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Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4

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Interface and Functionality:

Having the clear head start over most of the field, it doesn’t surprise us that the iPad 4 has the deeper set of comprehensive functions and apps with iOS to make the overall experience more satisfying – plus, it helps that it’s simple too, without much complexity. Although it’s new to the scene, new users will no doubt have to face the stiff learning curve associated with Microsoft’s new touch experience with Windows 8. Something we appreciate, the two platforms make good use of various gestures when it comes to navigating around.

In terms of personalization, there’s no question that the Windows 8 experience has the visual appeal to enthrall us with its dynamic looking Start Screen, which is far more impressive than the static look of iOS on the iPad 4. When it comes down to it, the iOS experience has a very consistent touch experience, as many apps are optimized for the tablet medium, which is something lacking with Windows 8 at the moment. Regardless of that, the Surface Pro is running a full-fledged desktop platform that provides the comforts of running all the software we’re used to seeing on PCs, which makes it far more productive on the road.

The Windows 8 UI - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The Windows 8 UI - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The Windows 8 UI - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The Windows 8 UI - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The Windows 8 UI - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The Windows 8 UI - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The Windows 8 UI - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The People Hub - The Windows 8 UI - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
   

The People Hub

The Windows 8 UI


The latest iPad is running iOS 6 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The latest iPad is running iOS 6 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
The latest iPad is running iOS 6 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4

The latest iPad is running iOS 6


Juggling several apps can be a little bit challenging, but between the two, we find the Windows 8 experience to offer the better implementation when it comes to multi-tasking. Specifically, we can split apps into Windows-styled layouts, which is useful when running two apps side-by-side. Despite the advantage there with the Surface Pro, the iOS experience is swift enough to move between apps with its useful swipe gestures.

Looking at some of the core organizer apps on the two tablets, we can’t complain much since they relatively mirror one another with their features and presentations. At the same time, we don’t have any issues when it comes to typing stuff up with their on-screen keyboards, as they’re both super responsive and employ spacious layouts. However, it’s nice that the Surface Pro offers hand-writing recognition as an alternative, which is nicely adapted with its included pressure sensitive stylus.

Organizer apps of the Microsoft Surface Pro - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Organizer apps of the Microsoft Surface Pro - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Gmail - Organizer apps of the Microsoft Surface Pro - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
  

Gmail

Organizer apps of the Microsoft Surface Pro


Core organizer apps of the Apple iPad 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Core organizer apps of the Apple iPad 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Core organizer apps of the Apple iPad 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Core organizer apps of the Apple iPad 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4

Core organizer apps of the Apple iPad 4



Processor and Memory:

On paper, there’s no arguing the kind of horsepower that the Surface Pro has in tow over the iPad 4, since it’s blessed with internals that are more akin to a laptop. In fact, its dual-core 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor coupled with its Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU and 4GB of RAM would do circles around the iPad 4’s dual-core 1.4GHz Apple A6X processor with its PowerVR SGX 554 GPU and 1GB of RAM. However, most people would be hard-pressed to realize the superiority of the Surface Pro, considering that the two are pretty much responsive with most tasks and operations. Then again, when we see the Surface Pro running legacy software, it really makes us realize the kind of power it’s packing.

Currently, the Microsoft Surface Pro is available in 64GB and 128GB capacities, which relies on a solid state drive. Meanwhile, the iPad 4 is offered in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities. Making it the slightly more versatile between the two, the Surface Pro benefits from its microSD card slot.


Internet and Connectivity:

Surfing the web with these two prized tablets, there isn’t much we can complain about, since they both deliver the goods in this front. Naturally, pages load up in a quick manner with the two, and at the same time, we’re treated to other appreciated features – like instant rendering and smooth navigational controls. However, seeing that the Surface Pro has the desktop version of Internet Explorer, it undeniably replicates that tasteful desktop-like experience, which is partly attributed to its support of Adobe Flash amongst other things.

Internet Explorer of the Microsoft Surface Pro - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Internet Explorer of the Microsoft Surface Pro - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Internet Explorer of the Microsoft Surface Pro - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Internet Explorer of the Microsoft Surface Pro - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4

Internet Explorer of the Microsoft Surface Pro


Safari on the Apple iPad 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Safari on the Apple iPad 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Safari on the Apple iPad 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4
Safari on the Apple iPad 4 - Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple iPad 4

Safari on the Apple iPad 4


As it currently stands, the Surface Pro is made available as a Wi-Fi only tablet – with no word on whether we’ll see cellular enabled variants. Oppositely, the iPad 4 is available in a variety of flavors, which includes models that have speedy 4G LTE connectivity. Common amongst tablets as a whole, they share connectivity features such as aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi.

