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iPad Pro vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for business supremacy

Sarah K. White | Feb. 1, 2016
The Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro are both high-end, sleek and powerful hybrid tablets. But when it comes time to get down to business, which device offers the functionality you need?

When it comes to operating systems, it's going to depend on your needs. If you mostly use app-based programs, rather than desktop or Web applications, you'll be better off with the iPad Pro. The Microsoft App Store is notoriously limited in its tablet-based offerings. However, if you don't use apps for business that often, and you find you need web-based applications or desktop applications, definitely go with the Surface Pro 4 since it runs full Windows 10.

By the numbers: specs & price

Apple doesn't offer much in the way of configuration when it comes to its iOS devices. You basically choose from storage options, and that's where it ends. Each model of the iPad Pro has Apple's A9X chip and 4GB of RAM, which is more than enough for basic computing tasks, streaming content and multitasking. For the entry level 32GB model, it will cost you $799, $949 for 128GB model, and $1,079 for the 128GB model with cellular connectivity. Also, it's important to remember the memory on the iPad Pro isn't expandable, so you'll want to go with the right amount of storage for your needs.

The Surface Pro 4 starts at $899 for its most basic configuration, with an Intel Core m3 processor and 4GB of RAM, and for most business users an m3 processor might not be enough juice to get you through the work day. The next step up is the 128GB model with an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM which is more than enough for the average business user and retails for $999. From there, you can go with 256GB of storage and the i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, for $1,299 all the way up to an i7 processor with 16GB of RAM for $1,799. You can even opt to customize the device with different storage, processor and memory options.

When it comes to the specs you can get for the price, the win goes to the Surface Pro 4. Not only can you get more storage for your buck, the device also has expandable storage through the use of a microSD card reader. For business use, that speaks volumes, because storage space can quickly diminish with apps, files, documents and more. It's around a $50 price difference for the 128GB model iPad Pro and the 128GB model Surface Pro 4 with an Intel i5 processor and 4GB of RAM, but that $50 buys you a lot if you are looking for a device for business use.

Conclusion: iPad Pro or Surface Pro 4

Overall, unless you are working in an environment where you focus on design or are entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, you will most likely get the most bang for your buck and productivity out of the Surface Pro 4. While both offer a lot in the way of functionality and portability, the Surface Pro 4 brings more to the table with connectivity and productivity. The capability to use a mouse, connect to multiple displays and have access to the full Windows 10 operating system gives it a slight edge over the competition. Also, when it comes to price, if you're looking for a business focused device over an entertainment device, that extra $50 will get you a lot further with the Surface Pro 4.

 

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