Interface and Functionality:

Hardware aside folks, the biggest thing you’ll need to consider is to figure out which will be the more suitable platform experiences for you. On the iPad 4, we’ll give it credit for its simple and straightforward approach that enables first-timers to easily get themselves situated thanks to its low learning curve. However, it’s still lacking personalization to stand out against its rival, which is most evident by the typical and boring grid-like styling of its homescreen. Naturally, that’s not a problem with the Surface and its brand spanking new Windows RT experience, as it features a more snazzy and dynamic look with its live tiles. For a version 1.0 of a new platform, Windows RT definitely shows its worth against the iOS 6 experience of the iPad 4, but still, it needs further refinements to make it more complete. Case in point, iOS employs the better notifications system, but we do appreciate how the two takes care of quickly switching between opened apps with their specific gestures.

Placing our attention on their core organizer apps, we really can’t say that one tablet does a better job, but more importantly, Siri on the iPad 4 is there to help us in being organized – plus, she’s always great to answer simple questions, which is something that’s not offered by the Surface. Furthermore, since iOS is a mature platform, it benefits more with a ton of tablet-optimized applications.

Sending emails is a breeze with these two, seeing that they employ very similar layouts and functions – meaning, there’s not one that’s delivering the goods over the other. Likewise, we can also say the same thing about typing stuff up with their respective keyboards, especially when they’re spacious and responsive. Yet, it’s worth noting that the Surface also has handwriting recognition as an option too.

Processor and Memory:

If we were to base everything purely by their specs sheet and nothing more, most people would assume that the Surface is getting more bang for the buck with its beefier specs. Ticking inside of the Surface is a quad-core 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM, while the iPad 4 is running a dual-core 1.4GHz Apple A6X processor with half the RAM at 1GB. Without a doubt, the thing that counts most to most people is their real-world performance, and not surprisingly, they perform in the same manner. Specifically, that entails smooth operations with nearly all basic tasks – so there’s not one showing us that it’s the better performer. Additionally, we can see their processing prowess in other intensive tasks, like playing 3D games.

Checking out the base versions of the two tablets, which are priced at $500, the Microsoft Surface seems to have the edge with its 32GB of storage – with the iPad 4 at 16GB, though, it’s also available in 32GB and 64GB capacities. However, the microSD card slot put into the Surface is a huge benefit, as well as having that USB port to connect flash drives and external drives.

Internet and Connectivity:

Honestly, you can’t go wrong surfing the web with either tablet, since they feature smooth navigational controls and fast page loads – albeit, we notice that the iPad 4 is faster with its rendering. Frankly, they’re more than suitable for our general web surfing needs, but considering that the Surface also packs the standard desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, we find it more beneficial with other tertiary things that tablet browsers are unable to accomplish – such as being given the option to attach ANYTHING stored locally on the tablet when sending an email.

Currently, the Surface is only made available in Wi-Fi form, while the iPad 4, as we’re all aware, is outfitted with various cellular connectivity – like having models that support the LTE networks of AT&T, Verizon, and most recently, Sprint. In addition to Wi-Fi, they both feature aGPS and Bluetooth 4.0.

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