iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 3 – The Tablet Fight

iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 3 – The Tablet Fight
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

With Apple having finally announced the iPad Pro, the 12.9-inch tablet will now compete with existing devices. While the iPad series is unquestionably the most successful range of tablets in the world, the most obvious competitor to this new iPad Pro is probably Microsoft’s Surface Pro. The latest device in this line was considered the strongest of the larger tablets ahead of the release of the iPad Pro. So will the new Apple tablet be able to dethrone Microsoft’s Surface Pro once it hits the stores?

Comparing the two involves a bit of guesswork, as the iPad Pro is, of course, not in the public domain as of yet. But we can still make some pretty strong assertions based on what we already know about the existing devices.

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iPad Pro vs Surface Pro – Design

In terms of design and construction, the Surface Pro 3 and the iPad Pro have a great deal in common. It could be said that the Microsoft offering was strongly influenced by the hugely successful iPad range. Although the iPad Pro is slightly slimmer, the difference in size and weight between the two is extremely marginal, and it is hard to imagine that anyone would consider the extra 0.2 inches of thickness that the Surface Pro 3 features to be of any significance.

However, the iPad still has a classic feel that has not been beaten by any tablet, and although no-one has managed to get their hands on the iPad Pro as of yet, it seems likely that it will continue to retain a street cachet that is unequalled.


It is worth noting firstly that the iPad Pro is nearly one-inch larger than the Surface Pro 3, but the Apple tablet also exceeds the Microsoft device in resolution terms. When these two elements of the devices are combined, it does translate into a significant gap in terms of pixels per inch. The Surface Pro 3 has an excellent display, but the 216 PPI rating of which it is capable does fall rather short of the 265 PPI Retina display included in the iPad Pro.

Additionally, the stylus included with the iPad Pro has been armed with some special features that make the device even slicker to utilize than other iPad Pro lines. Pressing the stylus to the screen doubles the pointing rate and touch accuracy, and this aids the comfort and accuracy of writing. There are a myriad of potential new software features available with this stylus feature, and it is thought to be particularly useful for academic purposes.

It certainly seems Apple has a significant advantage in this department.


This area is a little difficult to assess, as Apple has neglected to release any clear information on the RAM or processor included in the iPad Pro. Apple certainly claims that the new 64-bit central processing unit is nearly double the speed of the previous A8X chip, and it also states that it will feature twice the memory bandwidth and storage performance. Apple certainly built up the potential performance of the iPad Pro at the September 9 event in San Francisco, claiming that it will be faster than 80 percent of portable PCs. Apple stated during this event that the iPad Pro is capable of editing three 4K video streams simultaneously, something that is beyond the capabilities of most existing PC notebooks.

The Surface Pro 3 offers users a choice of Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processors, but loses points due to the fact that they are all dual-core chips. Additionally, none of them can be clocked at over 2GHz. This suggests that the Surface Pro 3 would be part of the 80 percent of portable computers that the new Apple processor can outperform, even with the highest chip available in the series.

While this may sound like an advantage to Apple, it would be wise to wait for the iPad Pro to be released before we assumed that Apple’s claims are correct on this matter.


Apple has made some specific alterations to the iOS operating system in order to ensure that the iPad Pro delivers, with a particular emphasis on multitasking functionality. Specific software options have also been added to numerous applications. These are interesting additions to the iPad Pro tablet, with Apple suggesting that this is both a serious productivity and commercial device. The stylus will unquestionably play a role in this, and early indications suggest that it is the most sophisticated device of its type in the tablet marketplace.

However, there are still question marks regarding the capability of iOS to compete with a fully functioning operating system such as Windows 10 Pro. Although the ability of Apple to combine proprietary hardware and software should not be underestimated, the fact remains that iOS is effectively a mobile operating system, and competing with a Windows desktop software base that has been developing for generations may not be easy for Apple.


Based on the information that Apple has supplied so far on the iPad Pro, it certainly seems that this will be the most advanced large tablet available on the market. Considering the amount of time that  this Apple device has been rumored, it was certainly essential for the corporation to deliver an outstanding device, particularly as the company’s share price has suffered recently.

There is no doubt that the specifications attached to the iPad Pro are extremely impressive. And the claim made by Apple during the California presentation, that the iPad Pro could outperform 80 percent of laptops, was certainly a bold and eye-opening one.

If Apple can make good on this promise, it could have a truly outstanding device on his hands with the iPad Pro. Certainly the design of the iPad Pro is an absolute classic, and one cannot underestimate the continuing credibility of Apple in the consumer electronics marketplace. Although Microsoft has worked very hard on improving its image, there’s no doubt that an Apple badge counts for far more than a Microsoft badge, and this is doubly so outside of the United States.

So in conclusion, based on the information released about the iPad Pro so far, it seems extremely likely that this tablet competitor will both attract new customers to the tablet market, as well as eating into existing laptop sales. The balancing act that Apple will have to deal with is continuing to attract consumers to its existing product ranges, such as the iPad Air and MacBook Pro.

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