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Microsoft Surface Vs iPad

Communication and sophistication in technology evolution has spawned new tools- tools which are not just totally unbelievable with all that they do but also highlight the dire need to carve every imaginable human need- to offer you the best.

Gartner’s research says that only “17 million” tablets were sold in 2010 and around 60 million in 2011. These numbers are just a clear indication of the demand for tablets. Tablets are essentially the bigger picture of smart phones- having more massive set-up capable enough to provide you an enriching experience.

Users today appreciate hearing about new initiatives that a company is driving or will drive , eventually blazoning the vision of the company.



Microsoft is always about three things- it looks at all possible realms to

a. identify

b. build (new dynamics of creativity)

c. and offer you the “IT” product, getting all the novelty united.

There’s a drastic change in the outlook of tablets- from what were once heavy, dull looking, a mere source of business has now transformed leaps and bounds. There is absolute transformation in place right now in the tablet field. We all have become more demanding to the tablet technology- we expect more and look ahead to more than a series of static, content based box.

In this article, we will unleash to you Microsoft’s latest offering- SURFACE!! We would not just establish the context of Surface but also contrast it with iPad and Nexus. Microsoft is launching two flavors- Surface Pro and Surface RT.

If we rewind few years back, when anybody spoke of tablet, it was just APPLE’s baby-iPad that was on everybody’s lips. It was a sheer monopoly in the market dominated by APPLE. Then joined Google in this bandwagon, and it did come out with few outcomes. But when I would contrast to its success, I would still say, it has a long way to go to concur even 10% of Apple’s iPad market. Microsoft has also joined and over the few years, it has been working on it. Just few days back, Microsoft announced that it has officially arrived in the arena, with SURFACE. Microsoft isn’t usually synonymous for getting its own hardware but in this case, its has changed the strategy outright. They have not just wanted to craft something for its audience; they wanted to totally ensure that what they build will not be an amateur product/ work-in-progress effort. So this results in the perfect blend of software supremacy now integrating with best-in-breed hardware too.

The first thing that comes to my mind – is the huge potential that Surface has, to not just create but also solidify the connect with its audience. Microsoft’s culture is its brand, which seems absolutely spot –on in this product. They have not just focused on making it easy but also rewarding for the features that they have got in store for us.


The operating system forms the foundation of any powerful machine that can enhance your experience totally or ruin it totally with its performance. The rhythm to identify here is that both Microsoft and Google are primarily core software developers venturing into the hardware prospect.

iPad runs on iOS 5 (Apple has its own OS-iOS, 1 GHz Apple A5X-Apple’s custom designed chip), quad core while Nexus runs on quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor (with 12-core, Android 4.1 ,Jelly Bean). Both iPad and Nexus have 1GB of on-board RAM.

Surface Pro will ideally be on IVY Bridge Core i5 (Intel core i5 for Windows 8) and Surface RT will run on Tegra3 with Windows 8 RT.

This makes it clear that the Surface is getting on-board nothing less than big to make it function massive for you.


In today’s world it’s all about how you package your thought, which is equally important.

Feature Surface RT Surface Pro
Weight 1.5 pounds 1.9 pounds
Thin 9.3mm 13.5mm
Resolution 10.6″ HD Display 10.6 ” Full HD Display
Energy 31.5 W-h 42 W-h
Productive Office 15 Apps. Touch Cover , Type Cover Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
Case VaporMg Case & Stand VaporMg Case & Stand

So when you first look at Surface, you might get the hang of an iPad, but the real kink is the keyboard. The keyboard comes in two versions both having a touchpad.

Both versions of Surface have 10.6 “screen slightly bigger than iPad’s 9.7″ display and as illustrated above are slightly heavier than iPad (1.4 pounds).

Casing is sturdier in Surface. It’s got “VaporMg” finish on the case, which will make it easier to hold with a better grip.


Nexus7 starts at $199

Apple ranges it as WiFi – $499 16GB, $599 32GB, $699 64GB; WiFi+Cellular – $629 16GB, $729 32GB, $829 64GB

Microsoft’s Surfacr Pro will be $799 approx and Surface RT will be around $599.


Battery plays a crucial factor in all these tablets.

Nexus offers a battery (spec- 4325 mAh battery) life upto 8hrs of active use or 8 hrs of HD video play back, 10 hrs of browsing.

iPad has a built in 42.5 watt-H rechargeable battery with 10 hrs of surfing /listening music.

