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The iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4 have both been out for over a year now.  As rumors circulate about their successors being released in the coming months, I think it’s time to revisit these devices.  

The Current Generation

For those of you are not so into tech,  I am going to start this article off by confusing you.  You can’t compare these devices, because they are designed with two different purposes in mind.  After using both of these devices for extended periods, I realized that form factor and touchscreen are the only similarities.  


Surface Pro 4

Let’s be clear…the Surface Pro 4 is an actual LAPTOP, while the iPad Pro remains a large, high-powered iPhone.  The Surface Pro occupies a small niche that is grouped into the tablet segment.  Even though it looks like a tablet, it has a touch screen and a pen, while running full Windows 10.  It runs full scale programs (rather than a mobile version) and you can do everything as if on a PC.


As far as price is concerned, you should look to get at least the i5 processor so you’re looking to pay around $1,200.  This will not include the keyboard, so add an extra $130 for that.  You will consistently see the entry level Pro 4 selling for $799 or less, but that one should be avoided.   It comes equipped with a mobile Intel chip and I would hesitate to recommend a PC with a mobile processor. #unimpressed #microsofttriedit

The Specs:

Opinion – Surface Pro 4

Now that we’ve gotten the facts out of the way, I love the Surface Pro 4.  It is easily the best portable PC available right now.  You get the 6th Gen Intel Core processors (Skylake), and enough RAM and SSD Storage options for anybody.  It is small, lite and the screen resolution is better than the iPad’s.  The downside, iswhen you attempt to use it as a tablet.

Could be better

After I figured out how to  put it in tablet-mode, I was less than impressed.  I have used other “tablets” over the years, and expected a similar experience.  The first thing I noticed was that you have to pin the apps you plan on using to the screen where they show up as Windows 10 tiles. I am not a fan of this feature.. its dumb… time consuming… and confusing.  If you don’t want to pin the apps one at a time, you can show the apps in list mode (which is even worse).  List mode just gives you these small, hard-to-read thumbnails of the apps .  The tool-bar is at the bottom of the screen because that is where you access user and system settings.

In tablet mode, you do not get tablet battery life.  The components of a full size laptop are powered by a tablet sized battery, and it shows.  The expected battery life is 9 hours, but only if all of the settings are optimized.  Under normal usage, I’d say I get 5-6 hours of battery life.  On stand-by, the battery is not going to hold a charge for more than a couple days.

Opinion – iPad Pro 12.9

The iPad Pro 12.9 is easily Apple’s best iPad to date and a nice addition to the family.  It’s processor speed and graphics performance are compared to those of PC’s and other Macs.  It has a great screen with the most resolution of any of the other mobile devices from Apple.  Together with the Apple Pen it becomes a great tool for anybody , but mostly it serves graphic artists.  There are three memory sizes (32,128 or 256) and the option for cellular.  It comes in the usual Apple color options, Gold, Silver, and Space Gray.

The problems present themselves when you think this is a computer.

Make no mistake, this is a mobile device built with a mobile operating system. Everything is managed through apps the same as a smart phone.  Some of these apps are more clever or useful than their full-scale operating counterparts, like the Microsoft Office suite or the iWork productivity suite.  Your can  open some files through the iCloud app and make minor changes within applications and save them back to the cloud.  When you want to send files using an iPad, you have to “share” them.  You can’t open the Mail app and attach multiple files and send them.

Tablets just don’t work like that.  

If you:

  • Never need full operating system capability but don’t use anything more than the internet and Facebook then this may be a hot wish-list item.
  • Don’t  have a desktop or laptop at home where you do their real computing you will not feel any impact if you do have these options on-the-go.
  • Fall into these categories, then this is a device that I could recommend.

You will get great battery life and enough power to handle any app you can throw at it.  The entry level 32Gb device is $799, which does not offer most people with enough storage.  I would recommend the 128Gb device starting at $899 for WiFi only.


My recommendation is…..Both #whoop #issaballer

If you are looking for a new laptop or even a new desktop, I would strongly recommend the Surface Pro 4.  It is just as powerful as any PC available and can even be docked to a monitor ,as desktop replacement.  To do some very serious computing, it’s cousin the Surface Book is more of what you need, and it is priced appropriately.

For those of you who want to have a great tablet, then I can recommend the iPad Pro 12.9.  It is great for watching Netflix, browsing Facebook and doing some productivity on the go.  The battery life and screen are great, but $899 may be a little much to spend for a tablet.  The 9.7in is $699, which may be easier to swallow and you get the same storage and processor as the larger one.

Also published on Medium.

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