How does Microsoft’s Surface tablet compare to the iPad? – Jesse
Microsoft is betting big on its overhaul of Windows and the primary driver of this radical change is the explosion of mobile devices. Microsoft’s vision is to provide its users with the exact same interface on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
The Surface tablet is their entry into the very crowded tablet market with this vision and I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little time using one as my primary mobile computing device instead of my iPad.
For clarification, I wasn’t given a review unit by Microsoft. I purchased one in hopes that it would provide me with a better productivity tool when I travel.
The hardware itself is well built and has lots of features that aren’t found on the iPad or require you to purchase additional accessories to accomplish.
One of the first things that I fell in love with was the built-in kickstand that allows for easy viewing and interaction when you aren’t holding it.
The entry level Surface tablet ($499) has twice the memory of the comparably priced iPad (32Gb versus 16Gb) and allows for expansion of up to 64Gb via the microSD slot for storing more of your data (apps must reside on the internal memory).
The standard USB port provides an easy way to interface with flash drives, tethering with smartphones, connecting with digital cameras or any number of peripherals that Apple requires a separate dongle to accomplish.
The display in portrait mode is taller than an iPad but not as wide. It’s really designed to be used in landscape mode as the operating system, kickstand and keyboard connector are optimized for it.
The iPad’s Retina display is superior from a resolution standpoint, but the Surface certainly provides a more than adequate display for everything that I’ve needed.
The design really emphasizes that this tablet is built for productivity as well as entertainment. The wider screen in landscape mode allows for a wider external keyboard that’s much closer to a standard keyboard than any of the iPad accessories that I’ve used.
There are two specially designed keyboards available that magnetically snap to the tablet and also serve as a cover if you want more than an on-screen keyboard. The Touch keyboard ($119) was all anyone could talk about during the launch event because it’s a really thin keyboard with touch keys, but I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t spend the extra $10 to get the more traditional Type keyboard. The tactile response that most touch typists are used to only exists on the Type keyboard, so it’s imperative that you test out both before making a decision.
If connecting your tablet to an external video display is important, the micro HDMI port will come in handy but when it comes to the speaker system, the iPad’s the clear winner.
When it comes to apps, the meager selection currently available via the Microsoft Store is a joke compared to the 275,000 apps that are available for the iPad. This will change over time, but there is one significant advantage the Surface has over the iPad for Windows users: Office 2013 is pre-loaded.
The Windows RT interface (a subset of Windows 8) is a big departure from previous versions of Windows, but I was surprised how quickly I became acclaimated to it. It was certainly a shorter learning curve than my first Android device.
My opinion is that if you’re more interested in entertainment, then stick with the iPad but if you lean more towards being productive with a side of entertainment, the Surface tablet is worth a look as long as you don’t mind being an early adopter.
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
Latest Data Doctors
- 'Fun' quizzes on Facebook exist to get your information
- Do CDs and DVDs wear out over time?
- You can use an old smartphone as a security system depending on your needs
- Is getting an Apple smartphone really safer than one that runs Android?
- This is why you still can't use chipped credit cards everywhere