Since the introduction of the iPad in 2010, the technology world has seen an evolutionary shift in the type of “computing” that one employs at any given time. No longer are we tethered to our desks and our desktops. We now use our phones, laptops and tablets anywhere we feel the need to. To think about this on a grand scale, in the course of about 15 years, we’ve moved from Desktops to Laptops, Laptops to phones and/or tablets and now, on to hybrid or convergence devices that combine elements of laptops and tablets together. The two most prominent and exciting devices in this category unsurprisingly comes from two technology stalwarts: Apple and Microsoft.

Apple’s introduction to the field is the iPad Pro. It is the largest iPad Apple has ever built and the first to include true stylus support with palm blocking technology. Adding to the package, the iPad Pro also supports a keyboard cover with kickstand.

Delving into the product a little further, the iPad Pro’s performance with the brand new A9X processor makes it fastest iPad ever. The iPad Pro also has 2x the amount of RAM that any other iPad has had before it, which directly impacts the new multitasking capabilities such as being able to split the screen in half to run two apps at the same time. Lastly, the Apple keyboard cover is waterproof.

The tablet is expensive on its own, starting at $799 for the 32GB model and the most popular accessories such as the Apple Pencil at $99, The Smart Keyboard at $169 together are about a third of the price off the tablet. Even though the iPad Pro could pass for a laptop, it is still a tablet, so it still runs the same kind of applications you would have on your phone. That aspect of this could be hit or miss, considering that it’s up to the app developers to make the best use of the new hardware. Another slight annoyance is that the Keyboard cover only props the tablet up in one position. You can’t extend it and if you try to flatten the angle, the tablet will just fall forward. Curiously, there’s no place to hold the Apple Pencil or its cover on the tablet. Finally, the time to charge the device is unusually when long compared to other devices in its class.

Moving along to the Microsoft’s latest foray into hybrid computing, the Surface Pro 4. The Surface Pro 4 line features the newest Intel processors which provides the best battery life to date of the hybrid class devices available. The processors are able to have that benefit while enjoying a performance bump of about 20% over last year’s models. The Surface Pro 4 line has a number of configuration options ranging from $899 to $2699. Included in the price is the Stylus with has a Bluetooth eraser button. Simply touching the “eraser” portion of the stylus to the screen deletes your drawing. It’s also clickable. Clicking once brings up OneNote, twice allows you to take a screen shot and holding the button down brings up the digital assistant, Cortana. The Keyboard Cover is back-lit, has a full sized track pad and as an option for a fingerprint reader.

Taking a closer look at the device, without increasing the size of the device from last year’s model, Microsoft managed to make the screen larger by decreasing the bezels around the frame. This means if you purchased other accessories for last year’s model (namely a dock), you can still use it on this year’s Surface Pro. There are ports and expansion slots around the frame of the device. Namely: a USB 3.0 port, a headset jack, a microSD card slot and a mini DisplayPort. There is also a kickstand built in to the device that allows for having the device propped up at multiple angles.

The Surface Pro line of devices can get pretty pricey. For $899, you get a device with a mobile-class processor instead of a laptop-processor, 4GB of RAM and 128 GBs of storage. If you would like better specs, you will have to spend a decent amount of money on upgrades. Like the models before it, the keyboard cover doesn’t come included. It’s $129.99 for the standard keyboard cover and $159.99 for the cover that includes a fingerprint reader. The Battery life on the models with laptop class processor will hover around 7 to 8 hours which is OK for laptops but won’t compare to the 10 hours of battery you’ll get with an iPad.

When deciding which device works best for you, the most important aspect to consider is where you actually plan on using the device. In the workplace, Surface Pro computers are treated the same way that laptops are with respect to IT management. iPads are normally deployed a bit separately. Of course this varies from company to company. The important distinction to make here is that these devices don’t really have a “class” of their own yet in the enterprise field so ask your IT department what devices they support first. For at home use, your preferences may be more defined. If you use an iPad for web browsing and watching video, a more powerful iPad with a larger screen would make the most sense for you. If you are looking to replace an older or heavier laptop or even a desktop computer, the Surface Pro may fit your needs better. For children’s use, I would go with the iPad Pro considering the sheer amount of apps in the App Store dedicated for just that segment. The Windows Store is just now starting to expand on their offerings and while the store is expanding, it’s just not on the same level as Apple’s App Store. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make and the convergence device field only has room to grow. Happy hunting!