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iPad Pro will always be a companion device, says Microsoft

Apple wants the iPad Pro to make you “more productive”, but can it really compete with Microsoft’s Surface?

A senior Microsoft representative has told TrustedReviews that the iPad Pro cannot work as a standalone productivity device.

Dan Laycock, Senior Communications Manager for Microsoft Surface, says that while consumers can get by with a single Surface product, the same can’t be said for Apple’s heftiest tablet.

“Microsoft really wants you to only carry one device for tablet and PC use,” explains Laycock, speaking to us at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas. “Whereas the iPad Pro is always going to be a companion device.”

He adds: “The strategies are very different.”

The iPad Pro – released in November last year – bears a number of striking similarities to the Microsoft Surface Pro range, including a large display, a focus on productivity, and a stylus peripheral.

Related: iPad Air 3

iPad ProThe iPad Pro, with keyboard and stylus

“At one point in time, Apple declared that if there’s a stylus, that’s failure,” continues Laycock. “We’re a huge believer in the pen; we know our customers love it.”

The Communications lead goes on: “So to see Apple do something that feels a little bit similar, that is clearly skewed for a bigger screen, and more productivity built in, and the ability to use a pen.”

“We don’t see it as a one-to-one comparison, because this is a full PC, you’re running full apps,” Laycock adds.

Apple introduced a number of productivity-focused features with the iPad Pro, like app multitasking and picture-in-picture video.

surface bookMicrosoft’s new Surface Book detachable laptop hybrid

Related: iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 4

However, Microsoft has been peddling its Surface series of hybrids since 2012.

The latest additions to the line-up are the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, and the Surface Book laptop hybrid.

Do you think the iPad Pro will always be a companion device? Let us know in the comments.

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