New Surface Pro vs iPad Pro

max2

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 31, 2015
3,529
759
Anyone have one of the new Surface Pros ?

How does it compare to the iPad Pro now ? Thanks.
 

AutisticGuy

macrumors member
Feb 1, 2018
94
172
I’ve used a Surface Pro 3 but now I’m using an iPad Pro 12.9. The Surface Pro is an awesome device because you can plug it into a large monitor for desktop work and then use it as a portable laptop and so so tablet. I think it’s the most versatile device on the market today.

The issue I had with it was the amount of bugs. It’d have to reboot it too often, and it would just glitch out a lot. I’d also have issues starting it up. I’d have to hold down the start button for like 3 minutes. It just wasn’t refined enough for me.

My iPad works smoothly and reliably and gets over 15 hours of battery life.
 
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kristalsoldier

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2013
415
126
I have and use a SP4 with the keyboard and an IPP 10.5 with the Pencil, which I use as a dedicated tablet.
 

sosumi99

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2003
362
320
I have the 2017 Surface Pro and the IPP 12.9 (second gen). The Surface is undoubtedly better for things like Office, programming, navigating file systems, running emulation and virtual machines -- basically all the things that a PC is good for. The keyboard in the type cover is also much better than the ASK. As for the inking experience, I think the Surface Pen is great for marking up PDFs and taking handwritten notes, though I'm no artist and cannot compare it to the Apple Pencil as an artist's tool.

It is not very good as a tablet, however. Even with all the improvements in Windows 10, many UI elements are still not touch-friendly. And the tablet experience is just very clunky. There are also recurring hardware issues with flickering screens and the like, which you've no doubt seen all over the Surface forums.

The IPP is a much superior tablet and I really like the always-on cellular connection (I use it outside all the time). For answering emails, editing documents, playing games, watching videos, and similar tasks, the IPP is better than the Surface for me. But it's not able to do all the things that the Surface can.

The Surface is a very versatile device, but its tablet functions feel very much second-class to me. If I could have only one device, it would have to be the Surface, but I'm lucky in being able to afford both.
 

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,110
1,257
St. Louis, MO
Reading this thread made me miss my SP4, the first time I'd had that thought since selling it more than a year ago. It was a great machine, but there were two things I didn't like: I couldn't get used to windows, and I didn't like the kickstand. I wish it had a way of standing up more like a laptop. If Apple made something similar – a macOS tablet I could touch and draw on with a Pencil – it would likely be my next machine.

Cue the "never gonna happen" posts. That's fine. I don't lose sleep over it.
 
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pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,896
I have the Surface Pro 3. It’s an okay-ish laptop, and a poor tablet.

For a laptop, it’s not ideal since it’s top heavy, and the lack of I/O made it a poor Pro device for me. It even takes up more desktop space than a regular laptop. The upside is that it’s quite light for its class during that time (though there are plenty of lighter ultra books nowadays).

As a tablet, there’s no contest that the iPad is more enjoyable to use. The Surface Pro is too heavy, and using Windows as a tablet is just painful as most programs are not tablet optimized.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,951
33,960
Boston
Anyone have one of the new Surface Pros ?
How are you going to use it? Mostly as a tablet, or more laptop type tasks?

The Surface Pro is a good laptop that can double as a tablet. The laptop function is where it shines the best, its not as good in tablet mode.

The iPad's power, and high volume of apps, really makes it a great product, but it does lack native mouse support and lack of desktop type apps may mean its not a good fit.
 
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Thares

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2011
253
79
Dresden, Germany
I bought a new surface last week and already returned it. I had a terrible experience, from the setup on. I wish it was a laptop which could be used as a tablet. But it definitely is not. The aspect ratio is much too tall, Windows 10 sucksin tablet mode and there are a lot of core apps or parts of system preferences which are not optimized for tablet use.