50 Comments
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posted on 15 Feb 2013, 05:12 27

1. Furbal (Posts: 1018; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


$699 for a tablet vs $899 touchscreen ultrabook. Ill take the ultrabook.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 06:45 4

10. imsickwithsmartphone (Posts: 153; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


nevermine.....
GO APPLE!! GO APPLE!!

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 07:20 2

13. feres13 (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


Should compare it to the 32 GB iPad since even that ipad comes with more storage than the 64 GB surface pro
So it's 599$ vs 899$

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 13:46 1

26. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


You can easily free more storage, mostly by moving the recovery partitions to external storage. There's a LifeHacker article on it. You technically get more storage from a 128GB Surface than you do from a 128GB muckbook (by like 3GB from the factory, more if you move the unneeded files off the main drive)

posted on 17 Feb 2013, 07:34

33. Lumache (Posts: 11; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)


Actually after a little cleanup you can get 40GB free on a Surface Pro 64GB. ALSO, you can add multiple other storage options to it. You can print without a special printer. You can add up SDHC 64GB cards. I have a 32gb in Mine now. My 128 has all my office productivity tools installed, including ADUC tool set, SDKs and Office. VPN Software, HEAT and ITunes and other stuff and I have 76.8GB free. Oh and all I had to do to print to my printer was call up word and click print. I didn't even have to install drivers - it found the device and did it for me. Freaked me out a little but yea. The USB port rocks, the file system. The HDMI out port and OS support for it. With a USB wireless Mouse and keyboard I bought for $14.99 I can control Netflix on my big screen from across the house.

Here is how I see it:
IPAD easy to use,not easy to use as a Business tool, Pricey for what you get.

Surface Pro - what I have DREAMED of for many years. Its an ULTRA ULTRABOOK.

-Posted from the Pro 128

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 07:32 14

14. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I chose Microsoft Surface Pro!

posted on 02 Oct 2013, 09:49

47. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)


Cause u hate apple
Fools hate apple ipad

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 11:58 1

22. wp8forever (unregistered)


phonearena understand this , it looks like a tablet , BUT IS NOT LOL, so don't compare a toy , to a full computer ,try to flash an android device , jailbreak and iphone , root , and so so so so so so on with and ipad or any android tablet , guess what is not happening .

posted on 02 Oct 2013, 09:53

48. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)


Of course android didn't took over apple in the tablet & notebook market
It can never overcome the iPads and the legend MacBooks
Wait a minute...
Where are all the android lovers can't see

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 05:15 13

2. nlbates66 (Posts: 328; Member since: 15 Aug 2012)


kinda pointless, like comparing a MacBook Air to a gaming laptop

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 05:16 8

3. the_best (Posts: 139; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


In the end there can only be one winner!
Who in the world would want 1 million apps, when they can have every app ever created..
But pricing and apple religion will take some time to overcome.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 07:03 3

11. alterecho (Posts: 1098; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


Not to mention the fact that it can run Android apps using Bluestack, and ability to run older PC games and emullators. The iPad is also very capable though. I personally prefer a 4:3 ratio of the iPad for a tablet. 16:9 looks lame to hold. The main problem with the iPad is the dependance on iTunes for media transfer and file management.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 13:49 1

27. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


It may seem "lame" to hold, but after playing with one (Surface RT, mind you) for about a half hour at the local Best Buy, I think that the shape is preferable, as it works better with the OS, and when using for widescreen movies or side-by-side apps, there's more actual usable room.

That said, after using it, I'd still spend the extra dough for an Asus Tai Chi or some of the other ultrabook/tablet hybrids. As much as I'd be using the device on a counter or as a photo frame when it's not in use, the angle of the kickstand was less than perfect for multiple-height uses (though great if it's on a desk or table and you're sitting before it), where a laptop or an adjustable hinge angle is preferable

posted on 17 Feb 2013, 07:38

34. Lumache (Posts: 11; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)


The pro is significantly 'BEEFIER' than the RT. Its about 2 Lbs. And Yea a Tai Chi though? What is the double sided screen about? When would I need that?

