Design Election: iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 3 vs Pixel C

Discussion in 'iPad' started by urkel, Sep 29, 2015.


Which has the Best Design?

  1. Microsoft Surface Pro 3

    40 vote(s)
  2. Apple iPad Pro Smart Keyboard

    30 vote(s)
  3. Google Pixel C

    5 vote(s)
  1. urkel, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015

    urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    We're all Apple fans here so I think we can let our defenses down and give honest opinions on design. So, if judging "Pro Tablets" based purely on functional design (Not Price or Preference or OS) then which one got closest to getting it right?

    Microsoft Surface Pro 3: (TypeCover Commercial)
    + Kickstand (Allows full range of angles with or WITHOUT keyboard attached)
    + Magnetically raises keyboard for more comfortable typing angle
    + Keyboard Connector to power keyboard and give secure positioning
    + Stylus Loop to put Pen in when not in use
    + Backlit Keys!
    +/- Laptop Friendly (I use it on lap all the time but people claim it isn't possible)

    Google Pixel C: (Google Stage Demo)
    + Strong Magnets holds Tablet to keyboard (strong enough to hold it upside down)
    + Inductively charges Keyboard from Tablet when in use (2mo charge)
    + Magnetically holds to front (screen protector) or to back (when not in use)
    + Full range of angles with keyboard side kickstand
    - Not Lap Friendly
    - No kickstand for when keyboard not attached
    - No backlit keys

    iPad Pro Smart Keyboard: (iPad Pro Keyboard Announcement)
    + Thin Profile
    - Odd "hump" and rollout design
    - Fixed Angle with no Adjustment Options
    - Not Lap Friendly
    - No kickstand for when keyboard not attached
    - No Backlit keys

    [Note: I'm actually getting an iPad Pro despite my negativity. But still.. theres just so much in the other models that would've made the iPad Pro more practical]
  2. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    Surface Pro > Pixel C > iPad Pro

    Only the Surface Pro has touch pad built into keyboard cover. Pixel C mechanism is better than iPad Prosumer case cover that usually doesn't stay in place from using something equivalent.
  3. kupkakez macrumors 68000


    Apr 4, 2011
    iPad pro > surface > pixel c.

    Those last two I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole though. :p
  4. Mystro macrumors 6502


    Apr 16, 2011
    Light weight, flexibility, and portability gets the iPad Pro vote from me.
  5. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    Surface Pro 3 (only because of the inclusion of the trackpad) -> Pixel C -> iPad Pro
  6. Tapper123 macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2015
    My Surface Pro 3 is my productivity tool, my laptop, and my big screen browsing tablet. And Windows 10 has only made it better than it already was.

    I love my iPads, and my Androids, but in this arena Microsoft absolutely has the best device. In a few years maybe the iPad Pro will prove itself a worthy contender, but right now it's not more than an interesting experiment to me.
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Full disclosure: I own a Surface Pro 3 and an iPad and I plan to purchase an iPad Pro when it's available.

    The kickstand on the SP3, being infinitely adjustable, is a very good design. It clearly adds a bit of thickness and isn't necessary on the standard iPads but might have been handy on the iPad Pro. I think something similar might have been nice on the iPad Pro though it likely would have added some bulk to an already large device. And the Surface Pro 3 is a pretty thick and (relatively, for a tablet) heavy device.

    That being said, the Type Cover for the SP3 is just OK. The track pad is actually pretty terrible and the exposed keys when folding it over the device makes holding a bit awkward. And why Microsoft doesn't sell a non-Type Cover for the SP3 is beyond me. And since the Windows/SP3 on-screen keyboard is so god awful, one must rely on the Type Cover regardless.

    The Pixel's keyboard seems to be fairly similar to several available for the iPad from Zagg and Logitech with little stand slots. Good for a first-party design but it's not going to be exactly svelte.

