Why I have chosen iPad Pro over Microsoft Surface Pro?

By | 05/04/2018

iPad Pro 2017Some people are wondering why some users prefer iPad Pro from Apple over Surface Pro from Microsoft. Surface Pro is powered by desktop-class Windows, while iPad Pro uses mobile iOS, which we can find in iPhone – yea, in a cellphone. Are iPad Pro users “Apple sheeps” or they prefer iPad, because… because it’s iPad? Or because it’s from Apple? Some people say that it’s because of marketing. It’s true, that Apple’s marketing is almost perfect, but is it enough to challenge Surface Pro? Isn’t iPad Pro just toy with it’s mobile operating system?

I personally own 12.9-inch iPad Pro from 2017 with cellular connectivity and 256 GB flash storage. And price? Here in Slovakia it was 1219 euro. Without stylus and external keyboard.

Let’s look what offers Microsoft for this price:

Laptop i5 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB flash storage, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 620. Without stylus and external keyboard. Price is set to 1166 euro. If you pay an extra 272 euro, you will get 256 GB flash storage and 8 GB RAM.

iPad’s Pro specs, to compare, are mobile A10X Fusion SoC (CPU+GPU), 4 GB RAM and 256 GB flash storage.

Is Apple’s mobile SoC enough to compete with Intel’s i5 CPU and laptop GPU?

As for CPU, Surface Pro beats iPad Pro, as was demonstrated HERE, but as for GPU, iPad Pro is clear winner. And thanks to better optimalization of iPad’s Pro hardware with its operating system, iPad Pro can compete with Surface Pro. It’s true, that you can purchase maxed-out Surface Pro with Intel’s i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB flash storage and better GPU, but then price is over 3000 euro. And still without stylus and keyboard.

Price is similar, both of these devices are flat desk with touch screen, you can attach keyboard to both of these devices. Overal performance is better on Surface Pro and it runs, as I mentioned, full desktop-class operating system. So question is: why I have chosen iPad Pro?

As first, I was finding flat touch desk to replace my former MacBook Pro, as I moved to desktop iMac. I wanted a mobile device with really big screen (12-inch and more) for watching movies, browsing Internet and chatting, taking photos and video, managing files and to connect to my workflow like NAS, FTP and clouds, writing articles like this one, working with pictures – mostly annotating, changing resolution and format plus editing metadata, reading e-books, annotating PDFs with stylus, note taking, light work with MS Office, managing my calendar events and to-do tasks, GPS navigation and some other tasks.

All of these tasks can be done on cheaper Surface Pro, so why iPad Pro?

As I said, I was finding a touch tablet to control it via touch – fingers/stylus – and external keyboard. Time flies and keyboard support on iPad Pro is, unlike in iOS 6, almost perfect. Now look at Windows 10. Is it touch friendly? Yes, it got tablet mode, but how many touch apps are developed for Windows 10 in tablet mode? Can I find full-featured FTP client, hi-end PDF tool or even touch Photoshop? It’s true that I can switch to desktop mode with keyboard and mouse, but as I said, I wanted flat touch desk controlled by fingers or stylus and sometimes by external keyboard while I’m blogging or typing longer text. As touch device, iPad Pro totally beats Surface Pro. I wanted tablet, not another laptop.

Very important was compatibility with my desktop iMac. Thanks to iOS and macOS combo with great integration in Apple’s ecosystem, all work out-of-box. It’s not only about syncing contacts, e-mails and calendar, but something more. A lot of macOS apps got its counterpart for iOS. Same look-n-feel on different platforms, custom automation tools, advanced syncing of mentioned contacts, e-mails and calendars and other geek tools, like database manager DEVONthink, which got great iOS counterpart. And as bonus, add Continuity features like Handoff, which allows me to start working on one device and complete it on another one, and you will see, that iMac + iPad Pro combo is ultimate setup for my needs.

How do I use my iPad Pro?

Most of my content-consuming is done on iPad Pro. I found that surfing on web or watching YouTube videos is much better on my iPad Pro than on my iMac. And if I want to hear music from my JBL repros connected to my iMac while reading news on iPad Pro, I can do it thanks to my remote control tools. But that’s not all. Thanks to apps like DEVONthink (research tools database), Affinity Photo (touch Photoshop for iPad), PDF Expert (working on PDF files) and FileBrowser (file manager with FTP and NAS support), I – as a blogger – can be productive on my iPad Pro. And all is synced with my iMac. iPad Pro is also good in organizing my life and work, because apps like Things 3, Fantastical 2, Trello and Notability got its counterpart for Mac and it works like a charm.

So this is why I have chosen iPad Pro over solution from Microsoft. Do you prefer Apple’s or Microsoft’s tablets? Or even Android tablets?

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