Apple iPad vs. Microsoft Surface: Which is Better for Business?

The battle between Apple’s venerable iPad and Microsoft’s upstart Surface has been well documented in the consumer market. The office space, however, is a whole other animal. Sure, everyone wants a high-quality display for watching movies and a good selection of games, but business users need a solid productivity platform for getting real work done anywhere. So which tablet is the best for road warriors? Follow our round-by-round face-off to find out.

Design

Microsoft has created a tablet that not only looks good, but should be able to stand up to the rigors of business travel. The 10.6-inch Surface’s vapor-deposited magnesium frame is covered in a matte dark titanium-colored finish, which should shrug off nicks and scratches. The Surface’s unique flip-out kickstand is sturdy and functional, allowing the tablet to stand up on its own. The feature is perfect for watching movies while on the road or banging out a TPS report with one of the Surface’s optional keyboards attached. 

Unlike the iPad, Microsoft’s tablet offers users a full-size USB port, a microSD card slot and an HD video port that can connect to either HDMI or VGA. These each add various layers of functionality to the Surface, including the ability to connect the tablet to a Windows RT-certified mouse or printer, import files from a USB storage device or microSD card, or display video on a high-quality screen.

Measuring 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, the Surface is just as thick as the iPad. And with a weight of just 1.5 pounds, the Surface is only 0.1 pounds heavier than Apple’s tablet. Despite the Surface’s handsome design, the iPad is still the best looking tablet around. Its simple layout and aluminum-and-glass chassis are gorgeous. Compared to the boxy Surface, the iPad’s tapered edges feel like they were made to fit perfectly in your hand.

While it might not sport a USB port or microSD card slot, the iPad isn’t exactly short on functionality. With its Bluetooth radio, Apple’s tablet can connect to myriad compatible keyboards, mice and printers. And despite not having a microSD card slot, users can still access files via Apple’s iCloud or any other compatible Web-based service, although those options aren’t nearly as convenient as simply popping in a USB thumb drive and quickly grabbing files.

For its fourth-generation, the iPad trades in its 30-pin connector for Apple’s new Lightning connector. Beyond that, the slate is relatively unchanged. At 9.5 x 7.31 x 0.37 inches the fourth-generation iPad is the same size as the previous generation, which is smaller than the Surface, though not by much.

Winner: Surface

The iPad may be more aesthetically pleasing than the Surface, but its durability, USB drive and microSD card slot has business users covered. The tablet’s built-in kickstand is icing on the cake.

Display

The Surface’s 10.6-inch display may be larger than the Apple’s 9.7 incher, but the Surface’s 1366 x 768 pixel resolution is no match for the iPad’s 2048 x 1536 Retina display. A trailer for “Iron Man 3” was far sharper and colors appeared warmer when viewed on the iPad than on the Surface. Websites also displayed more information above the fold on Apple’s tablet than on Microsoft’s.


From the start, the folks at Redmond have claimed that the Surface’s ClearType display technology, which combines high contrast with sub-pixel rendering, is capable of creating sharper text than the iPad can produce. In our testing, however, Microsoft’s claims didn’t hold true. When we zoomed in on the same NYTimes.com article on the Surface and iPad, text on Apple’s device was razor sharp, while text on the Surface was slightly blurred.

 Surprisingly, the Surface’s 373 lux brightness rating was higher than the fourth-generation iPad’s 346 lux rating, which means using the Surface outdoors in direct sunlight is easier than the iPad.

Winner: iPad

With its class-leading Retina display, it should come as no surprise that Apple’s iPad ran away with this round.

Audio

As we pointed out in our initial review of the Surface, the speakers located on either side of Microsoft’s tablet could use a power boost. During our testing, punchy hip-hop song “Pop That,” by French Montana, came through clearly, but was far too low for our liking. Even with the volume turned all the way up the slate barely filled a small conference room. Skype calls made using the Surface offered equally low volume, so prepare to use a headset whenever the ambient volume rises above a low din.

The iPad’s single speaker, located on the lower portion of its back panel, provided sufficient audio. French Montana’s vocals were easy to hear with the volume turned up and the iPad even produced a modicum of bass. When placed flat on a table, the iPad’s curved edge helped project audio toward us, rather than muffling it. Skype calls were excellent, as well.

Winner: iPad

The Surface’s dual speakers are weaker than the iPad’s single speaker.

Interface

Microsoft’s Surface comes loaded with Redmond’s tablet-specific Windows RT operating system. An offshoot of Windows 8, Windows RT offers the same Live Tile Modern UI Start screen and Desktop app as its laptop and desktop-based brethren, but includes one caveat: you can’t install any desktop programs on the tablet. Instead, you’ll have to make do with apps downloaded through the Windows Store. As of mid-December, the Windows Store had roughly 14,280 available apps, far lower than the more than 275,000 apps available for the iPad.

