Should you swap your laptop for a professional tablet?

From Apple to Microsoft and even Google, professional tablets are the next big thing and here’s what you need to know

Fancy a laptop to get some serious work done, but hate the weight? Here’s where professional tablets may come into play. They are smaller, and sometimes lighter, but still pack enough power to execute your tasks efficiently and without the annoying lag.

So which makes the better switch? We look at the top three trending professional tablets — Apple’s iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and last but not least, Google’s Pixel C.


Apple — iPad Pro


This is Apple’s first professional tablet attempt. It runs on iOS 9, has a whopping 12.9-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels, and 4GB RAM.

Bigger than an iPad, the tablet measures 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm and weighs between 713g and 723g (depending on whether the model has cellular connectivity).

The iPad Pro will come in two different models. The Wi-Fi only model is available in 32GB or 128GB of memory. The Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity model will have 128GB of memory.

It will be available in three colours: Silver, gold and space grey.

Pros: Possibly the thinnest and lightest professional tablet among the three featured in this article. Also, it comes in gold — which we think is the colour of champions.

Cons: It does not have a USB port and there is no option for expandable memory.

Price and Availability: From $1,188 for the 32GB Wi-Fi-only model, now available at major electrical stores and authorised Apple distributors.


Microsoft — Surface Pro 4


Microsoft, the pioneer of professional tablets, has just launched the Surface Pro 4.

Heavier than the iPad Pro — it weighs between 766 and 786g (depending on processor type) — the Surface Pro 4, which runs on Windows 10, also has a slightly smaller display, at 12.3 inches.

Chose from three 6th Generation Intel Core processors, the m3, i5 or i7, depending on how much power you might need.

Aside from the usual specifications, like having Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, this device does not have cellular connectivity.

It, however, makes up in terms of storage. You have the option to upgrade your solid state drive (SSD) to up to 1TB worth of file space, which the other professional tablets do not offer.

Pros: The Surface Pro 4 has an in-built USB 3.0 and microSD card reader which makes the sharing and transferring of documents easier.

Cons: It is pricey. The same amount (see below) could get you a cheaper full-fledged, but chunkier, laptop.

Price and Availability: Prices start at $1,599 for the 128GB, Intel Core i5 model. The Surface Pro 4 will be available from end-November.


Google — Pixel C


If you are looking for something that is slightly different from the rest, Google’s Pixel C might just be it. The Pixel C will run on the latest Android Marshmallow 6.0 and have a 10.2” display with a resolution of 2560 x 1800 pixels.

It will come with a 2MP front-facing and 8MP rear-facing camera. A small drawback is that its keyboard, a separate accessory, won’t come cheap (see below).

Pros: It will be running on the latest Android system and uses a Type-C charger, making it the gadget for early-adopters or tech junkies.

Cons: Having a Type-C charger might be a problem when you forget to bring it out, as many are still in the habit of using micro USB chargers.

Price And Availability: The Pixel C by itself will cost US$499 ($710) and its detachable keyboard is priced at US$149. However, it will only be available in the United States after its launch within the next couple of months — so if you really want to get your hands on the Pixel C, get ready to hassle some US-based friends to pick it up for you.


By Geralyne Kaye


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