While the exact differences in the hardware specifications of Apple and Windows tablets depend on the individual models, CPU architecture, operating system used and the connectivity options are three differences that users can observe between iPads and most Windows tablets.
Whereas all iPads use ARM processors, Windows tablets often use x86 alternatives. The main difference between the two is that ARM chips consume lower amounts of power while also providing less processing capabilities. As a result, the processors in Windows tablets can handle complex calculations more easily. This also means that iPads are likely to last longer between charges than the average Windows tablet.
As Windows tablets often use x86 CPUs, they can also run desktop-grade operating systems. In comparison, iPad models run iOS, an operating system designed for mobile devices. This enables Windows tablets to run professional desktop applications such as Adobe Photoshop, while iPads can only handle mobile applications with fewer features.
Windows tablets usually have more ports to connect to more devices at a time. As of January 2016, iPad Pro is the most advanced iPad tablet and offers two ports: a lightning port and a smart connector port. In comparison, the Surface Pro 4 offers one USB 3.0, one mini DisplayPort, one Surface Connect and one cover port, as well as a microSD card reader.