Advertisement
Technology

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Which Is the Better Laptop Replacement?

High-end, multifunctional tablets are bridging the gap between work and play.

When the iPad tablet was introduced six years ago, many early adopters thought of it as a lightweight accessory for watching videos and browsing the Web. Laptops were still all about getting work done. But now high-end, multifunctional tablets are bridging the gap between work and play.

The Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro belong to this latest generation. Both add less bulk to your bag than even the most compact laptop, and they boast large screens and fast processing times. Both also pair with a detachable keyboard for easier typing, as well as a stylus to make tapping, sketching and writing feel more natural. But the biggest boon is their ability to multitask. These hybrid devices allow you to type a report while keeping an eye on your playlist, or view a Web page alongside an e-mail that you’re drafting.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Tablets that pack this much punch are pricey, ringing up at more than $1,000 once you add the extras. A comparably priced laptop will still offer you more memory and faster speeds; if you regularly push your laptop to the limit, even the most powerful tablet won’t be robust enough. But these machines are a solid option for most other users.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Microsoft’s contender. The Surface Pro 4 ($899 for the 128-gigabyte model, plus $130 for the Type Cover keyboard) outstrips the competition when it comes to delivering laptop-level capabilities in tablet form. Billed as “the tablet that can replace your laptop,” this machine comes close. A full-fledged version of Windows 10, rather than an operating system designed for mobile devices, allows it to run desktop versions of programs such as Microsoft Office as well as photo- and video-editing programs. The base model with 128GB of storage sports 4GB of working memory. And multi­tasking is as easy as dragging up to four applications onto the screen.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Despite its ability to run programs and apps like a computer and its large, 12.3-inch screen, the Surface Pro 4’s compact footprint and adjustable kickstand make it an ideal choice for working on the go. The keyboard’s widely spaced keys and large trackpad look and feel like a traditional laptop’s, and it folds shut to protect the screen from scratches when not in use. The strong but light magnesium body keeps the tablet’s weight, including the keyboard, at less than 2.5 pounds.

Apple’s entry. Apple aficionados and other creative types won’t be disappointed with the iPad Pro ($949 for the 128GB, Wi-Fi–only version). The full-size smart keyboard ($169), which shares power with the tablet, snaps onto the tablet’s generous, 12.9-inch screen and doubles as a cover that automatically puts the iPad to sleep when it’s closed. The Pro runs the same iOS9 mobile operating system as the iPhone. It’s not as powerful as the Surface’s full-blown operating system, but a split view allows you to view two apps side by side. And new screen technology allows the tablet to respond well to the Apple pencil ($99).

Despite its larger screen, at 2.3 pounds (including the keyboard) the iPad Pro is lighter than the Surface Pro 4. Plus, the sleek, aluminum iPad is thinner, at just over one-fourth of an inch thick.

Advertisement

Most Popular

Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally
careers

Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally

A new chiropractor’s fledgling business plan to attract patients may sound reasonable at first look, but it’s actually against the law, and the same p…
June 30, 2020
What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020
13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco
spending

13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco

You could be missing out on huge savings: Costco sells a limited selection of luxury goods at discounted prices, both in-store and online.
June 27, 2020

Recommended

9 Reasons to Retire in an RV
retirement

9 Reasons to Retire in an RV

RV-loving retirees talk about the upsides of spending retirement in a motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel or other recreational vehicle. Even Presi…
June 8, 2020
52 Super Deals and Discounts for 2020
spending

52 Super Deals and Discounts for 2020

With a special nod to those of you spending more time at home, we found dozens of deals and discounts, plus ways to save (or make) money.
June 6, 2020
When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?
spending

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Circumstances beyond its control have forced Amazon to move its annual Christmas-in-July Amazon Prime Day blowout sale in 2020 to ... not July.
May 29, 2020
Best Video Apps for Staying in Touch
business

Best Video Apps for Staying in Touch

We rate five video-chat platforms for user-friendliness and security features.
May 10, 2020