    The iPad Pro's type cover is definitely an unusual combination with the extra fold out and "hump" but may ultimately prove most useful -- wont have the stiffness and weight of the Pixel's and one wont have to mash on the keys when folding it back like a regular Smart Cover.

    That being said, I'm probably not going to buy one. The Pencil, for sure, and a standard Smart Cover or Smart Case, but probably wont need the keyboard cover. At least with the standard-sized iPads, I've been ok with the on-screen keyboard.
  8. masotime macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    How can we possibly know which is the better design until we've tried all 3?
  9. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    for me personally....

    Pixel C - looks clunky, awkward, plasticy and much cheapness. most horrid. - a complete non-starter for me.

    SP3 - love the kickstand idea and touch pad on the clip-on back-lit keyboard, but whole unit design is thick, chunky, heavey and most non-elegant. Not pretty to look at. - function over form.

    iPP - super beautiful, sleek stunning lines, elegant accessories, but 1 viewing angle, chunky case when closed, no pen holder. - more practical/physical function needed.

    As masotime said, hard to make a proper judgement until you've tried them all.
    That said, i voted iPP. gotta love it, even though i'm a non-mac user and a staunt Windows man.
  10. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    When I fold over my TypeCover (for the Surface 2), I detach it, flip it around, and reattach it. The keys end up against the back of the Surface (protecting them from getting grit and dirt) as well as preventing the hinge from suffering premature failure by repeatedly folding the keyboard in both extremes.

    Microsoft doesn't sell a non-keyboard cover because they know that the keyboard is a "requirement".

    I agree, the trackpad is virtually useless.

    I would like to see how the Pixel C supports 2nd displays (for presentation) and USB peripherals.
  11. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    sracer - useful to know that the SP3 track pad is a waste of space.

    Rumous have it that the SP4 Pro is imminent, probably looking a LOT slimmer and elegant than before. This makes the prospect soooooo appealing to me, especially being a Windows chap.

    Im an Apple idevice person at heart, but heck, the SP4 Pro could swing it, even though im so looking forward to the iPP. Perhaps MS will have ironed out thier problems.

    Does the Surface pro support a mouse?

    (Sorry to wonder off topic a bit)
  12. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    Yes, all Surface devices (including the Windows RT ones) support mice.

    Of course it all depends upon what one does with their devices, but I find all Windows tablets to provide an inferior tablet experience to Android and iOS. With a keyboard they make terrific net/ultra-books.

    For my needs, the Pixel C offers the most "pro" tablet solution between the iPad Pro, Surface Pro, and Pixel C.
  13. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    Well, im after the functionality of full windows, with the pure style and grace of an iPad.

    SPro or iPP? Hey, or both? ;)
  14. fanta88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2015
    Design-wise, I'd say the ranking is the same as the original poster for me, at least until I can handle the Pixel C and ipad pro. Surface Pro 3 ->Pixel C->Ipad pro. While I think the ipad pro is probably the nicest aesthetically, design considerations must be practical as well, and in this respect it seems to lag behind the other two.
  15. Cnasty macrumors 68040


    Jul 2, 2008
    I had a SP3 for about a week and it had to go back as that keyboard was downright terrible. The trackpad was one of the worst I had used and the ability to blend touch with typing with trackpad was not my cup of tea for me.

    I am interested to see how this iPP keyboard is but I am not a fan of keyboards on tablets and this right now is a big tablet that can do a lot more so I am interested to see how it evolves.
  16. jwalker99 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2006
    If you need full windows, there is really only one choice in this battle!

    I've been a very satisfied owner of the SP3 for over a year now. It does lack the pure style and grace of an iPad, and the keyboard/trackpad come up short of a pure laptop, but the convenience of one device as tablet/laptop and desktop (with option docking station) more than makes up for these shortcomings, at least for my mileage.

