iPad or Surface Pro 4?

kirky29

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2009
1,460
299
Lincolnshire, England
Are the upcoming iOS 11 updates good enough to use the iPad as a main device?

I use my MacBook Pro for Photoshop and editing Squarespace websites, but I'm going away backpacking for a year for two soon but still need to do the work - and I just don't want to take my laptop.

So I'm thinking of either getting a Surface Pro 4 or an iPad.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,485
3,470
You won't be able to run the full version of photoshop on an ipad, I'm not sure what the state of a photoshop app on an ipad is currently and how it compares to the full version, although I know there are some very light versions of PS on the ipad. Otherwise it's kind of break even, the ipad pro is about the same size, weight and a bit less battery life than the 2017 surface pro so at that point it depends what your needs are. If you need a smaller package then the smaller ipad pro makes for a good travel tablet, but has the same limitations the larger one does. You will basically be consuming content, and possibly be able to get some work done if your work activity has an app developed and if it makes sense on a touchscreen with no mouse.
 

nviz22

Cancelled
Jun 24, 2013
5,277
3,071
Are the upcoming iOS 11 updates good enough to use the iPad as a main device?

I use my MacBook Pro for Photoshop and editing Squarespace websites, but I'm going away backpacking for a year for two soon but still need to do the work - and I just don't want to take my laptop.

So I'm thinking of either getting a Surface Pro 4 or an iPad.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Neither. The SP4 has some hardware and software issues. I just went through major battery drain where the device lost power even when shut down for a couple of days w/o usage after a full 100% charge. The iPad isn't powerful enough to run full Adobe Photoshop suite features. A 2 in 1 is a better buy because you can get better speced devices at better price points than the Surface line.
 

M5RahuL

macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2009
2,699
1,030
Colorado
iPad as a primary device ? Not by a long shot, and I’m on iOS 11 !

The SP5 (i5, 8, 256) is..way..way..better if I had to pick one!
 
  • Like
Reactions: spinedoc77

nviz22

Cancelled
Jun 24, 2013
5,277
3,071
iPad as a primary device ? Not by a long shot, and I’m on iOS 11 !

The SP5 (i5, 8, 256) is..way..way..better if I had to pick one!
Had some design defects recently when it came out. Idk about how they fixed the screen issue, but I would go with like Yoga Tab or something else because 2 in 1s are all over the market.
 

apolloa

Suspended
Oct 21, 2008
12,318
7,798
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Are the upcoming iOS 11 updates good enough to use the iPad as a main device?

I use my MacBook Pro for Photoshop and editing Squarespace websites, but I'm going away backpacking for a year for two soon but still need to do the work - and I just don't want to take my laptop.

So I'm thinking of either getting a Surface Pro 4 or an iPad.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Hmm whilst the iPad Pro is a fantastic device, it won't run Photoshop like your Mac will, the Surface Pro will, but I would try both to be honest, see if you can get to a Currys / PC World or John Lewis to try both of them if you plan on using the stylus.
Both have recently been updated so they both have current tech.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

cracksoup

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2014
282
257
Maybe consider getting a Macbook? It's really fast and powerful enough for your usage. It's slimmer than an iPad/Surface Pro when they're equipped with a keyboard and it's almost as light. You get similar portability but with full Mac OS.
 

jrswizzle

macrumors 603
Aug 23, 2012
6,107
128
McKinney, TX
Neither. The SP4 has some hardware and software issues. I just went through major battery drain where the device lost power even when shut down for a couple of days w/o usage after a full 100% charge. The iPad isn't powerful enough to run full Adobe Photoshop suite features. A 2 in 1 is a better buy because you can get better speced devices at better price points than the Surface line.
This isn't true - the iPad Pro is every bit as powerful (even more so) than comparable Surface devices.

The things people run into having issues with are their desire to continue to use specific versions of applications. If Photoshop is what you use, I'd recommend checking out Affinity Photo - fully featured photo editing application that is every bit as powerful as Photoshop but on iPad.

Combine it with the fact that iPad Pro is lighter, smaller, has better battery life, a better display, a more accurate Pencil, and the iPad Pro can most certainly be the device of choice here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

kirky29

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2009
1,460
299
Lincolnshire, England
This isn't true - the iPad Pro is every bit as powerful (even more so) than comparable Surface devices.

The things people run into having issues with are their desire to continue to use specific versions of applications. If Photoshop is what you use, I'd recommend checking out Affinity Photo - fully featured photo editing application that is every bit as powerful as Photoshop but on iPad.

