Tablets are here to stay. A worthy substitute of the heavy laptops or even comparatively lighter ultrabooks, tablets have allowed people to get truly mobile with their business requirements. For quite some time now, when we referred to tablets, we only thought of the Apple products. Alternatively, our horizon would widen just about to Asus or Acer tablets. But Microsoft, one of the major stakeholders of the computing world has plunged into this emerging market and has recently announced the launch of its in-house tablets: Microsoft Surface and Microsoft Surface Pro. When Microsoft enters such a market comparatively late it opens up lots of speculations and comparisons. It is only natural that we compare how Microsoft Surface and Microsoft Surface Pro fares in the already crowded tablet market.

Before we start the comparisons, it is important to check out the specifications as highlighted by the Microsoft development team. As of now, Microsoft has only given a demo of the two tablets and it is expected that Surface will be available in the market by October, 2012 while Surface Pro will take a little longer and expected to be released by January 2013. Microsoft Surface runs on a Windows RT OS powered by an ARM CPU, is 9.3mm thick and weigh around 676 grams or 23.85 ounces. The screen will have a 10.6-inch ClearType HD display with a 31.5 watt battery. The storage capabilities of the tablet are 32GB and 64GB with front and rear facing HD cameras. On the other hand, Surface Pro runs on a Windows 8 OS powered by Intel third-generation Core i CPU, is 13.5mm thick, weighs 903 grams/31.85 ounces, has a 10.6-inch ClearType ‘Full HD’ display, runs on a 42 watt-hour battery, has storage capabilities of 64GB and 128GB with front and rear facing ‘HD’ cameras.

Surface Pro’s Similarity to Ultrabooks

Looking at the specifications, what Microsoft is promising is much more than a tablet. The Surface Pro specifications remind many of an ultrabook. Solely based on the specifications, it looks like Surface Pro will be able to do a lot of things that a desktop can do, such as running apps such as Adobe Photoshop CS6, Camera Bits Photo Mechanic and many other Windows software. The Intel Core processor should help in running powerful apps that many tablets cannot do yet. There are other similarities with an ultrabook such as the Touch Cover keyboard, built-in kickstart and data-entry points. Considering these specifications, it should be easier to type in Surface Pro yet it will continue being a good portable device. Surface can work better as not only a consuming device, but also a device for creating content. It can become a portable device when required and work as a laptop when necessary.

Resolution Issues and How It Fares in Comparison With Other Tablets

If compared with Apple iPad’s screen resolution, Surface is definitely in for a stiff competition. The Surface Pro promises a Full HD resolution meaning that it will have a screen aspect ratio of 1920 by 1200 pixels. This resolution can easily compete with the Asus and Acer tablets, but since Apple’s iPad currently offers 2048 by 1536 pixels, Surface has a lot of things to work on.

However, there are several areas where Surface Pro does impress its target audience. The laptop-styled keyboard covers makes work easy and the easy to use touchscreen is designed for interactivity with the Metro apps. Surface Pro also supports digital inking and Microsoft promises that using the stylus will be extremely easy. The tablet uses a 600dpi sampling rate that allows digital inking to be more precise. The screen has been developed using optical bonding and thus there are no layers between the Gorilla 2.0 and the display. When you write on the screen using the stylus, the pen-to-page intimacy is much more precise as there is only a 0.7 millimeter distance between the stylus and the point where the ink leaves an impression.

How Microsoft Surface Fares in Comparison With Android or Apple Tablets

Among the several things that are new to this tablet from Microsoft, one of the impressing ones is that it has more ports than other competing tablets giving it a thumbs up from analysts. The storage capabilities start from 32GB whereas the other market players launched their tablets with a 16GB capacity. The weight of Surface may be a problem as it is slightly heavier than any of the standard tablets in the market.

On the Development Front

Since, we are talking about a device from Microsoft, its productivity is definitely going to be more than the present iOS and Android powered tablets. If any developer wants to develop an app for the present set of tablets, he will need to have complete knowledge of iOS and Mac. This is something not many are proficient with and thus development sees a roadblock. However since Surface Pro runs on Windows 8 OS, developers are going to find it easy to develop their own Metro apps using the .NET development tools. Windows 8 apps can also be developed using CSS, advanced HTML and JavaScript. The development ecosystem for Surface Pro is huge, certainly giving it a brownie point over iOS-run tablets.

Another advantage of Surface Pro is that it is going to run on the new OS from Microsoft, that is, Microsoft 8. Many users will get to see for themselves how the new OS works for a tablet and whether they can replace their old OS with the latest offering from Microsoft.

Microsoft has innovated by announcing to launch a tablet specifically for enterprise-level use. Looking at its hardware specifications and software capabilities, it should give a tough competition to the existing tablets in the market. However, as is the case with any new product, Microsoft has to wait for some time till people decide to trust on something different from what they are used to. Apple tablets as well as the several Android tablets have literally swept the market and thus Microsoft has a huge challenge in the future.

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About the Author

John Laster is a technical news junkie and Founder of TechieApps. He loves everything about digital world, technologies, social media and gadgets and has been prophetic in identifying the best ways to leverage and harness such news to drive sales growth for companies ranging from startups to huge organizations.

3 comments

  1. now this is something interesting! It is good to see new tablets arriving in the market. Would surely try this new tablet.

  2. Microsoft is back with a bang and the tablet is looking quite good, waiting for its release

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