iPad Pro should absolutely steal these Surface Pro features

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iPad Pro should absolutely steal these Surface Pro features
The 2021 iPad Pro is one of Apple's most versatile devices, but for having "pro" in the name it sure is lacking on pro features, especially if we look at some of its competition on the pro-oriented tablet market.

If we compare the iPad Pro to the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, it's night and day what you can do with the latter over the iPad. In fact, let's take a look at some of the great features the Surface Pro has that the iPad Pro needs to "borrow", in order to truly become a professional's tablet.

The iPad Pro needs a built-in kickstand



This is a really simple and obvious convenience feature that I believe at least the iPad Pro models should come with. Let's face it, none of us wants to hold a giant iPad with two hands constantly, especially if we're looking to write an email, join a FaceTime call or watch a video.

iPad Pro users are forced to either buy a floppy, origami-style case like the Smart Folio, that on top of being a hassle to use only supports two viewing angles... Or – the highly expensive Magic Keyboard for iPad, just to get a "kickstand" with adjustable viewing angles.

Even the cheapest $599.99 Surface Duo 7 comes with a built-in kickstand, and a good, sturdy one at that, with perfectly adjustable viewing angles. You don't need to buy anything extra to get this basic feature, and a built-in kickstand doesn't add bulk to the tablet like a separate kickstand case would.

The iPad Pro needs a more powerful operating system



The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 comes with the Windows operating system. A full-blown desktop OS with all the professional apps you may ever need, capable of versatile multi-window multitasking.

But Apple's iPad Pro… I've said it before and I'll say it again – the iPad Pro's M1 power and potential is wasted on iPadOS, which is just a modified version of iOS – a phone operating system that runs phone apps on a larger screen.

Unless iPadOS gets better multitasking with windowed apps, a fixed app dock for quicker app switching and support for desktop-class software, the "Pro" in the "iPad Pro" will continue to mean very little.

Sure, there's a niche of professionals who may be able to get by with using iPadOS – as it does have some decent video editing apps like LumaFusion and several good apps for composing music, drawing and writing. But none of them can compare to what their desktop counterparts can do, and how much easier and quicker they are to work with.

In addition, iPadOS still has a single-app-at-a-time mentality. There are features like Split View and Slide Over, but those are way too clumsy and complicated than they need to be. File management and working with several apps at a time is so much easier with support for windows and either a start menu or a fixed app dock, like on Windows or MacOS respectively.

And iPadOS could've easily had that, but Apple remains stubborn about improving it, because God forbid the iPad becomes "too good" and dips into MacBook Air sales.

The iPad Pro needs more ports and expandable storage



In 2016 Apple introduced a very controversial MacBook Pro redesign. In typical Apple fashion, features were removed, ports in this case. In fact, that "Pro" laptop only had two Thunderbolt ports. From charging, to connecting external monitors and accessories, you just had those two ports to work with.

Things didn't change much for the next few years until finally, in 2021 Apple came to its senses and again redesigned the MacBook Pro – this time including an HDMI port, an SD card reader, a good old MagSafe port for charging, and three Thunderbolt ports.

This was a good move, as many professionals are likely to need at least some of those ports on a daily basis. And devices with "Pro" in the name should definitely have them. So the MacBook Pro now does, but what about the iPad Pro?

Not only is the iPad Pro lacking a much needed SD card slot, so Apple can force you to pay extra for non-expandable storage, but it doesn't actually have anything more than a single Thunderbolt port.

At least an HDMI port would've been nice, but even if it had it, iPadOS doesn't have dual-screen support for most apps, nor can it even adjust its screen aspect ratio when connected to an external display, in order to match it.

So if you're a photographer who needs an SD card slot, or you wish to connect an external storage device to transfer or backup some of your files, or you'd like to be able to use at least an additional display, with the iPad Pro you'd have to live a dongle life and settle for a very subpar experience.

The Surface Pro 7 is the real "Pro" tablet



There we have it, until Apple decides to take the iPad Pro seriously, it would arguably never be able to compare with the Surface Pro when it comes down to doing serious, professional work.

As a caveat, Microsoft's 12.3-inch Surface Pro 7, which comes with a full-blown desktop operating system, a built-in kickstand and all the ports you may need starts at $599, while Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $1099, offering none of that. If you're a professional, you'll actually be saving money if you choose the more capable option.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021)

Latest Model (5th Generation) with Wi-Fi - 256GB
$1099 99
$1199 99
Buy at BestBuy

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD
$699 99
$899 99
Buy at BestBuy


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