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iPad Pro 9.7 vs Surface Pro 4: Are These Devices Sufficient Laptop Replacements?

Although laptop design has significantly improved over the years, they still aren’t as portable as devices like the iPad which comes with features for both work and play. A number will still argue that working with a laptop is still preferable, accessories like keyboard attachments and stylus pens have made tablets better machines to work on.

Two devices that are battling for your affection include the iPad Pro 9.7 released in 2016 and the Surface Pro 4 released in 2015. Do any of these two have the features you need to finally ditch the laptop and make a full switch to tablets?

Design

The design of the iPad Pro isn’t much changed from its predecessor, except for the screen which will be tackled in the Display section. Just like the iPad Pro, the Surface Pro 4 didn’t change that much either except for being a bit slimmer and sporting a slightly larger screen.

Both Apple and Microsoft have created keyboard covers for their tablets. The latter has Type Cover which features chiclet-style keys that are individually backlit; a version with biometric fingerprint scanning technology can be purchased as well. Apple, on the other hand, designed a keyboard attachment with an integrated kickstand and keys made of the same material as the cloth cover, a feature that may feel a bit strange to some.

Display

The iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 don’t differ much in terms of screen technology. The former features the usual 9.7-inch Retina display but now with True Tone which adjusts the screen’s white balance to match the surrounding light thus allowing a more natural viewing experience.

Although the Surface Pro 4 doesn’t feature the True Tone capability of the iPad Pro, it does come with PixelSense technology which makes the screen more responsive to touch, whether by finger or stylus pen.

In terms of screen size, the Surface Pro 4 edges the iPad Pro by just a bit.

Hardware

The iPad Pro uses the latest Apple’s own A9X chip while the Surface Pro 4 sports an Intel Core i5 chip. Basically, it’s a battle between a mobile chip and one that is used on laptops. Technically, you’d want the laptop chip so you can run heavy applications like AutoCAD. However, there’s more to just offering a more powerful chip.

Microsoft is also the clear winner when it comes to connection options. The iPad Pro features the Lightning Connector and requires you to purchase other accessories to do other stuff. The Surface Pro 4, on the other hand, comes with a USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, a microSD card reader, and a charging port.

Battery Life

How long a device can last before needing a charge is a big factor in choosing a device, and if it were to be decided on that factor alone, the iPad Pro wins the day. The device can last up to 10 hours while the Surface Pro 4 can only support around six hours of use.

Truth be told, Microsoft still has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to battery life. Apple has perfected the pairing of components and software to ensure their devices can be used for the longest time possible.

Verdict

Although the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 comes with a lot of features that are best-suited for productivity, sometimes it all boils down to what OS you are comfortable with. But if you’d like to consider a different kind of tablet, the Galaxy Tab S3 from Samsung is a worthy competitor to these tablets.

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