Which tablet is suitable for the enterprise: Apple iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface Pro 4?

The IT department might scoff at the prices these days for mobile devices. Gone are the days for buying sturdy Toshiba rough book laptops. Today, employees demand as much freedom as computing devices offer. At the high end, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Apple’s iPad Pro are the two types of computing tablets available today.

An iPad Pro starts at $1,049 in Canada. Add a “pencil,” keyboard, and Smart cover and pick the top end model, and the subtotal rises to $1,862. Conversely, a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 starts at $1,179. Add a Type Cover (keyboard cover), pick the top end device powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and the price jumps to $2,270.


Enterprise workers might want the best multimedia experience possible. The iPad Pro has four speakers. Its processor is faster than that offered on regular iPads. The “Pencil” has no latency (at least not enough for the user to notice) and charges in just 15 seconds. This charge gives the pencil 30 minutes of usage.

Unfortunately, users will need to also consider a MacBook over the iPad Pro, when using pricing as a comparable. On its own, the Pro is used best for consuming multimedia content. Once the keyboard is added to the order, the usability is not much different from that of a MacBook.

IT departments that support a PC environment will favour the Surface Pro 4 over a Mac solution. Microsoft also sells a docking station that fits in a small box, minimizing desk space usage. Microsoft’s tablet is just as big and heavy as Apple’s tablet. This means users will not likely hold the Surface as a tablet for too long a period.

Surface docking station

The Surface Pro 4’s keyboard also has an edge over Apple’s, according to this review. The Surface also has an edge over the iPad Pro for browser supportability. Chrome and all the extensions work well in a Microsoft environment. When the Google Chrome browser is used on an iPad, users are forced to find workarounds.

Bottom line

Apple’s iPad Pro excels as a tool for digital artists. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is most suitable for businesses reliant on compatibility with an existing Windows-based environment. Office applications work better in a Surface Pro. This is not surprising, since Microsoft’s Office and Office 365 is designed primarily for a Windows machine.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at product launch
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at product launch

Another downside for the iPad Pro is its operating system. With its power, size, and cost, Apple should have designed the device to run OS X, not iOS 9, which is optimized for iPhone and iPad.


Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Chris Lau
Chris Lauhttp://seekingalpha.com/author/chris-lau/articles
In search for alpha. Telecom, media, technology. Social media. Financial Markets. Real-Estate Agent. Seeking Alpha Contributor. Toronto, Ontario · bit.ly/uaDXCc

Featured Download

IT World Canada in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Latest Blogs

Senior Contributor Spotlight