Yesterday, Microsoft started accepting pre-orders for the new Surface tablet. This tablet has gained lots of media attention over the past few months. The Surface is one of the first tablets to feature Microsoft RT. It may also be one of the latest tablets to directly challenge the iPad. Already, Microsoft has created ad campaigns featuring the Surface that are a lot like Apple’s own iPad campaigns.
Pop music, bright colors, and a tablet that’s designed to speak to the iPad crowd has started popping up. But, should you ditch those iPad dreams (or ditch your iPad) for a Surface? Before you pre-order Microsoft’s latest and greatest, here are some things to think about. Note: this review will compare the 32GB Surface with the 32GB iPad.
Size and Weight Comparison
Tablets should be portable. Apple’s iPad weighs 1.46 pounds. Microsoft’s Surface isn’t quite as light, but it’s really close at 1.5 pounds. The iPad is also smaller measuring 9.5 by 7.3 by 0.37-inches. Microsoft’s Surface specs are 10.81 by 6.77 by 0.37-inches. Again, the difference in size is really minimal. So, it might be hard to choose one over the other based on size and weight alone. What about the hardware inside of each tablet?
Surface VS. iPad Hardware Comparison
Apple tends to stick with Apple processors, which is why the iPad has an Apple A5X Dual Core Processor. The Surface has a Nvidia Tegra T30. Microsoft’s choice to go with a Nvidia processor was a good one, and the Tegra T30 stacks up to the A5X well. Of course, the iPad runs on iOS while the Surface runs on Windows RT. It’s hard to state how RT will stack up to iOS, since RT is relatively new. Windows RT is the biggest update to come from Microsoft in a long time. The new OS is also expected to be huge, but you’ll have to wait and see just how this one pans out.
The Surface lineup includes a 32GB at $499 and a 64GB version at $599. Apple’s 32GB iPad can be purchased for $599 (WiFi); the 16GB at $499; and the 64GB for $699. The size that you choose will depend on how large or small you want your tablet to be. But, price-wise, the two tablets are priced competitively. It is worth pointing out, however, that the Surface has a 10.6-inch screen while the iPad comes with a 9.7-inch screen. If scree size is important to you, the Surface may be worth looking at.
A Few Pre-Sale Surface Drawbacks
There are a few things about the Surface that should be pointed out. First, you cannot run any older version of Windows programs or apps on the new Surface. Currently, the Surface does not support older programs, though this is something that Microsoft is working on (expected date: 2013). Second, the Surface does not come with LTE. Not sure whether or not the Surface is for you? If you haven’t already pre-ordered the new Microsoft tablet, here’s a suggestion: wait until the tablet hits store shelves. Then, head to your local retailer and try out the Surface before you buy one. This way, you can compare the Surface the iPad first hand.