Whenever I hear others compare the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet PC to an Apple iPad, I get really annoyed. Granted, they’re not technologically savvy and don’t really understand the differences but it reminds me of the comparisons people would make with the PC vs MAC argument.
Have you ever heard of the phrase about comparing an apple to an orange? It’s not an accurate comparison, right? That’s the same with the Microsoft Surface Pro to an iPad.
The reason this topic came up is that we’ve been requesting approval to replace our office systems with the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet PCs. We currently have desktops and we do work remotely or at other facilities every so often. So, instead of having a desktop and laptop, we can replace both with just one system, the Microsoft Surface Pro.
The IT group has already approved the change. However, one of the directors high up has denied it on numerous occasion stating that it’s like an iPad and not appropriate for work use despite many expert advice that it’s NOT AN IPAD!
When it comes to mobile devices like the Surface tablet and an iPad, many of us in the industry would have certain classifications such as if it’s a consumable type device or an actual productivity device.
Apple iPad and Android tablets
Apple’s iPad and other Android type tablets are consumables. Meaning that they are mostly useful for consuming content rather than creating content. What I mean by this is that the iPad and Android tablet are mostly used for checking your email, browsing the web and streaming movies and audio.
Apple’s iPad and Android tablets are not good when it comes to actual office work related activities. As it is, just trying to type up a nice long email is challenging on these devices. You can forget trying to type up a report, work on excel spreadsheets, or any other office related activity.
For many companies, you’ll most likely have proprietary software that you need installed on your computer for you to use. You won’t be able to install these on an iPad or Android tablet.
Microsoft Surface Pro
The Microsoft Surface Pro is an actual computer in a tablet form, not a consumable tablet. Not only does it have the hardware necessary for a real computer, it’s got a full Windows Operating System that allows you to run any type of business productivity software you’ll ever need.
With just the above statement, how can you still compare and say that the Surface Pro is just another tablet like an iPad?
OK, so there’s actually people that still don’t know the differences.
Over 90% of the businesses all over the world use Windows based computers for their office workers. The rest use Apple Macs. Not iPads, but Macs because these are actual computers and Macs are better at creating graphical content than Windows based machines. But when it comes to everything else, Windows based machines are more compatible with all other productivity software.
From a hardware level, the iPad just doesn’t compare to the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro tablet uses mobile technology that’s used in laptops. The iPad uses lower-end mobile technology because the operating system the iPad and Android tablets use don’t require the level of hardware the Surface Pro uses.
If you were to install the Windows OS on an iPad (which you actually cannot because it’s not a 32/64-bit system), but hypothetically if you can and did, it would run horribly slow.
Apple launched the iPad Pro in 2015 and has been calling the iPad Pro a tablet “computer”. They launched this model to compete against the Surface Pro.
With the iPad Pro tablet, there are apps you can download where you can access a “Virtual” Windows OS to use much of the business productivity software to do actual work. For this type of service, however, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee for the cloud based service with cloud based storage.
If that’s the case and the costs are comparable for the machines, why not just purchase the Microsoft Surface Pro? Why get an iPad Pro and subscribe to a virtual Windows OS when you can get the full Windows experience on the Surface Pro without paying extra?