Apple’s new iPad Pro is big news, but it isn’t the only big-screen tablet out there that’s designed to help you work. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has been targeting business users and creative professionals for over a year now. Both Apple’s and Microsoft’s slates have a keyboard and stylus accessory, both can run Microsoft Office, and both start at $799. But there are quite a few differences as well.
Display and Size
The iPad Pro packs the biggest display ever seen on an iPad, with a 12.9-inch screen that boasts 2732 x 2048 pixels of resolution. That’s 5.6 million pixels. The Surface Pro 3 has a smaller 12-inch panel and offers a lower resolution of 2160 x 1440 pixels.
Apple built a new chip A9X for the iPad Pro which is more powerful than iPad Air 2, while Microsoft Surface Pro 3 starts with an Intel 4th Generation Core i3 CPU. It’s been tested with Core i5 model, which scored 5,665 on Geekbench 3. The MacBook Air, which has a similar chip inside, scored 5,393. The iPad Air 2 scored 2,694. (The Surface Pro 4 could pack a faster Intel Skylake CPU.)
The Surface Pro 3 lasted 7 hours and 27 minutes on our Laptop Mag Battery Test (Web surfing via Wi-Fi with the brightness at 150 nits). Apple claims that the iPad Pro will last a much longer 10 hours on a charge when surfing the web via Wi-Fi.
The iPad Pro features just a single Lightning connector while the Surface Pro 3 has a full-sized USB 3.0 port, a miniDisplayPort for use with external displays, and even a microSD card reader hidden behind the fold-out kickstand.
One of the biggest differences between the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 3 are their operating systems. The iPad Pro runs iOS 9, which offers Split View multitasking, allowing you to work on two apps side by side. The separate Slide Over feature lets you open a second app without leaving the one you’re in. Last but not least, iOS 9 includes handy shortcuts and features in its keyboard app, including an easy way to select text by dragging two fingers across the layout.
The Surface Pro 3 sports a full copy of Windows 10, so it can run the same programs you get on a traditional laptop or desktop. That means pros can use the exact same version of apps like Adobe Photoshop or AutoCad. Windows 10 also features the voice-enabled Cortana assistant, an enhanced Snap feature that lets you run four apps at once and a new Edge browser that works well with the Surface’s pen for marking up pages.
It’s too early to say with certainty which of these oversized slates will ultimately reign supreme. We can say, however, that the Surface Pro 3 earned only a 3-star rating when we reviewed it last year. That’s because of its below-average battery life and warm surface temperature. The iPad Air 2 earned 4.5 stars for its superior apps, screen and endurance, but it wasn’t designed as a productivity device like the iPad Pro is. The iPad Pro represents a more direct competitor.
Tips & Tricks: How to watch all kinds of videos on Surface Pro 3 and iPad Pro?
To play most video formats that are not supported by Surface Pro 3 and iPad Pro like 1080p/720p MKV, MOV, MXF, MTS, AVI, MPG, VOB, what should you do?
In my personal experience, Pavtube Video Converter should be your first choice since it can convert any main stream videos to Surface Pro 3 and iPad Pro supported formats. Compare with many other such video conversion tools, you will find this software is much powerful. Conversion could be easily achieved, but to keep the high quality will be much more difficult. Most such tools will supply new videos with much quality loss, but never will this Video Converter. If you are Mac users, you can choose the corresponding Pavtube Video Converter for Mac.