There’s a ton of buzz about Microsoft’s Monday announcement of Surface, a tablet PC to compete with the iPad and the legions of Android tablets on the market. Details about the Surface are sketchy — no price or release date were announced, and info about apps is scant. But there are at least five features CEO Steve Ballmer and friends showed off Monday that might make the Surface better than the iPad.
So, how about Microsoft Surface vs apple iPad? Here are some comparisons of them.
Screen size: Both versions of the tablet boast 10.6-inch screens, bigger than the iPad’s 9.7-inch display. The company promises that the Surface will have an “HD display,” but hasn’t offered specifics that could be matched up against the iPad’s “Retina display.” CNET reports that the Surface has a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Apps: Apple’s App Store gives access to every iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad app, a catalog that leads the tablet pack. The iPad has also spawned a number of iPad-optimized Web sites and Web apps that work via Safari. Microsoft’s tablets take two tacks: the Windows RT versions only run Metro apps, while the Windows 8 tablets run older Windows applications as well. The Surface RT tablet needs to build a convincing catalog of apps, while for the Windows 8 tablet Microsoft needs to make sure that older applications are updated to run well on newer touch-driven software. Windows 7 tablets faced that same usability gulf when running pre-existing software, and the results often weren’t pretty.
Weight: The RT version is lighter than its counterpart, weighing in at 1.5 pounds rather than 1.9 pounds. Both are heavier than the 1.4 pound iPad (well, the cellular version is 1.46 pounds), but still impressively light.
Price: Surface RT will be priced similarly to competitive ARM tablets — presumably 32GB for $600 and 64GB for $700. It can’t be more, because iPad will win on price. I’m guessing that Microsoft comes in at $100 less at 32/$500 and 64/$600. But that’s just a guess.
According to Microsoft Surface Pro will be priced similarly to Ultrabooks which probably means breaching the $1000 price point. And if you’re paying Ultrabook money, why not buy an Ultrabook?
Storage: Users can get the Surface with 32GB or 64 GB of memory on the RT tablet; or pick up its big brother with 64 GB or 128 GB. Overall, that’s more memory on offer than the 16GB, 32 GB or 64GB options you have with the iPad.