Compared: Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro

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in iPad
Microsoft unveiled its latest slate of Surface computers, with the Surface Pro 8 appearing to be a direct competitor to Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Here's how Microsoft's new productivity tablet stacks up against Apple's long-standing offering.

The Surface Pro 8 is close to being an iPad Pro, albeit one with a built-in kickstand.
The Surface Pro 8 is close to being an iPad Pro, albeit one with a built-in kickstand.


Microsoft's updated Surface lineup includes various options for potential users, including the Surface Duo 2 and the Surface Laptop Studio. The cheapest of the range, the Surface Pro 8 shipping on October 5, is also seemingly gunning for the iPad Pro, at least with its name.

Packing Core i5 and Core i7 processors and in a thin package, the Surface Pro 8 could easily be a portable workstation for some people. However, it does so in territory that Apple practically governs with its iPad family.

Whether it does enough to stand up the iPad Pro as a productivity workhorse in its own right is another matter.

Specifications

Surface Pro 812.9-inch iPad Pro (2021)
Base price$1,099.99$1,099
Screen Size (inches)1312.9
Resolution2,880 x 19202,732 x 2,048
Pixel Density (dpi)267264
Display typePixelsense Flow,
3:2 Aspect Ratio,
Dolby Vision,
120Hz max, 60Hz default
Mini LED,
Liquid Retina,
ProMotion,
True Tone,
Wide color (P3),
Fully Laminated
ProcessorQuad-core 11th-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7,
Quad-core 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7
M1
GraphicsIntel Iris XeM1
Memory8GB, 16GB, 32GB (LPDDR4x)8GB (128GB, 256GB, 512GB models), 16GB (1TB, 2TB models)
Stylus SupportSurface Slim Pen 2Apple Pencil (Second Generation)
Dimensions (inches)11.3 x 8.2 x 0.3711.04 x 8.46 x 0.25
Weight (lbs)1.961.51
Capacities128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Rear camera (MP)1012 wide, 10 ultra wide, LiDAR
Front camera (MP)512, TrueDepth
Video recording4K (rear), 1080p (front)4K at 24/30/60fps (wide) and 60fps (ultra wide), 1080p 60fps (front)
BiometricWindows HelloFace ID
Battery Life16 hours10 hours
Speakers and Mics2W stereo with Dolby Atmos,
Dual far-field studio mics
4 speaker audio,
5 studio-quality mics
Wireless ConnectivityWi-Fi 6,
Bluetooth 5.1
Wi-Fi 6,
Bluetooth 5.0
5G Cellular
Ports2x USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4
3.5mm headphone jack
Surface Connect port
Thunderbolt 4,
Smart Connector

Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Physical dimensions

For the 2021 release, Microsoft slimmed down the bezels of the Surface Pro 8, which brings the overall size closer to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Not identical, but certainly quite comparable.

The iPad Pro is slightly shorter in length, at 11.04 inches to 11.3 inches, but slightly wider at 8.46 inches to 8.2 inches. There's a difference in both directions, but given that they're small, it pretty much evens out between the two.

What cannot be as easily dismissed is the thickness. Apple has continued with its impossibly-thin design concept, with the iPad Pro squeezing into a 0.25-inch-thick enclosure.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's tablet is a rather chunky 0.37 inches thick, just under 50% thicker than the iPad Pro.

It's arguable that a few millimeters could be shaved off by getting rid of the kickstand.
It's arguable that a few millimeters could be shaved off by getting rid of the kickstand.


Adding to the dimension comparison is the weight, as again, the iPad Pro wins here. While the iPad Pro is 1.51 pounds, the Surface Pro 8 is a heftier 1.96 pounds.

While the width and length may not be a factor, the weight certainly will be one for users.

Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Display

One of the reasons for the difference in width and length between the two tablets is Microsoft's insistence on using a different aspect ratio of display.

Microsoft's 13-inch Pixelsense Flow screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio, with a resolution of 2,880 by 1,920. The iPad Pro uses a 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display, which has a ratio of 4:3, and a resolution of 2.732 by 2,048.

Much like the physical dimensions, the iPad screen resolution isn't as long but a tad wider. The Surface Pro's pixel density of 267ppi is marginally higher than the iPad Pro's 264ppi, but the difference is marginal at best.

