iPad Pro 10.5" Vs. Surface Pro Gen 5: Which Is Better?

As expected, Apple and Microsoft are once again going head-to-head in competing for consumers who are looking for tablets that can also function like laptops. The Cupertino giant recently launched the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, while the Redmond-based tech company has introduced the all-new Surface Pro Gen 5 to rival the former. The two are expected to hit the market soon, so now is the best time to find out which device is the better pick for you. 


If you are very particular with the specs of the device you are getting, then you should know that the new iPad Pro and new Surface Pro installments vary greatly in this area. The new Apple tablet comes with a 10.5-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display with 1668 x 2224 screen resolution and 265 ppi. 

When it comes to memory, the new iPad Pro comes in 64 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB options. It also has 4GB of RAM that goes well with the powerful A10X Fusion chipset, which makes it a good laptop replacement when talking about speed, according to Forbes. In fact, the device is as fast as a laptop or even faster than most laptop models out there.  

Speaking of camera technology, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro boasts of a 12-megapixel back camera and a 7-megapixel front camera. Both are capable of taking good quality photos.  In addition, for the WiFi + Cellular version, you can easily pop in a SIM card for data. The tablet has four stereo speakers, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, USB 3.0, NFC and a non-removable Li-Ion battery that is capable of running for as long as 10 hours. It's color options are Space Gray, Gold, Rose Gold and Silver. 

On the other hand, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 has a 12-inch IPS PixelSense Display with 2736 x 1824 screen resolution and 267 ppi. For processing power, you get to choose from a range of options between an Intel Kaby Lake Core m3 2.70 GHz processor to a Core i7 4 GHz CPU. RAM options are 4 GB, 8 GB and 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3L. Then for storage, you can choose from 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1TB solid state storage.

This laptop-tablet hybrid has two lenses like the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. There's an 8-megapixel camera at the back and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. It also has USB 3.0, a micro-SD card slot, a Mini DisplayPort and SurfaceConnect charging port, as per iFixIt


The iPad Pro's display features oleophobic coating that makes it invulnerable to smudges by fingerprints. It's True-tone display is also scratch-resistant. The new Apple tablet comes with the very familiar iPad design that the company has been recycling for a couple of years now. The only difference here has to be the noticeably slimmer side bezels that made it possible for the device to have a 78.3 percent screen-to-body ratio.

When talking about the iPad's features, it's hard to miss the TouchID fingerprint sensor that's embedded into the physical Home button on the front. As usual, the biometric tool boosts the security of the device and helps in the verification process required by certain apps and features of the tablet. 

It's also impossible to not mention its operating system when talking about the 10-5-inch iPad Pro. The device comes with iOS version 10.3.2, and you can expect to find a lot of productivity tools and apps that would make your work easier for you. If you spend an additional $159 for the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard, you can definitely turn this tablet into a good typing machine. Unfortunately, this detachable keyboard does not have a trackpad. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft built its Surface Pro line with the intention of bringing customers hybrid devices that can replace both tablets and laptops. It is not surprising then that the Surface Pro Gen 5 is designed to be a full-on laptop replacement. This is provided you bought the $159.99 Type Cover keyboard for the device. 

The Type Cover for the Surface Pro 5 has a trackpad, giving it an advantage over Apple's Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro competition. The portable machine also runs Windows 10, so you are not boxed by the limitations of what applications can do. For this very reason, you can really rely on the Surface Pro 5 to be a solid replacement for laptops. 


Both the 10.5-inch iPad and the Surface Pro 5 are made to attract people who aspire to be very productive. This is where the peripheral pens come in. The new iPad Pro has support for Apple Pencil, the $99 tool that Tim Cook's company claims to have pixel-perfect precision when used in jotting down notes, drafting schematics or even painting a watercolor. The Apple Pencil is also useful in marking up emails and signing documents. 

Microsoft has been bundling its Surface Pro devices with a Surface Pen stylus for years now, but the Redmond giant used a different approach this year. The new Surface Pro 5 does not come with the updated Surface Pen stylus. The company has decided to follow in Apple's footsteps and is now selling the stylus for $99. What's good though is the older model Surface Pen is still available, and it is more affordable than the new version at $60, as pointed out by The Verge.

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts at $649. On the contrary, the Surface Pro 2017's pricing starts at $799. While the latter is pricier, you get more bang for your buck for it delivers the laptop experience almost perfectly. The only downside here is the fact that the tablet-laptop hybrid's kickstand isn't built to be used on the lap. This means you will need a flat surface to place your Surface Pro 2-in-1 device on if you really intend to mimic the clamshell laptop experience. 


It's pretty obvious by now that the Microsoft Surface Pro 5 is the better option if you are looking for a laptop replacement. The 10.5-inch iPad is a remarkable device, but only when you look at it as a tablet. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook proudly showing off the latest iPad installment of the tech company. Photo: Reuters/Stephen Lam


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