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I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

  • 1.  I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-02-2019 12:43 PM
    Edited by Katherine Georgeson 08-02-2019 02:32 PM

    I need to purchase a tablet for travel and out of the office meetings.  I will also use it for basic office tasks, internet searches, portfolio display, presentations, and sketching over plans and images.  I can't decide between the I Pad pro and the Micro Soft surface.   We are a small office and cannot afford miss-step on hardware. I am looking for advice on which is better for architectural applications. 


    Thank you for your insight.


    Katherine S. Georgeson, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP

    ORCHESTRA Design Studio



  • 2.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-03-2019 05:34 PM
    We just got a Surface Pro for the office and I absolutely love it.  We bring to site meetings, and use as a light laptop when traveling as well (got the keyboard).  We are a PC based office, and everything works together very seamlessly.  I can even access the server remotely with it.  It runs the same Windows 10 that we use on our office machines, and can load many of the same softwares that we might need on the go.  I didn't spend much time comparing to iPad (I'm tired of mac/PC compatibility issues), but I can say the surface has been working well.

    Andrea Fisk AIA
    Shapeless Studio
    Brooklyn NY

  • 3.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-05-2019 05:42 PM
    I agree with Andrea. I love my Surface Pro. Been carrying it for a couple of years literally everywhere I go (commuting by bike, summer camp, meetings) plus it is my office workstation (via Microsoft's monitor dock) and runs everything (including cad and sketchup in a pinch).

    We have an iPad as well and it hardly gets used in our office.

    Michael Byrd, CSI AIA

    4501 Lindell Boulevard, Suite 1a
    Saint Louis, Missouri 63108

  • 4.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-06-2019 09:31 AM

    I run a small firm and have used the surface from the start.  We no longer have desktops, we dock our surface to multiple monitor displays. The machines have plenty of storage and power and we run all of our typical software, Blue Beam, Sketchup, Autodesk.  I like that whether onsite or in the office we are working on the same machine and same files reducing errors and rework.  If a client requests to see something from a previous meeting I can pull it up right during the meeting.  I've also found the ability to work wherever I am has made me much more productive. I'll show up to a meeting to find it's delayed 30mins, since I have my surface with me I can process invoices, write meeting minutes or redline drawings to keep that 30mins productive. 

    I too have never used a Mac, save for my iPhone, so I'm not sure how the ipad performs with our software?  

    Either way I think you will be very happy with the mobile workstation.  Hope this helps. 


    Scott Maddux, AIA, CDT, LEED AP
    studio M6/M6 Builders
    832.876.7113 -

  • 5.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-06-2019 11:55 AM
    If you want a pad that lasts forever and doesnt break choose Apple.

    Nelson Breech Nave, AIA, Architect

  • 6.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-05-2019 05:47 PM
    Ipad pro works here.  If you go that route, I recommend the cellular version as it allow remote internet access, email etc.  If you use an iphone, you can also receive calls.  Oh, and a large map wherever you travel.
    The screen is fabulous.  The camera is terrific.  There's lots of good software.  For sketching you might want to look at Morpholio.  The pencil is convenient for note-taking.  Never runs out of paper.  Never loses notes.  Some CAD  based client viewer software will work on iPad.  I've used the formz viewer.  There is also a Finder like app called "Documents" which is a very functional tool for organizing things.

    I'd say if you are all PC, surface might be better fit.  If you use Macs, iPad would be the better choice.  If you use PC's and an iPhone, a toss up.

    Donald Wardlaw AIA
    More Than Construction, Inc.
    Oakland CA

  • 7.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-05-2019 10:18 PM
    I agree: "If you are all PC, Surface might be a better fit.  If you use Macs, the iPad would be the better choice."

    Robert Moore AIA
    Robert E. Moore Architect
    Monroe NC

  • 8.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-06-2019 06:45 PM
    Over the past 3 years, we have been using the largest Ipad Pro and running software like Bluebeam, Morpholio Trace, PDF Pro, Sketchup viewer, Magic Plan and it all works very well.  Cellular option is super helpful with the current iPad.  Integration with google drive, dropbox is great.  It almost replaces a laptop/desktop unless you need to do alot of drafting/modeling.  


