Surface looks great, but is it? We compare it and the new iPad to find out.
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Microsoft’s Surface tablets wowed us, but how Redmond delivered competition for Apple’s iPad?
After digesting media and watching most of the conference of the Microsoft Surface unveiling, I’ve come away pretty impressed and optimistic that this could by my tablet for the long-term. I say that because Apple’s iPad is very good, but not a productivity device, so I thought comparing the two would be interesting to see how the two devices compare spec-for-spec.
The new iPad uses the Retina display, which is by far and away the best screen on the market. Unfortunately Microsoft remained coy on the actual specs of its HD and full HD screens for the Windows RT and Windows Pro versions of Surface respectively, so we’ll have to wait to see how they perform at retail.
The Windows RT version of surface measures .36 inches thick and weighs 1.5 pounds, and the Windows RT versions measure .49 inches thick and weighs 1.99 pounds. The new iPad is better and worse depending on which version of Surface you’re considering: it measures .37 inches thick and weighs 1.33 pounds. Either way, they’re both very light. The RT version seemed to disappear it was so thin.
Again, the RT and Pro versions differ. This time’s it hardware: RT uses a Nvidia Tegra chip, and Pro uses the new Intel i5 Ivy Bridge processor. It means top performance, rivalling very capable gaming laptops, and compares to the iPad’s custom A5X chip. We can’t compare benchmarks, but the iPad is known for very consistent performance. As I’ve said before, Microsoft’s needs to do the same.
Storage for Windows RT for Surface is 32 or 64GB, while the Pro variant offers 64GB-128GB of storage. The new iPad offers 16, 32 or 64GB.
The big advantage Surface has over any iPad model is connectivity: there’s USB 2.0 and 3.0 support in the RT and Pro versions respectively. That’s great because it means I can transfer files from my desktop, to laptop to tablet. If Apple wants the iPad to truly reflect the post-PC era, then it has to include USB. Microsoft is using a very capable form factor and offers the integration.
Check out the full specs of the Surface tablet