Microsoft Surface Tablet vs Apple new iPad
When we look at the evolution of the tablet as a standalone device, Apple has contributed considerably for the growth of the market. Although the concept of Tablet PCs and Tablets itself existed before the introduction of iPads, they were never major attractions. Apple picked the right time to introduce the iPad when the related software was developed to the correct extent. The market was craving for an innovative and attractive product at the time, and when Apple introduced iPad, the consumers embraced it dearly. Although a lot of major analysts consider that as a rip-off, and the market for tablets is virtual, that is not the observable case. As we can see, Tablet has made it to the major stream PC market, and that speaks for itself.
Following Apple, other manufacturers also tried to come up with a good tablet PC and the obstruction was the lack of a suitable OS. This was filled by the Android operating system. As of now, there are major manufacturers competing each other and against Apple for their place in the market. The newest addition for this evolving market is the Microsoft Surface Tablet. Microsoft has tried to push their operating system in to tablets since a long time. In 2001, they encouraged third party manufacturers to produce a tablet to use their Windows XP tablet version and subsequently other Operating Systems, as well. Unfortunately, back in the days, these products resembled more to the PC than a mobile work station with short battery lives and heavy weights that made them an utter failure. That has improved recently with the intervention of ultrabooks, but Microsoft doesn’t really seem to be pleased with its partners about the hardware specs of these tablets. As per our understanding, that is why Microsoft has taken the hardware section into their hands, as well.
Although this is the case, looking at the history, Microsoft has dearly failed most of its attempts at hardware products whereas they had a huge margin on software products. For instance, their music player Zune and their phone Kin were both failures. This doesn’t necessarily imply that the Microsoft Surface will also be a failure. Hence we will compare Microsoft Surface with Apple new iPad and find out the differences that would make Surface a better product.
Microsoft Surface Tablet Review
Microsoft Surface was unveiled on Monday by the CEO Steve Ballmer, and with that, he promised a lot of guarantees to the devoted Windows fans. The Surface is said to take advantage of the relatively few criticisms Apple iPad has. Mainly, Microsoft guaranteed that the Surface Tablet would not compromise the productivity for which the PCs are uniquely known. As we mentioned, we interpret this as Microsoft venturing in to the hardware realm to ensure that there will be no shortcomings for their software on the prominent tablet market. This is partly due to the fact that Microsoft doesn’t have a say in the increasingly growing tablet market, but they are also targeting to keep the monopoly they have on the operating systems on PCs that have recently been deviated in to iOS and Android with the tablets.
There are two versions of the Surface Tablet. The smaller version features Windows RT operating system, which is optimized for tablets. It is 9.3 mm thick and runs on the low-power ARM chips. This version of Surface Tablet is mainly for users who don’t need the performance of a stationary PC or a Laptop. Instead, this would act as a fully-fledged tablet like Apple iPad or an Android tablet. It is said to have 10.6 inches touchscreen that features 16:9 aspect ratio which would make it ideal for HD movies. It weighs 1.5 pounds and hence comfortable to hold in your hand. What differentiates Surface Tablet from the iPad is that it has a 3mm thick touch keyboard cover that is attached using magnets. It essentially acts as the cover for the device, and you can scroll it down when you want to type something comfortably. To make it even more easily, it has a 0.7mm thick kickstand that can hold the tablet upright so that the user can directly stare at the screen when they are typing. Microsoft hasn’t announced the price for this device, but it is said to be in the range of $499 to $829.
A slightly thicker version of the Surface Tablet comes with much anticipated operating system Windows 8. This is of 13mm thickness and weighs less than 2 pounds. It would also have a stylus apart from the attached keyboard cover. This will use fully-fledged mobile processors as opposed to the use of low-power ARM processors. Unfortunately, this is as much information as we have about this tablet. Microsoft hasn’t announced the full specifications for the two Surface Tablets although they are bound to be released before the end of this year. We are expecting Microsoft to reveal the full spec soon and hopefully Surface Tablets will have a good battery life, as well. Looking at this product from the Software giant, there was a common question most analysts asked. Why wouldn’t Microsoft emphasize the harmonic use of their software and hardware elements with device? For instance, why doesn’t Microsoft demonstrate the use of Skype on this device, or why doesn’t Microsoft demonstrate how much they can do with this device along with the inputs taken from Kinect?
