Microsoft Tribe


iPad confessions of a Surface Pro fan


**DISCLAIMER: I use the iPad Pro without smartkeyboard, just with the Apple Pencil and a smartcover. My SP3 had a Windows Hello enabled 4th gen typecover and 4th gen pen**

This is going to be a honest review of the iPad Pro 10.5 from a years long Surface Pro 3 user. Not technical or spec wise, but trough the eyes of a regular consumer who doesn't need either a Surface Pro or a iPad Pro for professional uses.

Years ago I fell in love with the Surface Pro (3) concept from Microsoft. As a life long Civilization junky the prospect of nuking Gandi while literally taking a dump myself was something that looked as a enticing prospect to me. So with the touch first edition of Civilization V and the Surface Pro 3 this would finally be a reality, at least, so I thought.

Of course all the other benefits of Surface weren't lost on me. A full fledged PC, in a tablet chassis, being able to take all I love about Windows with me on the go + all the awesomeness of digital inking.

So I bought a SP3, played the touch version of Civ5 a couple of times, but still found that my desktop was a better fit for it(mostly because it didn't function like a mobile app, fast in and out popping etc didn't work like on iOS/Android or even WP). So didn't use it for Civ5 much anymore but LOVEEEEED everything else about it.

When Apple brought the first and second iterations of its iPad Pro line to market I snubbed my face, I don't need a shiny toy: I OWN A SURFACE and PROUD of IT!

But then a surprise announcement by the developers of Civilization 6 and Aspyr (the publisher responsible for the Mac version of Civilization) literally rocked my freaking world: The full-fledged 2016 version of Civilization 6 came to iPad, no mobile shit game: BUT CIVILIZATION 6 in ALL it's GLORY.

I got really bummed, why a iOS version? And not a UWP touch first Windows 10 version optimized for Surface Pro 3 and up (and similar OEM devices)? There should be more then enough of those out and about in the world to make it world their while???

Anyhow, that's where and when I started to look differently to the iPad Pro and what it could mean to me. It's a awfully expensive piece of kit that's first and foremost a mobile device (different from my Surface Pro 3, which is first and foremost a Windows PC and second a tablet). But, if it could run high end PC games? The potential of a closed down hardware ecosystem with a dedicated developer community could only become better over time!

But me being a thinker couldn't stop thinking about it. So I decided to keep consciously track about how and when I use my Surface Pro 3. This resulted in the conclusion that, for me, 90% of the time it was a tablet device.
And then it hit me: everything that the iPad Pro could do, it would do it better then my Surface Pro 3 ever could (all the tabletstuff is just better supported on the iPad) and everything the iPad couldn't do? My 27inch desktop and 17inch laptop would run circles around it anyway.

So I started looking for a good deal on a iPad Pro 10.5, online and found my self a 256gb/cellular model for €675 (retail price €999) with still over six months Apple warranty. Feeling quit good about my self back then I started, gleefully, to use the iPad Pro as my default device and found I hadn't touched the Surface Pro 3 in weeks. So put my SP3 online and sold it for €475.

Civ6 on iPad works as intended in a way the Civ5 Windows 8 version never could. The iPad is lighter, thinner, has incredible battery life (to my SP3, I know current generation Surface Pro reaches similar levels). It's just much more capable of the mobile side of things. The pencil is different from the one I was used to on the Surface, but it has its advantages.

For me as a hardcore Windows fan and extensive user of Microsoft software: It sucks, it really does! First Microsoft failed to get the smartphone of my choice (WP) to really take of and then they completely abandoned the segment. Forcing me on Android (Galaxy Note 8), and liking it, despite my desire for a high-end, supported by developers Windows 10 based smartphone.

And now they have me I realize that for me as a regular consumer Apple has a better fit in the iPad Pro 10.5 as my Windows PC companion, then the Surface Pro was. Because when you're not a Pro user, but just a PC-Gamer/regular office user, who has acces to a decent Windows 10 laptop/desktop and money for a iPad (pro). You're better off buying a iPad then a Surface next to your other Windows devices.

Simply put the iPad, for slate PC computing, is leaps ahead of it's competition. Android slates can't compete, that's why they after a quick heat burned out fast. And that's a big part of the reason why Windows 10 based tablet PC's found their niche as for corporate and professional users a truly mobile PC with a full-fledged OS is quit enticing(it still does a lot of stuff the iPad doesn't do, what those users just need to be doing).

Okay this ended up being a rambling piece of my own feelings about stuff. But hey, isn't that how regular consumers experience stuff, they feel it?!