iPad 4 vs Surface RT: Close But No Cigar, Microsoft

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Tablets are always popular at Christmas, but it’s harder this year than in previous years to choose one, as there are many on the market. The iPad 4 and the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT are on a lot of radars – but why should you go for the iPad 4 rather than the Surface?

iPad 4 vs Microsoft Surface RT

An important factor in choice is weight and size. Both tablets are 0.37” thick, and weigh almost the same – the iPad 4 at 1.44lb and the Surface at 1.4lb. The Surface RT doesn’t have cellular, and the 4G iPad weighs a bit more, at 1.46lb.

The weight and thickness of your tablet can be affected by the case you use. When you hold the two tablets to compare, the iPad 4 feels lighter and thinner, possibly because it has curved edges, unlike the angular sides of the surface. The iPad 4 is shorter and wider, too, so when the Surface RT is in landscape mode is seems weightier than the iPad 4.

The iPad 4 means you can get an LTE connection, as long as there’s one about, of course.

Microsoft may well release a new version of the Surface with 4G, but for now you’ll need Wi-Fi to check your emails and browse.

A lot of people will be put off by the fact that the Surface RT tablet doesn’t connect with VPN platforms and also that Microsoft hasn’t provided the APIs needed for the AnyConnect client app. The company is working on it, however.

The rear Camera location is also better in the iPad 4. The iPad 4 camera is 5MP and can record video at 1,080p, whereas the Surface can only manage 720p.

The Surface RT’s front camera is in a better location than the iPad 4 however, which makes video calls better. In portrait mode, the iPad 4 camera is in the centre, but in landscape mode it’s over to one side.

There are loads more apps for iOS than Microsoft, so this is a huge advantage. However, you can get most of the popular apps with Windows – apart from Facebook and Twitter. iOS 6 has social media apps wrapped up nicely, though.

The iPad 4 battery seems to be a lot better, although we don’t have proper test results yet. The Surface lasts for a whole day without needing a recharge, though.

The iPad 4 display is better than the Microsoft Surface tablet as well in terms of ppi and resolution, which will be a big deal for many.

These are two good tablets. You can buy a 32GB Surface for $500, and this amount of money will get you the basic 16GB iPad 4. Microsoft is selling the Surface alongside a Touch Cover, and if you want a black one, it’ll cost you just $600 for the combo. Other colours cost $20 more. The cellular iPad 4 starts at $620.

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.