Surface Pro X vs iPad Pro: What are the differences?

The Apple vs Microsoft rivalry continues, with the freshly unveiled Surface Pro X looking to take on the iPad Pro in the realm of mobile computing. Which is best?

The Microsoft Surface Pro X has just launched, and the question on everyone’s minds is whether or not it can equal or better the top-class mobile computing experience offered by Apple’s iPad Pro. If you’re looking to hit that sweet spot between high-performing tablet and all-out laptop, which should you plump for?

In this article, we’ll compare the two devices.

Related: Best tablets

Surface Pro X vs iPad Pro — Specs and features

The Microsoft Surface Pro X runs on a custom Surface SQ1 chip made in association with Qualcomm. The first ARM-based processor on a Surface device, it runs at 7W, whereas most ARM processors run at 2W. Microsoft claims it can deliver three times more performance per watt than the Surface Pro 6. We’ll have to spend time using the device before jumping to conclusions about its real-world performance.

The iPad Pro has an A12X Bionic chip, and it’s the most powerful tablet we’ve ever reviewed. After performing very intensive tasks such as editing 4K video, we found no noticeable lag or slowdown whatsoever. All the games we tried from the App Store run very well, even though none of the available games demand the same performance levels as a console.

Surface Pro X vs iPad Pro — Design and display

The Microsoft Surface Pro X has a screen measuring 13 inches with a 2880 x 1920 resolution, significantly larger than the 12-inch display of the previous Microsoft Surface Pro. It weighs 768g, and it’s just 5.3mm thin. Fortunately this version features a USB-C port, along with fast-charging.

The iPad Pro is available in two sizes: 11-inches and 12.9-inches – the former weighs 468g, and the latter weighs 631g. The harsh edges and flat back appeared to be a rejection of traditional Apple design, but we found it proof that Apple still leads the way when it comes to industrial design.

The screen’s incredible 120Hz refresh rate ensures for super-smooth scrolling, and the Liquid Retina resolution packed in a pixel density of 264 ppi. It will be hard for the Surface Pro X to compete with such a compelling display and design.

Surface Pro X vs iPad Pro — Price

The Microsoft Surface Pro X has a starting price of $999, and is available for pre-order now.

The iPad Pro has a starting price of £769/$799 for the 11-inch variant, and £969/$999 for the 12.9-inch version (making it the most expensive iPad to date). The top-of-the-line 12.9-inch, 1TB model costs a whopping £1869/$1899.

Surface Pro X vs iPad Pro — Early Verdict

At the moment, details on the Surface Pro X are just too thin on the ground to make a definitive judgement call.

We know the iPad Pro to be an excellent device, and if pressed, we’d give it the early lead – but we’re just going to have to wait and see whether the Microsoft Surface Pro will measure up. But a key point of contention will obviously be if you prefer your operating system to be Windows or iPadOS.

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