Competition: Microsoft vs. Apple

Comparing iPad to Surface RT and Surface Pro

Surface vs IpadWhich tablet is better for me?


While researching, I came across this video… Microsoft commercial – it’s really quite funny.  I currently now own both Surface RT and an iPad 2 (Second generation). I decided to do some research amongst the two tablets but since my iPad is only the second generation well… I thought it’d be better to do a comparison for the iPad 4th Gen instead.

I know there are many other tablets out there, but I’ll keep this post as Microsoft vs. Apple tablets. Below is a comparison of basic models of the iPad 32 GB 4th gen to the Surface RT 32 GB and Surface Pro 64 GB models. All entries in orange are common tech specs that can be found anywhere.  All entries in green are ones that are productivity related and not mentioned as often but are probably the most important aspects from a practical usability standpoint:

  Surface RT Surface Pro iPad
Purpose Tablet Laptop in tablet form Tablet
Operating System Windows 8 RT Windows 8 iOS 6
CPU Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 3rd Gen Intel® dual-core TM i5 (2.6 GHz)  A6X chip, dual-core (1.4GHz)
Weight (in lbs) 1.5 2.0 1.44
Battery Life 8 hours 5 hours 10 hours
Display size 10.6” 10.6” 9.7”
Storage 32GB, 64B – expandable 64GB, 128GB – expandable 16, 32, 64, 128GB
USB Port Yes – 2.0 Yes – 3.0 No
HD Video-Out Port Yes – microHDMI Yes – mini Display No
MicroSD Yes Yes No
Free Cloud Storage 7 GB 7GB 5 GB
Printing Yes – most printers Yes – all printers Yes – only AirPrint printers
MS Office Yes – pre-installed with Office RT Yes – Full No
Multi accounts Yes Yes No
Run two apps at once Yes Yes No
Number of Apps in Store 160,000 Almost any Windows app made in the past 10 years, probably millions. 350,000
Keyboard Attached or Bluetooth at an extra cost Attached or Bluetooth at an extra cost Bluetooth only at an extra cost
Camera Two 720p HD LifeCams Two 720p HD LifeCams two: 1080p  & 720p cameras
Adapters Only cables are needed Only cables are needed Everything must be connected via lightning adapters.
Price $304 for students and $349 for everyone else  $899 $599

The very simple answer that I can give to help you distinguish between the two tablets and which one is better suited for you: “it depends on what you want to use it for”.

For sheer availability of apps, surfing the web, and picture taking, I would say the iPad is the right device for you.

For school work, web surfing, MS Office applications, Xbox games, I would say go with a Surface RT. If for no other reason than for the price break Microsoft is offering students and schools. In addition, the inclusion of Office RT allows many students the ability to open and edit class materials given to them electronically. On the iPad you have to use programs that might cause compatibility issues and on the Surface Pro, you need to purchase Microsoft Office as an extra expense.

And if you need a device that looks and feels like a tablet but does everything a Windows laptop can do, then Surface Pro is the device for you.

No pressure or anything.

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