Combine it with the fact that iPad Pro is lighter, smaller, has better battery life, a better display, a more accurate Pencil, and the iPad Pro can most certainly be the device of choice here.
Does the iPad Pro 1 handle the apple pencil? The smaller one. Not the massive one!
 

apolloa

Suspended
Oct 21, 2008
12,318
7,798
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Sorry I meant the smaller iPad, not the 12" one?
Yeap, all iPad Pro models support the Apple Pencil. See my edited post above because you use Photoshop in a professional environment. I'm not sure any iPad app will satisfy you? But by all means try them out..

The one thing the new 10.5" model has is a fast screen refresh so it's smoother and I believe it makes the Apple Pencil smoother too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

v0lume4

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,789
3,550
Something to consider that you may or may not have thought about is this: do you really want to make the adjustment to a touch-only device (an iPad)? It sounds like you sit in front of your laptop for long amounts of time designing websites and using Photoshop. It's going to be quite a different experience doing that on an iPad. If you're working for long amounts of time, I'd imagine you'd begin to experience arm fatigue as well as neck strain.

I don't know your usage case, but that's something to think about.

If it were ME, I'd keep your current laptop OR purchase a lightweight laptop such as the Macbook, Macbook Pro 13", or an ultrabook (Windows).

As a side note, good on you for going on the backpacking trip. I'm thinking about starting a year of travel early next year. Are you planning on doing work remotely to cover your costs or will you be taking a break from work completely? Cheers, mate. :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

kirky29

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2009
1,460
299
Lincolnshire, England
Something to consider that you may or may not have thought about is this: do you really want to make the adjustment to a touch-only device (an iPad)? It sounds like you sit in front of your laptop for long amounts of time designing websites and using Photoshop. It's going to be quite a different experience doing that on an iPad. If you're working for long amounts of time, I'd imagine you'd begin to experience arm fatigue as well as neck strain.

I don't know your usage case, but that's something to think about.

If it were ME, I'd keep your current laptop OR purchase a lightweight laptop such as the Macbook, Macbook Pro 13", or an ultrabook (Windows).

As a side note, good on you for going on the backpacking trip. I'm thinking about starting a year of travel early next year. Are you planning on doing work remotely to cover your costs or will you be taking a break from work completely? Cheers, mate. :D
That's a very true point! Basically I only freelance a few projects, keep some websites up to date and create a few flyers throughout the year so it feels like I don't need to take a laptop if you know what I mean.

If that Affinity Pro app works like photoshop on the iPad then that could work nicely.

I just want to carry around something really lightweight and something that doesn't require a full blown charging cable lol. The iPad obviously charges through USB.

So I'm planning on trying to avoid as much work as possible but will probably end up doing some farm work (or even bar work!) to cover some extra costs. I'm going with my partner so we hopefully should be okay money wise...hopefully! It's just a chance to see something different in the world before coming back to mortgages, full time work, kids etc! - You should definitely do it!
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,485
3,470
This isn't true - the iPad Pro is every bit as powerful (even more so) than comparable Surface devices.

The things people run into having issues with are their desire to continue to use specific versions of applications. If Photoshop is what you use, I'd recommend checking out Affinity Photo - fully featured photo editing application that is every bit as powerful as Photoshop but on iPad.

Combine it with the fact that iPad Pro is lighter, smaller, has better battery life, a better display, a more accurate Pencil, and the iPad Pro can most certainly be the device of choice here.
I was under the impression that the 2017 surface pro had better battery life than the ipad pro 12.9", at least going by stated specs, 10 hours video on the ipad pro versus 13.5 hours on the SP2017. The difference in screen size is also quite minimal, it's hard to quantify though because they are different screen sizes/aspect ratio, but at the very minimum IPP 2732x2048 versus SP 2736 x 1824 is pretty minimal, and the SP actually beats out the ipad in PPI, 264 versus 267. Weight IPP 677 grams versus SP 768 grams, pretty close. Otherwise size is quite similar, once again being hard to quantify because of their different aspect ratios. The pencil, from the reviews I've read, is more accurate in terms of tilt recognition for the most part, but the 2017 SP made some great strides in improving the pen and it's pretty awesome IMO.

As for a photoshop equivalent on an ipad, I think the Achilles heel is the lack of mouse support, or at least that's the feeling I get thinking about how I use a program like photoshop, or autocad, or any other number of very intensive menu/selection type programs. But I haven't tried out Affinity Photo and don't know if it truly replicates the majority of photoshop features. I also quite like the surface dial, makes my keyboard redundant to a certain degree.

