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Microsoft exec brushes off iPad Pro as “companion device”

by Brandon Russell | January 12, 2016January 12, 2016 2:00 pm PDT

When the iPad Pro was announced last year, many people considered it to be Apple’s version of the Surface, Microsoft’s successful laptop/tablet hybrid. But soon after the device’s release, folks quickly realized that, even with some neat multi-tasking capabilities, the iPad Pro was nothing more than a large iPad, a device held back by iOS’s limitations.

For a lot of Apple fans, it wasn’t the laptop replacement the company promised it would be, making it one of Apple’s bigger disappointments of 2015.

Like blood in the water, Microsoft has seized the opportunity to discuss the iPad Pro’s shortcomings, brushing the device aside as nothing more than “a companion device.” While speaking to Trusted Reviews, Microsoft’s Dan Laycock, Senior Communications Manager for Microsoft Surface, said the Surface offers much more in terms of functionality.

“Microsoft really wants you to only carry one device for tablet and PC use,” Laycock explained. “Whereas the iPad Pro is always going to be a companion device.”

That was more or less our opinion of the iPad Pro in our review from last year, which found the device to be limited in its capabilities despite being plenty powerful. But that wasn’t what Apple wanted consumers to believe. Following the iPad Pro’s release, Apple CEO Tim Cook promoted the device as a notebook and desktop replacement.

Surface Pro 4-20

“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore?” Cook said following the iPad Pro’s release. “No really, why would you buy one?”

For casual users, and even some power users, the iPad Pro is certainly capable of completely replacing a PC, acting as a single device for email and other tasks. But for most people, getting by on just an iPad Pro isn’t feasible, especially considering how little iOS has evolved over the past few years. “We don’t see it as a one-to-one comparison, because [the Surface] is a full PC, you’re running full apps,” Laycock said.

To get a complete picture of what the Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro have to offer, you can check out our reviews here and here.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...