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Microsoft Surface Pro 9 vs Apple iPad Pro: Which wins out?

Microsoft has just launched multiple new laptops, including an upgrade to the Surface Pro series. But how does the latest Surface Pro 9 compare to the other popular 2-in-1 on the market, the Apple iPad Pro?

Read on to find out all of the key differences between these devices so you can see which is the best for you.

M1 chip vs Intel Core processors

Microsoft has confirmed the Surface Pro 9 will feature 12th-generation Intel Core processors, with the choice between an i5 and i7 U-Series CPU. This should provide a speedy performance and should be ideal for productivity tasks like browsing the web and essay writing.

5G support is also included, although it is exclusive to the Microsoft SQ3 processor, which will have a slower performance than Intel, but a superior battery life.

Apple, meanwhile, has moved away from third-party processors and has started including Apple Silicon chips in its devices over the last few years. The iPad Pro features the Apple M1 chip, which is made up of 8-CPU cores and 8-GPU cores, as well as a 16-core Neural Engine.

The Surface Pro 9 in some grass
Image Credit (Microsoft)

The Surface Pro 9 is more of a laptop than the iPad Pro

While the iPad Pro can be paired with a supported keyboard and used as a laptop, is it definitely marketed and intended to be used like a tablet. This does not mean that it cannot be used like a clamshell laptop, and the M1 chip will keep it running smoothly during various productivity and graphical tasks.

However, the Surface Pro 9 is marketed as a laptop, despite the fact that Microsoft has not bundled it with the Type Cover keyboard. This is due to the Windows 11 interface, which is better optimised for use with a mouse opposed to touch input.

Windows 11 vs iPad OS

The latest Surface Pro 9 comes with Windows 11 installed, meaning that you get the benefits of the new modern interface and convenient features like Snap Layouts and Widgets. This also means that it supports Windows software like Word and PowerPoint, which is ideal for anyone who works in an office or who is still in education.

Meanwhile, the iPad Pro runs on Apple’s own iPad OS, with this model coming with iPad OS 15. The fact that the iPad runs on iOS means that you are limited to the Apple App Store.

However, iPad OS is built specifically with tablets in mind, meaning that navigating and using the iPad Pro as a tablet may feel more seamless than using the Surface Pro 9. While we can’t determine how easy it will be to use the Surface Pro 9 as a tablet until we get it in for a review, we expect that it won’t feel as fluid as the iPad Pro when in tablet mode.

iPad Pro 2021 showing the homescreen
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Surface Pro 9 comes with a better battery

We haven’t been able to test the battery life of the Surface Pro 9 yet, but Microsoft claims that it can last up to 15.5 hours during typical usage, with the 5G variation coming in with a 19-hour battery life.

This will massively outpace the iPad Pro, which has up to 10 hours of battery during typical use. During our testing, we noted that watching Netflix for an hour drained the battery of the iPad Pro by around 8%.

We’ll make sure to test out the battery of the Surface Pro 9 once we get it in for review.

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