Microsoft takes potshots at iPad Pro in Surface Pro 7 ad

By

Surface Pro 7 vs. iPad Pro: the Microsoft perspective
No matter what it looks like, don’t mistake a new video for a fair comparison of the Surface Pro 7 and iPad Pro.
Screenshot: Microsoft

Microsoft pretends to compare its Surface Pro 7 with the iPad Pro in a video released Monday. Not surprisingly, the Windows product comes out way ahead. But to make that happen, Microsoft had to leave out some facts and distort reality a bit.

To see all the ways Microsoft stretched the truth, watch its video now:

Surface Pro 7 vs. iPad Pro: The Microsoft perspective

The video starts out talking up the Windows tablet’s built-in kickstand. But Microsoft somehow neglected to mention the trade off: That kickstand adds bulk. The Surface Pro 7 measures 0.33 inches thick and weighs 1.7 pounds, compared to the iPad Pro’s 0.23 inches and 1.4 pounds. And that’s despite the Apple device boasting a larger screen: It comes in at 12.9 inches versus the Surface Pro’s 12.3 inches.

Next, Microsoft moves on to the Surface Type Cover, a keyboard that magnetically clips to the front of the Windows computer. The video then brings up the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad, but doesn’t open the accessory — much less demonstrate its cool floating effect.

Nor does Microsoft mention that the Apple tablet also clips magnetically to its keyboard. Instead, the ad immediately dismisses Apple’s cool iPad accessory as “a lot heavier.”

The third point in the video is about ports. And it showcases an actual strength of the Surface Pro 7. The device includes a USB-C port, a USB-A port, a proprietary charging/data port and a microSD card slot. The iPad Pro comes with a USB-C port (though Microsoft overlooked the proprietary charging/data port on the back).

Then the actor in the ad says, “iPad Pro is just a tablet — Surface is a full computer and a tablet.” The video doesn’t attempt to explain this statement, which is unfortunate, because there’s little to back it up.

Both products are tablet/laptops with detachable keyboards sold separately. The 2020 iPad Pro packs a processor at least as powerful as the faster version of the Surface Pro 7. Millions of people utilize their iPad as a computer every day — Apple even used that as a tag line for an advertising campaign. The days when a rival could easily dismiss an iPad Pro as “not a real computer” are long past.

As a final point in its video, Microsoft points out that the base model Surface Pro 7 with a keyboard costs $880. The iPad Pro with the Apple Magic Keyboard runs $1,348. Advantage Microsoft.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the video failed to bring up some areas where the Windows tablet looks weak. The iPad offers better battery life. And its operating system and third-party software were designed from the beginning to be used with a touchscreen, while Windows 10 and its apps often offer kludgy support for touch. Many third-party apps don’t even try.

It’s 100% an ad

To make a long story short, the video is an advertisement and shouldn’t be confused with an actual comparison of the two computers.

It’s easy to say “of course,” but Microsoft deliberately framed the video as though it was filmed by an impartial tech reviewer sharing his thoughts on the two products. That’s not true. The video starts out with an actor saying, “A lot of people wanted me to compare the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 to the iPad Pro.” The only people he’s referring to are the Microsoft executives who hired him.