When the Surface boots, users are taken to the Start screen, which users can navigate by swiping from left to right and vice versa.Swiping in from the right launches the Charms menu, from which users can search for apps and documents, Share information via social networks, access attached devices and change the Surface’s system settings. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen displays the All Apps bar, giving you quick access to apps that aren’t saved as Live Tiles.

Swiping down from the top of the screen opens a contextual options menu depending on the app you have open. If you’re using SkyDrive, for example, swiping down brings up a menu where you can upload items, check file details and create new folders. Perform the same action with Internet Explorer open, and you’ll see all of your open tabs, as well as the address bar.

The Surface’s Switcher feature lets you view all of your open apps via a thumbnail-style list by quickly swiping in from the left and back to the right. Tapping a thumbnail opens up the app in full-screen mode. If you want to quickly cycle through your open apps, you can simply swipe in from the left. But the real winning feature of Windows RT is the ability to control two apps at once in the Modern UI.

The Snap feature of Windows 8 lets you view two-thirds of one app on the display while the other app is relegated to the remaining one-third, although you can still interact with either as you normally would. For instance, you could see your inbox on one side of the screen and the browser on the other side. This feature alone could make Windows RT an important tool for business users.

If you need a true multitasking experience, you can open the Desktop app and open as many windows as you’d like. The limiting factor is that there are only a few Desktop apps available for Windows RT including Office, Paint and Internet Explorer, all of which come preloaded on the Surface.

The iPad isn’t really optimized for multitasking. Users double tap the Home button to view icons of each running app. However, the iPad has a more straightforward interface than the Surface. Where Microsoft gives users what amounts to two different interfaces–the tablet-style Modern UI and the traditional Desktop UI–the iPad has a single interface from which users can access all of their apps.

Winner: Surface

While the Surface requires more of a learning curve because of its dual interfaces, it offers better multitasking capabilities, which means business users will be able to get more work done.

Typing Experience

If you expect to spend a lot of time typing on your tablet, you’ll probably want to make sure its onscreen keyboard is easy and comfortable to use and, above all, accurate. The Surface’s onscreen board offers users a total of 41 keys, including a spacebar and minimize button. The iPad, on the other hand, has 37 buttons including a spacebar and minimize button.

During our time with both tablets, we felt more comfortable using the iPad’s onscreen keyboard, because of its larger buttons and predictive text feature. The Surface’s higher number of onscreen keys means that each key is slightly smaller than the iPad’s, which can lead to more typos. And unlike the iPad, the Surface doesn’t include predictive text or auto-correct features.

Chances are, however, if you’re going to be doing a good amount of typing on your tablet, you’ll want to use a physical keyboard. That’s where the Surface has a leg up on the iPad. When Microsoft released the Surface, it made sure to include a combination screen cover and keyboard as one of its standout features. Microsoft offers two keyboard covers for the Surface, including the touch-sensitive, flat Touch Cover ($119) and the traditional-style Type Cover ($129).


Overall, we found the Touch Cover to be sufficiently sensitive, but its lack of tactile feedback resulted in us losing our place on the keyboard several times. The traditional-style Type Cover, which functions like a standard keyboard, was slightly better thanks to its tactile feedback, but not by much. Both keyboard covers include small touchpads. However, at 2.5 x 1.25 inches, these pads are too small to be used very effectively and don’t support Windows 8 gestures. 

While Apple doesn’t offer an official keyboard cover for the iPad, users aren’t exactly hurting for options. Accessory makers ranging from Logitech to Zegg offer their own Bluetooth-enabled keyboard covers for Apple’s device. And while these keyboards are bulkier than Microsoft’s offerings, they generally offer a better typing experience.

Winner: iPad

A lack of auto-correct and predictive text features quickly put the Surface behind the iPad in terms of functionality, which is only worsened by the Surface’s Touch Cover’s middling performance.

Cameras

If you’re going to be shooting a lot of pictures with the Surface, prepare to be disappointed. Microsoft’s tablet comes strapped with a pair of paltry 1-megapixel front- and rear-facing cameras that are incapable of capturing high-quality photos. The iPad, on the other hand, packs a stellar 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing shooter.

In a comparison shot using a color chart and several office toys, the difference in image quality between the devices was stunning. Colors in the Surface’s shots were severely muted and fine details were distorted due to noise. The iPad created clear images with richer colors. The difference was easily noticeable when we viewed an image of a large Super Grover doll. In the iPad’s image, we were able to discern individual strands of the blue muppet’s fur. When we turned to the Surface’s image, however, Grover’s fur looked like a single blue mass.

