Microsoft scarcely tweaked the design of its iPad Pro competitor

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One of the major changes in the Surface Pro 6 is it comes in black. Woo.
One of the major changes in the Surface Pro 6 is it comes in black. Woo.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft today unveiled a new generation of its Surface Pro 2-in-1. This has a faster processor than its predecessor but other than that remains practically unchanged. The long hoped for USB-C port is still missing.

The improvements are so marginal that Microsoft is left emphasizing that the Surface Pro 6 is available in a new color.

The most significant change in this rival to the iPad Pro is the addition of 8th generation Intel quad-core processors. Microsoft promises its enhanced tablet/laptop will be more than 67 percent faster than the last year’s version.

And, of course, it now comes in matte black, not just silver.

Microsoft decided to not put a USB-C port in the Surface Pro 6, leaving it with USB-A, Mini DisplayPort, and a proprietary Surface Connect for power. 

This new Windows tablet starts at $899, which is $100 more than the base 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It will reach customers’ hands on October 16.

Expect real changes to the 2018 iPad Pro

Anyone who questions whether an iOS-based tablet can compete with a Windows-based one should consider that Primate Labs’ Geekbench 4 gives the Surface Pro released in 2017 a 8096 multi-core score, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro released that same year pulled in a 9304 on that same test. Beyond faster performance, Apple’s tablet offers more working area than Microsoft’s 12.3-inch display. 

Of course, the newest Surface Pro 6 is faster than its predecessor, but Apple is also about to introduce a new generation of iPad Pro that will include its own performance boost thanks to an A12 Bionic chip.

Even better, information in iOS 12.1 seems to indicate this upcoming model will include a USB-C port. In addition, leaked specifications point to a design change that will significantly shrink the screen bezels without reducing the size of the display.