 at $880, while the iPad Pro is labeled as $1,348. The small print states "price includes device and keyboard shown."

It seems that the Surface Pro model Microsoft is using to compare is the cheapest-available model, equipped with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of memory, and 128GB of storage for $749.99. the remainder of the quoted price is taken up by the cheapest regular-priced Surface Pro Type Cover at $129.99.

The iPad Pro's $1,348 cost is based on the 12.9-inch iPad with 128GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity at $999, combined with the Magic Keyboard at $349 for the relevant size.

The ad in general seems to try and poke fun at iPad Pro ownership with relatively cheap arguments. For example, the dongle argument ignores that users could be using Bluetooth to connect headphones for audio, rather than going down that awkward configuration of accessories.

You also gain an extra USB-C port for charging the iPad Pro when it is attached to the Magic Keyboard, which the Microsoft video completely omits.

The "just a tablet" comment is also disingenuous, since an iPad can be used for the same sort of tasks as a Surface Pro. Microsoft doesn't quite qualify what it means by declaring that the Surface is "a tablet and a computer," as that would infer the iPad Pro isn't a computer at all.

On face value, the heavy keyboard comment is factual, as the Magic Keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is 1.6 pounds, versus the type cover's 0.68lb mass. However, while this does make the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard combo heavier than the Surface Pro and its keyboard cover, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro alone weighs 1.4 pounds, lighter than the Surface Pro 7's 1.7 pound weight.

It remains to be seen how long the ad will be available to view by Microsoft via its Surface account. The first ad is still viewable, but it is in an unlisted state, meaning it can be viewed with a direct link or when embedded in a webpage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,111member
    Redmond start your photocopiers!
    It’s pretty hard for microsoft to discount apple’s products, when they’ve gone to comical lengths to copy them, including the iPad
    lolliverjeffharriswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,829member
    Do people still buy Surface Pros? I used to see them a lot, work IT pushed them quite hard. Nowadays, after IT had given up,  not so much.
    h2pwilliamlondonravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    Expect everyone involved in the Wintel alliance to be using weak arguments to push back against Apple Silicon Macs - they're involved in a fight for survival, with little hope of outperforming the M1 Macs or the other Apple Silicon Macs to come.

    Most people are looking at these first Apple Silicon M1 Macs wrong - these aren't Apple's powerhouse machines: they're simply the annual spec bump of the lowest end Apple computers with DCI-P3 displays, Wifi 6, and the new Apple Silicon M1 SoC.

    They have the same limitations as the machines they replace - 16 GB RAM and two Thunderbolt ports.

    These are the machines you give to a student or teacher or a lawyer or an accountant or a work-at-home information worker - folks who need a decently performing machine with decent build quality who don't want to lug around a huge powerhouse machine (or pay for one for that matter). They're still marketed at the same market segment, though they now have a vastly expanded compute power envelope.

    The real powerhouses will probably come later this year with the M1x (or whatever). Apple has yet to decide on an external memory interconnect and multichannel PCIe scheme, if they decide to move in that direction.

    Other CPU and GPU vendors and OEM computer makers take notice - your businesses are now on limited life support. These new Apple Silicon models can compete speed-wise up through the mid-high tier of computer purchases, and if as I expect Apple sells a ton of these many will be to your bread and butter customers.

    In fact, I suspect that Apple - once they recover their R&D costs - will be pushing the prices of these machines lower while still maintaining their margins - while competing computer makers will still have to pay Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and nVidea for their expensive processors, whereas Apple's cost goes down the more they manufacture. Competing computer makers may soon be squeezed by Apple Silicon price/performance on one side and high component prices on the other.  Expect them to be demanding lower processor prices from the above manufacturers so they can more readily compete, and processor manufacturers may have to comply because if OEM computer manufacturers go under or stop making competing models, the processor makers will see a diminishing customer base.

    I believe the biggest costs for a chip fab are startup costs - no matter what processor vendors would like you to believe. Design and fab startup are expensive - but once you start getting decent yields, the additional costs are silicon wafers and QA. The more of these units Apple can move, the lower the per unit cost and the better the profits.

    So ... who should buy these M1 Macs?

    If you're in the target demographic - the student, teacher, lawyer, accountant, or work-at-home information worker: this is the Mac for you.

    If you're a heavy computer user like a creative and don't simply want a light and cheap computer with some additional video and sound editing capability for use on the go - I'd wait for the M1x (or whatever) later this year. You'll probably kick yourself when the machines targeted at you finally appear.
    tmaylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,425member
    Meaningless rehash of the same old Surface related pablum. The people have already spoken with their wallets.