Speaking of margins, the thinner bezels of the Surface Pro 8 mean two edges have minimal bezels, while the other two are slightly thicker. The iPad Pro uses fairly consistent bezels around all edges, which may be more aesthetically pleasing to some.

The Surface Pro 8's screen offers features comparable to Apple's, such as being able to vary between 60Hz and 120Hz, which the iPad Pro has with ProMotion. There's also Dolby Vision support, so it will be able to handle HDR content fine.

Microsoft doesn't disclose the kind of backlighting used on the Surface, but it probably doesn't use the same mini LED backlighting as the iPad Pro. As such, we also don't know how bright it can get versus the iPad Pro's 1,000-nit full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness for HDR.

There's not even a suggestion about the contrast ratio of the Surface Pro 8. For reference, the iPad Pro manages 1 million to 1.

Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Performance

Apple uses the M1 chip in its iPad Pro lineup, bringing over its desktop-class chip to its mobile computing platform. That includes the eight processing cores, split between four high-efficiency and four high-performance cores, the eight-core GPU, and the 16-core Neural Engine.

Microsoft gives users the choice of two processors, the Intel Core i7-11785G7 and the Core i5-1135G7. Both are 11th-generation Tiger Lake chips with four cores and eight threads, with the Core i5 clocked at 4.2GHz under Turbo and the Core i7 at 4.8GHz.

Apple uses 8GB of memory for the sub-TB models,16GB in the TB-capacity versions.

Microsoft has 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacity options, potentially giving more memory for the Surface Pro 8 to play with, depending on the configuration.

As a tablet, the Surface Pro 8's biggest draw for some users probably is that it runs Windows.
As a tablet, the Surface Pro 8's biggest draw for some users probably is that it runs Windows.


Given how Apple manages memory in its mobile devices, Microsoft's highest memory capacity option may not necessarily be a benefit overall.

In terms of benchmarks, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro manages 1,707 for single-core Geekbench tests and 7,212 for multi-core.

Since Microsoft hasn't benchmarked the new models yet, and they haven't been released, we have to compare using similar hardware for a ballpark figure.

Searches for notebooks with the same processors as Microsoft's selections offer single-core results of around 1,500 for the Core i7, 1,300 for the Core i5. On multi-core, it's about 5,000 for the Core i7, 3,600 for the Core i5.

While this is more an educated guess, it certainly doesn't bode well for the Surface Pro 8's performance once the benchmarks arrive.

On the graphical side, Microsoft's using Intel Iris Xe, namely integrated graphics. Geekbench's OpenCL benchmarks score Iris Xe at 14,413, which is a decent result.

The problem for Microsoft is that the M1 managed 18,260.

It seems that the iPad Pro is the more powerful of the two tablets at this stage. At least, until benchmark comparisons are made on sold hardware.

Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Cameras

Photography has always been a strong point for Apple's devices, and in a shootout between the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 8, Apple has the far greater firepower.

On the back of the Surface Pro 8 is a single 10-megapixel camera, which Microsoft says can shoot 4K video, and has autofocusing capabilities.

Naturally, Apple fares a lot better by adding both a 12-megapixel Wide camera along with a 10-megapixel Ultra Wide version. Not only is there optical zoom to play with on the iPad Pro, but one that also adds a 5x digital zoom, autofocus, 4K video at 60fps, 240fps 1080p Slo-mo, and cinematic video stabilization.

Microsoft adds a pair of far-field studio mics for recording, though Apple matches it with stereo recording for video.

That's all before you consider that Apple includes LiDAR in its tablet, enabling advanced AR applications and improving its photographic capabilities further.

Around the front, the story's not much better for Microsoft, as it packs a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p video support and Windows Hello face authentication.

By contrast, Apple uses a 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera array, which includes depth mapping-based features like Face ID for increased security. There's even Center Stage, the auto-reframing feature for tracking people during a video call.

If you're looking for a tablet with great photographic potential, your best bet is still the iPad Pro out of these two.

Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Capacity

Apple offers the iPad Pro 12.9-inch in five capacity options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

Over on Microsoft's side, it offers 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of storage. However, while not reaching the high of 2TB, the Surface Pro 8 has the potential to get there in a roundabout way.

