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.


iPads within Education

We as Early Childhood Educators and teachers are all looking at different possibilities on how we can expand a child or children’s learning through several different ways and implementations; why not start with something such as a tablet? iPads are amazing new tablets that was introduced in 2009 by Apple Inc. iPads are 241.2 mm in height and by 185.7 mm in width and weighing under less than two pounds. With such an outstanding breakthrough in technology, such a simple, light device, we can change the way education is taught to children.

As educators, we plant the seeds of knowledge and water the seeds with our scaffolding in the way we educate and practice our philosophy. 

Not only are iPads a great use for older students, but also beneficial to younger children. New applications for the iPad are being released, which are catered to educating young children. Such simple, yet enjoyable and interactive applications are: Word Magic, Clifford’s BE BIG, Toontastic, and Highlights Hidden Pictures. These applications for the iPad are developmentally appropriate, yet able to provide interactive hypermedia and hypertext.

When children are playing, they’re learning, whether we as adults don’t want to believe it or not. 

Times have changed where education was seen differently 50 years ago and the way education is seen now; especially since theres major differences in generations. For example, today, those who are over the age of 25 probably wear wristwatches while those who are under the age of 25 do not wear any wristwatches, but instead use a phone that is a multi-functional device whereas wristwatches are single function devices. Ken talks about how education is linearity meaning we just go from one point to the next. Today, we all live in a digital world whether we want to believe it or not. With so much new advancements in technology, we might as well use it to benefit ourselves by using it to evolve the way technology can be used inside the classroom. 

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FlowerPower Lite

Flower Power Lite is a simple game that is web-based. You are easily learning math, but at the same time having a fun,interactive time doing it. Nowadays, children play video games a lot when they get home, regardless. If they’re going to play games, if parents allow them, when they get home, why not allow your children to play educational, purposeful games?

Girl child with iPad

Children who are born now in the 21st century are born into the digital world where we can get information so quickly by mobile devices, especially ones at our finger tips. By providing children with such a tool, iPads allow such information to be accessed easily right at their finger tips.

Why the use of an iPad?
iPads are fitted with such a low screen, high pixel resolution, and don’t weigh a lot, they help a lot within the classroom or even at home. Since iPads aren’t any other normal tablets (that just act as e-readers), iPads are able to be formatted to actually play educational software applications or even become an e-reader. Since iPads are so light weight, it makes them extremely easy to carry around with no hassle at all, yet doubling as a portable textbook that doesn’t weigh over five pounds. A lot of older children use the internet a lot for homework, browsing, or even playing games. With the internet as a useful tool in our educational system, an iPad is a great benefit to enhancing the way children learn by providing new and engaging ways to understand and learn complex concept by gaining access to the internet.

Boy child with iPad

As educators, we can broaden the way we interact with parents throughout our childcare centres and schools. There is a lot of different views on integrating technology into our classrooms and with a lot of new breakthroughs in technology, we can easily incorporate technology in our classroom, however, that’s not always the case for certain educators since they’ve grown up in a century where internet and technology had no use, or has been expanded as to what it is today. According to a father, Avi Savar,

“I have come to enjoy the time my daughter and I spend playing together on my iPad.  We have curated a terrific library of apps that bring smiles, songs, new words, letters, shapes and colors into her world.  I am constantly amazed by how quickly she learns the nuances of a particular app and is able to fly solo within minutes of launching a new one.  She’s only two and half years old but can navigate an iPad more effectively than my mother in law” (Content to Commerce, 2010).

As an educator myself, I believe we can incorporate the way technology has evolved into are classrooms with such simple devices such as an iPad. If children under three years of age has the capability of playing around with an electronic device, what does that mean for children who are a lot older? I am a strong believer in play and how play allows children to learn; allowing an iPad to help children “play” indeed allows them to develop developmentally appropriate. With such a digital culture we are all in now, there is no way we as educators can ignore technology.


Davis, B. L (2012 March). Arguments for the iPad in Education. Retrieved October 3, 2012, from

Savar, A. (2010 November). Content to Commerce: 40 Educational iPad Apps for Kids. Retrieved October 3, 2012, from