Apple iPad Air vs Microsoft Surface 2
Interface and Functionality
Interestingly, these new tablets are accompanied with updated software experiences too – albeit, there’s more of a profound change with the iPad Air’s iOS 7 experience. Comparing the two, the Surface 2’s updated Windows 8.1 RT experience continues to sport the more appealing visual flare, as its homescreen once again catches our attention more with its dynamic and animated presentation. Of course, the iOS 7 experience brings along some exciting changes too, but aside from its new layered design, translucency, and new animations, it still bears many of the classis elements of iOS – and that’s having a simplified presentation.
However, seeing that iOS has been on the market longer, it benefits from having a richer and more diverse apps ecosystem. Therefore, it naturally sees a ton more tablet-optimized apps than its competitor. On the flip side, we can’t knock on the Surface 2, mainly because it’s slowly building a healthy lineup of its own.
Notifications are better organized with the iPad Air’s implementation, since everything is pooled into the centralized hub of its notifications center. You’d think that Microsoft would adopt a similar implementation, since the process is widely used by other platforms, but instead, notifications are mostly handled by live tiles on the start screen. Unfortunately, it’s a messy process, seeing that notifications can be littered throughout different areas.
However, the Surface 2 does a better job with multi-tasking, much like it did before. With the enhancements made with the Windows 8.1 RT experience, it enables us to juggle around two apps side-by-side – allowing us to resize their windows to better fit our needs. We actually find this implementation far more practical than the way it’s handled with the iPad Air.
For those picking up the iPad Air, owners are given the chance to download for free the full suite of iWork apps, which consist of Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and much more. Indeed, it’s a pleasant gesture no doubt, but the Surface 2 is preloaded with Office 2013 – the full desktop version too! Apple’s set of apps help to keep us busy, but it’s no Office 2013.
Trying out the on-screen keyboards of both tablets, there’s not one that’s more advantageous than the other – that’s because they’re spacious, responsive, and offer really good auto-correct. Due to the widescreen nature of the Surface 2’s display, its on-screen landscape keyboard is wider, but we’re still able to encompass the iPad Air’s on-screen keyboard comfortably. Alternatively, they also feature split-style keyboards that are ideal when typing in portrait.
Processor and Memory
There’s nothing that these two tablets can handle, since their internal hardware help to keep their performances top-notch, smooth and zippy in fact. A rarity in the tablet space, the iPad Air boasts a 64-bit base dual-core 1.4GHz Apple A7 processor with 1GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the Surface 2 is also outfitted with an impressive gear as well – a mighty quad-core 1.7GHz NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor with 2GB of RAM. Thankfully, there’s barely any evidence of lag with their performances! Rather, everything is accompanied with tight and instant responses that make them oh-so snappy.
In terms of storage options, the Apple iPad Air is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities – with each separated by a $100 cost. Conversely, the Surface 2 is only made available in two capacities, 32GB and 64GB, but it has the added benefit of supplementing its tally thanks to its microSD card slot and USB 3.0 port.
Internet and Connectivity
Already proving to us that these two are relenting with their performances, it doesn’t surprise us that they also deliver a very engaging web browsing. Connected via Wi-Fi, they’re both more than equipped in loading up complex pages rich with multimedia content. Better yet, the combination between their smooth navigational controls and sharp looking displays, all help to solidify their excellent experiences.
At the moment, it’s only the iPad Air that’s made available with cellular 4G LTE connectivity – in addition to Wi-Fi models. Despite that, they’re both stuffed with all of the usual connectivity features we expect to find nowadays, so they consist of aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
Apple iPad Air vs Microsoft Surface 2 - Internet, Functionality and Internet