One key benefit of the Surface Pro 8 is that you can switch out the storage on some models.
One key benefit of the Surface Pro 8 is that you can switch out the storage on some models.


While the 512GB and 1TB options are fixed storage, both the 128GB and 256GB models are marketed as "Removable SSD" versions, which means they could be pulled and replaced with larger drives.

This simply isn't possible on the iPad Pro. Sure, you could take advantage of external drives, but it's not the same as having the extra capacity built-in.

Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Connectivity and Power

At face value, it seems that Microsoft has a longer battery life, as it claims 16 hours to Apple's 10 hours. Again, this isn't completely straightforward.

The iPad Pro's 10 hours is claimed to be for "up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi or watching video." Meanwhile, Microsoft's higher figure is "based on typical Surface device usage," defined as a web-browser test with eight tabs open, a productivity test using Office apps, and "a portion of time with the device in use with idle applications."

Benchmarks post-release will probably determine how valid Microsoft's 16-hour claim is.

On the connectivity side, Microsoft simultaneously goes one stage better than Apple, but also one worse.

In the Surface Pro 8's favor, it does include two USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4 ports, while the iPad Pro offers just one. Combined with Microsoft's inclusion of a headphone jack, that makes the Surface Pro 8 better for those not wishing to live the dongle lifestyle.

Both tablets offer Wi+Fi 6 connectivity, and while the iPad Pro has Bluetooth 5.0, the Surface goes to Bluetooth 5.1. Microsoft also has the Surface Connect port, its own take on Apple's Smart Connector for attaching accessories.

One area of connectivity that the Surface Pro 8 severely lacks is cellular.

Apple incorporates the option for 5G connectivity in the iPad Pro. The consumer edition of the Surface Pro 8 does not have any cellular options, but Surface Pro 8 for Business, a version for enterprise customers, does have LTE.

Microsoft may offer an LTE-equipped variant to consumers directly at some point, but it's not doing so at launch, which is disappointing.

Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Other Details

Both tablets support styluses from their own ecosystems, with Apple using the Apple Pencil 2 while Microsoft goes for the Surface Slim Pen 2.

Likewise, there are also keyboard covers and accessories on both sides. The iPad Pro has the Mart Keyboard Folio and Magic Keyboard, while the Surface Pro 8 has the Surface Pro X Keyboard and Surface Pro Signature Keyboard.

Keyboard covers and styluses are separate purchases or add-on items.

You can get a stylus or a keyboard cover for the Surface Pro 8, though as add-on items.
You can get a stylus or a keyboard cover for the Surface Pro 8, though as add-on items.


The Surface Pro 8 is available in Graphite and Platinum colors for its anodized aluminum casing. Apple's iPad Pro can be acquired in Space Gray or Silver.

Surface Pro 8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Configuration Pricing

If you want an iPad Pro, Apple has fairly explanatory pricing. The Wi-Fi edition starts from $1,099 for 128GB of storage, rising to $1,199 for 256GB, $1,399 for 512GB, $1,799 for 1TB, and $2,199 for 2TB.

Adding cellular to that is very simple, as it's an extra $200 regardless of capacity. That makes it $1,299 at the low-end, $2,399 at the high.

Microsoft's pricing structure has fewer options, at eight instead of ten, but it's a little more confusing.

On the Core i5 side, it costs $1,099.99 with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage, rising to $1,199 for 256GB, and $1,399 for 512GB. There's also an option to go for 16GB of memory and a 256GB SSD for $1,399, too.

Moving to the Core i7, that starts with 16GB of memory and 256GB of storage for $1,599, rising to $1,899 for 512GB, and $2,199 for 1TB. If you want 32GB of memory, your only option is the Core i7 with 1TB, which costs $2,599.99.

Apple's decision to leave out memory from the equation certainly streamlines what it offers, despite there being more options. As we have seen previously with Surface releases, Microsoft's structuring isn't exactly easy to understand.

Not quite "Pro" enough

The Surface Pro 8 is Microsoft's attempt to provide users with a highly portable workstation in tablet form, one that can handle workplace tasks while on the go. On that front, Microsoft has achieved its aim for Windows users.

The problem for Microsoft is that the iPad Pro exists, and is also a product that the vast majority of potential Surface Pro 8 customers will be keenly aware of.

