Microsoft says the iPad Pro is a 'companion device' -- not a full PC

IPad Pro Tim CookThe GuardianApple CEO Tim Cook holds an iPad Pro onstage.

Dan Laycock, a senior communications manager for Microsoft Surface, told Trusted Reviews that the iPad Pro is “always going to be a companion device” rather than a full PC.

The iPad Pro, which has a 12.9-inch screen, has been marketed by Apple as a PC replacement. Apple CEO Tim Cook even went as far as asking “why would you buy a PC anymore?” when presented with a powerful device like the iPad Pro.

“Microsoft really wants you to only carry one device for tablet and PC use,” said Laycock, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. “Whereas the iPad Pro is always going to be a companion device.”

Microsoft has championed the 2-in-1 form factor, which combines a tablet and a laptop into one. The Surface Pro, which was first unveiled in February 2013, had the power of a laptop and a detachable touchscreen. Sales of the Surface Pro were initially slow, but have picked up over recent years.

Apple introduced the iPad Pro in November last year, looking to open the iPad up to creative professionals, such as graphic designers.

Laycock also talked about Apple’s decision to make a stylus, called Pencil, for the Pro. “At one point in time, Apple declared that if there’s a stylus, that’s failure,” he said. “[Microsoft is] a huge believer in the pen; we know our customers love it.”

Comparing the Surface Pro, which runs Windows 10, to the iPad Pro, which runs iOS, is not a “one-on-one comparison,” according to Laycock. “We don’t see it as a one-to-one comparison, because [the Surface] is a full PC, you’re running full apps,” he said.

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