How Will the Microsoft Surface Tablet Shape Up (and will it be better than the iPad)?

This is a guest post by Laura Kay; a researcher and blogger for Melbourne Server Hosting.

There is yet another competitor for the iPad throne: the Microsoft Surface. This Microsoft tablet—yes, Microsoft. Not Dell, HP or Compaq—is one of the first tablets made to run Windows 8. While there seems to be a rallying cry among the Microsoft faithful, does this tablet really have what it takes to beat the iPad? In a word: maybe…

Keyboard

Let’s start with the good. One of the best things about the Surface is its keyboard. Remember those smart covers that iPads use? They can be used to buffer the screen and keep the iPad at an angle for watching movies. That’s great, but the Surface’s cover is a little better.

Microsoft Surface Keyboard

There is a physical keyboard in the cover. That’s right; you can actually type with real keys. While there is something magical about typing on a screen, it quickly loses its appeal after the ninth mistake in a simple paragraph.

Kickstand

Here’s something that a lot of people like, but there are also a lot saying it’s not sexy. The Surface comes with its own kickstand in the back. You don’t need to buy a smart cover or any accessories. While the kickstand looks a little on the flimsy side, it really is kind of nice to have.

Apps

This is where the problems start coming up. The Apple iPad has so many apps that it’s difficult to choose just one to download. When it comes to numbers, the iPad has the Surface beat so badly that it should have never come to the right.

What about usefulness? Microsoft has always been known as a utilitarian company that is bent on making things useful, but it’s still not a fair fight. The iPad might have too many useful apps, while the Surface just doesn’t compare.

Design

One of the things that really propelled the iPad, and most of the other Apple devices, was strict attention to detail. The designs are light, slightly curvy and very nice to see and touch.

If the iPad was a fashion model, then the Surface would be her boxy sister that doesn’t care much about looks. The Surface is very boxy looking. That shouldn’t be a surprise, but you would think this “iPad killer” would look a little better.

Specs

Microsoft has been very quiet about the specs of the Surface. Most people don’t seem to care, but it’s nice to know how much RAM, hard drive space and GHz you can expect from a tablet. Even Apple, which has always been a little more hip than Microsoft, has no problem talking about hardware specs.

Another problem with the Surface is that you can only use WiFi. People were angry with the iPad 2 didn’t have 4G, so this just seems like a terrible move.

The Verdict

Does the Surface have any chance of beating the iPad? Unless people really take to the Metro-style Windows 8 then the resounding answer would be “no”. The tablet has some benefits here and there, but it’s far from an iPad killer.

How Will the Microsoft Surface Tablet Shape Up (and will it be better than the iPad)?
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