iPad Pro 10.5 vs Surface Pro head-to-head review

Both devices want to be a laptop killer, but which one is worthy of the title?

Specs & hardware

 iPad Pro 10.5Surface Pro
CPU6-core A10X, 2.36GHz7th gen Intel m3 - i7, 2.6GHz - 4.0GHz
RAM4GB4/8/16GB
Storage64/256/512GB128/256/512GB/1TB

Before looking at numbers, let's take a look at the what specs are on offer. Following this year's refresh, the iPad range is now packing a beefy six-core A10X processor clocked at 2.36GHz, although three of those are high performance cores and do most of the heavy lifting. You have the choice of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage, and the standard options of WiFi or WiFi+4G. All models come with 4GB of RAM.

The Surface Pro range continues to offer a variety of specifications to suit most needs, making the iPad Pro selection feel rather limited. At the low end you have the choice of the Intel Core m3 model with 4GB of RAM, or more powerful Core i5 and i7 models, each with an increasing amount of RAM. At the very top end is a Core i7 clocked at 4GHz, with 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage.

While the last generation A9 was no slouch, we were still staggered by the performance of the A10X in our benchmarks, scoring 9380 in our multicore tests and 3,930 for single core. That's almost double the performance of the iPad 9.7, and more importantly, smashes the 5,342 multicore score of the Core m3 Surface Pro. It also manages to beat the Core i5 model (7,544), meaning the iPad Pro is roughly on par with the top end Surface Pro.

That's not the whole story however, as the generous amount of RAM afforded by some Surface Pro models means that it is far more suited to multitasking, making it an attractive device for business users.

In terms of desktop benchmarks, the top end Surface Pro scored 60 overall, which is decent for a mobile processor and far ahead of similar 2-in-1s such as Dell's XPS 13 convertible.

The iPad Pro's monster A10X processor is scarily good, and is more than a match for the Surface Pro's Intel chips. Yet in everyday use cases, the Surface Pro is the better multi-tasker and far better suited to running demanding apps. 

Verdict: Surface Pro

Battery

 iPad Pro 10.5Surface Pro
Lifespan12 hours 59 mins11 hours 30mins
ChargingLightningSurface Connect

The iPad Pro is also incredibly power efficient given that staggering performance output, managing just shy of 13 hours in our benchmark tests. The Surface Pro meanwhile managed a similarly impressive 11 hours 30 minutes, which is a substantial improvement over the Surface Pro 4.

In this respect there is very little between the two devices. The iPad managed to last longer overall, however both devices are more than capable of supporting a full day's work away from a power socket.

Verdict: iPad Pro

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