Microsoft Surface Pro 6 vs Apple iPad Pro – Ultimate tablet showdown

Microsoft recently unveiled its new Surface Pro 6 device, set to launch later this month.

The tablet, which can function in “tablet, studio, or laptop” modes, packs an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and up to 16GB of RAM.

It runs Windows 10 and also features Intel UHD graphics – all for a starting price of $899.

At this price point, and the fact that it has the word “Pro” in its name, means it is competing against the Apple iPad Pro – a tablet aimed at professionals just like the Surface Pro 6.

While the iPad runs the mobile version of Apple’s operating system – iOS 12 – and features great cameras and LTE support, the device is marketed as a laptop-replacement.

In fact, Apple says the iPad Pro is more powerful than most PC laptops and its A10X Fusion 64-bit processor handles demanding tasks like 3D modelling and 4K video editing.

Marketing terms aside, both devices are sold as high-end, powerful tablets that can function as laptops thanks to keyboard attachments.

Pro vs Pro

In terms of screens, the Surface Pro 6 features a 12.3-inch touch display with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824, slightly smaller than the largest iPad Pro – with a 12.9-inch display.

The iPad packs much less RAM, however, 4GB vs the 8GB or 16GB available in the Surface Pro.

The Surface Pro also wins the storage race, with up to a 1TB SSD available, while the iPad Pro only goes up to 512GB.

Both tablets are roughly the same size – the Surface Pro is a bit bigger and heavier – and both support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Apple’s Lightning port is the main connector for the iPad Pro, while Microsoft has opted for a USB 3.0 port – notably not USB-C.

Arguably the most defining difference, though, is the operating systems – iOS 12 versus Windows 10.

The ecosystem a user works in and the apps they require will therefore play a large part in determining which device will work best for them.

It must also be noted that Microsoft will not officially sell the Surface Pro 6 in South Africa, while Apple has official support in the country and can offer local guarantees on its devices.

The table below compares the specifications of the tablet PCs.

Apple does not disclose its RAM figures, and the iPad’s allotment is based on a third-party report.

Tablet Comparison
Specifications iPad Pro 12.9 Surface Pro 6
OS iOS 12 Windows 10 Home
Display 12.9-inch Retina (2,732 x 2,048) Touch 12.3-inch PixelSense (2,736 x 1,824) Touch
CPU A10X Fusion Intel 8th-gen Core i5/i7
Graphics Embedded Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage 64GB/256GB/512GB 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
Connectivity LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
Ports Lightning, 3.5mm jack, Smart Connector USB 3.0, 3.5mm jack, Mini DisplayPort, MicroSDXC reader
Dimensions 305 x 220 x 6.9 mm (692g) 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm (792g)
Price (starting) $799 $899
Surface Pro 6
Surface Pro 6
Surface Pro 6
Surface Pro 6
iPad Pro
iPad Pro
iPad Pro
iPad Pro

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 vs Apple iPad Pro – Ultimate tablet showdown