The surfsce is not a tablet at all. So you really cannot compare these two. If you want a laptop, buy a laptop. If you want a tablet, buy an iPad.
 

kasakka

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,082
768
Surface Pro is an acceptable tablet but a pretty good laptop replacement. iPad Pro is a great tablet but a subpar laptop replacement unless you can work with the limitations imposed by the current iOS version.

The question you need to ask yourself is if running desktop software X is important enough for you vs finding a suitable alternative on iOS if one exists. For work the iPad Pro is a complete no-go for me because it can't run any of the software I need, but I still own the 2017 model because it works for the things I do at home.
 

PennyThought

macrumors member
Feb 18, 2018
31
26
Purchased a Surface Pro 6 on Black Friday from BB - $999 i5 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD w/Type Cover. With over $530 AMEX points saved over the years, the final cost was about $560. (Bought a 400gb SD for $80 from Newegg as well.)

Had considered the iPP 10.5 1tb ($200 off) as well as the iPP 11 during that time before deciding.

I have no need for the pencil and I've been using the SP as a pure consumption device for now though of course it can do so much more. I've been using it in tablet-mode to read my comics and watch movies up to now. Very happy with it...no regrets buying it whatsoever.


Pros:
- SP6 i5 is fanless
- Upgraded display
- Much better battery life over previous models
- Kickstand and TypeCover (with Trackpad) are wonderful
- SD card support

Cons:
- a very small one...the battery loses 1-2% every 24 hrs even when asleep


Reasons why I didn't choose the iPP:

- with Bendgate being very real on the new iPPs and with Apple acknowledging it and even downplaying/excusing it, there's no predicting if/when the next refresh will be and whether this problem will be addressed then.
We're possibly looking at a 2 year refresh cycle meaning 2020 to see something new or improved. I'm not waiting that long, sorry Apple.

- Too many iOS shortcomings and little hope for meaningful improvements.

Seven years have passed since I purchased my ipad 2 and we're still waiting for core functionality extensions beyond the pencil.

No mouse or pointing device, unable to plug in USB drives and do anything beyond importing photos (beyond silly if you ask me), greater access to the file system to customize/organize locations & workflows, allow more than one application per file type, etc.

If you want to believe ios 13 will offer significant improvement to address some of these issues, you can hold out hope. I'm moving on.

Very much looking forward to using the SP6 on the plane and on my travels, etc...it will be eye-opening compared to a very limiting iPP.
 
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kdoug

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2010
989
159
Iowa City, IA USA
Purchased a Surface Pro 6 on Black Friday from BB - $999 i5 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD w/Type Cover. With over $530 AMEX points saved over the years, the final cost was about $560. (Bought a 400gb SD for $80 from Newegg as well.)

Had considered the iPP 10.5 1tb ($200 off) as well as the iPP 11 during that time before deciding.

I have no need for the pencil and I've been using the SP as a pure consumption device for now though of course it can do so much more. I've been using it in tablet-mode to read my comics and watch movies up to now. Very happy with it...no regrets buying it whatsoever.


Pros:
- SP6 i5 is fanless
- Upgraded display
- Much better battery life over previous models
- Kickstand and TypeCover (with Trackpad) are wonderful
- SD card support

Cons:
- a very small one...the battery loses 1-2% every 24 hrs even when asleep


Reasons why I didn't choose the iPP:

- with Bendgate being very real on the new iPPs and with Apple acknowledging it and even downplaying/excusing it, there's no predicting if/when the next refresh will be and whether this problem will be addressed then.
We're possibly looking at a 2 year refresh cycle meaning 2020 to see something new or improved. I'm not waiting that long, sorry Apple.

- Too many iOS shortcomings and little hope for meaningful improvements.

Seven years have passed since I purchased my ipad 2 and we're still waiting for core functionality extensions beyond the pencil.

No mouse or pointing device, unable to plug in USB drives and do anything beyond importing photos (beyond silly if you ask me), greater access to the file system to customize/organize locations & workflows, allow more than one application per file type, etc.

