iPad Pro Vs. Surface Go: Which Is The Best Tablet

Microsoft vs. Apple

 For the purposes of this article, the Surface Go with 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, an Intel Pentium processor, and an LTE modem is being compared to the 11-inch Wi-Fi and LTE version of the iPad Pro (64GB RAM).

For the past month, this blog has talked a lot about the new iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Go. Microsoft’s tablet came out more than three months ago, but I just got a review unit in a couple weeks back.

To be honest, I didn’t care much about the Go before receiving the review unit but now realize what I missed. As a secondary PC that has an LTE radio on all the time, it feels like computing freedom. The iPad Pro I reviewed had LTE as well, but I didn’t feel all that “free” since it is runs a mobile operating system. Still, the iPad Pro definitely has some strengths.

Let’s compare the most important aspects of both tablets.


Some people are upset because Apple didn’t deliver an OLED display this time around (parts aren’t in great stock and are expensive), but it’s hard to imagine a screen better than the  11.5-inch  2388 x 1668 (264 pixels per inch) pixel True Tone display that’s on the iPad Pro. And interacting with the screen is soothing to the eyes since it has a 120Hz refresh rate.

The iPad Pro has the best display of any tablet.

Compared to the display on the iPad Pro, the Surface Go’s 10-inch screen looks underwhelming. But on its own, Microsoft still includes a good 1,800 x 1,200 pixel resolution display (217 pixels per inch). The colors are sharp, and the contrast ratio is great. The viewing angles aren’t perfect, but you’ll only mind looking at your screen from a very sharp angle.

The Winner: iPad Pro 


The eight-core A12 processor makes the iPad Pro more powerful than most laptops today. And in the real world, the iPad Pro runs very fast and can handle many programs open at the same time. But what good is all this power if the software can’t utilize it?

The Surface Go appears to lack power — that is if you are thinking of it as a laptop replacement. The Pentium Gold processor is good for office work, web surfing, and streaming movies. It doesn’t run Photoshop well, and it was never supposed to. But even though the Surface Go feels under-powered, it runs a desktop operating system (Windows 10) and is more useful than the iPad Pro when it comes to content creation.

The Winner: Surface Go 

Digital Inking

If you want to draw or take notes with the Apple Pencil, you are going to have to spend an extra $129. However, it’s certainly worth it as the Pencil provides the best digital inking experience compared to any other device.

The Surface Pen costs $99, and even though it offers an excellent inking experience on the Surface Pro 6, Microsoft’s stylus writes somewhat poorly (jittery, latency) on the Surface Go. Those who take notes won’t mind that much, but those who are using the Go as an accurate drawing device will be disappointed.

The Winner: iPad Pro


The Surface Go has a fantastic Type Cover.

The Smart Keyboard Folio for the iPad costs $179, and even though it’s overpriced, the keys have a comfortable click to them. Still, it’s not a match for the Surface Go’s $100 Type Cover ($129 for Alcantara), which not only provides an almost perfect (if a little cramped) typing experience, but has a near-perfect touchpad as well.

The Winner: Surface Go

Battery Life

Continually Streaming Netflix at 60 percent brightness will get you at least nine hours of battery life on the iPad Pro. Continually doing the same with the Surface Go will get you about five hours of battery life. Unfortunately, the Surface Go is not the type of device you can carry without a charger all day.

The Winner: iPad Pro


The iPad Pro is a beautiful multimedia device, but the Surface Go is a better productivity device. Microsoft’s tablet also is a lot more reasonably priced. Unless you are absolutely stuck in Apple’s ecosystem, the Surface Go will give you a lot more bang for your buck.

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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