iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

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Buster65
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iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by Buster65 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:32 pm

I'm deciding between the iPad or a Surface. I want a tablet with a stylus. I will use for Lightroom editing (photography), digital drawing, reading and email. Would like to know what Bogleheads prefer.

Thanks

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yatesd
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by yatesd » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:57 pm

This article looks pretty balanced.
https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/appl ... face-pro-6

iPad Pro for performance, small bezel, size
Surface Pro for keyboard, office, compatibility

Seems like they are both decent options...may come down to which one offers the actual best overall price once configured.

Starfish
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by Starfish » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:59 pm

Surface 6 does not come with Windows 10 Pro anymore, in case you care.

Fintechnick
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by Fintechnick » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:08 pm

Longtime iPad Pro user here (in addition to Mac). I just upgraded to the new 2018 iPad Pro. For the uses you described (photography, drawing, email, browsing, reading), it's great.

For photography I gave up on Lightroom quite a while ago and moved to Apple Photos. There is a nice universe of plug-ins that support more advanced editing; look at Polarr, PhotoFox, etc. Pixelmator and Affinity Photos are also both excellent on iPad and have Mac versions too. Those are more similar to Photoshop than Lightroom in concept. Supposedly Adobe is coming out with an "improved" version of Lightroom for iPad next year but we don't know when or how good it would be. In any case I have found that the Apple Photos w/ plug-ins approach is more than adequate for anything I want to do.

For drawing, you'll find a number of excellent apps for iPad as well. I'm not an artist so I won't recommend any.

The iPad Pro works much better as a "real" tablet than a Surface. So for reading, media consumption etc, it's a stronger choice. It's also a great machine for email.

In total, I use the iPad pro as my around the house and travel machine for about 80-90% of things. For things that I can't do on iPad, I have a desktop set-up in my home office. I find there are fewer and fewer things that I "have" to do on the desktop rig, mostly related to corporate work (Excel and PowerPoint in particular).

If you depend on having the desktop versions of Office, to do advanced Excel modeling for example, the Surface (or a Mac) is a better choice.

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yatesd
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by yatesd » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:19 am

I'm a huge fan of Lightroom and even though I'm not in the market for a tablet this question had me looking at a few reviews...maybe I was bored. ;-)

Anyway, our family has a Macbook Pro and a Microsoft Surface Book II so I'd like to think I'm not too biased toward either ecosystem.

From reading a few reviews...I've seen two consistent themes.

- iPad Pro is extremely powerful
- It is not a laptop replacement (OS, no backlight for keyboard, no trackpad, etc.)

I think the second point would give me the most pause...it really depends how you work

onourway
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by onourway » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:32 am

If Lightroom on the iPad is suitable for what you want to do, I would lean towards the iPad. It’s a much much better tablet device than the Surface, and the Pencil is significantly better than the Surface Pen. The Surface is essentially an awkward laptop that is a really mediocre tablet. The iPad is an awesome tablet with some frustrating limitations. Depending on exactly how you will use the iPad, you may or may not find that problematic.

Jags4186
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:14 am

I’ve used an iPad as my main computing device for 3 years now. I recently upgraded to the 12.9” iPad Pro. I’ll give pros and cons:

Pros:

Huge screen (much larger than the 13.3” screens on laptops. This is due to the 4:3 aspect ratio. I would venture to say the screen is 30% larger than the screen on my wife’s Dell XPS 13 (awesome computer BTW).

Most decent iOS apps are more polished than the Windows or Android counterparts. It’s a nicer experience.

Incredible responsiveness, have yet to bog this thing down. I can’t get over how fast this thing is.

Cataloging paper documents is a snap (take a photo within Notes app, it converts it to a scanned document, save wherever you keep those types of documents).

Cons:

Biggest con (and this has affected other iPads I’ve had) is that typing on this thing blows. Not because the Smart Keyboard or any other 3rd party keyboard is bad, but because the cursor keeps disappearing. As I type this message I have no cursor. It makes editing text miserable. I deal with it with hopes a fix comes through. It could be a deal breaker for many.

You can do pretty much everything a traditional computer can do, but your workflow will be different. Only you can decide if it’s worth it to change everything you do. A typical example is having the web browser open on the left 3/4 of your screen, and instant message program on the top right, and say either a calculator or other widget open on the bottom right. You can’t do this with an iPad because it doesn’t support windowed programs. You switch back and forth a lot.

Loss of file system. Yes there is a file system on an iPad. No it is not good.

Cost. It is super expensive. I wanted the 12.9” screen as that really is a HUGE difference from the old 9.7” screen I had, but at the end of the day I had to spend $1350 to get this with keyboard and stylus. The 9.7” current gen iPad can be found on sale for $250 without any accessories. It would do everything I need minus the screen size.

So I will repeat what is oft said: the iPad is an excellent device for content consumption, and a mediocre device for content creation. When I need to futz with real word or excel documents I have to use my wife’s laptop. That said, I rarely am futzing with that stuff in my personal life.

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Kenkat
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by Kenkat » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:26 am

I have experienced the disappearing cursor on my iPad Pro. I’ve got to think this is an iOS bug that got introduced with iOS 12 and will be fixed at some point.