If you want to believe ios 13 will offer significant improvement to address some of these issues, you can hold out hope. I'm moving on.

Very much looking forward to using the SP6 on the plane and on my travels, etc...it will be eye-opening compared to a very limiting iPP.
They had that same deal a few days ago and I missed out on it. I’m probably going to keep my 10.5 pro I purchased last year since it’s only worth $350-$400 and add a SP 6 in this configuration. If and when Apple supports a pointing device and a file system then I’ll go back exclusively to iPad, maybe.
 
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mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,555
281
Tatooine
I don't really understand why someone would want a combination device that is a pretty good laptop and a terrible tablet. I'd rather get a great laptop and a great tablet, even if they are separate devices. Honestly, this is part of why I am a little uncomfortable with the laptopification of the iPad Pro.
 

secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
898
542
I don't really understand why someone would want a combination device that is a pretty good laptop and a terrible tablet. I'd rather get a great laptop and a great tablet, even if they are separate devices. Honestly, this is part of why I am a little uncomfortable with the laptopification of the iPad Pro.
I think that it depends on how much someone uses a tablet. There are definitely people like you who would want separate devices - one tablet and one laptop. There are people who don't need laptop at all. They can rely only on iPad for their day to day tasks. And there are people that have very specific narrow needs for tablets that they prefer to meet via using combination device.

Take me for example. I don't have a need for regular tablets. I have never had issues consuming media in the bed with my laptop. I don't play games no matter the device. I do a lot of typing and I need hardware keyboard for that. I bought 6th gen iPad because of the pencil. This is the only thing I need. I wanted to be able to take handwritten notes during meeting at works and store them digitally. I also wanted to be able to annotate pdf files. As you can see my tablet usage is very limited and niche. I would prefer to have a laptop that can do this and that has the ports to connect to external monitors and speakers.

Now granted I do play around with ProCreate and do some coloring but that's not actual need of mine. That's more like "I have the device, it can do this so let's take advantage of it".

Due to my nature of work (Team lead of a Software Development team that uses Java as a programming language) no iPad will ever meet my needs. I will always need a computer. As sometimes I need to work from home, it's better to have also laptop. I also need Windows as OS. So now what's happening is that I have a desktop computer at work, I will have a 14 inch laptop and then iPad. Too much devices for me. I prefer to combine the tablet and the laptop experience in one especially considering the fact that I pretty much need only touch screen and pen capabilities.

I think that a lot of people in the work sector might feel similar to what I described. Being able to store your handwritten notes digitally is a huge plus. If you can use the same device for accessing work stuff (via VPN and Remote desktop) and take notes during meetings and workshops it will be even better. Another plus for the laptop in work environment is being able to share the screen. Yes, it's possible with iPads but it's cumbersome. You have to either install specific paid app, use AirDrop and expect people to be in the Apple ecosystem or bring dongles. With laptops I could use their HDMI port. Most workplaces offer HDMI cables and have this setup anyway.

Then there is the fact that quite a lot of people (or let's say enough) use Microsoft Office apps at work. And those apps are just not good in iOS. It's not Apple's fault, but that's the truth. Add to this the fact that a lot of people need multiple monitors and extending displays functionalities. This is supported in laptops, but not in iPads.

Lastly it's also about Ethernet and docking stations. At work we have few networks. WIFI networks do not expose some of the sensitive work stuff. I would never be able to access them from my iPad because of security restrictions. With laptop however I could use docking station and Ethernet access.
 
Last edited:

kdoug

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2010
989
159
Iowa City, IA USA
I don't really understand why someone would want a combination device that is a pretty good laptop and a terrible tablet. I'd rather get a great laptop and a great tablet, even if they are separate devices. Honestly, this is part of why I am a little uncomfortable with the laptopification of the iPad Pro.
Subjective.
 