As the Surface line has evolved over the years, it's undoubtedly gotten closer to what Apple offers in its iPad Pro, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Road warriors want light, attractive, and powerful devices that can get things done then be slipped into a backpack as they move on to the next task.

For years, the iPad and iPad Pro have provided that lifestyle, and Microsoft's probably the closest competitor to that in 2021.

It's a tablet running Windows, which may be enough for some to buy the Surface Pro 8.
It's a tablet running Windows, which may be enough for some to buy the Surface Pro 8.


In Microsoft's favor is, sadly, Windows. There are so many people who still use Windows for work, be it through software or business requirements, or simply from being used to it.

It used to be the case that a company would have to go to great lengths to allow an employee to use an iPad for work, but that's not applicable in 2021. The argument that you must use Windows for work doesn't really hold water anymore, which is to Apple's considerable benefit.

For the current crop of Pro tablet devices, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro wins against the Surface Pro 8. What clinches it is that Microsoft has gotten close to making an iPad Pro, but it's stopped short.

A lot of what it's created is excellent on paper, and that's something that cannot be taken away from Microsoft.

However, the lacking camera, the performance against Apple Silicon, the pricing structure, the complete absence of 5G even in cellular-equipped enterprise versions, and the thicker and heavier form all add up against the Surface Pro 8.

It's "Pro," but not iPad Pro yet.

Where to buy

Microsoft's new Surface lineup is available for purchase from Amazon and Microsoft directly.

The latest iPad deals deliver double-digit and even triple-digit savings on 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. You can compare prices across popular retailers in our 12.9-inch iPad Pro Price Guide.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    So, the iPad Pro is material faster, has better cameras, better speakers and mics, 5G, is thinner and weighs less

    The article does not mention, but likely then Surface has a fan and runs hotter and louder.   And with that POS Intel processor, there is NO WAY this things gets 16 hours of comparable battery life.   I’ll call BS on that right now 

    And last, it runs Windows.   That alone sinks it 
    lordjohnwhorfinnetroxwilliamlondonjas99radarthekatraoulduke42watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 28
    XedXed Posts: 1,111member
    red oak said:
    So, the iPad Pro is material faster, has better cameras, better speakers and mics, 5G, is thinner and weighs less

    The article does not mention, but likely then Surface has a fan and runs hotter and louder.   And with that POS Intel processor, there is NO WAY this things gets 16 hours of comparable battery life.   I’ll call BS on that right now 

    And last, it runs Windows.   That alone sinks it 
    It does weight half a pound more (a 33% increase) so that might all be battery. But you're right, we should go by 3rd-party battery tests, not a manufacturer's rating. I wish AI would list the manufacturer specs alongside "actual" with a note with a link to the testing parameters. For example, the Surface Pro 7 is rated at 15 hours from MS, but I see that 10 hours is more typical from reviews.

    PS: The 8 looks to be using the same Intel processor as 7.
    edited September 26 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 28
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,437member
    The intel processors are such energy hogs compared to the M1 that I have a hard time believing the battery numbers. Of course, if the ipad were 50% thicker like the Surface was that would all be battery so you’d probably get close to a 20 hour life on the iPad. You also wouldn’t be able to keep your coffee hot with it.

    In Microsoft's favor is, sadly, Windows.” This is the problem. IT doesn’t care that it’s a mediocre device. They care that it’s on the same platform.

    Apple has done an incredible job packing an insane amount of power and potential into the ipad. Now they just need to put their effort into maturing iPadOS so it’s abilities match the power of the device. 
    williamlondonjas99mwhiteMisterKitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,815member
    An interesting article. I can see that some would be enticed by it running Windows, but for me that is the deal breaker. Even if the specs on the surface were as good or better than the iPP, which they are not, I would pass on it because I don’t like Windows. I have to use it at work, and that is enough.

    I have a feeling that the Intel processor is the big weakness. Once Microsoft releases a Surface with custom Silicon like the M1 it might give the iPP more competition. Bt that day is not today. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 28
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,403moderator
    One final point…. If you’re an Apple person, the Surface doesn’t exist in your universe.  Never even comes under consideration.  
    DAalsethFidonet127watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 28
    One final point…. If you’re an Apple person, the Surface doesn’t exist in your universe.  Never even comes under consideration.  
    Exactly. It is fun to see what the other side is offering but that's all. It's like if GM brought out a car powered by whale oil, (which isn't a fossil fuel). It would be interesting but I'd have no reason to get one. 
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    What a silly article.

