Microsoft’s new Surface vs Apple’s iPad 3, fight!
So you’ve read our iPad 3 review – you may even own one – but now that Microsoft has made its move into tablet hardware with the Surface, everything could change. So let’s have a look at how the iPad 3 measures up against both the Windows 8 Pro and smaller Windows RT versions of the Surface, to see which slate comes out on top.
Microsoft Surface vs iPad 3 – build
Apple is famed for its solid build quality and the iPad 3 is no exception here. Despite being 9.4mm thick, its metal shell feels strong in the hand and grips comfortably. But Microsoft‘s brought its own materials to the party, with the Surface constructed from a new material called VaporMG. Microsoft claims it makes the Surface easy to grip and gives the tablet the quality of a high end luxury watch – you’ll have to wait on our in-depth review to see how that claim holds up.
The Surface also uses a 22-degree angle on the bezel for comfort and looks. The Windows 8 Pro version will be a chunky 13.5mm thick versus the iPad’s 9.4mm. Unsurprisingly, the Surface Pro’s girth makes it heavier than the iPad 3, at 903g versus the Wi-Fi and 3G iPad’s 662g. The Surface RT, despite being thinner than the iPad at 9.3mm thick, is slightly heavier than Apple‘s slate – weighing in at 676g.
Microsoft Surface vs iPad 3 – hardware
While Apple is famed for delivering smooth results without huge processing grunt, it’s gone for power with the iPad 3’s dual-core A5X processor. But a dual-core does start to look a bit feeble next to the Windows Surface RT’s (likely) quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 innards. And the Windows Surface Pro should leave them both in the dust, with its Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge powers.
In terms of memory, the Surface RT offers the same 32GB and 64GB options as the iPad, while the Surface Pro comes in super-sized 64GB or 128GB configurations.
Microsoft Surface vs iPad 3 – screen
The iPad 3’s Retina Display sets the bar for tablet displays very high indeed. Microsoft will be using a ClearType HD screen (with an as-yet-undisclosed resolution) in the RT Surface, and a ClearType HD screen with 1080p resolution in the 8 Pro Surface. So neither match the 2048×1536 pixel coverage of the iPad 3. But 1080p is still plenty for the human eye – and it’s on a larger 10.6in screen compared to the iPad’s 9.7in effort.