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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019)
Apple iPad Air (2019)
See Top Ranked Pen Computers

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (2019) vs Apple iPad Air (2019)

Analysis:

The Apple iPad Air (2019) and Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) are both excellent choices at their respective budgets. The Apple iPad Air (2019) is among the very best Pen Computers for $499 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) is exemplary at $1199. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can't go wrong with either option.

The Apple iPad Air (2019) has done great in a couple of roundups conducted by highly trusted sources that perform objective in-depth testing, like Tom's Guide, PCmag, and Wirecutter - it earned the "The best mid-range Apple tablet" title from Tom's Guide, "Best for Multimedia and Gaming" from PCmag, and "Budget pick" from Wirecutter. Any product that's held in high regard by such reliable sources should be considered by anyone that's looking for a Pen Computer at this price point.

Taking a look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019), we found that it got praised by Wirecutter and PCmag - two sources that are known for their high-quality in-depth testing. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) was named "Top Pick" by Wirecutter and "Best for Sketchers, Note-Takers" by PCmag in their respective Pen Computer roundups; that suggests that it's a product that's worth considering.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. Lifewire, Laptop Mag, TrustedReviews, and The Verge, for example, preferred the Apple iPad Air (2019), while PCmag rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Apple iPad Air (2019) got reviewed the highest by What Hi-Fi? - it gave it a rating of 10, while the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) most impressed reviewers at Notebookcheck.net, which gave it a score of 8.8.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Pen Computers on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Pen Computers being 7.7 out of 10, whereas the Apple iPad Air (2019) and Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) managed averages of 9.0 and 7.8 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Apple iPad Air (2019) vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
Wirecutter
Notebookcheck.net
Tom's Guide
CNET
TechSpot
Techradar
Laptop Mag
Good Housekeeping
Android Central
Tech. Specs Comparison
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019)
$1,199
Apple iPad Air (2019)
$499
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 7: The Best Pro Tablets” 
Last updated: 27 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Style-Conscious Frequent Travelers
in “The Best Windows Tablets for 2020” 
Last updated: a day ago
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The best mini laptops you can buy in 2020” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Our expert guide to buying a tablet” 
Last updated: 20 Aug 2019
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best detachable 2-in-1
in “Best 2-in-1 convertible laptop in 2020” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Still the best hybrid
in “Best laptop UK 2020: The finest Windows, Apple and Chrome OS laptops you can buy from £230” 
Last updated: 23 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best mid-range tablet with keyboard
in “Best laptop for writers in 2020: the 10 best laptops for authors and journalists” 
Last updated: 7 Mar 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best of Microsoft
in “Best Laptops in 2020” 
Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
TechSpot
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Productivity Tablet
in “The Best Tablets 2020” 
Last updated: 4 Jan 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best Microsoft Surface” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 10
in “Best laptop 2020: Our top 10 notebooks ranked” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Sketchers, Note-Takers
in “The Best Touch-Screen Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 17 Apr 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Windows 2-in-1 for students
in “Best laptop for college: Apple, Dell, Microsoft and more compared” 
Last updated: 19 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best mid-range tablet with keyboard
in “Best tablet with keyboard 2020: top tablets you can type on” 
Last updated: 2 Nov 2019
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for On-the-Go Digital Artists
in “The Best 2-in-1 Convertible and Hybrid Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Apr 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best detachable 2-in-1
in “Best 2-in-1 PCs in 2020 for when you need a laptop and tablet in one” 
Last updated: 19 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best business tablets of 2020: top picks for productivity slates” 
Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Note Takers, Presenters
in “The Best Laptops for College Students in 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 10
in “Best laptop for programming in 2020: top picks for coders, developers and sysadmins” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 7
in “Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Presidents' Day sales 2020: Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart and more” 
Last updated: 14 Feb 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Tablets for Best Buy Curbside Pick-up” 
Last updated: 24 Mar 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Mar 2020
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best mid-range Apple tablet
in “The best tablets in 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Multimedia and Gaming
in “The Best Tablets for 2020” 
Last updated: 14 days ago
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Budget pick
in “iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 7: The Best Pro Tablets” 
Last updated: 27 Apr 2020
Notebookcheck.net
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.8 out of 10
in “Notebookcheck's Top 10 Tablets” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best tablet 2020: The top iOS, Windows and Chrome OS tablets available now” 
Last updated: 14 days ago
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “8 best tablets for 2020” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
TechSpot
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Tablets 2020” 
Last updated: 4 Jan 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 8
in “The Best Tablets of 2020” 
Last updated: 14 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best tablet 2020: the top tablets you can buy right now” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Laptop Mag
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 10
in “Best tablets in 2020” 
Last updated: 9 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
For the man who wants the best tablet
in “10 best Valentine's Day gifts for him” 
Last updated: 8 Feb 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Apple iPad: Which iPad should you buy?” 
Last updated: 23 Mar 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 9.0 out of 10
in “Best laptop for students 2020” 
Last updated: 20 Apr 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The iPad Is the Best Tablet” 
Last updated: 27 Mar 2020
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