    The sad part is that it's been 18+ months since the Surface Pro 7 hit the consumer market. Barring some massive markdowns that may push a tiny number of fence sitters to open their wallets, I'd imagine that everyone who wanted one already has one. Folks who are fans of the Surface line probably don't need to be reminded that an upgrade is very long overdue. It would be like Apple suddenly hitting the air with iPad mini 5 commercials. Whaaaat???

    Microsoft, if you don't have anything new to show, don't bother.
    roundaboutnowraoulduke42lolliverwilliamlondonjeffharriswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 498member
    I haven’t purchased anything from Microsoft since ‘06, but lately I’ve been thinking about picking up a Surface Pro just to see what they’ve been up to these last 15 years. Like everyone here, I love my toys and my tech, and experimenting with new products. Plus  I figured, at the very least, it would arm me with the current knowledge to intelligently talk shit about Microsoft without sounding like a charlatan. So, I guess that puts me in the target market for these commercials. Unfortunately, the only thing they succeed at is annoying the hell out of me and completely turning me off to Microsoft all over again. So, thanks for saving me a few bucks Microsoft, maybe I’ll check back with you in another 15 years. 

    Fail. 
    raoulduke42lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,090member
    Redmond start your photocopiers!
    It’s pretty hard for microsoft to discount apple’s products, when they’ve gone to comical lengths to copy them, including the iPad
    In this case, maybe Apple is the one who have been copying MS features for the iPad.  I have seen many features from my 5-year Surface Pro 4 being copied by Apple, for example,
    • Pen / Pencil
    • Keyboard / w trackpad 
    • Windows Hello / Face ID
    • Multitasking / Side-by-Side apps in tablet mode
    • Multiple user profiles (iPad is limited to educational environment)
    BTW, I still think that iPad still the best tablet in the market, but MS had very good ideas that Apple had to copy to improve the iPad.  Also think that the Surface have many advantages over the iPad when it's used with a keyboard.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    thttht Posts: 3,899member
    My spouse got a Surface Laptop for work. To me, it looks like Microsoft's version of Apple's unibody Macbook design language. Very similar imo. It looks little different, but it has all the same design principles: minimalist metal chassis, vent system at the hinge, limited selection of ports, etc. In essence, the MacBook form. The Surface Pro 7/7+ are just a smaller screen version of this (or the Surface Laptop is the laptop version of a Surface Pro), for some people who want the tablet functionality of which I think there are very few people who make use of the functionality.

    Her work sent the laptop first, only for us to learn that we couldn't use most of the peripherals we had with it. Couldn't connect it to the external monitor we had. 1 USBC port and 1 USBA port meant we could only connect either the mouse or keyboard to it, but not both. Didn't have a USBC-to-HDMI adaptor to connect the external monitor.

    So, much of the typical advantage of a PC laptop with lots of ports aren't there. She asked her work for an external monitor and dock, keyboard etc. The Surface branded power brick dock thing time traveled from 2014: lots of USBA ports, audio, and Ethernet, but mini-display ports for displays. Didn't have a miniDisplayPort-to-HDMi cable either. So, a trip to Walmart for a miniDP to HDMI adaptor, and she's up and running. Urgh, the 27" Viewsonic 1920x1080 monitor they provide is a piece of trash. Wow. It's like 1995 era PPI. And the crappy external keyboard, ugh. Corporate IT is the worst. Yeah, she'd be better off if she let me buy some stuff for her, and not let work pay for it.

    I think the only reason to get a Surface Pro is for the tablet functionality. So if you draw or do handwritten markups a lot, otherwise the display is on the small side while the Surface Laptop or a Macbook is better for a most PC use cases. If you lean more on the tablet side, the iPad Pro 12.9 hands down. Thinner, lighter, runs cooler, performs better, bigger display.

    Anyways, Surface devices are very much MS's implementation of Apple's design strategy for PCs. They seem to have all the same tradeoffs. It's a very good thing Apple is doing its own chips as Intel is making it very hard to make good computer hardware with all the intangibles they want to have.
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    What is a Surface Pro?
    raoulduke42watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    He forgot to mention

    The surface is completely useless
    raoulduke42lolliverwilliamlondonKTRwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Bought them for all of my developers, back in the day. Had to pretty much give them away just a few years later. The screens are so small they are useless for any sort of productivity task, IMHO.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,670member
    To emphasize the point, despite the comparison being the Surface and keyboard versus the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, the actor lets the iPad slam down onto the wooden table surface to demonstrate the lack of stand.
    Yes, I often drive my cars into the sea to demonstrate the fact they’re not yachts. 



