Pixel C or iPad Pro or Surface Book? Which one is for you?

The past few months saw many new entrants into the convertibles market. Some of this look like clones of Microsoft Surface. Even Dell and HP have designed laptop cum tablets but are available at high costs. The main three products that need to be understood are Google’s Pixel C, iPad Pro and Surface Book. Let’s take a look at main features of these three models that’ll help you determine if you need one of them and if yes, which one to go for.

Pixel C vs iPad Pro vs Surface Book

Google Pixel C specifications

Google Pixel C Android Tablet

Pixel C runs on Android 6 (Marshmallow) unlike the other Chromebooks that have Google Chromium as the main operating system. The Pixel C is a small tablet that can be converted into a laptop by attaching a smart keyboard to it. When docked, it looks like a mini laptop and yet functions like a tablet. When you have much to type, it is advisable to use the Bluetooth connected keyboard and while playing games or drawing things, you can use a pen (that needs to be purchased separately as it is not part of the Pixel C packaging). Bluetooth Keyboard where you can dock the tablet too is optional but is highly recommended as it completes the product.

The Pixel C has Tegra X1 at its core as the processer. The X1 comes from NVIDIA and though is a good product, is not very good for intensive resource consuming apps. If you play a multiplayer game on this, it is bound get heated over few hours – according to experts.

The display size of Pixel C is 10.20 inches and can have a resolution up to 1800 by 2560 pixels. That is pretty good for watching movies and other types of videos. It has 3GB of RAM that allows you to open and work on documents and files without having that lag feeling whenever you open or save documents. Besides the 3GB RAM, Pixel C has 32 GB of internal storage and also lets you use Flash drives for increased storage.

iPad Pro Specifications


IPad Pro runs the latest operating system from Apple, the iOS 9. There are three finishes available – metallic grey, silver and gold. The IPAD is as thin as the iPad AIR but is 78% bigger than the iPad Air 2. The display of iPad Pro is 12.9 inch that can support resolutions up to 2732 by 2048 which is pretty good compared to Pixel C.

At the core of iPad Pro is A9x, 64-bit, processor that helps in multitasking with ease. You can dock two applications side by side and can work on them at the same time. Some people say the laptop is pretty bulky and as such, is not much portable. I found the specs pretty enough to make it portable. At least, it is very lighter than my HP laptop. It is 6.9 mm thick and 12.9 inch wide. It weighs just 713 grams (1.57 pounds) which is still better than many of the laptops available in the convertibles market.

The optional but recommended accessories are detachable keyboard and pen. The pen helps you with graphic designing and the keyboard is for heavy typing applications. Both have to purchased separately but I recommend both of them as you’ll find it easier to work (and play) with those accessories.

There are 32GB models and 128 models. Pricing is high and depends on the model you are buying. At the time of writing this article, the 32 GB model was priced at $799 while the 128 GB model at $949. There is yet another model called 128 GB LTE which is priced at $1079. The 32GB and 128 GB models support only WiFi while the LTE model also supports cellular data.

Surface Book Specifications

Surface Book Specs

The latest from Microsoft is the laptop called Surface Book with detachable keyboard and a Surface Pen. It is the costliest among Pixel C, iPAD Pro and Surface Book. The price starts at $1499 and increases based on what models you are buying – i5 or i7 and internal memory size.

Surface Book runs Windows 10 and at the core is the 6th gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. This processor is much better than those available in Pixel C and iPad Pro. The screen resolution can go up to 3000 by 2000. The display size is 13.5 inches, the biggest among iPAD PRO, Pixel C and Surface Book but yet is easy to carry.

The storage is SSD based and is available in sizes of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1 TB. It too comes with a detachable keyboard that you can use for typing extensive apps such as Word, Excel etc. Then there is Surface Pen that comes as a part of the package. This pen is good for graphic works and for video editing. You can also mark webpages on Microsoft Edge using the pen.

You also get a 30 day trial of Microsoft Office with purchase of Surface Book. You can then renew the subscription or remove it and use the free versions of MS Word, Excel, OneNote at OneDrive. Even with 13.5 inches, the Surface Book is said to be mobile with the keyboard detached or flipped towards the back. The weight of Surface Book is 1516 grams – making heavier than Pixel C and iPad Pro.


To sum up, Pixel C is good for casual browsing and blogging while Surface Book is for serious computing like video editing and even AutoCAD. The iPad Pro falls in the between – for some business work and for some entertainment. Clearly, the Surface Book is the winner here in our opinion and works great as a laptop replacement!

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN