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Microsoft Surface Tablet VS Apple iPad

New iPad VS Microsoft Surface RT: Screen
Here things swing dramatically in Apple’s favour. The 9.7in Retina Display on its new iPad is simply stunning, and sports an un-matched 2,048 x 1,536 resolution. That’s more than most desktop monitors, and certainly more than the average tablet.

We’re still not sure whether the 10.6in Surface RT will only be offered with a 1,366 x 768 resolution or whether the Full HD res found on the Surface Pro will also be an option, but either way Microsoft’s tablet loses out – with one exception: when watching video and playing widescreen games, Apple’s ‘squarer’ aspect ratio is far from ideal, resulting in big black bars.   

Verdict: iPad hits the bull’s ‘i’
Yes the Surface’s widescreen display may be preferable for watching movies and TV shows, but the iPad 3’s Retina Display is still unmatched and unrivalled.


iPad VS Surface: Specs
This is a tough one as the Surface RT’s specifications haven’t all been confirmed. The Microsoft tablet is most likely to sport a quad-core Tegra 3 derivative, but we wouldn’t rule out a quad-core Snapdragon S4/Krait either. The former beats the new iPad’s A5X SoC in CPU performance but pulls the short straw when it comes to GPU power, while the latter with Adreno 300-series GPU would give the A5X a serious trouncing in every regard. 

RAM is also unconfirmed, but at a guess both tablets will have the same 1GB. In storage the iPad and Surface RT are again well-matched, with 16-64GB for the iPad and 32-64GB for the Microsoft tab. However, Surface lets you double its memory using a microSD card, where Apple’s candidate is limited to what you buy it with.

Verdict: Even Steven
Until we know more we’re calling this one a draw, though thanks to its expandable storage the Surface already holds an edge.


iPad VS Surface Windows RT: Software
The RT has Office, ‘nuff said. Seriously though, considering the severe lack of comprehensive Office suites to rival Microsoft’s offering on both iOS and Android, we can’t see anything touching Surface with Windows RT and Office 15 Apps for those interested in productivity. Windows 8 RT will also make for a more flexible platform than iOS.

In every other regard, Apple’s iPad has the software advantage. Windows 8 RT will inevitably be the underdog when it comes to app selection compared to the long-established iOS and Android competition, at least for a while.

Verdict: iPad ices the competition
Until Windows 8 RT builds up momentum, the iPad has it beat for software choice - unless productivity is a priority, in which case RT’s Office 15 Apps will makes a compelling argument for the Microsoft option. Of course this argument doesn’t apply to the X86 Surface Pro, which has the entire Windows 7 back catalogue at its disposal.


Conclusion
The Surface tablet is more flexible and thinner. It offers a kickstand, keyboard covers, bundled Microsoft Office, and far better connectivity. Its Windows 8 RT OS is also a potentially more powerful platform. In all, it has the ingredients to be a far better laptop replacement than the iPad.

On the other hand the new iPad has a far higher ‘Retina’ screen resolution, is slightly lighter, arguably looks better, has a massive installed user base, and a huge app selection.

It might be too early to call a winner, but it’s certain that if Microsoft can launch its tablet as presented and with everything working smoothly, it will have one heck of a contender on its hands.

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