Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro – Review Guide

Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Review Guide
Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro – Review Guide

There are a lot of lovers of ultra-portable tablets which are the center of technology use for them. In the market of 2 in 1 tablet the biggest name comes out to be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The iPad has been the ruler of the market since the first release as it was a great break-through in the computer market. The iPad has maintained it’s standard and quality throughout all these years and still it is the big player in the market.

Now, the recently revealed Surface Pro X by Microsoft seems to be the sole competitor giving a tough time to the iPad Pro. Surface Pro X is an always-connected tablet with some excellent features.

In this article, we have provided a broad analysis and comparison of the two big players in the tablet market so, that you can make a better choice when buying one.

Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro




You are going to get a modern tablet with a giant display surrounded by slim bezels, all packed in a thin and lightweight frame with either the Surface Pro X or the iPad Pro.

While the Surface Pro X technically has slimmer side bezels, the top and bottom bezels are wider. On the other hand, the iPad Pro’s bezels, are uniformly spaced around the screen, giving the package more balance and symmetry than the Surface Pro X. The iPad Pro has slightly flatter edges, while the Surface Pro X’s edges have a bit of a curve to them.

Around the back, the Surface Pro X’s camera is centered, while the iPad Pro’s is in the top left corner while both support a single camera lens. One more thing to notice is that the Surface includes its trademark kickstand that blends into the bottom half of the tablet when not in use.

As for the weight, the iPad is a bit lighter than Surface Pro X.

Winner: iPad Pro


Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Review Guide
Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro – Review Guide

Screen Size:

  • iPad Pro: 12.9-inch
  • Surface Pro X: 23-inch

Screen Resolution:

  • iPad Pro: 2732×2048, 264ppi
  • Surface Pro X: 2880×1920, 267ppi

Both displays feature a P3 wide color gamut, but the iPad is significantly brighter at 600 nits versus the Surface’s 450 nits. On the other hand, both tablets have a 3:2 display ratio rather than 16:9.

The Surface Pro X’s display is ever so slightly bigger than the iPad Pro. Resolution-wise, the two displays are very similar.

However, the main difference between them is greater than a few pixels and a tenth of an inch.

Surface Pro X uses the following technology:

  • Microsoft’s PixelSense Display: It also adapts to lighting, but has a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

The display of iPad Pro features two distinctive Apple technologies:

  • True Tone: It adapts the display’s color temperature based on ambient light.
  • ProMotion: It can adjust the refresh rate up to 120Hz to be more responsive to touch or stylus input.

Also, the display of iPad Pro has rounded corners that match the device and give the bezels and the screen a seamless flow.

Winner: iPad Pro

Performance and Specs

Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Review Guide
Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro – Review Guide


  • iPad Pro: A12 Bionic
  • Surface Pro X: SQ1


  • iPad Pro: 4 GB
  • Surface Pro X: 8 GB or 16 GB

As for the iPad Pro, it runs an ARM-based processor known as the A12 Bionic. It comes with a 64-bit ARMv8 octa-core CPU and a dedicated neural engine that runs five trillion operations per second. A12 Bionic is a generation behind the newer A13 in the iPhone 11 but still, it has plenty of capability.

All the previous and current versions of Microsoft Surface come with an Intel processor but for the Surface Pro X Microsoft has done a different thing. Instead of Intel, it has the SQ1 processor that Microsoft co-designed with Qualcomm. It is a custom Snapdragon 8cx-based processor. The 3GHz SQ1 has 8 cores and 2 teraflops of graphics power. An important thing to notice is that Qualcomm has released some preliminary benchmarks on the Snapdragon 8cx but the SQ1 variant is unknown and untested. On the other hand, it is also based on ARM, which could cause issues with some Windows apps on the deivce.

The iPad Pro has 4GB of RAM but the Surface comes with either 8GB or 16GB, depending on your configuration. That is a PC-level of memory that straight away beats the iPad Pro. Because the Surface Pro X is a full-fledged Windows machine, it comes with way more RAM than the iPad.

You will need to pay a $150 premium with the iPad Pro for LTE whereas the Surface Pro X also comes with LTE in every configuration.

Winner: Surface Pro X

OS and Apps

Surface devices run Windows 10 and the iPad runs iOS known as iPadOS as of the latest release. As for PC’s the OS difference is well known for both Apple and Microsoft but its far more greater when it comes to tablets.

Right now iPad has more apps to offer because Surface Pro X has been shifted to an ARM processor and some old Windows apps aren’t going to work. Here, 32-bit apps will run just fine, but on the other hand, developers who run 64-bit apps are going to need to retool them for the new architecture which will take time.

The iPad Pro may have more apps at the start, the potential is far greater for the Surface Pro X. For example, Adobe has announced that it will be bringing its Creative Cloud apps to the Surface Pro X “as soon as possible,” beginning with the Fresno drawing app that recently landed on the iPad platform. Obviously, Microsoft’s Office 365 Suite will be fully optimized and ready to roll, as will many others, including Chrome and Firefox.

