Surface Pro 8 vs. iPad Pro: Which powerful tablet is best

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You might be wondering how the Surface Pro 8 compares to Apple’s latest and finest iPad Pro, which was just launched. Both of these gadgets can be used as tablets or as computers with a keyboard. With small bezels, the screens are likewise similar.

Despite this, there are other significant differences between the two, like the kickstand on the Surface Pro, the Windows and iPad OS operating systems, and more. We’re here to show you what sets these two gadgets apart.

Design

The iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 8 are nearly identical in terms of design, with a few exceptions. Both devices are built of aluminum and have a huge, immersive display. The iPad has a 12.9-inch screen, whereas the Surface Pro 8 has a 13-inch screen.

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It’s worth noting that Microsoft finally reduced the bezels on its screens this year, allowing the Pro 8’s display to be larger. Microsoft claims it has reduced down the device’s bezels on all sides, allowing it to cram in a display that is 11% larger than the Surface Pro 7. In addition, the screen is 12.5 percent brighter than its predecessor. This puts it on par with the iPad Pro.

The iPad Pro has significantly higher vertical pixels on paper. It has a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels, or around 264 pixels per inch (PPI). The Surface Pro 8 has a resolution of 2880 x 1920 pixels and a pixel density of 267 pixels per inch. Most people will hardly notice the difference, but the Pro 8 has a slightly higher pixel density than the iPad. The iPad can also reach 600 nits of brightness, whilst the Surface can only reach 500. The screen on the Pro 8 is brighter.

The refresh rates are also worth noting. A new 120Hz refresh rate display is available on the Surface Pro 8. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, boasts a “ProMotion” screen. It’s the same technology that makes screen movements smoother, but Apple calls it something else. This is advantageous for both web browsing and inking.

When inking with the Surface Slim Pen 2, the Surface Pro 8 has the extra bonus of haptics. Because you can feel the vibrations of the Surface Slim Pen in your hands as you slide it across the screen, inking becomes much more natural. This isn’t available on an iPad with an Apple Pencil.

We must not overlook the kickstand. This is located on the back of the Surface Pro 8, and it allows you to prop the tablet in your lap while using it on a flat surface. Because the iPad Pro lacks a kickstand, you’ll need to buy Apple’s new Magic Keyboard to have that experience. The iPad hovers on top of the keyboard, giving it a more PC-like feel. The keycaps on this keyboard match those on Apple’s Macbooks. It’ll set you back $300 more, just like the Surface Type Cover.

This year, Microsoft modified its Type Cover accessories, allowing you to store and recharge the Surface Slim Pen 2. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, has the pen housed at the top of the screen.

Performance

Apple’s Custom M1 CPU is found behind the hood of the iPad Pro. Intel’s latest 11th-generation Tiger Lake processors are found on the Surface Pro 8. Apple’s processor uses the ARM architecture, but Microsoft’s does not.

You must get the Surface Pro X if you want a Microsoft computer with an ARM processor. In our iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro X comparison, we discussed those technological differences and delved deeper into the M1 chip’s speeds.

iPads should feel speedy and fast thanks to Apple’s M1 processor. However, don’t be fooled by this; you’ll still be dealing with mobile apps. Many iPad apps haven’t yet been optimized for the M1 processor’s capabilities, and Apple hasn’t yet migrated Mac software to the iPad. As a result, the M1 iPad Pro is far over powerful for its intended purpose.

We’ll remind you that Surface Pro 8 devices have Intel quad-core CPUs, which means that, owing to Windows 11, they’re pretty much full-fledged computers.

You can still play light games and do some picture and video editing if you go with the entry-level Surface Pro 8 with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor. Intel’s Iris Plus graphics have improved, and the Core i7 enhances that performance even further. On the Surface Pro 8, you can run complete desktop software like Photoshop without any issues, and you won’t have to worry about the iPad Pro’s mobile-first optimizations.

Portability

When it comes to portability, the Surface Pro 8 and the iPad Pro are quite close. The iPad Pro is 1.5 pounds and is 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches. The Surface Pro 8 is 1.96 pounds and is 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches. This makes the iPad Pro somewhat slimmer and lighter, but most users won’t feel the change.

Let’s talk about ports now. A single Thunderbolt 4 USB 4 port is available on the iPad Pro. Because it’s the device’s lone port, the Surface Pro 8 will outperform it. Two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port are included in the Pro 8. This year’s Surface includes Thunderbolt 4, which allows for speedier data transfers, external GPUs, and dual-monitor capability. The Surface has more ports than the iPad, but both devices will require a dongle.

The verdict is in.

We won’t be able to make a definitive recommendation until the Surface Pro 8 has been thoroughly examined.

However, for the first time in a long time, the parallel feels near. As a laptop replacement, the iPad Pro continues to improve, while the Surface Pro 8 is now starting to feel like a proper tablet. Android apps, on the other hand, are still in the works for a future upgrade of Windows 11, leaving a mobile app gap.

On the pro side of things, the iPad Pro suffers the same issue. While design and drawing programs like ProCreate continue to be dominant, the Surface Pro 8’s versatility as a genuine Windows laptop replacement remains appealing.

Right now, the iPad Pro is the only option available. We will, however, update this post with a more firm recommendation.

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