We got our eyes and bear claws on the new Microsoft Surface Tablet. Let’s spit out the first well-anticipated question: Is it worthy of iPad standards? I respond with my own question “Will any tablet be worthy?” Think about it. Apple support has a few years lead-time on the tablet world and customers have obviously adopted its iOS, app store, and design with welcome arms. So, this makes it so much tougher for other tablets to compete. More realistically, we have to ask ourselves if the latest tablet will be able to achieve the #2 position.
So, will Microsoft’s Surface Tablet fall into #2? Let’s first check out the specs to see how it compares to the iPad:
- Operating System – A real Windows 8 Professional version will be available. That’s unheard of on a tablet, but this has enough horsepower to give you an actual Windows computer, all on a small tablet. Windows: 1 Apple: 0
- USB ports? – Yes for the Surface! It will also have a microSD, Micro HD Video, and 2×2 MIMO antennae. The iPad requires a special adapter. Windows: 2 Apple 0
- Size – The Windows RT is 9.3 mm
- Weight – Surface is 676 grams and the ipad is 652 grams (1.44 pounds). Windows: 2 Apple: 1/2
- Screen – Surface Tablet is a 10.6″ 1920 x 1080 ClearType HD Display while the new iPad excels at 2048 x 1535 9.5″ Retina display. Some may like the larger Windows screen, but resolution trumps here. Windows: 2 Apple: 1.5
- Stands/Cover – The iPad cover looks pretty, but is annoying to prop up. The Windows 8 Tablet has a built-in easy stand that just works. It’s kickstand disappears when not in use. Also, it has a Touch Cover that clicks and protects. Windows: 3 Apple: 1.5
- Keyboard – What keyboard for the iPad? You have to buy an extra one. The Windows tablet comes with one along with color covers. Windows: 4 Apple: 1.5
- App store – The Windows Marketplace pales in comparison to the Apple App Store. The App Store has so much fanfare and momentum behind it that the Droid and PC app stores may never catch up. This is worth 3 points alone to make Apple the winner here. Windows: 4 Apple: 4.5
The two saving grace points for the Surface is the ability to throw on a real Windows operating system on its tablet. Sure, it will be much more expensive than the standard Windows RT Surface. But, it will probably cost the same if not less than a PC desktop. The other talking point is having a USB port. This allows for easy external hard drive backups, printer setups, file sharing, and more. Having a tablet that replicates the exact desktop experience is what consumers like. It’s comforting knowing you don’t have to learn a new iOS or tricks to make it look like your office or home computer setup.
In the end, the consumer will have to decide if he is a PC or Mac. Or there’s a third type known as the Apple enthusiast. Which one are you? If you’re looking to get your hands on the Surface, it will be released as soon as Windows 8 is released. That date is expected to be by the end of 2012 in December. Just in time for the holidays!