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
2,174
966
I don't really understand why someone would want a combination device that is a pretty good laptop and a terrible tablet. I'd rather get a great laptop and a great tablet, even if they are separate devices. Honestly, this is part of why I am a little uncomfortable with the laptopification of the iPad Pro.
Because of ecosystem issues, its easier for apple to make the ipad into a hybid than Microsoft to make a pc
into s tablet. Currently, Surface is the best hybrid. The surface pen is better for writing imo, though I prefer the
pencil for drawing. Both great yet flawed devices
 
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TroyBoy30

macrumors 68020
Jun 9, 2009
2,309
967
Atlanta GA
It’s easy. Want a laptop replacement that can be used as a tablet? Get the surface. Want a great tablet? Get the iPad.
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
9,028
10,166
Philadelphia, PA
One's an okay laptop and one is the best tablet out there. Pretty different devices in my opinion that don't warrant a ton of comparison. I was given a Surface Pro for work, but felt my iPad Pro was the better option and went back to that.
 

tongefactor40

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2010
190
39
If MS could give the tablet mode a heavy polish I think it would be a killer. With my job, I will always have to be in the windows environment due to app availability, so iPad will always be an accessory.
 

kasakka

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,082
768
If MS could give the tablet mode a heavy polish I think it would be a killer. With my job, I will always have to be in the windows environment due to app availability, so iPad will always be an accessory.
It's part MS but also a big part 3rd party developers. Getting them off the stone age Windows version designs has historically been a challenge in the first place but getting them to make a desktop app in any way tablet compatible is just not happening so you end up with halfway solutions.
 

Booji

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2011
650
361
Tokyo
Purchased a Surface Pro 6 on Black Friday from BB - $999 i5 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD w/Type Cover. With over $530 AMEX points saved over the years, the final cost was about $560. (Bought a 400gb SD for $80 from Newegg as well.)

Had considered the iPP 10.5 1tb ($200 off) as well as the iPP 11 during that time before deciding.

I have no need for the pencil and I've been using the SP as a pure consumption device for now though of course it can do so much more. I've been using it in tablet-mode to read my comics and watch movies up to now. Very happy with it...no regrets buying it whatsoever.


Pros:
- SP6 i5 is fanless
- Upgraded display
- Much better battery life over previous models
- Kickstand and TypeCover (with Trackpad) are wonderful
- SD card support

Cons:
- a very small one...the battery loses 1-2% every 24 hrs even when asleep


Reasons why I didn't choose the iPP:

- with Bendgate being very real on the new iPPs and with Apple acknowledging it and even downplaying/excusing it, there's no predicting if/when the next refresh will be and whether this problem will be addressed then.
We're possibly looking at a 2 year refresh cycle meaning 2020 to see something new or improved. I'm not waiting that long, sorry Apple.

- Too many iOS shortcomings and little hope for meaningful improvements.

Seven years have passed since I purchased my ipad 2 and we're still waiting for core functionality extensions beyond the pencil.

No mouse or pointing device, unable to plug in USB drives and do anything beyond importing photos (beyond silly if you ask me), greater access to the file system to customize/organize locations & workflows, allow more than one application per file type, etc.

If you want to believe ios 13 will offer significant improvement to address some of these issues, you can hold out hope. I'm moving on.

Very much looking forward to using the SP6 on the plane and on my travels, etc...it will be eye-opening compared to a very limiting iPP.
I was a long term Apple fanboi. Was looking to upgrade both my IPP 10.5 and aging Air. When the new Air came out, I was nonplussed with the specs. Went for the SP6 which had superior specs, cost less than the new Air and could do the Pencil related activities the IPP was good at. So, with that I killed two birds with one stone. So far, very happy. The iPad is much better at consumption activities, so I have kept it, and use the SP6 for the "Pro" work.

However, when I travel I need only one device.....the SP6, so my burden has lightened significantly.
 
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flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,206
926
To each their own, I suppose, but I’d rather have an iPad than two dead birds.
 
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