Images shot using the Surface’s front-facing camera were comparable to the iPad’s photos under florescent lights. When we used the cameras with a bright light source behind us, however, the Surface was unable to compensate, causing a heavy shadow to cover our faces, while the iPad was able to adjust accordingly.

Winner: iPad

With its superior front- and rear-facing cameras, the iPad wins this category with ease.

Apps

What good is using a tablet on the job without apps? Apple’s iPad easily outpaces the Surface in this regard with its more than 275,000 available apps to Microsoft’s 14,280 Windows RT apps. Naturally, that means Apple has a leg up on Microsoft when it comes to available business apps. In fact, many of the top business apps for the iPad, such as Go To Meeting and Salesforce Chatter are nowhere to be found in Microsoft’s Windows Store. Businesses can develop in-house apps for the Surface, but the number of businesses actively doing so is sure to be lower than those working with iPad-specific apps based on demand alone.

But Microsoft’s Surface easily tops the iPad in the productivity space thanks to its included Office Home and Student RT 2013 suite. The app package includes nearly everything business users come to expect from Office, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Notes. Since the majority of businesses still use Office as their primary productivity tool, Microsoft’s decision to include the suite with the Surface should make many business users happy. What’s missing is Outlook. Instead, you’ll need to rely on the pre-loaded Mail app.

If iPad users want access to Office files, they’ll have to download a compatible app, of which there are many. Choices range from QuickOffice Pro HD to Documents to Go. Beyond that, many business have also developed their own iPad or iOS-specific apps, which makes the iPad an even more attractive choice for business users.

Winner: iPad

Microsoft’s decision to include its full 2013 Office suite with the Surface was a wise move, but the Windows Store’s lack of business apps at this stage will be problematic for the average business user.

Email and Messaging

Email is the lifeblood of the business traveler. If you’re working from the road, your email may be the only connection you have to the office. Which is why Microsoft, the creator of Outlook and Exchange, should have this category in the bag. But that’s not necessarily the case.

The Surface, like the iPad, features its own dedicated Mail app from which users can sync any of a number of web-based mail services including Outlook/ Exchange, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL and Yahoo. Syncing your mail account is straightforward on both devices. Enter your email address and associated password and you’re finished. If you’re syncing your Outlook/ Exchange account with the Surface, however, you’ll also be required to enter the server’s server address, something we didn’t have to do on the iPad.

 Changing our mail settings, though, was far easier with the Surface thanks to the Charms menu’s Settings option. When we wanted to make changes to our account using the iPad, we had to exit the Mail app, open the Settings app and go to the Mail option. Where the Surface falls behind the iPad is in overall usability. With the Mail app on the Surface, users can only perform a single overarching search for individual messages. On the iPad, however, users can search by sender, receiver, subject or perform a full-scale search. This can be especially helpful when looking for email threads.

In terms of the interface, we found the Surface’s mail app to be superior to the iPad’s thanks to its three-pane layout, which shows your various mailboxes, messages list and opened message all at once. With the iPad’s two-pane interface, you can only view a list of your mailboxes and a single message or your messages list and an open message.

 Messaging on both the Surface and iPad is handled by each device’s own proprietary messaging app. Surface users can connect with others using Microsoft’s Messenger service or Facebook, while Apple users can chat via the iPad’s Messages app. Neither the Surface nor the iPad offer official Google Talk apps, so if your business is invested in Google’s Web products, you’re out of luck.

Sending attachments via the Surface’s Mail app is very similar to sending an email from your desktop. Users can upload attachments ranging from documents and music files to photos and videos. You can also upload files stored on your SkyDrive account. Alternatively, the iPad’s Mail app limits users to attaching just photos and videos, documents have to be emailed from within their respective apps. And while you can upload photos and videos saved in your Photo Stream, you can’t directly access your iCloud account to attach saved documents.

Winner: Surface

The Surface’s Mail app offers a more intuitive user interface and robust attachment options, although its lack of advanced search options means users are limited when it comes to overall functionality.

Cloud 

Nothing is more popular in business right now than the all-mighty cloud. Cloud storage and cloud-enabled apps allow users to store their files in a safe location or work on documents from any web-connected device. Apple offers iPad users cloud connectivity via iCloud, while Surface users get access to Microsoft’s SkyDrive. Both services allow users to upload and share documents, photos and other files, but they do so in fundamentally different ways.

On the Surface, SkyDrive operates as an app, which is similar to how Dropbox works on your PC. Users can open the SkyDrive app from the Start menu and view and open all of their saved files. You can also save documents and presentations created using Office the same way you would on your PC. If you have a Windows 8 notebook, and are signed into SkyDrive on that device and your Surface, your files will automatically sync between the devices. Files saved to Skydrive can also be accessed via any Web-connected device on Microsoft’s SkyDrive portal. The service includes 7GB of free storage, as well as access to SkyDrive Camera Roll, which allows you to automatically upload photos taken using your SkyDrive-enabled device to your SkyDrive account.

