On Wednesday, Apple has announced its largest and most powerful tablet to date, the iPad Pro. With the addition of an optional keyboard and a digital stylus called "Pencil," the new Apple product is seen as a direct competitor of Microsoft's Surface Pro 3.
During the launch event, the tech giant mentioned that it has partnered with IBM and Cisco to help develop new iPad. With a 10-hour battery life and a processor that is said to be 1.8 times faster than its predecessor, the device is apparently aimed towards business-inclined power users.
In an apparent attempt to counter the Cupertino-based company's move, Microsoft revealed its plan to join forces with Dell to push its Surface Pro devices in the enterprise market. Microsoft CEO Satya Nedalla mentioned in a statement given a day before Apple's September 9 event, "Today's expanded partnership with Dell represents a bold step forward as we marry amazing devices, such as Surface Pro, with enterprise-class service and support."
Dell is an American company known for manufacturing hardware devices and providing technology support to a large enterprise client base. Microsoft's partnership with the said company is similar to what Apple and IBM have agreed to last year.
Microsoft did make an appearance on stage during Apple's keynote but it was software-related as they had just demonstrated their updated Office Apps for the new iOS 9 run by the iPad Pro.
Before diving into hardware specifications, it is important to note that there is one major difference between the two devices. The iPad Pro still runs a mobile-based iOS operating system while the Surface Pro 3 runs a full Windows desktop OS.
Speaking of design, the new iPad follows Apple's minimalist style. Although there is a large 12.9-inch display and four speakers, it still comes with a 6.9mm-thin body and weighs 713g. Microsoft's latest Surface Pro hybrid comes with thicker 9.1mm profile, a smaller 12-inch screen, and weighs slightly heavier at 800g. As many would expect from a product made by Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3 has a more angular, industrial, but more professional-looking design elements.
Apple did not disclose exact details about the iPad Pro's processor. As mentioned, the company did claim that the new 64-bit A9X chipset furnished within is 1.8 times faster than the A8X CPU with twice the storage capacity and memory bandwidth. Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 3 features fourth generation Intel Core which comes with either i3, i5, or i7 processors along with RAM options of up to 8GB.
On the photography department, the newest Apple tablet packs an 8-megapixel iSight camera at the back as well as a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD front camera. Microsoft's tablet-PC model comes with a 5-megapixel rear camera but it has a more powerful 5-megapixel front shooter. Both devices can record 1080p HD quality videos.
Since the two portable tablet computers offer optional physical keyboards and stylus pens, it really boils down to the user's decision on whether to stick with the mobile-focused iOS or the full desktop performance of Windows OS.
Adding to their list of similarities is their asking price. The iPad Pro's and Surface Pro 3's price both start at $799. The latter is already available while the former will begin shipping in November.