You may have seen the snappy commercial. Yes, I really mean snappy. You see cool kids with their tablets snapping what looks like a thin keyboard onto their tablet and setting it upright. The keyboards come in all kinds of colors, hot pink, blue, red. What more could you want? It’s the best of both worlds – the lightness of a tablet combined with the ease of use of a laptop.
Keep in mind that the rainbow of colors offered with the touch cover as shown on the commercial are purchased separately. This tablet from Microsoft follows on the heels of the new iPad Mini. It’s 3 inches taller and 1.5 inches wider than the iPad mini. The Surface has Windows RT, a specially modified version of the new Windows 8 platform. The basic Surface model is 32GB for $499. The 64GB model is listed at $699 and comes with a black touch cover.
The first question you need to answer for yourself is price. Do you want a more advanced tablet – with an advanced price? Or would you be happy with a Kindle Fire or no-name brand for half the price (or even better)?
Price comparison wise, the Surface is competing with the iPad plain and simple. Users who do not want a tablet at that price level won’t take much more than a second look, even if the keypad was apple pie scented and did the dishes for you.
If price is not an issue, then keep reading.
The tablet has a built in stand and the full keypad really makes it more convenient than using the touch tablet alpha keys. If you plan on using your tablet more like a laptop then having some kind of external keyboard really does make it more efficient for using to type documents or long emails.
Diehard apple fans will not likely jump on board with Surface (or any Microsoft product.) So keep that in mind when reading reviews.
Comparing the Surface to the iPad 4, the Surface has a larger screen but is slightly heavier than the iPad. The Surface clearly wins out in terms of storage. The basic model has 32GB plus a microSD card slot. If you think you’ll be using the tablet heavily or want an easy way to store photos or files with the card, then Surface has you covered.
PC Advisor says: “The only real way we can compare the two is in terms of what each was like to use on a day-to-day basis. From this we would have to conclude that the iPad 4’s processor seemed to be the better of the two as the overall experience what slicker. That’s not to say that the Surface was a jumpy slow coach, far from it, we were actually impressed with the Surface’s performance; animations are smooth and the more demanding tasks like pinch zooming in Internet Explorer and Bing Maps are extremely responsive. However, we did notice a delay here and there, especially when opening some apps. Something that we did not find with the iPad 4.”
True enough. The only way to know which you will like best is to try them out. Take a trip to your local computer store or borrow a friends for an hour or so. Be sure to try one out in real life before buying online.