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Apple debuted its newest iPad Pro (2021) on Tuesday, powered by the M1 chip which has propelled Macs to new heights of functionality. But how does it shape up from Microsoft’s Surface pills, one of the best Windows pills you can buy? Based just on the specs–pretty nicely, as it ends up.
For years, Android tablets and the iPad have had to wrestle with the challenge: But can it be a real pc? We’d still say that Windows provides flexibility and legacy support that the Mac does not, but you can not contend with the fact that Apple has made enormous strides in supplying a comparatively inexpensive, powerful pill which can compete with the best that Microsoft has to offer you.
Apple’s iPad Pro (2021) ships in 2 configurations: a 11-inch version, beginning at $799; and a 12.9-inch version, for $1,099 and upward. Those two versions basically compete with Microsoft’s Surface Go 2, a 10.5-inch tablet priced as low as $400, and also the Surface Pro 7+, a 12.3-inch tablet beginning at $900.
We’ll break down the critical differences among the pills, the benefits of each, and list what we know of the qualities at the end of this narrative. (Use our table of contents to leap forward.)
Price: The iPad surprisingly wins
At $730, the priciest configuration of the Surface Go 2 is more affordable than the cheapest $799 11-inch Apple iPad Pro. It is worth noting, however, that the Surface Go 2 shirts out at 128GB of storage, the minimum for your own 11-inch iPad Pro. The two devices are sized, but they’re in an entirely different course from another.
The Surface Pro 7+ begins at $900, nevertheless roughly $200 significantly less compared to 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro. But the price climbs steadily out there, to $2,800. Microsoft tacks on quite a bit for the various configurations of the Surface Pro 7+. Apple’s most expensive 12.9-inch iPad Pro tops out at $2,199.
Operating system: A draw
This is a totally subjective decision. Apple’s iPadOS (a derivative of iOS) is backed by legions of leading developers. Windows has a much smaller battery of apps, but they also incorporate generations of legacy programs, utilities, and games.
Performance: Good question
Our Surface Go 2 review revealed that the most powerful Core m3-8100Y processor in the pill was about 33 percent slower than a 2017 MacBook Pro. Though we have not directly compared the Surface Go 2 and the 11-inch M1 iPad Pro, it is safe to say that the iPad will be more powerful.
How the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will compete against the 11th-gen Tiger Lake chip within the Surface Pro 7+ is the major question. Fair, cross-platform benchmarks can be tricky to set up, as apps are coded for their particular operating systems. We can say , running our own notebook tests using our synthetic benchmarks, the 8-core M1 MacBook Pro (not iPad) fell somewhat short in some places. However Intel claims that in some specific tasks the 11th-gen Tiger Lake chips which appear in devices such as the Surface Pro 7+ are indeed faster.
Battery lifetime: Surface Pro can predominate
Battery life may be impacted by a range of factors: what programs are running, whether the unit is linked to a system, how much electricity a component requires, and so on. Apple claims that each the new iPad Pro models can stay powered for approximately 10 hours of battery life while watching movie, the metric we use for assessing battery life.
Our Surface Go 2 inspection unit lasted about 7 hours and 20 minutes on our video rundown test. The Surface Pro 7ran for approximately 10 hours using a bigger battery. Given what we generally see in battery-life asserts (using unreasonably dim screens), we anticipate that the Surface Pro 7+ battery life will overtake the iPad Pro by a small amount.
Wireless: The iPad is marginally ahead
All 3 devices can join either via Wi-Fi 6 or cellular, although only the iPad Pro provides 5G connectivity options. The Windows devices use legacy LTE.
Camera: The iPad likely wins
We haven’t seen the iPad Pro’s camera in action, but we are prepared to concede that the iPad camera will outclass the Surface by a substantial amount. (The iPad Pro’s camera delivers a higher resolution, for one.) Speaking generally, Surface devices are designed as business tools to snap photographs of files and whiteboards and use the information in Office. Apple sees its iPad cameras as innovative tools, and prioritizes the camera quality accordingly.
Accessories: Essential and pricey
One of the worst aspects of each gadget is the sinking feeling that the tablet itself isn’t enough. The 1 time I used Apple’s $329 Magic Keyboard, I loathed it. I feel like Microsoft’s Signature Type Cover Keyboards are significantly better, but you will still need to pay $130 or so for one.
Surface Go 2, Surface Pro 7+, Apple iPad Pro (2021) from the specs
Below, we’ve listed what we all know of the specifications of Apple’s new iPad Pro pills, in addition to information culled from our own Surface Go 2 review and the Surface Pro 7+ inspection , too. (We’ve highlighted what we examined, and recorded the specifications.) We’ve used Apple’s own iPad webpage as a benchmark for this information, also.