Surface RT has a 31.5 W-h battery while Surface Pro has 42W-h battery.


With iPAD you get storage with options available from 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB (on-board), Nexus -7 offers you 8GB and 16 GB options.

Surface RT comes with 32 GB and 64 GB (these are further more expandable via SD) storage and Surface Pro will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB (these are further more expandable via SDXC).


In this section, we talk about the Camera features and functionality that will enable the VIEW for you.

Nexus offers you 1.2 MP front facing camera. iPAD offers you 5Megapixel HD camera that has a backside illuminator sensor which enables to capture pictures (would rather say, great pictures) in dim and bright light for a sharper image. It also has IR Filter that will keep IR Light away, FaceTime Camera (0.3 Megapixel) for chats and video calls.

Surface offers you two cameras, front facing for chat and video call purpose while the rear one is for recording your meetings with a slick stand as well. I need to really highlight that this can be the cream feature that sets apart. The integrated kickstand along with its keyboard and track pad is incredibly thin. This will be Surface’s USP indeed. Additionally Surface also has “twin microphones” which will make conversations seamless for all occasions.


All the three have kept this feature as a piece that calls attention- Mobility (comprising Bluetooth, wireless and cloud options).

All of them have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. iPad offers you 3G/4G options too. Google offers its unique “Google Play” in Nexus, Apple has its iCloud/iTunes and Microsoft is establishing Windows as cloud connected OS. So as a user, you will have untapped options in this space with all of them.

Let me also talk a little bit about the ports here…

Feature Surface Pro Surface RT iPAD
HDMI Yes Yes No
MicroSD No Yes No
USB 2.0 Yes Yes No
USB 3.0 Yes No No
MicroHD video No Yes No

Microsoft wins hands-down in this space. It believes in letting you have the maximum possible portability. This might now explain to you the “extra” thickness that exists for Surface. The need for extra dongles has been a consistent requirement in iPad and will be a good selling point for Microsoft and Google.


With all products that we use, we try to develop a flavor to it, and often we structure something personal to us- potentially in the form of apps that make more sense to our personalized requirements.

Google and Apple both have a strong presence in this section, with the assortment of apps they have lined up. Both Google and Apple have engrained lot of audience, and it will be a tough call ahead for Microsoft to create a niche. But given the features and its enterprise/SMB appeal, it should reckon well. As far as, enterprise segment is concerned, Microsoft will have a strong mass-market proposition for Organizations to integrate with existing Microsoft environment/software.

To Conclude…

Today it’s all about strategy, engagement and ecosystem that really counts today. By ecosystem, I don’t mean beefy hardware, but a structure system that unites diverse flavors seamlessly.

With Surface, Microsoft has clearly illustrated that it has a mission that will always resonate user values and needs. Google’s strategy seems more by tapping the economics angle, while Microsoft is tapping the hi-end market.

Pricing is a crucial factor that forms a major part in all ventures. With the current statistics, Apple commands close to 62% market in tablet industry, Google scales in the range of 25-30%, thus its playing it safe, thanks to feasible pricing. While Apple stands out in user interface it lacks huge in terms of connectivity with the external devices and integration with non-Apple environments, Google doesn’t necessarily lack in hardware but the user appeal totally. This is where Surface, can create its periphery- and I am certain it can.

With Microsoft, the game will definitely change… Surface, with its competitive pricing (worth it , for all the features it’s got in store)- magnificent keyboard, slick magnetic cover, array of ports for connecting to other devices and the significant interoperability with “Office”, it will really set new standards for a tablet, capable enough to compete with a laptop. While I haven’t spoken much on Amazon’s Kindle, there is also a scope for this product, provided it expands its capabilities. It definitely isn’t in the league anywhere right now with these three products, but can be a potential competitor upon reforming.

As a general note, I would strongly advocate that users buy tablets with the mindset of what they can do with them- in terms of applications, content, interface, appeal and design. These attributes will definitely play a big role when it comes to users deciding the product. This is a hot market, which will rule hotter with user’s gamut and mobility.

Ratish Nair
MVP Exchange
Team@ MSExchangeGuru

KeyWords: Microsoft Surface review, Microsoft Surface specifications, Surface vs iPad

2 Responses to “Microsoft Surface Vs iPad”

  1. Prabhat Nigam Says:

    Nice comparison Ratish… I am waiting for surface pad from years… It should be just awesome… So this is book for black friday deal.

  2. Ratish Sekhar Says:

    You bet !!! 🙂

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