Surface Pro 8 vs iPad Pro: Which Makes The Best 2-in-1?

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and Apple iPad Pro have several things in common. From touchscreens to connectable keyboards and pens. These features make them perfect 2-in-1 devices (laptop and tablet).

However, once you delve deeper into each, it becomes clear that these two devices are for different people:

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One system is for business-centered people who need something that will be great for multi-tasking and carrying out professional-level work on the go:

While the other system is built for consumers who want to enjoy high-quality entertainment content, wherever they may be.

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So, what is the best 2-in-1 option for you? Find out below:

Surface Pro 8 vs iPad Pro: On-Paper Specifications

iPad Pro:

  • Starting price: $999   
  • OS: iPadOS       
  • CPU: M1 (16-core)     
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 
  • Display: 12.9 inches (2732 x 2048 pixels) mini-LED        
  • Cameras: 12MP TrueDepth (front), 12MP wide + 10-MP ultra-wide (rear) 
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, optional 5G      
  • Battery life (Advertised): 10 hours 48 minutes        
  • Size: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches  
  • Weight: 1.51 pounds

Find out more about the iPad Pro with M1 CPU at Walmart.

Surface Pro 8:

  • Starting price: $899
  • OS: Windows 11
  • CPU: Intel i5-1135G7 | Intel i7-1185G7
  • Storage: 512GB | 1TB (128GB or 256GB removable SSD options)
  • Display: 13-inch screen (2880 x 1920)
  • Cameras: 5MP (front), 10MP (back)
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1
  • Battery life (Advertised): 9 hours 6 minutes
  • Size: 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches
  • Weight: 1.96 pounds

Find out more about the Surface Pro 8 at Walmart.

Design

The Surface Pro 8 features a built-in kickstand, perfect for those moments when you don’t want to be holding the device, or positioning it face-up:

However, if you buy the keyboard periphery for the iPad Pro, there is a kickstand. So, this feature is mute if you are planning to use either device in a 2-in-1 setup.

The iPad Pro is lighter, thinner, and more minimalistic. However, none of those elements really make it stand out against the Surface Pro 8. Although, the weight difference is noticeable.

The question is, what has the better design? For us, it is a draw and will come down to your personal preference.

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Surface Pro 8 vs iPad Pro
Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns / Wiki Commons

Performance

Under the hood of the iPad Pro, you’ll find Apple’s custom-designed M1 Processor. On the inside of the Surface Pro 8, you’ll find Intel’s latest 11th-generation Tiger Lake Processors:

Apple uses ARM64 architecture governing their CPUs, but Microsoft does not. This can make a difference in how Apps perform, especially if they are not built with ARM64 in mind.

The Surface Pro 8 boasts up to a Core i7 processor and Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics if you can manage to shell out the extra cash. This allows you to do things such as video editing and gaming. Yet, if you can spend $3,000 on a tablet, you are better off buying a high-end gaming laptop.

The big advantage with the Surface is that you don’t have to worry about tablet optimization issues that make it difficult for full desktop apps such as Photoshop to run smoothly. The Surface 8 can do it without issue.

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The M1 chip that comes with the iPad Pro is power efficient and delivers snappy performance. But don’t let this fool you into thinking that there aren’t a few problems associated with using this device.

Many apps aren’t yet optimized for the power of the M1 processor, which can make them feel sluggish or unresponsive:

However, there is no denying Apple’s M1 chip is powerful, capable of topping the Surface Pro when Apps have been optimized.

In our opinion, the iPad Air has a superior screen, superior visuals, and sound. So, if you plan to be watching, listening, or playing games, the iPad Air is the way to go.

Whereas, if you want a device that is suited to productivity, the Surface Pro 8, mainly because of Windows 11, is the better option.

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Portability

The iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 8 are both very similar when it comes to being portable. The iPad Pro is 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches in size and weighs 1.5 pounds.

Whereas, the Surface Pro 8 measures 11.3  x 8.2  x 0.37 inches and weighs 1.96 pounds (which are measurements that are practically almost identical).

Let’s talk about the ports for a second. The iPad Pro has a single Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port, which is the only port on the device, but you get a couple of different ports with the Surface Pro 8.

You get two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack and the Surface connect port.

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Conclusion

The iPad Pro continues to be the best tablet on the market today. However, Microsoft has made some serious progress with their Surface Pro line-up, and when considering the Surface Pro 8 as a 2-in-1, it comes out on top over Apple’s iPad Pro.

There is still much room for improvement with Windows 11, but you can now run apps side by side, instead of just in split-screen mode and Android Apps are coming to the OS soon.

All of this makes the Surface Pro 8 perfect for productivity and that is key when it comes to which is the better Pro tablet for a 2-in-1 setup, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 comes out on top.