    The Surface is a computer.  Not a great computer, but an actual computer that you can install any software you want on it.

    The iPad is a toy, stuck in a walled garden app store.
    williamlondonPezaKITA
  • Reply 8 of 28
    darkvader said:
    What a silly article.

    The Surface is a computer.  Not a great computer, but an actual computer that you can install any software you want on it.

    The iPad is a toy, stuck in a walled garden app store.
    You're absolutely correct. 
    If only apps like these





    could be available on the iPad app store.

    Oh, wait....
    muthuk_vanalingamauxioDavid H DennisFidonet127williamlondonmike1roundaboutnowchiaMisterKitDAalseth
  • Reply 9 of 28
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,399member
    darkvader said:
    The Surface is a computer.  Not a great computer, but an actual computer that you can install any software you want on it.

    The iPad is a toy, stuck in a walled garden app store.
    It's funny, I hear this all the time from my friends who are doctors, teachers, artists... how their true passion is spending time seeking out, installing, and trying new software on their devices.  And how the iPad doesn't allow them to fully explore their true passion. /s
    MplsPwilliamlondonmike1roundaboutnowchiaradarthekatmacpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 28
    thttht Posts: 4,131member
    Xed said:
    red oak said:
    So, the iPad Pro is material faster, has better cameras, better speakers and mics, 5G, is thinner and weighs less

    The article does not mention, but likely then Surface has a fan and runs hotter and louder.   And with that POS Intel processor, there is NO WAY this things gets 16 hours of comparable battery life.   I’ll call BS on that right now 

    And last, it runs Windows.   That alone sinks it 
    It does weight half a pound more (a 33% increase) so that might all be battery. But you're right, we should go by 3rd-party battery tests, not a manufacturer's rating. I wish AI would list the manufacturer specs alongside "actual" with a note with a link to the testing parameters. For example, the Surface Pro 7 is rated at 15 hours from MS, but I see that 10 hours is more typical from reviews.

    PS: The 8 looks to be using the same Intel processor as 7.
    Always read the small print. ;) Here is Microsoft's battery testing small print:

    Surface Pro 8 battery life: Up to 16 hours of battery life based on typical Surface device usage. Testing conducted by Microsoft in August 2021 using preproduction software and preproduction Intel® 11th Gen Core™ i5-1135G7, 256GB, 8GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge with a mixture of active use and modern standby. The active use portion consists of (1) a web browsing test accessing 8 popular websites over multiple open tabs, (2) a productivity test utilising Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, and (3) a portion of time with the device in use with idle applications. All settings were default except screen brightness was set to 150nits with Auto-Brightness and Adaptive Colour disabled.  WiFi was connected to a network.  Tested with Windows Version 11.0.22000.9 (21H2).  Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors.

    So, uh, what fraction of time was the SP8 idle during testing? Was the display on at this time?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 28
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,179member
    MplsP said:
    The intel processors are such energy hogs compared to the M1 that I have a hard time believing the battery numbers. Of course, if the ipad were 50% thicker like the Surface was that would all be battery so you’d probably get close to a 20 hour life on the iPad. You also wouldn’t be able to keep your coffee hot with it.

    “In Microsoft's favor is, sadly, Windows.” This is the problem. IT doesn’t care that it’s a mediocre device. They care that it’s on the same platform.

    Apple has done an incredible job packing an insane amount of power and potential into the ipad. Now they just need to put their effort into maturing iPadOS so it’s abilities match the power of the device. 
    I don't consider Surface devices as mediocre.  It's obvious that the iPad have many benefits, including the M1 chip.  But the Surface also have benefits over the iPad Pro, including the integration with the MS ecosystem.  Maybe you should blame Apple, and not the IT departments, for the lack of Apple tools for deploying their devices.  Even MS had to work a partnership with Jamf to help deploy Apple devices in their ecosystem.   

