iPad Pro, Google Pixel C, Microsoft Surface: which should you get?

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Google revealed the Pixel C Chromebook yesterday and Apple the iPad Pro earlier this month. Both devices are designed to add productivity features to tablets running Android and iOS, for instance by offering first-party keyboards that you can attach to the device.

Microsoft has yet to reveal the new iteration of its Surface line but is expected to do just that before year’s end.

If you are looking for a new productivity device currently, you are probably wondering which of these three devices — if any — you should get. You may also be interested in core differences and hardware specs.

Not all the specs of Apple’s iPad Pro and Google’s Pixel C have been revealed yet. What we know so far is this:

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Apple iPad Pro Google Pixel C Microsoft Surface 3
Operating System iOS 9 Android 6.0 Windows 10
Chip A9X Nvidia Tegra 3 Atom x7-Z8700
RAM unknown 3GB 2-4GB
Display 12.9″ 10.2″ 10.8″
Resolution 2732×2048 2560×1800 1920×1280
ppi 264 308 213
Storage min 32GB 32GB 64GB
Storage max 128GB 64GB 128GB
expandable Storage none none microSD and USB 3.0
Starting price $799 $499 $499
Max price $1,079 $599 $699
Keyboard $169 $149 $129.99
Pen $99 not available $49.99

The first difference that becomes obvious right away is that all three devices use different operating systems. The operating system is often a deciding factor considering that you may have used a certain system before and want to keep using programs or features that it offers.

It is clear as well that Apple and Google have created tablets while Microsoft a hybrid that works as a tablet but also as a laptop replacement as it runs a full copy of Windows which means that you can run all Windows desktop programs on the Surface that are compatible with Windows 10.

If you select Apple’s or Google’s device, you will have access to apps available in the company’s store and web applications.



Apple’s and Google’s tablet start both with 32 Gigabyte of storage space while Microsoft starts the Surface with 64 Gigabyte instead. Google customers can upgrade storage for a price to 64 Gigabyte but that is about it. Considering that the device does not offer expendable storage options, it may be a deal breaker for some.

Apple’s iPad Pro is maxed out at 128 Gigabyte with no option to extend the storage further, while Microsoft’s Surface Pro offers the same capacity in Gigabyte when maxed out but also expendable storage in form of a microSD and USB 3.0 option.

Accessories and Price

Google’s Pixel C and Microsoft’s Surface start at $499 while Apple’s iPad Pro at $799. This means that you can add the keyboard to both devices and still pay less than you would for Apple’s tablet without one.

All three companies have created keyboards for their devices. Microsoft’s offering is the cheapest at $129.99 followed by Google’s for $149 and Apple’s for $169.

Both Apple and Microsoft offer pen accessories for their tablets. Apple charges $99 for the pen and Microsoft $49.

Microsoft is the only company of the three currently that is offering extra accessories. The company offers a dock to transform the Surface into a workstation, a wireless display adapter to connect it to big-screen HDTV and monitors, and a USB 3.0 Ethernet adapter.

Which is right for you?

The question cannot be answered easily as it depends on what you need the device for. You can be productive with all three devices up to a point but both Apple’s and Google’s offering are clearly lacking when it comes to business-level software support.

For instance, you cannot create Android apps easily, comfortably (or at all) on Apple’s and Google’s device while you can create apps for all three operating systems on Microsoft’s Surface.

Microsoft’s device is also the only one that can run desktop programs such as Photoshop or Steam.

Now You: Would you pick one of the three devices? If so which and why?


Article Name

iPad Pro, Google Pixel C, Microsoft Surface: which should you get?


Martin Brinkmann


A look at Apple’s iPad Pro, Google’s Pixel C and Microsoft’s Surface. Find out what they have to offer, how much they cost, and what their capabilities are.

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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