Review of the iPad vs. Microsoft Surface

by | Jan 8, 2013 | jahlberg

The iPad made the tablet popular, and now years later, Microsoft is jumping into the mix with their new Surface tablet. The big question on everyone’s mind is how it compares to the iPad and Android tablets.  Is the Surface the perfect blend of portability and functionality?  Will it be a great tablet AND run Word, Excel and PowerPoint well enough to meet your work needs on the road?  It hits in some areas and misses in a lot of others.

The first thing to consider about the Microsoft Surface tablet is that there are two versions – RT and Pro. Many people have been confused by Microsoft’s marketing, which has been spinning some conflicting tales about what the device can do.   Some of the features are only for the Pro version that runs the full Windows 8 operating system. The RT version runs a slimmed down version of Windows 8 and it cannot run any of your desktop apps. This is a BIG deal since most people think that they can pick up any Surface tablet today and have it run their desktop apps. Your only option to do this would be with the Pro and that device is twice the cost and weight of the RT version. With the current dearth of apps for the Surface, and the expensive price point for the PRO, it probably makes sense to sit this first version out.

Why I would want one

  • The Windows 8 Pro version
    • It can run pretty much any of my desktop applications.
    • It has a cool keyboard cover (for extra $$).
    • It could replace my laptop to handle my travel and home needs.
  • The RT version
    • It’s pretty thin and light.
    • The price is reasonable for a higher end tablet.
    • It has a cool keyboard cover (for extra $$).

Why I would not get one

  • The Windows 8 Pro version
    • The battery life is only 5 hours. Many laptops are better.
    • The thing weighs in at 2 pounds which is really heavy for a tablet. Heck, you can pick up a comparable laptop that will weigh the same.
    • It is VERY expensive for a tablet. The device is about $900 and when you add the cool keyboard cover, the price goes up to over a $1,000. You can get a good laptop with a larger screen and better battery life that converts to a tablet for that kind of dough.
    • Half of the onboard memory is already used. You pick up a 32 gb unit and you only have 16 gb of space to use for yourself.
    • There aren’t many apps available yet.
  • The RT version
    • There are better tablets on the market and at better price points.
    • Half of the onboard memory is already used. You pick up a 32 gb unit and you only have 16 gb of space to use for yourself.
    • There aren’t many apps available yet.

Want more information about the Surface?

 

John Ahlberg, CEO, Waident Technology Solutions

John Ahlberg
CEO, Waident

CIO in the corporate world and now for Waident clients. John injects order and technology into business process to keep employees productive, enterprises running, and data safe.

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