    Microsoft Intune and Jamf Pro: Better Together to Manage and Secure Macs - Microsoft Tech Community

    I was expecting something from Apple after acquiring Fleetsmith, but as today, still nothing.  
    OctoMonkeyPeza
  • Reply 12 of 28
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,179member
    One final point…. If you’re an Apple person, the Surface doesn’t exist in your universe.  Never even comes under consideration.  
    I have a MBP, iPhone's, iPad's and an Apple TV, and I'm considering seriously the SP8 to replace my SP4.  Maybe we are a minority, but still, we exist.   ;)
    edited September 27 dewmePeza
  • Reply 13 of 28
    darkvader said:
    What a silly article.

    The Surface is a computer.  Not a great computer, but an actual computer that you can install any software you want on it.

    The iPad is a toy, stuck in a walled garden app store.
    There are 1.8 million apps available for iPad.  You’d have to have some really specific needs for that not to do just fine.

    And for the stuff Apple doesn’t want you to have, there is always Safari and the open web, which works great.

    And while Windows may be a computer, it’s a horrid operating system and I’d much prefer iPadOS.

    David
    raoulduke42roundaboutnowradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 28
    darkvader said:
    What a silly article.

    The Surface is a computer.  Not a great computer, but an actual computer that you can install any software you want on it.

    The iPad is a toy, stuck in a walled garden app store.
    What a silly post.
    roundaboutnowchiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 28
    Windows is such hot garbage— and it was cobbled together with cursors and keyboards in mind, and then adapted slightly to support touch. I've never seen anyone use a Surface without the slap on keyboard/trackpad bit, and at that point why not just get a laptop? Surfaces really are the perfect MS product, in that they try to be all things to all people instead of committing to hard design choices. It's like a car that can also be a boat, so it's terrible at both. Boo this product. Booooo!
    williamlondonradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 28
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,946member
    Comparing the Surface Pro 8 and the iPad Pro 12.9 is an interesting thought experiment for Apple Insider but one that relatively few people will ever consider in real life. The Surface Pro is competing against a plethora of other Windows based mobile PCs that exhibit a similar form factor and set of features. iPad Pro, not so much.

    Yes, there are a few people who are entrenched in the Windows world who are willing to consider switching over to an Apple product. That's one level of indirection. But then you are talking about also switching over from a computer that is predominantly a keyboard+mouse device to a computer that is predominantly a touch oriented tablet that can also work with a keyboard and mouse. That's a second level of indirection. These same two levels of indirection exist for Apple iPad users considering moving to a Windows based PC.

    I would also add a third level of indirection, which is moving from Microsoft's ecosystem to Apple's ecosystem or vice-versa. Why are we even talking about this as if it a serious decision that a large population of users are facing? You're having to jump through at least three (3) levels of hoops to draw a "comparison" that isn't going to even come up in the decision matrix of the vast majority of people who are looking at computing devices that start well over $1000. Neither of these devices are blister packaged toys hanging in the impulse buying section of the checkout aisle. People who are buying both of these high-end devices know exactly what they need and they also know the products that are most closely competing against these products. If I'm invested in AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or (full) Visual Studio on a PC I'm not going to even look at a Mac, much less an iPad Pro.

    If you want to resuscitate the long buried and dead "Mac vs PC" battles of bygone days, say for nostalgic reasons, you'll have to move the battlefield all the way down to the lowest end of each product line, i.e., Surface Go versus iPad 9, each equipped with a keyboard and trackpad/mouse - or not, if you want tablet vs tablet shootout. Users at that level aren't nearly as entrenched as they are at the Surface Pro versus iPad Pro end of the spectrum.

    edited September 27 thtcanukstormmuthuk_vanalingamradarthekatGG1watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 28
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,179member
    Windows is such hot garbage— and it was cobbled together with cursors and keyboards in mind, and then adapted slightly to support touch. I've never seen anyone use a Surface without the slap on keyboard/trackpad bit, and at that point why not just get a laptop? Surfaces really are the perfect MS product, in that they try to be all things to all people instead of committing to hard design choices. It's like a car that can also be a boat, so it's terrible at both. Boo this product. Booooo!
    If I go by your post, the iPad Pro is a hot garbage when used with the Smart Keyboard, because "it was cobbled together with a touchscreen and touch optimized apps in mind, and then adapted slightly to support keyboard and trackpad." 