    As noted, the trackpad can't compete with a MacBook's trackpad, but it's hardly a waste of space. And unlike the Pixel C and iPad Pro, at least it has one. It's also very functional - it allows for precision movement of the pointer - it's just not great for gestures or moving the pointer long distances across the screen.
  17. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Honestly, I'll take the Surface Pro and the iPad Pro over the Pixel C.

    The Surface is better at being a laptop-focused hybrid than either of the others. But it isn't how I use my tablet the majority of the time. But I'm not really sold on Apple's keyboard either. Having a really slim stand and using a wireless Apple keyboard would be nice, actually.
  18. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    I've been using that combo (Air 2 + wireless Apple keyboard) while I decide upon a keyboard cover that I like. The problem is that it isn't very convenient. Going from meeting to meeting carrying the iPad and the separate keyboard (the Incase Origami keyboard case helps a bit) is not desirable. Carry them in a bag/case is fine to transporting to the office, but moving throughout the day, not so much.

    I am not impressed with Apple's keyboard cover. Not feeling the whole "cloth-covered" keyboard thing. But I expect Logitech and/or Zagg to produce something that'll really work well for the iPad Pro.
  19. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    The pixel C just looks like an iPad Air 2 and a Microsoft Surface had a child.

    Have to give it to Microsoft. Tons of people were hating on the Surface at first. Now, with their 3rd iteration everyone is trying to make a hybrid now. Microsoft pretty much owns this category.

    Not even sure where the Pixel C fits in, though. It can't compete against the Air 2 with Android's lack of tablet apps, and especially not the Surface 3 which runs full Windows. This tablet won't excel at anything software-wise unless you just an Android/Google fanboy.
  20. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    I was in agreement with you until you dropped the "fanboy" word. Unnecessary.
  21. EthanNixon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    Pixel C - First truly innovative Surface-like device I've seen since the Surface. I think the magnets are a bit too strong, and many will break their device trying to get it off of the keyboard.

    iPad Pro - Uh, I think they ran out of ideas. There is no innovation in this product at all, just a natural progression of the iPad line with a glorified keyboard cover. It's also massively overpriced, but that is Apple for you. Apple Pencil looks like it is a child's play thing as well. Overall, I'm sure it will sell millions of units, but this to me proves Apple doesn't know what to do with the iPad line right now.

    Surface Pro 3 - Clear innovation from the beginning. The Type Cover has come a long way, and I can type on it at about 90% speed within the same margin of error. The track pad is wildly more useful than previous iterations. It had the potential to be a lot more of a powerhouse with the PCIe charging port, but nothing ever came of it except the dock.

    Regardless of OS, the Surface Pro 3 is the best designed tablet/laptop hybrid. There is literally no other reason the other ones would even be considered laptop/tablet hybrids. The iPad Pro is a tablet with a very clunky keyboard cover. The Pixel C is a tablet with a much more rigid and useful keyboard cover.

    The iPad Pro will sell way more units than all of them though, and that is a shame. Take OS into account, and the Surface Pro 3 is honestly the only option.
  22. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Surface Pro is the winner hand down for one reason - Adobe Photoshop CC can run this Surface Pro while iPad Pro use cheap Adobe PS Express and Pixel C what app can it runs??
  23. username: macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2013
    Nobody beats apple. Lets be real.

    The Surface is not a tablet. It is a thick, heavy, less useful laptop.

    I have only just seen the google pixel but it looks annoying.

    iPad Pro wins.
  24. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Not exactly sure why this forum has so many issues with the word "fanboy". Hell, I wasn't even calling someone specific a fanboy this time. On the wargaming forums, specifically the War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition forums, the members would have signatures with cool graphics that would say something like "F6F Hellcat fanboy" or "Tropical Disease fanboy". The internet has gotten way too butt-hurt.
  25. Dave245 macrumors 604


    Sep 15, 2013
    I would have to say the iPad Pro, the Surface is trying to be a laptop and a tablet in one. And the Google Pixel is running Andriod so I wouldn't touch it with a 50 foot barge pole.

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