Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

By Souvik Das | Updated Jan 07 2016
Slide 1 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 4 in India, earlier today. Running on Windows 10, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a direct competitor of the Apple iPad Pro, which happens to be in our test labs right now. We decided to set the two up, in a quick comparison setup. Here's what we feel of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, as a standalone device and against the iPad Pro, after a few hours of its launch.

Slide 2 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

Placed in the middle of the iPad Pro and the Apple MacBook Air, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the smallest in terms of dimensions. While the MacBook Air is a complete notebook, the other two are tablets that claim to be laptop-replacements.

Slide 3 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

At 771 grams, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is somewhat heavier than the iPad Pro (713 grams). Despite the smaller dimensions, the iPad Pro feels somewhat easier to hold thanks to its slimmer form. Both, however, are equally unweildy in terms of handling.

Slide 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has an advantage in the fact that it has a USB port, over the iPad Pro's Lightning port.

Slide 5 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

The Surface Pro 4's keyboard cover feels sturdier, hence coming closer to a laptop's performance than the iPad Pro.

Slide 6 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

On initial impressions, the iPad Pro's audio performance seems more wholesome than the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. The iPad Pro seems to be a better overall device in terms of entertainment consumption, although we will refrain from giving our judgement right away.

Slide 7 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

Both the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro come with their own stylus input devices. The Microsoft Surface Pen is priced separately for Rs. 5,990, while the Apple Pencil is priced at more than double of its counterpart — presently available on Amazon India for Rs. 14,500.

Slide 8 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Type Cover is priced at Rs. 12,490, while Apple's Smart Keyboard is priced at Rs. 14,900. Neither of these are cheap in any aspect. However, the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover will take our inital favour here, because of it feeling better to type on, and the fact that the tablet can be adjusted according to the ambience, for better viewing angles. The Apple Smart Keyboard only allows for one angle, which is a major downside.

Slide 9 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

The Microsoft Surface Pro has a smaller, 12.3-inch display, in comparison to the 12.9-inch display of the iPad Pro. Both the displays look bright and crisp upon initial impressions. The Surface Pro 4 has a resolution of 2736x1824 pixels, while the iPad Pro has a resolution of 2732x2048 pixels.

Slide 10 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

One major advantage of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 over the iPad Pro is that it runs on Windows 10 (desktop version), while the iPad Pro runs on iOS, Apple's mobile operating system. This leads to the iPad Pro having certain restrictions, while the Surface Pro 4 acts as a better laptop replacement.

Slide 11 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Flagship tablet faceoff

Both the tablets, however, seem fairly competent devices, without considering their price points. Coupled with the fact that neither the keyboard covers nor the stylus pens are being pre-bundled with the tablets, the Surface Pro 4 will possibly garner a niche audience for itself in the long run. In first impressions, it seemed really impressive, and packed a edge over the iPad Pro in terms of work and productivity.

Stay tuned for our full review of Microsoft's flagship tablet.

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