Knowing Microsoft, we would get the answers for these questions sooner than later and hopefully they would turn out to be favorable responses.
Apple new iPad (iPad 3) Review
Apple tried to revolutionize the market again with the new iPad. The new iPad (iPad 3) comes with a 9.7 inches HD IPS retina display that features a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels at a pixel density of 264ppi. This is a huge barrier that Apple has broken, and they have introduced 1 million more pixels to the generic 1920 x 1080 pixels display which used to be the best resolution a mobile device provides. The total number of pixels adds up to 3.1 million, which is actually a monster resolution that hasn’t been matched by any tablet currently available in the market. Apple guarantees that iPad 3 has 44% more color saturation compared to previous models and, in fact, photos and texts look wonderful in the big screen.
That’s not all about it, the new iPad has 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual core CPU with quad core SGX 543MP4 GPU built into the Apple A5X Chipset. Apple claims A5X to offer two-times the graphic performance of an A5 chipset used in iPad 2. It is needless to say that this processor will make everything work smooth and seamlessly with 1GB of RAM.
The new iPad (iPad 3) has three variations based on internal storage, which is enough to stuff all of your favorite TV shows. The new iPad runs on Apple iOS 5.1, which is a great operating system with a very intuitive user interface. There is a physical home button available at the bottom of the device, as usual. The next big feature Apple introduces is iSight camera, which is 5MP with autofocus and auto-exposure using a backside illuminated sensor. It has an IR filter built into it which is really great. The camera can also capture 1080p HD videos, and they have smart video stabilization software integrated with the camera which is a good move.
This slate also supports the best digital assistant in the world, Siri which was supported by iPhone 4S only. The new iPad also comes with 4G LTE connectivity apart from EV-DO, HSDPA, HSPA+21Mbps, DC-HSDPA+42Mbps. LTE supports speeds up to 73Mbps. Apple has built separate LTE variations for AT&T and Verizon. The LTE device makes the best use of LTE network and loads everything super-fast and handled the load very well. Apple also claims the new iPad is the device that supports most number of bands ever. It is said to have Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n for continuous connectivity, which was expected by default. Fortunately, you can let your new iPad share your internet connection with your friends by making it a wi-fi hotspot.
The new iPad (iPad 3) is 9.4mm thick and has a weight of 1.44-1.46lbs, which is rather comforting, though it is slightly thicker and heftier than iPad 2. The new iPad promises a battery life of 10 hours on normal usage and 9 hours on 3G/4G usage, which is another game changer for the new iPad. The new iPad is available in either Black or White, and the 16GB variant is offered at $499 which is rather low. The 4G version of the same storage capacity is offered at $629 which is still a good deal. There are two other variants, 32GB and 64GB which comes at $599 / $729 and $699 / $829 respectively without 4G and with 4G.
A Brief Comparison Between Microsoft Surface Tablet and Apple new iPad
• Microsoft Surface Tablet will have an ARM based version as well as Intel Mobile Processor based version while Apple new iPad is based on ARM processors.
• Microsoft Surface Tablet will run on either Windows RT or Windows 8 while Apple new iPad runs on iOS.
• There was no indication about inbuilt network connectivity for Microsoft Surface Tablet while Apple new iPad is offered with HSPA+ and 4G LTE connectivity (depending on regions).
• There was no indication as to whether Microsoft Surface Tablet would have a camera or not while Apple new iPad has 5MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos.
• Microsoft Surface Tablet has 10.6 inches touchscreen that features 16:9 aspect ratio while Apple new iPad has 9.7 inches LED backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels that is of 4:3 aspect ratio.
There is no clear winner in this comparison. This is partly because of the lack of information about the Microsoft Surface Tablet. The other half is, owing to the fact that these two products address two different segments in the market. Although this is the case, it’s really difficult to draw the line that segments the market for these two products. The only differentiation we see right now is the usability aspect. Primarily, Microsoft enforces their operating system forward to the tablet PCs and they ensure that we can use this tablet without compromising the conformability and the productivity of a PC. If this claim is actualized, then Microsoft Surface Tablet is going to be a major hit and would compete head to head with Apple new iPad. Hence we can only experience it and decide when it’s out in the open.