Specs do not tell the entire story, obviously, but any further judgment will have to wait for the iPad Pro testimonials.
Apple iPad Pro (2021) specifications
- Display: 11-inch (2388×1668, 264ppi, ProMotion/Tru Tone, P3 color accuracy, 600 nits maximum ); 12.9-inch (2732×2048, 264ppi, ProMotion/Tru Tone, P3 color accuracy, 600 nits max/1,000 nits maximum full-screen brightness/1600 nits peak brightness HDR)
- Processor: Apple M1 (8-core)
- Graphics: Apple M1 (8-core)
- Memory: 8GB/16GB RAM
- Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
- Ports: USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)
- Camera: 12MP (broad, f/1.8); 10Mpixel (ultrawide, f/2.4), 2X optical zoom, smart HDR3; 4K/60 video recording
- Battery: 26.9Wh (11-inch)/40.9Wh (12.9-inch)
- Wireless: 802. 11ax (Wi-Fi ); Bluetooth 5.0; optional 5G
- Operating system: iPadOS
- Dimensions (inches): 11-inch: 9. 74 x 7. 02 x 0. 23in. (5.9mm); 12.9-inch: 11. 04×8. 46×0. 25in. (6.4mm)
- Weight: 11-inch (1. ) 03 pounds, 1. ) 04 with Wi-Ficellular); 12.9-inch (1.5 pounds, 1. 51 with Wi-Fi+ cellular)
- Color: Silver, Space Gray
- Price: 11-inch: $799 to $1,899; 12.9-inch: $1,099 to $2,199
Microsoft Surface Go 2 specifications
- Display: 10.5-inch (1920×1280, 220 ppi), 3:2 aspect ratio PixelSense display with 10-point signature; Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y or Core m3-8100Y (Amber Lake Y)
- Graphics: UHD 615
- Memory: 4GB or 8GB RAM
- Storage: 64GB eMMC or 128GB SSD
- Ports: USB-C, Surface Connect, microSD, 3.5mm jack
- Camera: 5MP (1080p) user-facing, Windows Hello; 8MP (1080de ) rear-facing, together with autofocus
- Battery: 26.8Wh (reported by Windows)
- Wireless: 802. 11 ax (Wi-Fi 6); Qualcomm LTE Advanced X16 modem
- Operating system: Windows 10 Home in S mode (user ); Windows 10 Pro (commercial channels)
- Dimensions (inches): 9. 65 x 6.9 x 0. 33 inches (8.3mm)
- Weights (per Microsoft): 1.2 pounds with Wi-Fi, 1. 22 with LTE (not counting Type Cover)
- Color: Silver
- Optional accessories: Surface Go 2 Signature Type Cover in Platinum ($130), Black ($100), Poppy Red ($130), and Ice Blue ($130); Surface Pen ($100 for Ice Blue or Poppy Red), Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub ($100)
- Price: $399. 99-$729. 99, $730 (Microsoft Store) as analyzed
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ specifications
- Display: 12.3-inch multitouch PixelSense display (2736×1824)
- Processor: Intel Core i3-1115G4 / Core i5-1135G7 (as analyzed ) / Core I7-1165G7
- Graphics: UHD (Core i3), Iris Xe (Core i5/i7, as analyzed )
- Memory: 8GB, 16GB LPDDR4x (Wi-Fi, LTE, as analyzed ); 32GB LPDDR4x (Wi-Fi)
- Storage: 128GB/256GB (Wi-Fi, LTE); 512GB/1TB (Wi-Fi)
- Ports: 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, 1 Surface Connector, 1 Type Cover, microSDXC (Wi-Fi) or 1 nanoSIM (LTE), 3.5mm headphone jack
- Security: Camera (Windows Hello)
- Camera: 5MP/1080p (user-facing), 8MP (rear-facing)
- Battery: 50.4Wh (claimed), 48.9Wh real
- Wireless: WiFi 6 (802. 11ax), Bluetooth 5.0; Qualcomm X20 modem (LTE circles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66)
- Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
- Dimensions: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0. 33 inches
- Weight: 1.7 lbs (Core i3/i5 w/ Wi-Fi) to 1. 73 pounds (Core i5, LTE)
- Color: Platinum, Matte Black
- Price: From $900 at Microsoft to $2,800; $1,650 as analyzed
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As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and processor technologies, among other beats.