Notebookcheck Logo

Microsoft compares apples to oranges in a new ad pitting the Surface Pro 7 against the iPad Pro 12.9

Is the Surface Pro 7 "still the better choice?" It depends. (Image via YouTube)
Is the Surface Pro 7 "still the better choice?" It depends. (Image via YouTube)
Microsoft, in an all-out offensive, released a new commercial comparing the Surface Pro 7 to the iPad Pro. While the commercial makes some good points, it omits some key comparisons important to many consumers and overall ignores the categorical differences between the two devices.

Microsoft’s latest ad campaign directly targets Apple, comparing the Cupertino Colossus’ computers against the Surface Pro 7 2-in-1. The latest ad, released today, throws the Surface Pro 7 (SP7) into the arena with the newest iPad Pro for a head-to-head comparison. While the ad raises some good points, it ultimately misses the nuance in comparing device categories.

The 30-second commercial (embedded below) compares the Surface Pro 7 to the iPad Pro in four categories: design, connectivity, power, and price. Obviously, the ad’s conclusion is that the Surface is a better all-around device with a lower price tag. After all, according to the commercial, the SP7 has a built-in kickstand, a keyboard that attaches with a satisfying click (unlike the iPad Pro’s “heavier” keyboard), more ports, and is a “full computer and a tablet.” The end of the commercial points out that the SP7 is significantly cheaper, too, coming in at US$880 versus the iPad Pro’s relatively high cost of $1348.

There are some good points raised by the ad. For one, the SP7’s embedded kickstand is a well-executed and beneficial feature. Additionally, the SP7 has a USB-C port, just like the iPad Pro, but adds a USB-A port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and the proprietary Surface Connect port. Lastly, as a 2-in-1 running Windows 10, the SP7 has a wider use case than the iPad Pro, primarily due to the latter’s comparatively restrictive iPadOS.

However, Microsoft omits some major points of comparison, namely the devices’ displays, battery runtimes, speakers, heat output, and others. The ad also doesn’t go much into detail about the differences in the keyboards, but it is a 30-second commercial, so we can give it the benefit of the doubt.

But ultimately, the ad misses a key point: these are two very different devices. It is literally comparing Apple to oranges.

The iPad Pro doesn’t have the bevy of software that the SP7 does, but it’s not designed to be a “one size fits all” device. Instead, it is made to be an excellent tablet and to be the most powerful option in a specific niche of the computing world. It does this very well.

The SP7 is instead a jack-of-all-trades, trying to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets. Arguably, the SP7 fits neither of these device segments particularly well, especially when compared to similarly priced devices in each category.

That’s not to say the Surface Pro 7 is a bad device. It isn’t. But it’s not a particularly great tablet, which is a description that defines the iPad Pro. The comparison ignores the subtleties present in deciding which device best meets a particular consumer’s needs. Each is a great device in its own regard, but their intended markets can be very different.

Lastly, it should be pointed out that the price comparison at the end of the commercial isn’t particularly convincing to keen-eyed consumers. The $880 price tag tacked onto the SP7 is the cost of the base model ($750) and a type cover ($130). That means the SP7 used in this comparison has an Intel Core i3-1005G1 (2C/4T, 1.2-3.4 GHz), 4 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB SSD (20 GB of which is taken up by Windows 10). The iPad Pro used in the ad is the 12.9-inch base model ($999) with Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro ($349). This iPad Pro has an Apple A12Z Bionic SoC (8C/8T, GHz), 6 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage (2-2.5 GB of which is taken up by iPadOS 14).

Which device do you think is the better option? Let us know in the comments below.

Buy the Surface Pro 7 (Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD) at Amazon.

Buy the Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch) at Amazon.

Read all 7 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 04 > Microsoft compares apples to oranges in a new ad pitting the Surface Pro 7 against the iPad Pro 12.9
Sam Medley, 2021-04- 6 (Update: 2021-04- 6)