    You also mentioned that users could go with a notebook instead of a Surface Pro, since MS tries to be all things to all people and that it's similarity with a car that can be a boat.  But isn't the same with the iPad Pro + Smart Keyboard?  Do you think it would be a better experience, considering the iPad Pro forces you to use a touchscreen optimized UI and touchscreen optimized apps with a keyboard / trackpad?  

    IMO, which one is better depends in your workflow.  If you are more in the line of desktop apps, the Surface is a better device.  Are you more in line with touch apps?  The iPad is a better device.  
    muthuk_vanalingamPeza
  • Reply 18 of 28
    KITAKITA Posts: 382member

    Microsoft also has the Surface Connect port, its own take on Apple's Smart Connector for attaching accessories.

    ...

    For the current crop of Pro tablet devices, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro wins against the Surface Pro 8. What clinches it is that Microsoft has gotten close to making an iPad Pro, but it's stopped short.

    It's "Pro," but not iPad Pro yet.
    Surface Connect is not Microsoft's "take on Apple's Smart Connector". The Surface Connect, which was used well before the iPad Pro launched, is a magnetic port on the side of the device that can be used for charging, dongles or docks (USB-C, USB-A, DisplayPort, HDMI, 3.5 mm, ethernet, etc.). The magnetic power/data pins on the bottom of the Surface are used for the keyboard.

    The Surface Pro is the only "Pro" device of the two. On the hardware side, you can plug just about anything into it (external drive, network cable, dock, eGPU, display, printer, camera, scanner, legacy equipment, etc.). On the software side, it is literally an x86 based Windows 11 computer that can run essentially anything (virtual machines, development tools, CAD software, image/video/audio editors, scientific tools, games, etc.).

    At the end of the day, the iPad Pro doesn't even come even remotely close to the range of options the Surface Pro has for productivity. iPadOS is still struggling with the fundamentals, while its ecosystem for desktop level applications is extremely small and even then, often limited in comparison to Windows.
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamavon b7GG1Peza
  • Reply 19 of 28
    dewme said:
    ...
    If I'm invested in AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or (full) Visual Studio on a PC I'm not going to even look at a Mac, much less an iPad Pro. 
    ...

    AutoCAD on Mac is actually pretty good these days. I use it almost every day, often on my 10-year old MBP.

    There's even an iPad version of AutoCAD. It has some quirks, but I haven't used it in a while, so maybe it's better now (it won't run on older iPads -- needs 13.0 or higher). Last time I checked it was OK for viewing, light editing, picking off dimensions, and doing mark-ups.

    Revit, on the other hand, is not likely to ever run on Macs. I'm trying to learn how to use it, so for this and other Windows-only hardware configuration apps, I'm still pretty much stuck with Windows. Right now, I'm running Win10 either on Bootcamp or a VM. (Not having this option on Apple Silicon is another thing I'm having to ponder...)
    Xedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 28
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,403moderator
    danvm said:
    Windows is such hot garbage— and it was cobbled together with cursors and keyboards in mind, and then adapted slightly to support touch. I've never seen anyone use a Surface without the slap on keyboard/trackpad bit, and at that point why not just get a laptop? Surfaces really are the perfect MS product, in that they try to be all things to all people instead of committing to hard design choices. It's like a car that can also be a boat, so it's terrible at both. Boo this product. Booooo!
    If I go by your post, the iPad Pro is a hot garbage when used with the Smart Keyboard, because "it was cobbled together with a touchscreen and touch optimized apps in mind, and then adapted slightly to support keyboard and trackpad." 

    You also mentioned that users could go with a notebook instead of a Surface Pro, since MS tries to be all things to all people and that it's similarity with a car that can be a boat.  But isn't the same with the iPad Pro + Smart Keyboard?  Do you think it would be a better experience, considering the iPad Pro forces you to use a touchscreen optimized UI and touchscreen optimized apps with a keyboard / trackpad?  

    IMO, which one is better depends in your workflow.  If you are more in the line of desktop apps, the Surface is a better device.  Are you more in line with touch apps?  The iPad is a better device.  
     If you are more in the line of desktop apps, a laptop is a better device.  Are you more in line with touch apps?  The iPad is a better device.  

    (Fixed that for you.)
    raoulduke42williamlondonwatto_cobra
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