Thursday, September 10, 2015

When is a Surface not a Surface? When it's an ...

The biggest news, in every sense of the word, at the Apple Event yesterday was the announcement of the iPad Pro. This device is a natural evolution of the iPad, and a logical direction for tablets - and sadly it seems it is also Apple's attempt to simply catch up to Microsoft instead of wildly leaping ahead. However, now people who want a powerful "refrigerator-toaster" running on Apple's iOS rather than Windows 10 have a beautiful piece of hardware to get excited about.

But.... you have to notice that the starting price point of the iPad Pro matches the starting price of a Surface Pro 3 at $799. And at that price point you get 64GB of internal storage on the Surface Pro 3 rather than 32GB (!!) on the iPad Pro!  (Microsoft 1, Apple 0)

I haven't seen specs on the Apple processor (yet?), but the $799 Surface also comes with a last year's 4th Generation Intel i3 (i5 and i7 versions available, both still  with 4th generation chips, though) rather than the A9x from Apple. I'll call this one a tie, since the A9x is a newer chip (ok, newer does not always equal better, I know. But it's my post so I get to decide the score).

The resolution of the Apple screen is significantly higher than that of the Surface Pro 3, at 2,732 x 2,048 pixels vs 2160 x 1440p.  This one goes to Apple.

The Surface Pro 3 is starts at 4GB of RAM but is available with up to 8GB. While I'm sure Apple is not talking about it, it looks like Adobe posted (and since removed) that there is 4GB of RAM on the iPad Pro model (quickly ending speculation of there only being 2GB of RAM like on the iPad Air). Presuming that RAM is a fixed amount regardless of model version of the iPad Pro, I guess more RAM is good, so this one goes to Microsoft.

So with my extremely simple scoring technique, it is a tie (2 each)! Probably as it should be. If you want a Windows device, just go get a Surface Pro 3. If you want an elegant, powerful, user friendly Apple device, pick up an iPad Pro. There. That was easy.

If only the iPad Pro ran MacOS instead of iOS, I might be in line waiting for it to hit the retail shelves. As it is, I'll stand on the sidelines and see how it does for a while, still waiving my Apple flag and wearing my Apple t-shirt. "Go Apple". I hope.

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