    Elmer Lin, NCARB, CSI


    2120 18th Avenue  San Francisco, California  94116

    T:  415-566-7442  F:  415-566-1431 



  • 9.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-05-2019 05:54 PM
    For the other side of the coin; we use Apple iPad Pro's with Keyboard Covers and Apple Pencils.  Can accomplish everything except BIM in the field, off-site meetings, traveling.  Exceptional products combined with great software like Morpholio Trace.  Good luck.

    R. Coco AIA
    Coco & Coco
    Midland TX

  • 10.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-05-2019 05:57 PM
    I own a Microsoft surface Book 2 which I use for travel as well.  I upgraded to the model with 1TB in order for it to house my Revit Software and it works tremendously well.

    Regina Konet AIA
    Konet Architecture
    Saratoga Springs NY

  • 11.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-05-2019 06:54 PM
    I Pad pro -  I just upgraded mine last week to the newest one and got the largest one (I had the smaller ipad pro before).
    I think the IPad Pro (especially with the new iPad OS 13 which I have on mine as beta, comes out in September) is great.  Can multitask and could use it as a laptop if you wanted but I have a MacBook Pro laptop as well.
    It's ideal to take on site and for portfolio viewing and note taking and sketching etc.  I love it.   Apple products are far better than Microsoft products in general especially the hardware and the software is far more user friendly.  Hope this helps.

    Donovan Lord Assoc. AIA
    Donovan Lord Design
    Dallas TX

  • 12.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-06-2019 07:06 AM
    As has been mentioned, a lot of the answer depends on what platform the rest of your digital office environment runs on. Anything can be made to work, but you'd likely get the easier and better experience coordinating platforms - iOS with OSX or Microsoft/Windows.

    Thomas Bank AIA
    Principal Architect
    Simply Stated Architecture, P.C.
    Lemoyne PA

  • 13.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-06-2019 05:53 PM
    I agree with the platform position. I've used both and currently use a surface pro that I've had for a few years and love it.

    Question: Has anyone gotten a surface pro with the cellular capability and how is it working out?

    Scott Wilson AIA
    Scott Wilson Architect LLC
    Franklin TN

  • 14.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-06-2019 05:54 PM
    You did not mention whether you use Mac, PC, or both as the main platform of your office. If Mac, without a doubt, go iPad Pro. If PC, I personally think you could do either, depending on what you want to do with it. For what you are saying you need it for, the iPad would be great, even if PC at the office, but if you need to run PC cad or something, then you would need to go with the Surface. I am a sole practitioner and work at the office, and also many other places as well. I use a MacBook Pro for my main computing, including ArchiCad, and my iPad for note taking, sketching, and creative tasks. The iPad has truly changed everything I do. It has become my sketch book and my notebook, and using the camera, I can take photos of things and simply sketch right on top of the photos to generate ideas right in front of clients. The pencil is transformative. It even plugs into my MacBook Pro and acts as a very nice 2nd monitor for expanded desktop space when working remotely.

    John Hutchison AIA
    John Hutchison Architecture
    Chestertown MD

  • 15.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 08-06-2019 10:09 PM
    I use an iPad Pro.  The Apple Pencil is just about perfect.  I handwrite notes and ProCreate is wonderful for sketching, detailing and markup.  I also have a keyboard cover, but don't use the keyboard part of it much - preferring the on-screen swipe keyboard.  It's very easy to hand off files between the iPad and the Mac.  For internet, I connect through my phone's hot spot.

    Joseph Calvin AIA
    Thorp Associates P.C.
    Estes Park CO

  • 16.  RE: I Pad pro Vs Micro Soft Surface

    Posted 09-08-2019 12:22 PM
    It is actually very simple, do you want to use it with software like AutoCAD, Revit, Max, Archicad, rendering, or video editing on the go, Surface is the only option (because of the OS). Your decision can be influenced in certain degree by what kind of equipment you have in your office, but not by much because most of the programs you may use in the office (Masc or PC) may also run in your Surface, like office, autocad, adobes, 3D, etc...
    For me, Surface is the best option considering the broadest range of options you will have when using it.
    BTW I have one 5 years old and still works fine, always chose i7 processors.

    Marco Andrade Assoc. AIA
    Insite Design Studio Corp.
    Elmhurst NY