The SP also has some absolutely killer features that I just could never live without, but again just my opinion. The type keyboard is amazing for being so functional, yet so thin. I also don't see how anyone could live without the kickstand on a tablet, I guess maybe one of those flimsy, single position, adding weight and thickness covers. MicroSD card, letting me add 128gb of fast memory instead of letting Apple chisel me on buying more memory. And of course the millions of programs available for windows, which IMO easily replicate almost all apps on iOS in some form or shape. Video out (mini displayport) has been a godsend for using my projector in presentations, no dongles to carry just one small cable. USB port, can't even begin to list the uses this brings, etc etc.

What I do know is the days of the ipad being superior because of size, weight, battery life or screen are officially now gone. The most important choice now is OS and what programs or apps do you want to use. Both are awesome devices, and truly neither of them would exist in such refined forms if it wasn't for the competition the other provided.
 
Last edited:

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,753
4,926
It's not even a comparison. The surface is way more capable. The iPad and iOS raises the bar, but it's not a laptop alternative for anything beyond rudimentary tasks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

thunng8

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2006
827
213
I was under the impression that the 2017 surface pro had better battery life than the ipad pro 12.9", at least going by stated specs, 10 hours video on the ipad pro versus 13.5 hours on the SP2017. The difference in screen size is also quite minimal, it's hard to quantify though because they are different screen sizes/aspect ratio, but at the very minimum IPP 2732x2048 versus SP 2736 x 1824 is pretty minimal, and the SP actually beats out the ipad in PPI, 264 versus 267. Weight IPP 677 grams versus SP 768 grams, pretty close. Otherwise size is quite similar, once again being hard to quantify because of their different aspect ratios. The pencil, from the reviews I've read, is more accurate in terms of tilt recognition for the most part, but the 2017 SP made some great strides in improving the pen and it's pretty awesome IMO.

As for a photoshop equivalent on an ipad, I think the Achilles heel is the lack of mouse support, or at least that's the feeling I get thinking about how I use a program like photoshop, or autocad, or any other number of very intensive menu/selection type programs. But I haven't tried out Affinity Photo and don't know if it truly replicates the majority of photoshop features. I also quite like the surface dial, makes my keyboard redundant to a certain degree.
Real life battery life is way better on the iPad - especially standby. When I had a surface pro 4 it would barely get half the claimed battery life while the iPad Pro would routinely get more than the claimed 10 hour battery life.

Another thing to consider- Lightroom runs way faster on the latest iPad Pro compared to surface or just about any laptop - I was surprised myself when I tried it. Even the 1st gen was faster. Now I have the 2nd gen it is amazing. This video shows the editing experience in Lightroom



Affinity photo is great .. not quite up to photoshop standards it it has most of the features I need. You really need the pencil though for precise editing though.

In the end for me I chose the iPad Pro for photo editing on the go because of way better battery life and the sheer speed of Lightroom.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,485
3,470
Real life battery life is way better on the iPad - especially standby. When I had a surface pro 4 it would barely get half the claimed battery life while the iPad Pro would routinely get more than the claimed 10 hour battery life.

Another thing to consider- Lightroom runs way faster on the latest iPad Pro compared to surface or just about any laptop - I was surprised myself when I tried it. Even the 1st gen was faster. Now I have the 2nd gen it is amazing. This video shows the editing experience in Lightroom



Affinity photo is great .. not quite up to photoshop standards it it has most of the features I need. You really need the pencil though for precise editing though.

In the end for me I chose the iPad Pro for photo editing on the go because of way better battery life and the sheer speed of Lightroom.
I disagree on real world battery life. I routinely get 10+ hours on my surface pro. Don't take my word for it: http://www.anandtech.com/show/11538/the-microsoft-surface-pro-2017-review-evolution/7

MS really did a great job with the battery this time.

I haven't tried Lightroom, but the full version of photoshop runs very smoothly on my SP even with large files. Does the iPad version of Lightroom have all the functions the PC version does? Genuinely curious as I don't know.

Edit: Did some looking around, looks like iOS lightroom is quite restricted and is missing a lot of stuff the PC version has. I suppose it depends on which features you need, and if you are ok with the touchscreen only paradigm of iOS (no mouse, etc). After reading several reviews it also looks like the full version of Lightroom flies on the surface pro 4.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

thunng8

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2006
827
213
I disagree on real world battery life. I routinely get 10+ hours on my surface pro. Don't take my word for it: http://www.anandtech.com/show/11538/the-microsoft-surface-pro-2017-review-evolution/7

MS really did a great job with the battery this time.

I haven't tried Lightroom, but the full version of photoshop runs very smoothly on my SP even with large files. Does the iPad version of Lightroom have all the functions the PC version does? Genuinely curious as I don't know.