Where SkyDrive really shines is in its ability to let users upload their own videos and music files taken from third-party sources to the Microsoft app, something you can’t do with iCloud. You can, for example, upload a video clip shot using your friend’s camera or save a song downloaded from a third-party music service straight to SkyDrive and download them to any SkyDrive-enabled device. 

Unlike SkyDrive, Apple’s iCloud has less of a visible presence on the iPad. There is no iCloud app that you can open, but Apple does offer users a Web portal from which they can access all of their information. To use iCloud, you must first activate live sharing via the iPad’s Settings menu. Once turned on, documents and files created using Apple’s iWork suite on the iPad, your mail, Photo Stream, Reminders and more will instantly sync with all of your other iCloud-enabled devices. The benefit to this method is that you’ll never have to remember to save your files to iCloud, since everything is done automatically. Additionally, iCloud includes 5GB of free storage.

Winner: Surface

Both cloud services will prove helpful for  business users, but the Surface’s SkyDrive app allows users to upload and download videos and music from third-party apps, while the iPad’s iCloud doesn’t. The iCloud may be more user-friendly, but SkyDrive one-ups it with better overall functionality.

Performance

An exact head-to-head performance comparison between the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3-powered Surface and the dual-core Apple A6X-powered iPad is somewhat difficult, since there aren’t many universal benchmarking apps available across the two platforms. As a result, we chose to run the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, which tests how fast the tablets’ respective browsers can run JavaScript, as well as the Peacekeeper benchmark, which tests a browser’s rendering ability.

Peacekeeper Results for iPad and Surface

We ran the tests on both tablets’ default browsers, Safari for the iPad and Internet Explorer for the Surface. The iPad completed running the SunSpider test in 0.97 seconds, faster than the Surface’s 1.21-second time. On the Peacekeeper test, meanwhile, the iPad rang up a score of 907, which was worlds better than the Surface’s score of 326.

Sunspider results for iPad and SurfaceWhen we tested app load times using “Angry Birds Star Wars,” it took the Surface 12 seconds to fully load the game, while the iPad took 6 seconds. Skype, meanwhile, opened in just 5 seconds on the iPad and 15 seconds on the Surface. The camera app also opened quicker on the iPad than on the Surface, 1.5 seconds versus 2.9 seconds.

iPad and Surface App Open Times

Winner: iPad

Throughout our testing the iPad bested the Surface. The Surface isn’t exactly slow, the iPad is just faster.

Battery Life

With a 42.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, the 4th-generation iPad is the endurance champ. On our LAPTOP Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi with the display brightness set to 40 percent, the iPad lasted a superb 12 hours and 22 minutes. That’s more than enough juice to get you through a day full of meetings.

Microsoft’s Surface performed admirably on our LAPTOP Battery Test, running for 7 hours and 43 minutes before calling it quits. That’s longer than the tablet category average of 6:52, but still far shorter than the iPad’s marathon battery life.

iPad and Surface Battery Life

Winner: iPad

The iPad lasts more than 4 hours longer on a charge. That’s a lot of extra run-time.

Security

As of press time, the Surface offers Exchange ActiveSync, System Center Configuration 2012, Remote Desktop Connection and Windows InTune. IT managers can also block Surface users from installing apps on their devices via features like group policy and AppLocker. Device security includes Windows Defender and Device Encryption. A quick search of the Windows Store didn’t turn up much in the way of major security suite offerings for the Surface.

On the iPad side of things, Apple has built out its IT interface with services including Exchange ActiveSync, Mobile Device Management options, VPN access and the ability to disable device features such as the camera. Furthermore, the iPad includes Apple’s Find My iPad feature, which provides users with a means to locate their device if it is lost or stolen.

Winner: Tie

The iPad single-handedly helped launch the bring your own device movement in the workplace and, as a result, now offers compatibility with a litany of IT management features. The Surface offers many of the same features, making this category a tie. 

Connectivity

Microsoft’s Surface sports an 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi radio, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, meaning if you want to connect to the web, you’ll have to be within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Unfortunately, there is no option for a cellular data connection. The iPad comes in two flavors, a Wi-Fi-only version with Bluetooth 4.0 and a 4G LTE and Wi-Fi model that lets you bring the Web with you.

