Surface Go vs iPad Pro Best 2-in-1 Laptop Tablet 2020

Tablets are dead. What killed them is the smartphone, and the fact that buying two devices that run the same operating system and can accomplish precisely the same tasks makes no sense. What has replaced tablets are various 2-in-1 devices, such as the Surface Go from Microsoft and the 11-inch iPad Pro from Apple.


At A Glance: Surface Go vs iPad Pro Best 2-in-1 Laptop Tablet 2020


ProductBrandNamePrice
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface GoCheck Price on Amazon
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface Go Type CoverCheck Price on Amazon
AppleApple iPad Pro (11-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space Gray (Latest Model)Check Price on Amazon
AppleApple Smart Keyboard for 10.5 inch iPad ProCheck Price on Amazon

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In this article, we pit the two devices, as mentioned above, against each other to see, which offers the most appealing blend of productivity and portability.

Surface Go vs iPad Pro Best 2-in-1 Laptop Tablet Comparison

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Surface Go vs iPad Pro Design and Build

Many credit the Surface line for singlehandedly saving Windows-based devices. Before Microsoft showed the whole world how to make stunning Windows laptops and tablets, there was no competition for Apple’s well-crafted products.

The Surface Go has a smaller form-factor than the 11-inch iPad Pro, but it weighs slightly more and is noticeably thicker. That’s because it has an integrated kickstand on the back, which allows you to easily stand the device a desk to watch Netflix or angle it just right to achieve comfort when typing on the optional keyboard cover.

The port selection on the iPad Pro is close to the bare minimum as it includes only a USB-C connector and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The Surface Go can offer a USB-C port, a Surface-specific power connector, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot hidden underneath the kickstand.

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Surface Go vs iPad Pro Display

Both the Surface Go and the iPad Pro have very similar displays. The Surface Go has a 10-inch display with a resolution of 1800 × 1200 pixels and 415 nits of brightness. The display can reproduce 129.2 percent of the sRGB color gamut, making it suitable even for color-sensitive work.

The iPad Pro has an 11-inch display with a resolution of 1668 x 2388 pixels. It’s color reproduction is not as great as the Surface Go as it can reproduce only 119 percent of the sRGB color gamut. That said, anything above 100 percent is still fantastic for everyday use.

We should not that one of the neat things that the iPad Pro has going for it is the near bezel-less display. This gives you more screen clarity and allows Apple to keep things sharper looking.

Where iPad’s display trumps the Surface Go is its ability to deal with direct sunlight and reflections caused by indoor lighting. That’s largely because of its superior brightness, but probably also because Apple uses a more effective anti-reflective coating.

Surface Go vs iPad Pro Performance

The base model of the Surface Go with Intel’s Coffee Lake Pentium Gold processor, which targets the budget computer market with performance above the Celeron but below the Core i3 families. You also get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage.

With these specifications, the base model of the Surface Go is meant for casual use only. If you’d like to use heavyweight applications like Photoshop or multitask like a madman, you should go for the premium model, which ups the RAM to 8GB and the storage to a 128GB SSD.

The iPad Pro is available with 64, 256, 512GB, or 1TB of non-expandable internal storage space. Regardless of how many GB of storage space you go with, you will always get 4 GB of RAM and the Apple A12X Bionic chipset.

It has a co-motion processor as well, which is what enables compatibility with the Apple Pencil. It’s able to help track precise movements, which is excellent for drawing, note-taking, and more.

We have never come across an app that didn’t work great on the iPad Pro, and the operating system itself also felt very smooth and responsive. That has certainly a lot to do with the fact that the iPad Pro is a much more limited device because it doesn’t run a full-fledged desktop operating system as the Surface Go does.

Surface Go vs iPad Pro Software

The Surface Go runs the Windows 10 Home operating system in S mode, allowing you to install applications only from the Microsoft Store. In S mode, you can’t also use command-line shells or developer tools, and you don’t have direct access to the Windows Registry either. Apart from these limitations, it’s the same Windows you’re already familiar with, including Windows Hello for facial recognition logins.

With the optional keyboard cover, the Surface Go feels and performs like any regular Windows laptop. For anything from casual multimedia consumption to writing school essays to making video calls with friends and family, the Surface Go is a fantastic choice that delivers a lot of value at an affordable price.

The iPad Pro runs the iOS operating system, which means it’s excellent as a tablet but not so great as a laptop. Even the optional keyboard cover that Apple sells makes you think that productivity isn’t the iPad Pro’s forte. It doesn’t have a trackpad because the iPad Pro doesn’t support any other input methods apart from touch, and it offers only one viewing angle, making extended typing somewhat tedious.

What the iPad Pro does give you, however, is access to a massive ecosystem of well-designed apps, most of which are not available for Windows.

The iPad Pro is set to get a pretty massive upgrade in the form of a free software update. Apple announced that its iPads would be getting upgraded to iPad OS, which will help blur the lines more between a mobile operating system and a laptop setup.

Verdict on Surface Go vs iPad Pro Best 2-in-1 Laptop Tablet Comparison

Microsoft has successfully stirred the waters with the Surface Go, releasing a very appealing 2-in-1 device that has a lot to offer to everyone, from casual users to professionals who want to be more productive while on the go. While the iPad Pro is still a better tablet than the Surface Go, the value offered by the Surface Go is hard to beat.

ProductBrandNamePrice
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface GoCheck Price on Amazon
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface Go Type CoverCheck Price on Amazon
AppleApple iPad Pro (11-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space Gray (Latest Model)Check Price on Amazon
AppleApple Smart Keyboard for 10.5 inch iPad ProCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.