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Enterprise tablet wars: Galaxy TabPro S vs. Surface Pro 4

Sarah K. White | April 18, 2016
If you’re looking for a hybrid device that shines in the enterprise, Microsoft and Samsung both offer high-end Windows 10 tablets. Senior writer Sarah White compares the Surface Pro 4 and the Galaxy Tab Pro S to see which one fits best in business.

It was no surprise when Samsung unveiled its first tablet hybrid, the Galaxy TabPro S. However, the surprise came when Samsung announced it opted to equip the device with Windows 10 instead of Android. It was a smart move by Samsung, firmly placing the Galaxy TabPro S alongside the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. The Surface 4 is the most popular Windows 10 hybrid today, but that could change with Samsung's latest flagship device. But which device is the better enterprise option when you pit them head-to-head?

surface pro 4 
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is the kind of device leading the trend toward detachable tablets, also called 2-in-1s. Many Windows 10 detachables are expected to be launched in 2016. Credit: Microsoft

Design

Both devices feature high-end designs, but the Galaxy TabPro S chassis includes more plastic than the Surface Pro 4, which is all magnesium. But it's important to note that the plastic also lends to the lightweight design and doesn't make the device look cheap. In fact, the Galaxy TabPro S is the more eye-catching device, perhaps only because the Surface Pro 4 looks similar to the versions that came before it, making it less exciting.

The major difference in overall design is apparent when you hold each device in one hand. The Galaxy TabPro S feels more like a tablet -- think the iPad Pro -- while the Surface Pro 4 feels like an entirely different device and is actually a bit cumbersome to use as tablet. If you plan to use the device in tablet mode regularly, you will most likely find the Tab Pro S a more comfortable experience.

Looking at the weight and portability of each device, the TabPro S is lighter than the Surface Pro 4, but not by much. The Surface Pro 4 won't break your back if you throw it in your work bag, but the TabPro S is 26 percent thinner and weighs just over 1.5 pounds, while the Surface Pro 4 weighs just under 1.7 pounds. It doesn't sound like much of a weight difference, but in devices this slim and compact, you can feel the difference when holding the device in one hand.

Winner: This one is a tie, if you want a better tablet experience, go with the TabPro S, but if you want a more traditional notebook experience, you'll want to stick with the Surface Pro 4.

Ports

When it comes to available ports, the Surface Pro 4 really outshines Samsung's Galaxy TabPro S. The Surface Pro 4 comes equipped with a USB 3.0 port, a microSD port and a Mini DisplayPort -- and Microsoft also sells a compact docking station to give you more ports and the capability to connect to multiple displays.

 

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