Comparing iPad to Surface RT and Surface Pro

Surface vs Ipad
Is a Surface tablet better for me than an iPad?

I’m sure many of you have seen the hilarious iPad vs. Surface iPads are similar devices, i.e. they are both designed to be just tablets but the Surface Pro is in a class of its own. However, since this is a common question, I thought I would actually do a comparison of all three.

Yes, I know that there are some fine Android tablets out there as well but, for now let’s keep this an old-fashioned Apple vs. Microsoft thing.

Below is a comparison of basic models of the iPad 32 GB 4th gen to the Surface RT 32 GB and Surface Pro 64 GB models. All entries in orange are common tech specs that can be found anywhere.  All entries in green are ones that are productivity related and not mentioned as often but are probably the most important aspects from a practical usability standpoint:

  Surface RT Surface Pro iPad

Purpose Tablet Laptop in tablet form Tablet
Operating System Windows 8 RT Windows 8 iOS 6
CPU Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 3rd Gen Intel® dual-core TM i5 (2.6 GHz)  A6X chip, dual-core (1.4GHz)
Weight (in lbs) 1.5 2.0 1.44
Battery Life 8 hours 5 hours 10 hours
Display size 10.6” 10.6” 9.7”
Storage 32GB, 64B – expandable 64GB, 128GB – expandable 16, 32, 64, 128GB
USB Port Yes – 2.0 Yes – 3.0 No
HD Video-Out Port Yes – microHDMI Yes – mini Display No
MicroSD Yes Yes No
Free Cloud Storage 7 GB 7GB 5 GB
Printing Yes – most printers Yes – all printers Yes – only AirPrint printers
MS Office Yes – pre-installed with Office RT Yes – Full No
Multi accounts Yes Yes No
Run two apps at once Yes Yes No
Number of Apps in Store 160,000 Almost any Windows app made in the past 10 years, probably millions. 350,000
Keyboard Attached or Bluetooth at an extra cost Attached or Bluetooth at an extra cost Bluetooth only at an extra cost
Camera Two 720p HD LifeCams Two 720p HD LifeCams two: 1080p  & 720p cameras
Adapters Only cables are needed Only cables are needed Everything must be connected via lightning adapters.
Price $199 for students and $349 for everyone else  $899 $599

So, which is the best device? The answer is: “it depends on what you want to use it for”.

For sheer availability of apps, surfing the web, and picture taking, I would say the iPad is the right device for you.

For school work, web surfing, MS Office applications, Xbox games, I would say go with a iPad you have to use programs that might cause compatibility issues and on the Surface Pro, you need to purchase Microsoft Office as an extra expense.

And if you need a device that looks and feels like a tablet but does everything a Windows laptop can do, then Surface Pro is the device for you.

You may also like our posts: Can I Run A Small Business from Surface? and Surface RT/Pro Accessories.


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