M4 iPad Pro vs Surface Pro: Feature showdown

Decision depends on whether the users wants iPadOS or Windows 11
An undated image showing Microsoft laptops placed on table. — Unsplash
An undated image showing Microsoft laptops placed on table. — Unsplash

The two most important tablets of 2024 were announced within a few weeks of one another. The first was the redesigned Apple iPad Pro, which was introduced on May 7 and shipped on May 15. Then, on May 20, a radically redesigned Microsoft Surface Pro was introduced, with a June 2024 shipping date and Microsoft's new Copilot+ classification.

What similarities and differences do these two portable gadgets share? Gadinsider has compared the features of both gadgets: M4 iPad Pro and Surface Pro.

M4 iPad Pro vs Surface Pro

Performance and specifications

The new iPad is Apple's first gadget to include the M4 processor, which competes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite X in the new Surface Pro.

Whereas the Elite X processor has more CPU and GPU cores, early evaluations show that the M4 outperforms it by a significant margin for single-core performance, with the two roughly matched for multi-core performance.

The Snapdragon X Elite boasts better raw power in a few areas, including 45 trillion op/s for the brain processor against 38 trillion for Apple's brain Engine, slightly higher memory bandwidth, and RAM up to 32GB vs 16GB for the iPad Pro.

Read more: All you need to know about Apple iPad Pro 2024

However, Apple fine-tunes the M4 iPad Pro as it develops both the hardware and software, resulting in increased performance with fewer CPU and GPU cores, and less RAM.

Moreover, the M4 iPad Pro also supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing and 8K H.264, HEVC, ProREs, and ProRes RAW. That is not the case with the Snapdragon X Elite. The Surface Pro has a detachable SSD, but there are no 5G cellular devices currently; Microsoft claims they will be available in the autumn.

13″ M4 iPad Pro
13″ Surface Pro

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite

9 or 10-core 


CPU benchmarks 
~3,700 single-core, ~14,000 multi-core~2,400 single-core, ~14,000 multi-core


Hardware-accelerated 8K H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW support 

Hardware-accelerated ray tracing 

Neural Engine 
16-core (38 trillion op/s) 

Qualcomm Hexagon NPU (45 trillion op/s)

256GB – 2TB 

512GB – 1TB (removable)

8 or 16GB 

16 or 32GB

Memory bandwidth 


5G (sub-6 GHz) 

Coming fall 2024


The new M4 iPad Pro models outperform its predecessors, with a new "Ultra Retina XDR Display" and the first to employ Tandem OLED. Apple claims that the new OLED display provides brighter specular highlights, deeper true blacks, sharper detail in shadows and low light, and other advantages.

Moreover, the new OLED display is included on both the smaller and bigger iPad Pros and the one and two-TB devices may now be upgraded with nano-texture display glass.

In addition, the M4 iPad Pro models deliver brighter SDR content of up to 1,000 nits (600 nits for M2 iPad Pro SDR content).

The high-end Surface Pro has a 13" OLED display, but it falls short of Apple's in terms of brightness, refresh rate range, P3 broad colour support, and other features.

Read more: Microsoft's surface devices set to integrate advanced AI features

Design, dimensions, weight, and colours

The 13-inch variant of the M4 iPad Pro is the "thinnest product Apple has ever manufactured" at only 5.1mm.

The new M4 iPad Pro is lighter than its predecessor, weighing less than 1 pound for the 11" and 1.28 pounds for the 13-inch. When compared to the new Surface Pro, the M4 iPad Pro is nearly twice as small and 2/3 pounds lighter.

The Surface Pro comes in Sapphire, Dune, Black, and Platinum, but the M4 iPad Pro is only available in Space Black and Silver.

13″ M4 iPad Pro 

13″ Surface Pro

11.09 inches (281.6 mm) 

11.3 inches (287 mm)

8.48 inches (215.5 mm) 

8.2 inches (208 mm)

0.20 inch (5.1 mm) 

0.37 inches (9.3 mm)

1.28 pounds (582 grams) 

1.97 pounds (893 grams)

Cameras, video, and audio

The M4 iPad Pro rear camera system features a 12MP wide lens, a LiDAR scanner, and a Retina Flash with True Tone. However, the M4 iPad Pro does not have the M2 iPad Pro's 10MP super wide lens.

On the front, the users will find a 12MP ultra-wide lens with Centre Stage support, which is now centred on the long landscape edge rather than the short edge in the 2024 M4 iPad Pro models.

The Surface Pro has a similar camera arrangement, with a 10MP back lens and an extremely wide front quad HD lens.

Read more: iPad Pro 2024 — Four reasons to upgrade to the ultimate gadget

The iPad Pro wins in terms of slimmest packaging and potentially faster performance and capabilities because of the M4 chip's CPU/GPU. However, the Surface Pro outperforms in terms of versatility, cutting-edge I/O like WiFi 7, better battery life, and features like a detachable SSD.

The main decision is usually whether the users want to run iPadOS or Windows 11. The M4 iPad Pro is available from Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers. Microsoft is also taking pre-orders for the Surface Pro right now.