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Microsoft Surface Pro 8 vs iPad Pro (2022): Which Tablet Should You Buy?

The Surface Pro 8 and iPad Pro are the best-in-class tablet offerings from Microsoft and Apple, respectively. Both tablets offer excellent performance when it comes to content consumption, productivity and even light gaming. If you already have a preferred OS, then choosing between the two is easy. However, if you don’t, and you are still on the fence as to which of these two high-end tablets you should choose, we’ll try to help you out by comparing them. To start, here’s a comparison chart that highlights their differences.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 vs iPad Pro Comparison Chart

ModelMicrosoft Surface Pro 8iPad Pro
 
PriceCheck Price Check Price
Size & Weight11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches
1.96lbs
11.05 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches
1.50lbs
Display13 inches PixelSense Flow Display
2880 x 1920
60Hz – 120Hz, Dolby Vision
11 inches Liquid Retina IPS 1668 x 2388 pixels
12.9 inches Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED 2048 x 2732 pixels
120Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Chipset/Processor/GPU11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor
11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 Processor
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Apple M1
RAM & Storage8GB, 16GB, 32GB RAM
512GB or 1TB Storage
MicroSD card slot
128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM, 1TB 16GB RAM, 2TB 16GB RAM
Camera10MP rear facing camera
5MP front facing camera
12 MP & 10MP rear facing camera
12 MP front facing camera
ConnectivityWiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
5G
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Ports2x USB-C 4.0/Thunderbolt 4
3.5mm jack
1x Surface Connect port
Surface Type Cover port
USB-C 3.1
BatteryUp to 9 hoursUp to 10 hours
OSWindows 11 HomeiPadOS 14.5.1
Included AccessoriesPower supplyUSB-C cable
USB-C charger
ColorsGraphite, PlatinumSilver, Space Grey

Design

You get a more functional design with the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 than the iPad Pro.

microsoft surface pro 8 vs ipad pro design
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (left) has a built-in kickstand whereas the iPad Pro (right) needs additional accessories to have this feature.

Both have standard tablet form factors, at least when viewed from the front. The two feature an aluminum chassis for that premium feel and durability. They both have simplistic and modern designs that most people will have no problems with. They have rounded corners, with the Surface Pro 8 also having rounded off edges while the iPad Pro has sharper edges. The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is available in graphite and platinum while the iPad Pro can be had in either silver or space grey colorways.

At the back, the iPad Pro is just as simplistic, having only a camera bump and an Apple logo branding. The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 also has a minimalist design when viewed from the back, but what separates it from other tablets is its built-in kickstand. The kickstand is very handy as you can just prop it up from your desk when watching videos and this completely removes arm fatigue and discomfort.

When it comes to input ports, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 has the edge over the iPad Pro. The former comes with two USB-C 4.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack and a couple of Microsoft proprietary connectors for their accessories. It also has an expansion slot for a microSD card. On the other hand, the Apple iPad Pro only has one USB-C port and a connector for the brand’s keyboards.

Since both are on the larger side, they aren’t the most portable. The 11-inch iPad Pro wins by default here since it’s the smallest model.

Display

The Apple iPad Pro has the better overall display.

microsoft surface pro 8 vs ipad pro display
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (left) has a 13-inch screen while the iPad Pro (right) is available in 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants.

The screens on these tablets are excellent, that said, the iPad Pro has the advantage here due to having a mini-LED display (iPad Pro 12.9-inch variant). It has a resolution of 2048 x 2732 pixels, has a refresh rate of 120Hz and it also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Needless to say, it’s a touch screen.

Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 8 has a “PixelSense Flow” display. It’s a 13-inch screen with a refresh rate of 60Hz to 120Hz and it supports Dolby Vision. The resolution is 2880 x 1920. When compared side-by-side with the Apple iPad Pro, you can see that the iPad Pro’s screen has a higher max brightness and colors pop out more. The Surface Pro 8’s screen is not terrible in any way, however, it’s outmatched by the iPad Pro’s.

Performance

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is better for productivity and gaming while the iPad Pro excels in content consumption and basic everyday tasks.

microsoft surface pro 8 vs ipad pro performance
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 (left) is powered by Intel APUs while the iPad Pro (right) is equipped with Apple’s own M1 chip.

Powered by Intel’s 11th gen Core processors, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is pretty much a laptop in a tablet form factor. Everything that you can do on a laptop or desktop computer, you can also do with the Surface Pro 8. Since it runs on Windows 11, it has an inherent advantage of running full-version desktop apps such as Photoshop as you would on desktops and laptops. Also, gaming on the Surface Pro 8 is also a much better experience due to the number of digital storefronts available.

The iPad Pro runs on Apple’s custom M1 chip. The M1 chip is one of the best processors based on the ARM architecture. When benchmarking, it can outperform the Intel processors on the Surface Pro 8. That said, the iPad Pro runs on iPadOS, which is not as full-fledged as Windows 11. The iPad Pro can only run mobile version of various apps, so it’s not the best for productivity. Also, gaming on the iPad Pro is limited to those that are only available on the App Store. If you are looking for a tablet for productivity and casual gaming, the Surface Pro 8 is the better option.

For content consumption, checking social media and other basic tasks, you can’t go wrong with either, but we are leaning towards the iPad Pro here because iPadOS gives you a more streamlined experience.

Both tablets can be used with pens and keyboards, but you’ll have to buy those separately.

Battery Life

The iPad Pro will last longer than the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 when under the same workload.

microsoft surface pro 8 vs ipad pro battery life
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (top) has more ports than the iPad Pro (bottom).

When it comes to battery life, the iPad Pro has the advantage over the Surface Pro 8. The iPad Pro is advertised to last up to a little under 11 hours while the Surface Pro 8’s battery life is around 9 hours. Both tablets reach these advertised battery performance when doing not very demanding tasks such as watching videos, browsing, etc. However, when there’s gaming involved, then you should expect that these tablets will have significantly shorter battery duration.

If battery life is important, the iPad Pro won’t disappoint you.

Check out our iPad Pro vs ASUS ROG Flow Z13 comparison here

Verdict

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is great for casual gaming and productivity while the iPad Pro is excellent for basic tasks, entertainment and content consumption.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Best for productivity and light gaming

iPad Pro

Best for content consumption

If you are looking for a tablet that can double as a productivity and light gaming machine, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 should be your top pick. Since it’s running on Windows 11, you get access to full-version desktop apps for productivity, and you can also access various digital storefronts for games. However, if you just want a powerful tablet for basic use such as checking social media, content consumption and the like, the iPad Pro is the better pick. Running on iPadOS, the iPad Pro will give you a more streamlined experience that’s similar to using your smartphone.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is there a Microsoft Surface Pro 8 LTE model?

Yes, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 LTE versions were launched after the WiFi-only versions.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the Microsoft Surface Pro 8’s size and weight?

Its physical dimensions are 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches and it weighs 1.96lbs.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better, iPad Pro or Windows Surface Pro 8?

It depends on your use-case. For productivity and gaming, the Surface Pro 8 is better due to running on Windows. For everyday tablet tasks, web browsing and content consumption, the iPad Pro with its iPadOS will give you a more streamlined experience.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can I install Windows on iPad Pro?

No, you can’t install Windows on the iPad Pro.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.