Experience with two tablets

Recently I started using an iPad Pro 12.9 inch device and before that I tried using Microsoft Surface Pro 4 device (which I wouldn't call a 'tablet'; it is nothing less than an ultrabook). Some of my primary requirements from these devices were: a) mobility without sacrificing the compute power b) precise and responsive pencil/stylus for scribbling on presentations and annotating other documents. Particularly for Surface, I was looking at it as a replacement for my ultrabook which ran Ubuntu in dual boot with Windows 8. Surface is a great device for running Windows. However, running Ubuntu native is not as good on Surface. The deal-breaker for me was its Type Cover keyboard and unpredictable WiFi. Since I was not able to use Ubuntu on Surface properly, and just for the mobility part Surface Pro 4 was an overkill, so I decided to exchange the device with an iPad Pro 12.9.

So far the iPad has been serving me well. However, here too I think the Smart Keyboard that Apple supplies for iPad is a waste of money in my opinion. First of all the keyboard is expensive (costed us above ₹ 20000), secondly it won't fit properly in a folio type of cover/case. Other thing that I find lacking in iPad is a normal USB port. On iPad it is not easy to transfer/open files available on a USB disk/stick. You will require either a PC or a Lightening to USB adaptor. Even with the adaptor you may not be able to use all types of USB storage because they may draw more current than what is supported by iPad's lightening port. Another hurdle that someone like me who is moving from Android/Linux to iOS is that the files on iPad are tied to an app. If an app is deleted then all the file which you created with it are also gone. There isn't any cross-app "file system". But I think this is not a big issue.

About the stylus: Stylus/pen on both the devices are very good. A stylus pen comes bundled with Surface Pro 4 whereas you need to buy the Apple Pencil separately for iPad Pro 12.9 (it costs about ₹ 8000). I found the stylus experience on iPad to be slightly better among the two. With WPS Office app iPad Pro I could record my presentation with on-screen pencil scribbling and voice etc.

An important point from my experience is that: when buying either of these devices you should not buy the keyboards that vendors recommend with them. That is, do not buy the Type Cover keyboard with Surface and Apple Smart keyboard with iPad. Instead you can buy a very good folio cover with wireless/Bluetooth keyboard attached for about half to one-third the price of vendor's recommended ones.


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