    raoulduke42lolliverwilliamlondonjeffharrissdw2001watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    I have a Surface Pro 4 - which was purchased in 2016. Right now, the Screen is swollen and is popping off. It cannot be used without an external monitor. 
    I also have the first generation iPad from 2010. It has no physical wear and still works how it did back when I bought it. 
    lolliverravnorodomKTRwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    jumejume Posts: 206member
    Price is pretty strong point though ;)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    I’m baffled, why even bother with this article? Even die hard Microsoft toads like Paul Thurrott can’t get excited by these. The only reason I know  this inane ads exist is because of AI. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    I've said it a million times. I will believe that an iPad will replace a PC with expandable RAM and hard drive, a discrete GPU, the ability to install applications from third party sources, a UX that supports true multitasking, the abililty to execute arbitrary code (required for entire professions), the ability to create virtual machines, the ability to segment your hard drive, the ability to dual boot multiple operating systems, play AAA video games etc. when Apple fans tell me that an iPad can replace a MacBook Pro.

    Since that doesn't happen - for obvious reasons - then the entire "the iPad can replace a PC" has more to do with the low opinion that Apple fans have concerning people who choose not to buy Apple hardware than it actually does the relative capabilities of iPads versus Windows (or Linux) PCs or even Chromebooks (which can do nearly everything that a Windows or Linux PC can do in Linux mode). 

    If you want the best tablet that exists for the purposes of doing whatever it is that people do with tablets then buy an iPad Pro. I will never buy another iPad again personally - $80 Walmart (or free from mobile carrier) Android tablets are fine for 1080p streaming and web surfing, ChromeOS 2-in-1s are very good for on to go productivity, foldable phones offer great versatility - but it is still a fact. But if you want actual personal computer functionality then do not buy an iPad or any other tablet. Buy a Linux (yes they do exist ... Dell, Lenovo and small manufacturers sell them) or Windows PC, a MacBook (Air or Pro) or a Chromebook. This is all that this advertising campaign is pointing out and yes it is absolutely 100% true. Just because Apple chooses for their own reasons to be the only manufacturer on the planet not to offer a PC caliber device with a touchscreen is no excuse to pass off an iPad as a device capable of performing a PC workload. It cannot. No matter how fast its CPU runs - much faster than the Intel Core i3 on my Chromebook - the UI and the restrictions don't permit it. I can load the Ubuntu app store and put any software that I need/want on my Chromebook. On the iPad? Nope. My Chromebook supports real multitasking and true filesystem apps with legitimate access to the local filesystem and local storage. An iPad? Nope. I can connect two 4K monitors to my Chromebook. I can program in Python, C++, Java, node.js, Golang etc. on ChromeOS. I can run a database or web server on my Chromebook and connect to it using my Mac Mini or MacBook Pro as a client. With an iPad Pro? Get real. An iPad Pro runs the best mobile apps in the business ... but that is all it can do

    Microsoft is 100% right for pointing this out and no huffing and puffing from Apple fans is going to change that. What Apple fans need to do is somehow convince Tim Cook to let the next MacBook Air be a 2-in-1 with a touchscreen. (Buying a 5G modem from Qualcomm for it would be a nice touch too. 5G Windows 2-in-1s have been a thing for a couple of years and the first 5G Chromebook launches this year also. Just saying). Do that and it shuts this Microsoft advertising campaign down in its tracks because no Windows 2-in-1 is capable of matching an M1 Mac's CPU power and few are capable of matching its GPU power. (Traditional Windows laptops are another story, but 2-in-1s definitely.) Till then just grin (or cry if you choose) and bear it because it is 100% true.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 22
    thedbathedba Posts: 539member
    Redmond start your photocopiers!
    It’s pretty hard for microsoft to discount apple’s products, when they’ve gone to comical lengths to copy them, including the iPad
    The Surface might have been an attempt to respond to the iPad but what Microsoft did in the end is release another PC with touchscreen.
    Windows is still Windows. 
    I'd say that the Surface line isn't really an iPad competitor but more a Mac competitor.

    tmaythtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,670member
    cloudguy said:
    I've said it a million ti
    NEXT!
    tmaybestkeptsecretwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 18 of 22
    thedbathedba Posts: 539member

    cloudguy said:
    I've said it a million times. I will believe that an iPad will replace a PC with expandable RAM and hard drive, a discrete GPU, the ability to install applications from third party sources, a UX that supports true multitasking, the abililty to execute arbitrary code (required for entire professions), the ability to create virtual machines, the ability to segment your hard drive, the ability to dual boot multiple operating systems, play AAA video games etc. when Apple fans tell me that an iPad can replace a MacBook Pro.