But I see your point. Hey man if an Ultrabook is what your heart desires, go for it and let us know what you got and how you like it and why. Would love to hear all about it.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 05:21 7

4. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I posted in other threads that I think the Surface Pro is a real opportunity for MS. Get the weight down, bump up the processor, RAM and storage, and they have something that could munch the iPad and mid-tier notebook markets. Office helps leverage MS' offering.

I just hope MS doesn't go and f*ck up this opportunity.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 07:17 3

12. CardiWPfan (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


I have one word for ya The Surface Pro 2 coming in October 2013!! Watch the evolution unfolds!!

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 13:52

30. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I am definitely watching to see what v. 2.0 of the Surface Pro looks like. Either SP v. 2.0 or maybe one of the hardware partners step up to the plate. Sony Duo v. 2.0 could be a contender, too.

Surface Pro concept could be the next big thing. They proved the concept could be produced. Now they just need to make it compelling.

posted on 17 Feb 2013, 07:40

35. Lumache (Posts: 11; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)


If Microsoft says October 2013 that means February 2014. My case in point? The Surface Pro I am typing this on.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 08:54 2

16. cornerofthemoon (Posts: 590; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)


Unfortunately, MS has a way of f*cking up opportunities. However the Surface Pro may at the very least become a viable niche player. The RT platform is probably doomed however. It's a shame because I really like it.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 05:37 5

5. cezarepc (Posts: 716; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


First time iPad is the lesser priced device. But still these are totally different tablets. A consumption device and a productivity device. I'm already saving up to get a Windows 8 tab just so I can run visual basic.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 13:50

28. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Not the first time. HTC Jetstream comes to mind.... Grossly overpriced for what it was.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 06:12 10

6. duwiegeneral (Posts: 48; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


FINALY!!! SURFACE PRO SHOWS WHAT A TABLET SHOULD REALLY B...

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 08:51 3

15. haseebzahid (Posts: 1853; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


my point exactly kids or teens buy toy oh iPad

other people get surface pro once they have enough money though :D

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 06:17 2

7. Basharhd99 (Posts: 80; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


windows vs ios, takes pictures on android :/ great job phonearena

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 06:33 6

8. tiara6918 (Posts: 2075; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Microsoft should adjust the pricing of their surface pro, for $900 dollars I could get a new laptop with better storage,faster processor,battery life and so many more

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 13:51

29. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


True, but I think the Surface is for a niche market. I don't think they expect huge sales numbers, rather to be a benchmark for the platform, like a Nexus, if you will, for Windows 8. Not always the best value or highest-spec, but well-rounded and a good buy.

posted on 17 Feb 2013, 07:43

36. Lumache (Posts: 11; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)


But that Laptop will weigh like 5Lbs. You are not going to get a better spec ultrabook in the 999$ arena. But I hear ya. Spend extra for what you want. So far this Pro is fast and a pleasure to own. I had some driver issues but I think "THINK" recent updates resolved them.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 06:39 9

9. twens (Posts: 982; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


Like seriously, has the world gone Apple crazy to start comparing computers to Ipads? Its a shame, a very big one.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 09:23 2

17. noim1 (Posts: 297; Member since: 15 May 2012)


It's like comparing a Lion to a Cat!!! Makes me laugh....i can do anything with my surface pro, anything at all!!!....... Apple can't beat this monster just like they could not do it back inn theMAc days...

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 09:38 2

18. davkaramagi (Posts: 4; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)


I think it's quite unfair to compare the iPad and Surface Pro. To me the serve different purposes and appeal to users with different usage patterns. If you are looking for a content consumption gadget, love games and for this narrowly scoped work related task usage, iPad makes sense. And price point makes sense for this limited scope.

But, if you want the best of both worlds, something that can run legacy apps, do some real work but in tablet format, Surface Pro is king, albeit, you have to choke up the money!!

Granted W8 lacks the bulk of apps for content consumption or plethora of games we now are used to like other tablets, it's catching & fast. They only need to make use of ecosystem including xbox games cleverly to bridge gaps.

Key selling point that MS should push to justify $900 is that Surface Pro (can be argued) can replace an iPad and Laptop if someone is in the market for the 2 items ($500+$700)

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