Apple is trying to elbow itself into the 2-in-1 PC space with the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. They have been trying to replace the PC since they released the iPad and now with the iPad Pro 12.9, they have their eyes on the hybrid PCs.
The iPad was once taunted as the PC killer, now with the iPad Pro, Apple is using the same line again. This time however, they are targeting the corporate segment. They are after business and corporate users who want a bigger tablet and be able to carry out a spot of typing or drawing among other things.
The original iPad and subsequent generations were revolutionary and is a disrupter to the PC market, causing Microsoft to lose market share. Fast forward to today, the iPad Pro 12.9-inch is seen more like a reactive step to the successful Surface Pro 7, a slate with stylus and keyboard cover that has turned many back to Windows.
With other PC manufacturer following up with their take on the hybrid PC, we now have more options to choose from when it comes to a tablet and keyboard hybrid machine.
An iPad Pro 12.9-inch alternative would not be complete without a stylus or keyboard or at least as an option if not included. We have marked out line-up below where a stylus and/or keyboard are included or available as an optional purchases, much like the Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard.
For reference, here is what other manufacturers are up against:
iPad Pro 12.9-inch Specifications
- 12.9-inch (diagonal) Retina display 2732 x 2048 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi) LED-backlit Multi-Touch
- LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
- A12Z Bionic chip with 64‑bit architecture, Neural Engine, Embedded M12 coprocessor. Octa-core (4×2.5 GHz Vortex + 4×1.6 GHz Tempest)
- 6GB RAM memory with 128GB/256/512GB/1TB storage.
- Apple (8-core graphics) GPU
- Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/6); dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz); HT80 with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 technology, LTE option, lightning port
- 12 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, 10 MP, f/2.4, 11mm (ultrawide), TOF 3D LiDAR scanner (depth)
- 10 hours of web on WiFi, 9 hours of web on mobile data network (WiFi + cellular model) charge via USB-C
- Four speaker audio, dual microphones for calls, video recording and audio recording
- 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm (11.05 x 8.46 x 0.23 in), 641 g (Wi-Fi), 643 g (LTE)
Top 5 Best iPad Pro 12.9-inch Alternatives
So here of five of the best and amazing 2-in-1 alternatives to the iPad Pro 12.9-inch and yes, Surface Pro is among them. The two main criteria to qualify for our list are that they must be able to support pro-level tasks and workflow on the system and must have at least a 12-inch to 13-inch display. Here is an overview of our very best alternatives;
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (12.3-inch)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ (12.4-inch)
- Microsoft Surface Book 3 13 (13.5-inch)
- Microsoft Surface Pro X (13-inch)
- HP Elite x2 G4 13 (13-inch)
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (12.3-inch)
With Microsoft’s reference tablet unit, now in its 7th iteration, the new Surface Pro comes with stylus support both both Surface Pen and Type Cover are sold separately. The tablet has been very successful since launch and it is the very tablet that won back the heads and hearts of Windows users.
The 12.3-inch tablet is available in a variety of configurations from Intel Core i3 to Intel Core i7. Memory configurations can go up to 16GB while storage up to 1TB with front and rear facing cameras and useful ports. Even with all that, it is still a nice little package at 8.5mm thin and weighs onwards of 775 grams depending on the configuration.
- Display: : 12.3-inch PixelSense display, Resolution: 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI), Aspect Ratio: 3:2, Touch: 10 point multi-touch
- Processor: 6th Gen Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 – MORE PROCESSOR OPTIONS
- Memory & Storage: 4GB, 8GB or 16GB RAM and 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD Storage – MORE MEMORY OPTIONS
- Dimensions & Weight: 11.50 x 7.93 x 0.33 in (292.10 x 201.42 x 8.5 mm), i3 and i5: 1.70 lbs (775 g), i7: 1.74 lbs (790 g) – LIGHTER*
- Battery & Power: up to 10.5 hours of video playback depending on configuration
- Cameras: 5.0MP front facing HD camera, 8.0MP rear facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video recording
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ (WiFi and 5G) 12.4-inch
Like the seventh generation Surface Pro 7, the Android equivalent, the seventh generation Galaxy Tab S7+ from Samsung has aged well. But, while the Surface Pro has been consistent in the looks and design department, the same cannot be said for the Galaxy Tab S7+. This is one of pro-level tablet offering with a bigger 12.4-inch display. The other has an 11-inch display, see where Samsung is going here? What this means is the Galaxy Tab S7+ is a direct contender of the Ipad Pro 12.9 making it a serious alternative.
3. Microsoft Surface Book 3 13 (13.5-inch)
Microsoft followed the success of Surface Pro slates with the Surface Book, a detachable 2-in-1 laptop that comes off its keyboard base to turn into a full size tablet and full size it is. At 13.5-inch, it is the biggest tablet on our list, bigger than even the 12.9 iPad Pro. It also support full fat Windows OS, which means it goes beyond just being a tablet, but a complete desktop operating system. While Apple may have improved and customised the iOS fo iPad, calling it iPadOS, it is not quite there yet with a full desktop experience. The Surface Book 3 on the other hand is more like taking a MacBook Pro 13 or 14, giving it a touchscreen, support for stylus and detachable screen that turns into a tablet.
4. Microsoft Surface Pro X (13-inch)
The Surface Pro X delivers on solid, mobile-efficient performance metrics, while still attempting to replicate the full functionality of its more complete OS version. Here is another of Microsoft’s foray into Arm based tablet. Previous attempt was with Surface RT. This time with closer collaboration with Qualcomm to produce Microsoft SQ1 and SQ2 chips, the company is taking this more seriously. It has a bigger 13-inch display compared to 12.3 on the Surface Pro 7 but footprint wise not any bigger. This is thanks to ultra slim bezels something that the Surface Pro 7 can take note and slender chassis, this has more design appeal. Sadly, its excellent stylus configuration and use are overshadowed by the fact that you need to invest in it and its keyboard separately (which, due to how good it is, is basically a necessity). And with the lack of native apps, you are limited to what is available mainly from Microsoft.
5. HP Elite x2 G4 13 (13-inch)
At a glance, it looks like a Microsoft Surface. Upon closer inspection, you’ll start to see the etched HP logo at the back of the tablet. Or notice that its actually 8th Gen Intel. Either way, the performance level is indistinguishable. Too bad its battery struggles to keep up at heavy loads. Oh, and stylus feature is optional, by the way. The rechargeable Active Pen G3 is a must have to complete the detachable laptop and tablet versatility. As a stylus-supporting detachable, a 2-in-1 laptop with update connectivity options and super bright display, this ticks a lot of boxes. Although, I am still not sure of the picture frame like kickstand.
Take a look at some previous generation tablets with stylus support that might still be knocking around on the next page:
- ASUS Transformer 3 Pro 2-in-1 Detachable PC
- Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 12-inch 2-in-1 Detachable PC
- Huawei Matebook Signature Edition 2-in-1 Detachable PC
- HP Spectre X2 2-in-1 Detachable PC
- ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi 2-in-1 Detachable PC