To test the Surface and iPad’s Web speeds over Wi-Fi, we connected to an AT&T 4G LTE hotspot and timed how long it took to the tablets’ to load CNN.com, NBCNews.com and Laptopmag.com. On the Surface, the CNN.com loaded in an average of 15.4 seconds, while NBCNews.com loaded in 28.5 seconds. Laptopmag.com, meanwhile, loaded in 7.2 seconds. The iPad loaded CNN.com in 5.1 seconds, NBCNews.com in 12.2 seconds and Laptopmag.com in 12.2 seconds.

Winner: iPad

Not only does the iPad offer more connectivity options thanks to its Wi-Fi and 4G LTE versions, but it can also surf the Web faster than the Surface.

Value

For $499, users can purchase a standard Surface with 32GB of on-board storage. Add another $100 and you can pick up a Surface with a black Touch Cover. For $699, you can get a 64GB Surface with the black Touch Cover. For $129, you can buy the Type Cover, or a different colored Touch Cover for $119. It’s worth noting that a good chunk of the Surface’s storage space is taken up by the tablet’s operating system. The 32GB version, for example, loses half of its storage to Windows RT and any pre-installed apps. 

The 4th-generation iPad is available with 16GB of on-board storage for $499. You can double the storage for an additional $100 or move right up to 64GB for $699. If you’re looking for an iPad with a 4G LTE connection you can buy a 16GB version for $629 or a 32GB version for $729. An iPad with 64GB of storage and an LTE connection costs $829.

Like the Surface, the iPad’s operating system and bundled apps eat into the amount of included storage. However, the iPad only loses about 4GB of storage compared to Microsoft’s 16GB.

Winner: Tie

For $499, you’ll get roughly the same amount of storage space on both the Surface and iPad. And while the $699 Surface may have only 32GB of storage compared to the $699 iPad’s roughly 57GB, the Surface also includes as a Touch Cover keyboard.

Verdict

After 14 rounds, Apple’s iPad came out on top as the winner of our face-off, taking a total of eight rounds. The iPad’s superior display and audio quality, coupled with its stronger performance numbers and longer lasting battery means you’ll enjoy using the iPad for a longer period of time. The Surface does, however, have some advantages over Apple’s device.

It’s cloud and email apps are more robust than Apple’s offerings, while the included Microsoft Office 2013 is a boon for many business users. It’s also important to note that the Surface and Windows RT are still brand new products, while the iPad has been around for some time, so Apple’s device has a natural advantage. However, as it stands right now, the iPad is the best option for business users in need of a tablet.

Overall Winner: iPad

AUTHOR BIO
Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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  1. John Says:

    Seems to me that Surface won on all the categories businesses case about.

  2. Phil T Says:

    I’m big on Microsoft and not really much of an Apple fan, but this is pretty much right on point. I don’t know why someone would use a tablet over a laptop for business, but if they were to do, so the Ipad is the way to go. Frankly, if anyone wanted to buy a tablet and had the money for it, the Ipad makes the most sense.

    Personally, I would buy a $200 (Nexus 7) or in Apple’s case $320 7-8 inch tablet (Or older model Ipad) to hold me over and either a Macbook Air or Lenovo Yoga instead. Spending $500+ dollars on a tablet when you can get a high powered more useful laptop for a few hundred bucks more doesn’t make much sense to me from a business standpoint. Things that are almost necessary for a businessman are a keyboard, optical drive (maybe), large hard drives, and ability to upload high performance software – so buy a laptop.

  3. CrapToy Says:

    What a stupid fanboi comparison. So obvious you’re leaning towards iToy.

  4. Apsoft Says:

    As a disclaimer I am a proud iphone owner but plan on buying a surface pro (not the RT). With that said, this article has good intentions but badly conducted. Saying that the ipad has a better typing experience removes any amount of credibility that this article had going for it. Try to type up a document, or better yet review a document on an ipad… Not even worth it because of the keyboards available and compatibility issues. Make a ppt on an ipad… No one does for a reason. Many tablets are better for the work environment than apple with a few vocation exceptions. The surface was made for work first and it does so much better than apple by leaps-and-bounds. So to compare each element in equal rounds is not how to determine which is better for work. Silly and misleading article. I expect more from you guys at laptopmag…

  5. Michael Says:

    You failed to mention a few very important items in this comparison for business users – Surface includes Office Apps bundled free – This is a major main selling point for Business. Secondly, network connectivity for the Surface far exceeds that of the Ipad. I have a Surface 64gb, and it connected to my work network no problem for file sharing and such and I can print to network printers – This has always been a problem for Ipad users, which is why the systems administrators for Corp America are not too fond of the Ipad. Its a slow start, but you will see the Surface take over the business tablet space due to this.

  6. shawn Says:

    Though you may of mention some you certainly didn’t compare enterprise features like out of the box remote desktop or networking experiences, file sharing, file management, printer support, productivity suits, encryptions, etc. So why label this a business comparison? Also it’s silly to include external device support as part of design as they aren’t related and this downplays it’s importance. Things like USB keys and printer support are necessary in some professions.