    Since that doesn't happen - for obvious reasons - then the entire "the iPad can replace a PC" has more to do with the low opinion that Apple fans have concerning people who choose not to buy Apple hardware than it actually does the relative capabilities of iPads versus Windows (or Linux) PCs or even Chromebooks (which can do nearly everything that a Windows or Linux PC can do in Linux mode). 

    If you want the best tablet that exists for the purposes of doing whatever it is that people do with tablets then buy an iPad Pro. I will never buy another iPad again personally - $80 Walmart (or free from mobile carrier) Android tablets are fine for 1080p streaming and web surfing, ChromeOS 2-in-1s are very good for on to go productivity, foldable phones offer great versatility - but it is still a fact. But if you want actual personal computer functionality then do not buy an iPad or any other tablet. Buy a Linux (yes they do exist ... Dell, Lenovo and small manufacturers sell them) or Windows PC, a MacBook (Air or Pro) or a Chromebook. This is all that this advertising campaign is pointing out and yes it is absolutely 100% true. Just because Apple chooses for their own reasons to be the only manufacturer on the planet not to offer a PC caliber device with a touchscreen is no excuse to pass off an iPad as a device capable of performing a PC workload. It cannot. No matter how fast its CPU runs - much faster than the Intel Core i3 on my Chromebook - the UI and the restrictions don't permit it. I can load the Ubuntu app store and put any software that I need/want on my Chromebook. On the iPad? Nope. My Chromebook supports real multitasking and true filesystem apps with legitimate access to the local filesystem and local storage. An iPad? Nope. I can connect two 4K monitors to my Chromebook. I can program in Python, C++, Java, node.js, Golang etc. on ChromeOS. I can run a database or web server on my Chromebook and connect to it using my Mac Mini or MacBook Pro as a client. With an iPad Pro? Get real. An iPad Pro runs the best mobile apps in the business ... but that is all it can do

    Microsoft is 100% right for pointing this out and no huffing and puffing from Apple fans is going to change that. What Apple fans need to do is somehow convince Tim Cook to let the next MacBook Air be a 2-in-1 with a touchscreen. (Buying a 5G modem from Qualcomm for it would be a nice touch too. 5G Windows 2-in-1s have been a thing for a couple of years and the first 5G Chromebook launches this year also. Just saying). Do that and it shuts this Microsoft advertising campaign down in its tracks because no Windows 2-in-1 is capable of matching an M1 Mac's CPU power and few are capable of matching its GPU power. (Traditional Windows laptops are another story, but 2-in-1s definitely.) Till then just grin (or cry if you choose) and bear it because it is 100% true.
    Nice rant, but I can see telling my 80 yr old mother, "Mom did you know that you cannot have Ubuntu on your iPad?" Her response would be "What's an Ubuntu. Is it like a furry little animal?". 
    If you want to rant that the Surface is a success while the iPad or Mac is a failure, then all you have to do is look at the numbers. 
    MS with its huge install base of potential Windows buyers, 8-12 times bigger than Apple's Mac, has less MS Surface revenue than either Apple's iPad line or Mac line. 
    Looking at MS's measly $2 billion revenue from the last quarter is minuscule when compared to Apple's Mac or iPad (take your pick).  Around $7 billion for Mac and around $6 billion for iPad. 
    Remember Microsoft's pool of potential buyers is 8-12 times bigger than Apple's. 

    So yes the Surface hasn't been a failure but not exactly the runaway success some make it out to be. 

    Sources --> https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-surface-revenue-fy20-q2-results
    https://dazeinfo.com/2019/09/25/apple-annual-revenue-by-products-and-services-graphfarm/

    thtwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 19 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,425member
    I have a Surface Pro 4 - which was purchased in 2016. Right now, the Screen is swollen and is popping off. It cannot be used without an external monitor. 
    I also have the first generation iPad from 2010. It has no physical wear and still works how it did back when I bought it. 

    This sounds like a case of lithium-ion battery bloat. I would seriously caution against using any device that exhibits this type of battery failure. It's possible that the compromised battery could leak and/or explode.


    By the way, I currently have an iPad Mini that has the same condition. I'm not using it and I'm preparing to recycle it at the hazardous material recycling center. I've had two iPod Touch devices, one iPhone 6+, and an external hard drive with a built-in battery all exhibit the same lithium-ion battery failure mode.

    bestkeptsecretwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,388member
    I have a surface pro 6 for work and it doesn’t even compare to my new iPad Air.   So, pfffft.   
    watto_cobraBeats
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