I would lean towards the iPad unless you are specifically looking for something that can run Windows. My son has an older Surface tablet for work and it’s closer to a laptop form factor than a tablet. His opinion is that he’d be better off with one of the newer lightweight Windows laptops (i.e., HP EliteBook or Lenovo Yoga) if he wants something to run Windows. The iPad is a much better tablet experience overall.

Gray
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by Gray » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:30 pm

I just bought two new (direct from Apple) 2017 iPad 10.5” Pros 256GB + Cellular as they’re the last generation with a headphone jack, and my family does not like dongles or the charging hassle of Bluetooth. No premium for the latest iPad. These replaced two IPad Airs from several years ago. No keyboard covers for these users, but I did get them the first gen Apple Pencil.

I also bought a Surface Pro 5th Generation with built-in LTE, 8GB RAM 256GB storage. This replaces a Surface 3 with LTE. I have the Microsoft keyboard cover for this.

Each have their key points. The surface pro LTE is for productivity. It’s a full computer that I can take anywhere and use without draining my iphone’s battery for Wi-Fi. I also have a car adapter for it.

The iPad is a content consumption device, with capability to use limited productivity tools. Some will argue, but that’s my take. Yes, there are a ton of excellent apps.

squirm
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by squirm » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:42 pm

I have the surface notebook, you'll like that better than the two you suggested.

Matt62
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by Matt62 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:55 pm

I would say that if this will be your only computer, I'd go for the Surface. If it's additional device for the tasks you mentioned then the iPad seems like the right choice. I have both and neither is best at everything. Just my2cents.

Jags4186
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:02 pm

I think the big issue with the surface is that it isn’t as good a tablet as an iPad and it’s not as good as a dedicated laptop. I would suggest getting an actual thin and light laptop over the surface. XPS13 is a great little machine and if you’re clever about stacking coupons and discounts you can get a near top of the line machine without touchscreen for well under $900. The touch screen adds a significant cost, but you likely can get it down to about $1100 with careful planning.

killjoy2012
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:13 pm

The question you need to answer is whether you want/need full computer functionality, similar to a laptop, but in tablet size form factor. Or if you just want/need an overpowered phone/tablet. I have multiple iPhones and iPads, and while I like them for those consumption uses, neither replaces my PC or laptop for doing real work - be it OS X or Windows. The problem with comparing a Surface Pro to iPad Pro is you're comparing a full PC to a tablet. iOS is limiting as it's a mobile OS. The Surface is full blown Windows.

I really like the hardware engineering of the iPad Pros. However, iOS really limits its usefulness. If the iPad Pro ran OS X, would be a completely different story. But I think very few people really use/need the iPad Pro vs. the standard 2018 iPad given that you're limited to only iOS supported apps and uses.

onourway
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by onourway » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:22 pm

killjoy2012 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:13 pm
The question you need to answer is whether you want/need full computer functionality, similar to a laptop, but in tablet size form factor. Or if you just want/need an overpowered phone/tablet. I have multiple iPhones and iPads, and while I like them for those consumption uses, neither replaces my PC or laptop for doing real work - be it OS X or Windows. The problem with comparing a Surface Pro to iPad Pro is you're comparing a full PC to a tablet. iOS is limiting as it's a mobile OS. The Surface is full blown Windows.

I really like the hardware engineering of the iPad Pros. However, iOS really limits its usefulness. If the iPad Pro ran OS X, would be a completely different story. But I think very few people really use/need the iPad Pro vs. the standard 2018 iPad given that you're limited to only iOS supported apps and uses.
This would be kind of true...if the person asking the question wasn’t specifically asking for device for Lightroom, drawing, reading and email. These all are the iPads’s biggest strengths - and it is far more than an over-powered phone for that use. Depending on exactly what drawing programs one is interested in - it can be a substantially better tool for that kind of ‘real work’ than the Surface Pro.

bondsr4me
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by bondsr4me » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:29 pm

My wife and I each have an iPadPro 10.5” and an SurfacePro4.

IMHO, there is no clear cut winner.
They are both good for what they are designed for.

The iPadPro is a good consumption device.

The Surface Pro is the better productivity device.
I would not even consider trying to work on the multitude of Excel files I used to have to deal with.
Not having a mouse to work with can be a big disadvantage of the iPad Pro.

A complete setup cost of the device itself, a keyboard and pencil gives the cost advantage to the SurfacePro.
Also, another advantage IMHO, is the SP runs more software than the iPadPro which runs apps only.

In the end, it just depends on what you want the machine to do.

02nz
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Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

Post by 02nz » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:06 pm

Both pieces of hardware are very well engineered and made - the best in their class. It really comes down to what you what to do with the software. If you can do the things you need to do in iOS, get the iPad Pro. The hardware is amazing, but for me the software is too limited (e.g., no pointing device) to use as a primary machine, and the keyboard, while decent, is too compromised compared to the Surface Pro's type cover.

I just got the Surface Pro 6 and like it a lot. It does anything a modern Windows PC can, yet it's very light and (because it has no fan) silent. Having used both Surface Pro 3 and 4, I can say Microsoft hit a home run with this design (although the lack of USB-C is disappointing). But if iOS works for you (the uses you describe sound like they do), the iPad Pro is probably the better choice.

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