    Surface has autocorrect and predictive text…did you use the on screen keyboard? It’s enabled by default but go to setting and general to make sure autocorrect is on. I think the keyboard on surface is far less cramped as the screen is larger and has a much wider aspect ratio. Taller keys do little for me but width is important. What was ludicrous is that you thought third party keyboard covers offered a better experience than touch or type cover. 3rd party offerings are bulkier and heavier, they need to be charged separately and need to be Bluetooth paired. This is the opposite of just working. Also the smaller screen and 4:3 aspect ratio of the iPad means they’re unusably cramped. iOS isn’t designed for external keyboards so there are no short cuts like alt tab or usability refinements like how the start screen and some apps automatically enable search as you start typing. 3rd party options also lack a track pad which is useful when sensitivity is required and you don’t want to reach up.

    All the sites you tested including your own support flash so of course it’ll take surface longer to load because it has more stuff to load. For business purposes a full desktop class browser with flash support is important. There isn’t an app for everything Regardless of weather or not you like flash, you really need to compare the two side by side to appreciate how much is missing.

    The battery life comparison was unfair too. Surface takes 2 hours to charge and the iPad takes 6 hours. So after two charge cycles surface would have longer battery life, 15 hours, and still less down time, 4 hours, than the iPad.

    You have a connectivity section but say nothing of the 2×2 MIMO antennas on the surface which is suppose to give it the strongest WiFi capabilities of any tablet.

    I think the stereo speakers on surface, which have good separation, sound much better than the mono on the iPad. They’re just quieter.

  7. Rick Says:

    This matchup was terribly conducted. I have some things to add to the previous posters, who both make good points. First of all, not all categories can be weighted equally without a rational explanation for doing so. And frankly, from a business standpoint, some categories *should* weigh more than others, like device ecosystem/ease of connectivity, power of . Camera for example should not factor as much. Display – don’t fall for the hype about Retina (this coming from someone who has an iPad 3). As long as you’re not hurting your eyes doing what you need to do, it’s a good display. Nitpicking over what’s higher pixel density over a certain point is just being a snob. Honestly, if you’re putting your eyes so close to the screen that you can see pixellation, you’re really doing it wrong. Touch cover – this reviewer is one of very, very few who’s actually complained about having trouble finding center. There are indentations on F and J keys on the Touch Cover to prevent you from losing your place. The keys have soft indents to separate from each other to prevent you from confusing one key from another. Finally, Microsoft has Patch Tuesdays every month that keeps optimizing the performance of the Surface. I don’t recall reading whether the author ran all updates or not, because after the two major patch updates, the Surface is very snappy in its capabilities. This article doesn’t truly reflect real world use situations.

  8. Kunal Says:

    Tablet for Business, and the winner is IPAD. No ways!!!

    For me, IPAD is a good device to use at home for entertainment purpose. For Business, I’d prefer something that allows me to :

    a. ) Connect to projector/monitor/External devices.
    b. ) Easy file sharing.
    c. ) Good Typing capabilities.
    d. ) Office suite
    e. ) Development tools

    Nothing of those is a plus in IPAD, but Surface makes a serious attempt to provide those features.
    FOR BUSINESS, WINNER IS SURFACE !!! .

  9. MarkyMark Says:

    This comparison claims to be about business use — yet the bulk of the article focuses on consumer issues. Audio quality? Number of apps? Camera!? Really? Camera? You talk about cloud services, but not network integration, or even cloud services that businesses actually use? What about IT support ease? Barely a mention of VPN? And Office, for goodness’ sake — that’s worth more than a passing nod. Accessories/peripheral support? SECOND SCREEN support? Printer access? I could go on.

    Not a bad comparison piece on many levels, but completely irrelevant to actual business users.

    (Seriously — you consider iOS’ autocorrect a PLUS for business users? That feature is nifty for texting your bff, but people with jobs hate hate hate hate it.)

  10. SK Says:

    Typing experience winner: iPad?

    After seeing that, I TL:DR the rest of the article.

    Office alone is enough for the Surface to be a better business tablet than the iPad.

  11. Goodguy Says:

    Very detailed review comparing the wrong points for business but good try. There’s so many things wrong with this article. First, most obviously is a free Office suite. Second, is the remote desktop application preinstalled. Third is the USB and HDMI output. Fourth is the keyboard. I was seriously considering the Pro, but I bought the the RT. it does what I need. I dont think the Office example needs explaining. The remote desktop, however, is amazing. It is amazing that I can take my RT to work and do everything I usually do because my office runs on terminals. A USB mouse, second screen, and numpad is necessary in my field. The keyboard ( I use the touch) is phenomenal. I would NEVER consider an iPad for business. Absolutely NO business owners I know would seriously consider an iPad for work. Some use it for a POS system, but that’s about it. You wouldn’t waste a Surface on a POS system.

