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Will Google’s Pixel C knock over Apple iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro 3?

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Google is quite competitive and we are not surprised to see it launch the new Pixel C to take on the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 3. All three devices are hybrids or convertibles that can be used in slate or tablet mode, or as a laptop. We’ve already seen the iPad Pro being pitted against the Surface Pro, but could the new Pixel C topple both devices? Here’s a quick comparison to find out how the Pixel C stacks against the Surface Pro 3 and iPad Pro.

Display
The Pixel C sports a smaller 10.2-inch display compared to the Pad Pro with 12.9-inch display and 12-inch seen on the Surface Pro 3. This makes the Pixel slightly undersized for a tablet. In terms of display resolution, all three seem to be almost at par with the Pixel C display sporting a 2,560 x 1,800 resolution – iPad Pro with 2732 x 2048 pixel resolution and the Surface Pro 3 with 2160 x 1440 pixels.

OS
The Pixel C runs Android Marshmallow instead of Chrome OS. The iPad Pro runs iOS 9 while the Surface Pro works on the company’s latest Windows 10. Though debatable, the Surface Pro has an edge over the others as it will function as a full-fledged PC. The other two are still mobile OSes will definitely come with limitations.

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Processor

The Pixel C comes powered by an Nvidia Tegra X1 system-on-a-chip with Maxell GPU, coupled with 3GB of RAM. Google promises great gaming experience. The Apple iPad Pro comes powered by Apple A9X chipset along with 4GB of RAM. The new A9X is said to be 80 percent faster than all the portable PCs released in 2014. The Surface Pro 3 includes an Intel 4th Generation Core i3 CPU.

Features

All three convertibles or hybrids allow using them in tablet as well as laptop mode. The Pixel C comes with a keyboard right next to the touchscreen, allowing easy transitions between typing and touching the display. The tablet mode shows magnetic keyboard attached to the back of the tablet. When not in use it attaches to the front and can be used as a cover for the tablet. It features four microphones and a USB-C connection.

In terms of connectivity, the iPad Pro includes a lighting and smart connector whereas, the Surface Pro 3 includes a USB 3.0, microSD card reader, mini display port, cover port and charging port.
The iPad Pro 3 is compatible with the Apple Pencil that need to purchased separately while the Surface Pro 3 is optimised for a digital pen that is included with the device.

Without disclosing much, the company says it has ‘great battery life’. The iPad Pro features a 38.5-watt-hour rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery that claims to last up to 10 hours while using the web on Wi-Fi, watching videos, listening to music. Microsoft has not mentioned the exact capacity for the battery, but the Surface Pro 3 is expected to last up to 9 hours of web browsing.

On the camera front, the iPad Pro gets an 8MP rear snapper along with a 1.2MP front facing camera. On the other hand, the Surface Pro 3 comes with a 5MP front facing as well as rear camera, along with 1080p video recording features. However, Pixel C has given the camera a miss all
together. When it comes to professional tablets, cameras aren’t really a big feature to look forward to. But a good front-camera helps with video calling features.

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Price and availability

It’s the comparatively lower pricing that sets apart the Pixel C as the 32GB model is priced at $499 and 64GB at $599. The magnetic keyboard is sold separately for $149. The iPad Pro is priced at $799 for a 32GB variant while the 128GB variant will cost users $949. Apple’s smart keyboard is priced at $169. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is priced at $799 for a 64GB storage variant and the 128GB variant is priced at $899.

Bottom line

Google’s Pixel C comes across as the best Android tablet we’ve seen so far. The detachable keyboard makes it smarter and the specs aren’t lightweight either. However, the iPad Pro and Surface Pro seem to go beyond the keyboard functionality and are more focussed at replacing traditional laptops. For instance, the iPad Pro comes with a stylus and a handful of features to woo professionals, while the Surface Pro is letting you use the device as a full-fledged PC with the inclusion of some handy work tools. It has also included the digitise pen.

For now, on paper, the Pixel C looks like a high-end tablet with a detachable keyboard for ease of use.

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