Edit: Did some looking around, looks like iOS lightroom is quite restricted and is missing a lot of stuff the PC version has. I suppose it depends on which features you need, and if you are ok with the touchscreen only paradigm of iOS (no mouse, etc). After reading several reviews it also looks like the full version of Lightroom flies on the surface pro 4.
Not sure about the latest surface pro - but the surface pro 4 only ever got around 4 hours when using Lightroom. It did quite a lot better when it only did web browsing or using MS Office but I never measured it.

As for Lightroom - it is much more convenient and precise using the Pencil - in some case faster than using the mouse. You are right - it can be a pain just using your fingers. The latest version for ipad has just about all the features of the PC/Mac version. It has all the core functions as far as I can tell - and in some case it is even faster in usage because of gestures inbuilt. i.e. when reviewing photos just swipe up to mark it as a keeper.

If you think Lightroom flies on the surface pro 4 - you should try the it on ipad pro - it is much faster. I've tried them both and it is night and day.

Edit: I also had other major issues with the surface pro 4 - namely poor standby sleep battery life (when it did manage to go to sleep) and the awful unreliability of sleep. Quite often when I took it out of the bag I found it had no battery left. I resorted to always shutting it down. I heard they might have fixed it now but it was an awful experience so now it is sold so can't confirm if they did fix it.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,485
3,470
Not sure about the latest surface pro - but the surface pro 4 only ever got around 4 hours when using Lightroom. It did quite a lot better when it only did web browsing or using MS Office but I never measured it.

As for Lightroom - it is much more convenient and precise using the Pencil - in some case faster than using the mouse. You are right - it can be a pain just using your fingers. The latest version for ipad has just about all the features of the PC/Mac version. It has all the core functions as far as I can tell - and in some case it is even faster in usage because of gestures inbuilt. i.e. when reviewing photos just swipe up to mark it as a keeper.

If you think Lightroom flies on the surface pro 4 - you should try the it on ipad pro - it is much faster. I've tried them both and it is night and day.

Edit: I also had other major issues with the surface pro 4 - namely poor standby sleep battery life (when it did manage to go to sleep) and the awful unreliability of sleep. Quite often when I took it out of the bag I found it had no battery left. I resorted to always shutting it down. I heard they might have fixed it now but it was an awful experience so now it is sold so can't confirm if they did fix it.
Yeah the SP4 had less battery life, using intensive programs only yielded me 5 hours or so. But that used to be a trade off for using the full version of Lightroom versus the watered down iOS version without a mouse. Thankfully it's not a trade off anymore with the improved battery life of the 2017 SP.

The SP4 definitely had issues with sleep the first 4 or so months after release, I also got the "hot bag" issue where it would stay on in my laptop bag. Those issues were fully resolved, but I fear they turned off a lot of buyers.

Good info on iOS lightroom though, I'm glad a competing product works so well. With iOS 11 I'm happy for you guys that finally gain a tiny bit of PC like functionality. The ipad pro is a very nice device and although I like to discuss the pros and cons, I definitely don't blame anyone at all for preferring it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

thunng8

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2006
827
213
Yeah the SP4 had less battery life, using intensive programs only yielded me 5 hours or so. But that used to be a trade off for using the full version of Lightroom versus the watered down iOS version without a mouse. Thankfully it's not a trade off anymore with the improved battery life of the 2017 SP.

The SP4 definitely had issues with sleep the first 4 or so months after release, I also got the "hot bag" issue where it would stay on in my laptop bag. Those issues were fully resolved, but I fear they turned off a lot of buyers.

Good info on iOS lightroom though, I'm glad a competing product works so well. With iOS 11 I'm happy for you guys that finally gain a tiny bit of PC like functionality. The ipad pro is a very nice device and although I like to discuss the pros and cons, I definitely don't blame anyone at all for preferring it.
Yeah .. the issues put me off the surface pro.

It is quite an exciting time for ipad as the apps are getting mature. Lightroom has been gaining a lot of functionality.

Then there's affinity photo. They just did a large update which I believe it now fully matches the pc/Mac version. It is also lightning fast. I just tested the masking functions and I believe it to be faster and more accurate than photoshop on my Mac.

If you do video editing there's now Lumafusion which is also very fast. Functionality wise it is still well behind But is gaining functionality all the time (it is incredibly faster than premiere pro. It is just embarrassing how slow Premiere pro is).
 

kirky29

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2009
1,460
299
Lincolnshire, England
Then there's affinity photo. They just did a large update which I believe it now fully matches the pc/Mac version. It is also lightning fast. I just tested the masking functions and I believe it to be faster and more accurate than photoshop on my Mac.
Really? That sounds amazing. I'm confident I'm just going to buy the first gen smaller iPad Pro for my travels. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShaunAFC3

Similar threads

  • BigDO
46
Replies
46
Views
3K
  • ryankul
2
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Dave245
5
Replies
5
Views
1K
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.