Microsoft announced the new Surface Pro for 2017 at an event in Shanghai, and the product is already up for pre-orders in the US and other countries. On the India site for Microsoft, Surface Pro (2017) is still listed as ‘coming soon’, and its India price has not been announced.
Microsoft’s new Surface Pro is squarely aimed at the iPad Pro, so let’s compare the two devices.
Surface Pro (2017) vs iPad Pro: Display, Dimensions and Design
The Apple iPad Pro was launched in 2015, this is for the 12.9 inch version, which is a closer competitor of the new Surface Pro if you’re going just by the size. Apple did launch a smaller version of the iPad Pro in March 2016, which has a smaller 9.7-inch display.
In terms of design, the new Surface Pro continues with the same look that we’ve come to expect from the series. Microsoft claims they have added over “800 new custom parts and used 99% of the space inside the device”. The company also claims to have improved the Surface Pro hinge that now has full 165-degree range of motion, and lets users go into a special ‘Studio Mode’ which has inspired the company’s Surface Studio desktop.
The new Surface Pro’s dimensions are 292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm, and it weighs starting at 768 g for Intel m3 version going up all the way to 784 g for the Intel Core i7 processor version.
Apple’s iPad Pro with 12.9-inch has the following dimensions: 305.7 mm x 220.6 mm x 6.9 mm, so yeah the iPad is a shade thinner than the new Surface Pro. But remember this one doesn’t have any hinge on the back. Apple expects you to rely on their custom covers for the same. Apple’s iPad Pro is also lighter at 713 grams for the WiFi-only version and 723 grams for WiFi + Cellular model.
On the design front, Apple iPad Pro sticks with the design that we’ve come to expect of the iPad. It has the round home button with Touch ID on the front, and a metal chassis. The iPad colour scheme remains at Space Grey, Rose Gold and Gold.
You’re getting Surface Pro 2017 in Platinum colour but Microsoft is introducing new colours later. A new Surface Keyboard has also been launched, which is covered in the company’s next-generation Alcantara material.
Microsoft calls this Surface Keyboard as “its most luxurious ever,” though this cover will add another 310 grams to the Surface Pro device. Apple’s Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro adds around 337 grams in weight to your device.
On the Display front, Apple’s iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch screen which is LED-backlit with 2732 x 2048 pixels resolution, which comes to 264 pixels per inch (ppi). Apple has added fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, anti-reflective coating and this is a fully laminated display. Apple iPad Pro has support for the Apple Pen on the display as well.
With the new Surface Pro, Microsoft has kept the display size at 12.3-inch and calls it the PixelSense Display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels, which comes to 267 ppi. Microsoft’s Display comes with support for Microsoft’s new Surface Pen as well as the Studio Dial.
With the new Display, Microsoft says it has 50 per cent more pixels than a 12-inch MacBook, and that they have provided a colour-switcher, so users can go from SRGB format to an enhanced colour format.
Processor, RAM, Storage
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch comes with 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options. Apple’s iPad Pro comes with A9X chip with 64‑bit architecture, and there’s an embedded M9 co-processor as well. The device reportedly comes with 4GB RAM of RAM, but this is something Apple never confirms officially.
With the new Surface Pro, Microsoft is introducing three processor variants, which are all 7th generation Intel Kaby Lake processors. The Intel Core M3, Intel i5 and i7 processor variants will be available with the Surface Pro. It also comes TPM chip for enterprise security.
RAM offered on the new Surface Pro is 4GB RAM, 8GB RAM or 16GB RAM. For graphics, Microsoft has will be using Intel HD Graphics 615 (m3), Intel HD Graphics 620 (i5) or Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (i7) depending on the processor.
The new Intel i5 processor on the Surface Pro come with a fanless architecture, says the company. On the storage side, Microsoft is giving users the following SSD options 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.
Now with Apple’s iPad Pro you’re only getting the Lightning Connector port, and a headphone jack. So you can’t really plug in a USB stick or whatever else. Apple’s iPad Pro comes with WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac; dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz); HT80 with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.2. There’s also Cellular LTE version of the Apple iPad Pro.
Sensors on the Apple iPad Pro are Touch ID (Fingerprint), Three‐axis gyro, Accelerometer, Barometer and Ambient light sensor.
The new Surface Pro has one full-size USB 3.0 port, microSDXC card reader and the Surface Connect port. It also comes with Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology. There’s no LTE version shipping right now, but it will come in the later half of 2017. Sensors on the new Surface Pro are Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer and Gyroscope.
Apple’s iPad Pro has a 8MP rear camera and 1.2MP front camera, which is a little outdated. The newer 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a 12MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera, for those who consider this important in their tablet. Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro can record 1080p videos, but the newer one has capability for 4K recording as well.
With the new Microsoft Surface Pro, you’re getting an 8MP rear camera and the front camera is 5MP with 1080p Skype HD video supported. The rear camera can also record and shoot 1080p Full HD video. There’s also support for Microsoft Windows Hello face authentication with the front camera.
Now battery is where Microsoft is promising the new Surface Pro is ahead of the rivals. Microsoft claims Surface Pro will last up to 13.5 hours of battery life. Now this is claimed for video playback and the testing was done with a “preproduction” device with Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB storage and 8 GB RAM. Even then, 13 and a half hours puts the Surface Pro ahead of the rivals.
Apple’s iPad Pro has a built‐in 38.5‐watt‐hour lithium‐polymer battery with up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‐Fi, watching video, or listening to music. This goes to nine hours for surfing the web on cellular data network.
According to Microsoft, the new Surface Pro’s battery will last 50 per cent more than Surface Pro 4, and and 35 per cent more battery life than an iPad Pro.
When it comes to this part, Apple’s iPad Pro is pretty powerful. It has four speakers for audio, and dual microphones for calls, video recording, and audio recording. With new Surface Pro, you’re also getting 1.6W Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium and this has dual microphones as well.
Microsoft’s new Surface Pro will come with enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in and Windows 10 Pro. It will also come with Office 365 30-day trial free. Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9-inch runs the company’s iOS 10 OS, which will can be upgraded once iOS 11 is rolled out.
Apple’s iPad Pro starts in India at a price of Rs 65,900 officially for the 32GB version with only WiFi and goes up all the way to Rs 81,900 for the 256GB version. The WiFi plus cellular version starts at
Rs 85,900 for 128GB and Rs 93,900 for the 256GB.
Microsoft’s new Surface Pro starts at $799 for the 128 GB version with Intel Core m3 processor and 4GB RAM. Surface Pro with 128 GB storage and Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB RAM is priced at $999. The 256GB version with 8GB RAM and i5 processor is priced at $1299.
The Intel Core i7 processor version with 8GB RAM starts at $1599 and the one with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD will cost a whopping $2199. Finally the 1TB version is priced at $2699. Microsoft is offering some discount for students, universities. The new Surface Pro cover starts at $159.99, while the new Surface Pen’s price has not been confirmed.