Monday, December 3, 2012
Nowadays, tablet computers are hotter and in more demand than ever, and with the Christmas
shopping season in full swing, people all over the country are now forced to choose between a
number of desirable tablet options on the market. Two of the biggest contenders in the ring are
Apple’s iPad, which this year got a new little brother, the iPad Mini, and Microsoft’s
recently-introduced Surface RT.
There are lots of reasons to choose the iPad, and lots of reasons to pick the Surface, and
there’s no question people all over the country will be pleased to find one or the other under their
Christmas tree. But now, PCWorld magazine’s online presence has put out a list of reasons
arguing that people ought to choose the iPad over the Surface.
Here’s why that group of Microsoft devotees would jump ship and advocate buying your loved ones (or yourself) an iPad this Christmas:
First, the iPad has 4G/LTE capability (as long as you pay extra for a model with that capability),
and the Surface doesn’t. It’s not even an option on the Surface. For mobile devices, this is no
small thing. 4G allows you to use the iPad in the car, on your camping trip, at your great-great
grandmother’s house--anywhere that there isn’t wifi. The 4G iPad can still connect to the
Internet, while the Surface will be stuck playing MS Hearts and editing your offline documents. If
your job or your interests require that you be connected to the Internet everywhere you go, the
iPad is the easy, obvious choice this Christmas.
Second, the Surface has only limited ability to connect to the internet via VPN, and it cannot
connect to popular VPN’s, like Cisco’s AnyConnect, without a lot of work to reconfigure the
network. This isn’t simply a case of Cisco being slow to develop an app for a the
recently-released Surface. Cisco has publicly said that the Surface lacks the software needed to
run an AnyConnect app, and they won’t release one until Micosoft makes the needed changes.
Meanwhile, Android devices and iPads can use AnyConnect, and anyone who needs the VPN
client will probably pass over the Surface.
Third, the iPad has a much better rear-facing camera. This one isn’t even close. The iPad’s
camera is five megapixels and shoots 1080p video. The Surface has a one megapixel camera
that records video in 720p. If you plan to use your tablet’s camera features much, there’s no
Fourth, there are many more apps available for the iPad, and it will be a very long time before
Microsoft can match the number and variety of apps available on Apple devices. Of course,
Microsoft made sure their tablet had many of the most popular apps available upon its release,
but some heavyweight apps are still missing, like those for Facebook and Twitter. Without those
apps, using either of those social media sites is a pain on the Surface. For people who use
either site a lot--and that is millions upon millions of people--it makes sense to choose an iPad,
at least for now. That’s a major hurdle Microsoft will have to get over, if it wants the Surface to
ever truly rival the iPad.
So there you have it. The iPad is the obvious choice between these two. The features and advantages that are touted by Apple's little tablet are almost certain not to be the headlines in Microsoft's next newsletter. However, you have the facts right here, and you can make your own decision this Christmas, regarding which one you'll buy.