If you compare Apples and Oranges, at least be thorough

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Comparisons can be useful in decision making processes. Compare the battery life of various notebooks that you consider buying, Android flagships and their functionality and technology, or how games play and look like on PC and console.

Some comparisons make little sense on the other hand, for instance the comparison of an Android tablet and the iPhone, or a computer mouse to a keyboard.

A recent PC Magazine article compared Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, a typical apples and oranges comparison.

While that is problematic enough, considering that the Surface Pro 3 is a full PC while Apple’s iPad Pro a tablet, it appears extremely biased.

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For instance, if you check the tech stats box you will notice that the lowest price of Apple’s iPad Pro is listed as $799 while the lowest price of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is listed as £993.95 (that is British pound which makes it difficult to compare prices).


This is not the lowest price of the Surface Pro 3 as the article linked to the 256 Gigabyte storage model and not the 64 Gigabyte model that is also available. If you check retail pricing, you will see it listed with a starting price of $799 just like Apple’s iPad Pro.

Since the basic Surface Pro 3 model offers 64 Gigabyte of storage space, it offers double the 32 Gigabyte space of Apple’s device (which does not even offer a 256 Gigabyte option or a microSD slot to expand storage).

But since storage is not listed in the comparison — neither are extras such as the Surface’s microSD support, USB 3.0 port or mini displayPort — it is not clear right away that it compares the cheapest iPad Pro with the most expensive Surface Pro 3 model.

It does not stop there though. The Surface Pro 3 ships with a Surface Pen included, while you have to buy the Apple Pencil for $99 extra if you want it.

The author of the article makes it look like as if “both ride the line between tablet and portable laptop”. While true for the Surface Pro, it is not for Apple’s iPad Pro which still is just a tablet as it cannot run Mac software.

The conclusion of the article strangely reports the correct price for both devices, and compares 128 Gigabyte models with each other.

According to it, the iPad Pro is “slightly more expensive” in the 128 Gigabyte variant with Smart Keyboard Cover and Apple Pencil than the Surface Pro 3 with 128 Gigabyte with keyboard and pen.

The difference? $319 US Dollars ($1029 to $1348).

It is problematic to compare these two device families for a number of reasons. The Surface Pro is a full PC that you can use to run any Windows software, not just apps (opposed to Microsoft’s failed Windows RT experiment) while Apple’s iPad Pro is still just an iPad supporting apps only.

There is also the fact that the iPad Pro 3 has not been released yet and that some information, memory for instance, have not been revealed yet. Since that is the case, it is impossible to compare battery life for instance.  Microsoft plans to release the Surface 4 Pro this year (next month it appears).


Article Name

If you compare Apples and Oranges, at least be thorough


Martin Brinkmann


An analysis of a recent apples and oranges comparison in tech journalism.

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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