“The biggest news in iPad since the iPad,”said Apple Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Tim Cook, after unveiling the newest addition to Apple’s line of tablets, the iPad Pro which features a 5.6 million pixel 12.9 inch display, multi-tasking, and a new 3rd generation Central Processing Unit (CPU), 1.8 times faster than the previous in the iPad air.
This is not a giant version of the current iPad, but rather one of Apple’s first tablet “computer”. The Pro, unique in the way that it supports a dedicated keyboard, a pressure sensitive stylus, it’s outstanding performance with graphics, said to be able to handle 3 channels of 4K video editing simultaneously, something even the Macbook Pro struggles with.
If this sounds like something already on the market, then you’re not crazy. The Pro is meant to be competitive with the Microsoft Surface. Both have a line of “desktop” apps such as the Adobe Suite, Microsoft Office and iMovie. In addition to the software, the Pro also includes a keyboard with a dedicated port, and a stylus, all the features of Microsoft’s Surface.
With a completely new design, also comes with the old and great features of the iPad Air 2, such as the finger print reader, LTE options and a 10 hour long battery. It also carries over the thickness and weight of the iPad air. The Pro is competitive with the earlier iPad air at only 0.02 pounds heavier than the original iPad and 0.8 millimeters thicker than the iPad Air.
So does this kill the Surface? Well, it depends on the user. In the live-stream, there was an extreme emphasis on the Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro’s new $100 stylus. The Pencil is pressure sensitive and very accurate, the iPad refreshes the touch input 10 times faster when the pen is being used, which is an essential feature to the graphic designer and the artist, who need the pinpoint accuracy. The keyboard is, in most ways, similar to the Surface’s Type Cover, they both are somewhat mechanical, light, thin, and durable, but the iPad’s keyboard price is drastically different from the Type Cover. Apple’s Smart Keyboard has a price tag of $170, where the Surface is only $130 retail.
The biggest decider between these two is the operating system. Even though the iPad Pro is running the best version of IOS, which can run the apps from the Adobe suite and the Microsoft office library, it still does not beat the Surface’s Windows 8.1. Remember that IOS 9 is still considered a mobile operating system, you cannot do things like run apps downloaded from the internet, or play a computer game on it, like you can on OS X El Capitan, or Windows. Not to mention that the iPad Pro does not have a standard USB port like the Surface Pro 3.
So does the iPad Pro kill the Surface Pro 3? In many ways no, but the iPad still has a place in the tech world. It’s thin, it’s light and very simple to use, especially with the same operating system that the iPhone 6s will run. For the traveling artist or graphics designer, yes, the iPad Pro kills the Surface Pro 3, especially with it’s extremely accurate stylus and thin profile. For the laptop or desktop monkey, not quite.
Just remember, for this holiday season, there are more than enough choices for a tablet PC.