So for now, the iPad Pro has the edge, but that could change in the near future.

Winner: iPad Pro


Twice as much as the iPad Pro base model the Surface Pro X model starts at 128GB. Both offer 256GB and 512GB options, while the iPad Pro goes all the way up to 1TB.

You can also actually swap out the drive on the Surface Pro X for a different one. An option that isn’t available with the iPad.

Winner: Surface Pro X


Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Review Guide
Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro – Review Guide

iPad Pro:

  • USB-C
  • Smart Connector
  • nano SIM

Surface Pro X:

  • 2 USB-C ports
  • The Surface Keyboard connector port
  • Surface Connect port
  • nano SIM

Other than the respective keyboards, USB-C is your only choice for connecting peripherals. You can forget about the headphone jack on both as well. You’ll need either a dongle, or Bluetooth headphones, or USB-C.

You’ll need to carry the Surface Connector for reliable power because the Surface Pro X doesn’t use its USB-C port for charging. While a USB-C charger will presumably fill up your tablet if you plug one in.

Winner: Surface Pro X

Rear Camera

Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Review Guide
Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro – Review Guide

Camera Specs:

  • iPad Pro: 12MP, f/1.8, with 1080p HD and 4K video
  • Surface Pro X: 10MP with 1080p HD and 4K video

Tablets are not known for a photography friendly tech device because of their relatively larger size. You do have hands large enough to handle it.

As for the comparison, the iPad’s sensor is technically better.

Winner: iPad Pro


Both tablets use their front cameras for 3D facial scanning using an IR blaster and a camera to create a 3D model of your face. It is authenticated each time you unlock your device or access a site with a password.

It’s fast, it’s easy and, most importantly, it’s even more secure than a fingerprint sensor.

Front camera Specs:

  • iPad Pro: 7MP
  • Surface Pro X: 5MP

On the Surface Pro X, the facial recognition system is called Windows Hello, while Apple calls it Face ID on the iPad Pro. But basically, both are the same.

Winner: Tie

Battery life

Both companies didn’t unveil the actual size of the batteries embedded inside the tablets but different teardowns show some information about batteries.

Apple estimates the battery will get you up to 10 hours of time with surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching a video, or listening to music. The teardowns show that Apple is very much right about that. As for the power the iPad Pro is somewhere around 9,720mAh found in teardowns.

On the other hand, Microsoft says that the Surface Pro X will get 13 hours with the typical device usage. But the estimates are based on 150-nit brightness, which is probably lower than what most people set their brightness e-g 200-nit brightness.

Winner: It remains to be decided because of the lack of proper information for battery life in both devices.


Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro - Review Guide
Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro X vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro – Review Guide

Both the tablets have accessories that turn them into pseudo-laptops because these are both classified as 2-in-1 devices.


  • Apple’s Smart Keyboard: $ 199
  • Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard: $ 140

The iPad Pro relies solely on touch, even with the keyboard attached. On the other hand, the Surface Pro X Signature keyboard, which has a special charging dock for the Slim Pen also includes a trackpad for controlling a cursor.


  • Apple’s second-generation Pencil: $ 129
  • Surface Slim Pen: $ 145

While the Apple Pencil is more of a drawing tool the Surface Slim Pen has some exciting and neat Office controls. Apple’s second-generation Pencil offers magnetic charging and storage on the iPad itself. The Surface Slim Pen, which is available separately, can charge via USB-C with an included charging base, or charge wirelessly when nested upon the Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard.

Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard and the Slim Pen are also available in a bundle for $ 270.


Both the iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro X comes with a four-figure price no matter what model or specifications you choose. They are too far away from cheap. So, you will need to have your pocket ready for lighting up. Following are the detailed prices for different versions:

iPad Pro:

  • 4GB/64GB: $ 999
  • 4GB/256GB: $ 1,149
  • 4GB/512GB: $ 1,349
  • 4GB/1TB: $ 1,549

Surface Pro X:

  • 8GB/128GB: $ 999
  • 8GB/256GB: $ 1,299
  • 16GB/256GB: $ 1,499
  • 16GB/512GB: $ 1,799

The Surface Pro X includes LTE connectivity in its basic price but Apple charges an extra $150 for that. The Surface pricing is better in the low spec models, but the high spec iPad with twice the storage of Surface is $100 less than the Surface which is a great advantage to consider.

Note that these prices don’t include the keyboard or pen, you have to pay separately for them.

Final Word

As for the conclusion, it is up to you to decide what specialties you want in a tablet and then choose. The iPad Pro has a slight edge over the Surface Pro X right now. But as time passes and Surface Pro X gets its software functionalities fully ready the tech community will give a decisive conclusion.

Stay Tuned to TechDetects for more interesting updates related to SmartWatches, Smart Phones and Laptops.