What just happened? Microsoft and Apple have a rivalry that goes back to the mid-80s and still rages today. Continuing the tradition of throwing shade at each other in their commercials, Microsoft has launched a new ad declaring the Surface Pro 7 better than the iPad.
Microsoft's ad begins by highlighting the advantages of the Surface Pro 7's built-in kickstand. The iPad doesn't have one, though it's easy enough to buy a third-party cover with a similar feature, or you could purchase one of Apple's iPad keyboards, which is the next feature under the microscope.
The ad lauds the Surface Pro Type Cover keyboard and how it "clicks and attaches" to the device, though the iPad version does pretty much the same thing. The focus is on the weight difference between the two accessories---Apple's Folio is 0.2 pounds heavier than the Surface Pro 7's keyboard. It fails to mention that Microsoft's tablet is 0.33 pounds heavier than Apple's.
Connectivity is up next. Microsoft has Apple beat in this area; the Surface has 3.5mm, USB-A, USB-C, and Surface Connect ports, along with a microSD card reader, while the iPad has only USB-C, meaning dongles are often a requirement.
Microsoft also continues its long-running argument that the iPad isn't a computer, whereas the Surface Pro 7 falls into this category. The price difference is also highlighted: the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard is $1,348, while the Surface in the ad is $880 with keyboard, suggesting it's the Core i5 model. Again, the caveat here is that the Surface becomes more expensive than the iPad Pro when adding a Core i7 CPU.
In our soon-to-be-updated Best Tablets feature, we crown the iPad Pro 11-inch (2020) the best overall tablet, thanks to its fantastic screen, iPadOS, and battery life, but we also like its rival; the use of Windows helps the Surface Pro 7 win our Best Productivity tablet category.
Last month saw Intel step up its campaign against Apple and its M1-powered Macs by bringing back actor Justin Long---the "I'm a Mac" guy from Apple's "Get a Mac" commercials---to mock Cupertino's machines in a series of ads.