Head-To-Head: Google Pixel C Vs. Apple iPad Pro

Tablet Throwdown

On the heels of Microsoft's Surface Pro devices, mobility vendors left and right are developing tablets with enhanced portability and productivity features for the enterprise market.

The latest two vendors to throw their hats into the tablet ring are Apple, which recently unveiled its new iPad Pro, and Google, which during its Nexus event Tuesday showed off a new Pixel C tablet.

While the Pixel C's $499 starting cost may undercut iPad Pro's high-end $799 price tag, the iPad Pro has its own advantages.

Following is a head-to-head analysis of iPad Pro and Pixel C features, from processors to prices, which customers should consider as the holiday season approaches.

Big-Screen Loving

Apple made a huge ripple when it unveiled the amped-up size of its iPad Pro, which flaunts a 12.9-inch screen, and 2,732 x 2,048 resolution with Retina display. That's a significant change for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company, which had previously offered a 9.7-inch iPad Air 2.

Google takes a similar approach: The Google Pixel C's 10.2-inch screen, with 2,560 x 1,800-pixel display, is a bit larger than the 8.9-inch screen of the Nexus 9 tablet. However, the Pixel C's screen remains smaller than that of the iPad Pro.

Analysts stressed that the larger screen size was in part a response to the increasing popularity of large-screened phones, or "phablets," which have been eating into tablet sales. A larger screen size is also attractive to the enterprise market, as it allows for multitasking and other productivity features.


The iPad Pro is faster than 80 percent of the portable PCs shipped in the past 12 months, and faster in graphics tasks than 90 percent of the portable PC base shipped in the past 12 months, according to Apple. Behind that performance boost is a 64-bit third-generation A9X chip, which delivers 1.8 times the CPU performance and double the graphics of Apple's iPad Air 2.

The Pixel C, meanwhile, packs in mobile performance with a 64-bit quad-core Nvidia Tegra X1 CPU and a 256-core GPU running on Nvidia's Maxwell architecture.

High-End Design

Both the iPad Pro and Pixel C contain an all-aluminum body and high-end design, but in terms of design, the two tablets are fundamentally different.

At just 6.9mm and 1.57 pounds, the iPad Pro contains a slim and light design, with the high-end look and feel of Apple's devices. With the Pixel C, Google has dropped the OEM strategy that it worked on with HTC's Nexus 9, instead building its own branded tablet in an effort to improve the quality. While Google has not released exact specs on its new tablet's weight and thickness, the Pixel C takes on a new form factor with a 1:1.414 aspect ratio. This makes for a slightly clunkier version of the tablet, but analysts stress that it could also enable multiwindow mode.

Operating System

The iPad Pro will run on Apple's newest operating system, iOS 9, which was released a week ago. Apple designed its new OS with specific features targeted at its new tablet, including on-screen multitasking capabilities like picture-in-picture and split-view screen view.

Meanwhile, Google shocked consumers when it said its new Pixel C would run on Google's newer OS, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, eschewing Chrome OS, which has been used on Chromebook devices. Analysts say Google may have picked Android for its all-touch support capabilities.


Google revealed a new keyboard accessory to accompany its tablet, joining both the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro devices in adding more flexibility to its device form factor.

The wide-keyed Bluetooth keyboard, which is sold separately for $145, connects to the Pixel C through a magnet and can prop up the tablet from 100 to 135 degrees. The keyboard also charges when attached to the tablet, but does not contain a trackpad.

The iPad Pro supports Apple's new $169 accessory called the Smart Keyboard, which connects to the tablet through a new interface called the Smart Connector and allows for two-way exchange of power and data. The iPad Pro also contains a stylus dubbed Apple Pencil, which the Pixel C lacks.

Battery And Storage

The Pixel C contains 3 GB of RAM and contains the options of 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, with a 32-watt battery that Google said will last for more than 10 hours.

The Pixel C's battery life may edge out that of the iPad Pro, which contains a 3850mAh battery with 10-hour battery life. However, the iPad Pro contains an option for more storage, with a version of either 32 GB or 128 GB of storage. It was not revealed how much RAM the device contains.

Extra Features

In terms of buttons and connectors, the iPad Pro contains a Lightning connector, smart connector and four built-in stereo speakers, as well as dual microphones. It also has an 8-megapixel iSight camera with video recording capabilities and a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera.

The Pixel C contains USB-C charging and four far-field microphones that will help the device pick up voice commands. Google did not reveal anything about its new tablet's front and rear cameras.

Price And Availability

The Pixel C starts at $499 for the 32-GB version, as well as an additional $149 for the keyboard, in the U.S., according to Google. While the tablet's exact release data has yet to be revealed, a Google spokesperson said the device will available in the "coming months."

Apple's iPad Pro is more expensive, at $799, and will be available in November, in time for the holiday season.