  12. Derek Says:

    This is the worst review I have ever read. You have got to be kidding me. Office? No mention. USB port for business people, kick stand, keyboard attachments (but yet some how ipad wins on typing??) Ok, I have a very common corporate america situation for you. A coworker needs to do a presentation with power point and he has a usb thumb drive…..ipad?? With the surface you have a dedicated display port, a dedicated usb port for the thumb drive, and power point already installed. You have GOT to be kidding me. Bloggers…

  13. Dale Says:

    the “it” department at work thought it was a great idea to buy ipads for our reps, however considering our company uses a virtual (windows) desktop and our software is designed to run on windows the lack of a insert key on the ipad is a right pain in the ass. id also like to know how 1 speaker is better than 2 can you get true stereo sound from 1 speaker now?
    you also mention the ipad comes in 2 flavours for connectivity why would a business want to pay for multiple connections as most “good” smart phones have LTE 4g and built in internet sharing and any good business would want to keep costs down, and despite the fact I could go on, i’ll end my rant by saying i’m sick of hearing about the lack of apps for Microsoft devices I challenge you to find, say 300? unique apps that in no way overlap the functions of the other 299 anyone who uses any more than 20 productivity apps is not worth having in your business, most of the good apps out there have at least 100 or so clones

  14. Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief Says:

    Michael, maybe you missed this part of the article:

    But Microsoft’s Surface easily tops the iPad in the productivity space thanks to its included Office Home and Student RT 2013 suite. The app package includes nearly everything business users come to expect from Office, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Notes. Since the majority of businesses still use Office as their primary productivity tool, Microsoft’s decision to include the suite with the Surface should make many business users happy. What’s missing is Outlook. Instead, you’ll need to rely on the pre-loaded Mail app.

  15. Sam Says:

    The iPad does not even come close to the functionality of the Surface, iPad = babysitter & poser bling

  16. Jeff Says:

    For media consumption the Ipad may be better, however for business (in my experience) the Surface is much better.

    Regards

  17. Bill Lundy Says:

    I’m confused about a reference regarding the iPad’s BT that it “can connect to myriad compatible keyboards, mice” and I’ve had several iterations of the iPad, and there isn’t a mouse that connects to it natively with the iOS — not a one. That’s one of the benefits of the Microsoft tablet is that it natively supports the mouse as a pointer, which the iPad does not — at all. Never has, and I’ve never seen a claim by Apple that they are working on rearchitecting the iOS to give users the option of using an add-on mouse. Despite that limitation, I like my iPad, but not to connect to business applications that are better suited to a pointer-based interface (text editing, for instance). This claim in the article is simply not true and very misleading considering this is in an article comparing gadgets by feature. Just saying.

  18. George Says:

    I would have to say they should change the name to which is better for your teen. Clearly the ipad lacks the wherewithal to be a viable business user option.

  19. Stephen Barash Says:

    Just a horrible comparison. Poorly thought out and conducted. Unfair and biased toward Apple, you should be ashamed.

  20. Don Says:

    This is an interesting piece. It certainly does not match my experience though. Where I work, we dumped all thoughts of the iPad after a fairly extensive test period (12-weeks of in the field, day-in and day-out use by tech savvy and experienced employees). We went with Windows-7/HP EliteBooks. The iPad did not allow for the use of a mouse- a lot of our programming uses on-hover to activate menus, etc. Yes, there are work arounds but the goal here was to decrease the load not simply change it to be using some “cool” device.The email simply was a nightmare- that is all there is to that. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. We needed reliable full remote connectivity. With the iPad, once a remote connection was established not all of the needed functionality was there. The biggest headache was the inability to print to our network printers. We could not find a work around for that. Editing/creating/sharing Microsoft Office documents was simply impossible. The folks doing the testing had little trouble with the iPad interface, but UI familiarity was anticipated to be an issue for a lot of employees. Between the time and additional costs it would take to get folks proficient on the iPad, the inability to edit and share documents and the inability to print, the iPad was a non-starter.

  21. Linus1982 Says:

    IPad for business??? Epic fail Laptop….. Office, fully Usb Port, micro SD espansion, second screen projection, built-in keyboard, totally compatibilities with all external Hardware made for Windows…….. bah !!!!! Camera??? For Business??? Are you serious?? O.o

  22. Matt Says:

    Predictive text and autocorrect are both featured on Surface btw, they definitely didn’t miss those two features out.

  23. td3k Says:

    It’s kind of funny to see all the Microsoft fanboys on here complaining because Apple bested the Microsoft device. Just goes to show that there are people on both sides of the Apple/MS debate who are obviously biased regardless of facts and data. Use both devices and decide for yourself. This article seemed fair to me in the comparisons and offers a great comparison guide between the two devices.

  24. Me Says:

    Camera, really?????? Could it not be that people, if they want to take photos, would use… I dunno… something a bit smaller???? And speakers????????????

    And the keyboard, can’t you use just any old USB desktop keyboard on the Surface?

    Oh, and you tested page loading speeds on what, three websites???? No mention of an actual speed test? Or even a slightly larger sample size?? And doesn’t Windows RT allow for some mobile broadband dongles to be used as well??

  25. Ben Says:

    Sorry but seems the author forgot they were assessing the iPad and the Surface for suitability related to business. This reads like it’s for a consumer device. How can a tablet that has Office and its own touch/type keyboard as opposed to a 3rd party device rate better? also no mention of the Surface Pro that will run Win 7 apps.

    [FAIL]

    Sent from my Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

  26. Surface and iPad user Says:

    As both a surface user and an iPad user, I know what’s available for each and their uses. The surface was practically MADE for corporate America. There’s office, a clear all out win for MS, and there’s a keyboard and trackpad and usb ports. That alone is enough for it to win over an iPad, the no work all play machine.

  27. ivan Says:

    so iPad is great office tool but somehow no one is using it for actual work.

  28. have and use 'em both Says:

    Good grief, yet another nitpicking, “objective” review that dings the Surface for such business-necessary tools like the CAMERA. You know, I’m not the only person who laughs at the parents at a Little League game or school event who just HAVE to pull out an iPad so they can VIDEO…they look so ridiculous holding up this big screen with two hands. Um, yeah, I think I’ll use my little (actual) video CAMERA that is easily held and operated with a couple fingers on one hand.

    And apps…I have yet to see or think of a SINGLE iPad productivity app that I wish the Surface has, either because the Windows Store DOES have same/similar app, or the Surface ALREADY DOES IT. Oh darn, Surface doesn’t have Daredevil Dave. I’ll survive. And what do you think the universe of available Surface apps will look like 12, 6, or even 3 months from now?

    Anyway, as far as a review of BUSINESS capabilities, to mention yet essentially dismiss the Surface’s included Office, USB, microSD, and HDMI is simply asinine. My employer–a well-known Fortune 500 company–decided a couple years ago to start giving iPads to certain home office and field personnel. For a variety of reasons it was nothing but a headache and unmitigated disaster. The iPad is a very slick toy that does some things extremely well. Business ain’t one of ‘em. And oh yeah, lest I forget, another big plus for the Surface is that it’s not chained to the idiotic iTunes!

  29. looknow12 Says:

    Used an ipad for two years. The surface rt is a breath of fresh air for business. You forget how important a file system is. Using not only office, but try printing a web report. Nowadays most reports export to pdf. The iPad has no place to save to.

    Also a note on the battery. I’ll trust your battery runtimes. But I can says the surface rt will recharge fully in about an hour. Much faster then the iPad which typically you plug it in before you go to bed and start using the next morning.

    When performing battery tests recharge time should be a published variable.

  30. Ben Says:

    This poorly executed comparison (for business use) has lowered laptopmag’s credibility. I have owned a first and third generation iPad, and while the 3rd gen has a fantastic display, it does not provide anywhere near the business functionality as a 10.1″ Windows 8 tablet with Office (and even more with Pro over RT)!

    Time to find a more credible review site, this is a big let down.

  31. Jonathan Says:

    How funny to see all the Microsoft fanboys throwing tantrums like little children whenever they read a review that doesn’t go the way they want. The vast majority of reviews have been much more negative than this, and I thought LaptopMag presented a very balanced review (as usual) pointing out the GOOD and the BAD points of both devices, but they still won’t have any of it…

    Well, I have a question for you all. If the Surface is such a wonderful, revolutionary breakthrough in computing … why aren’t people buying it? WHY? Microsoft refuse to disclose sales figures (as one ex-employee stated, a certain sign they’re hiding something), and in spite of MS stacking sales queues on launch days with offers of $50 vouchers to the first hundred people, people still aren’t interested.

    But let’s not put the responsibility for this on other people. If YOU thing Surface is the answer to all your business problems — then JUST BUY ONE AND QUIT WHINING like little girls. Better still, get rid of all your enterprise iPads (if you have any) and replace ‘em all with Surface. I dare you!

    The vast majority probably will choose to buy the iPad (or Nexus) on its merits, not because they’ve been bribed by strings of beads or some other cheap trinket offering. Just learn to live with reality … even if it does suck sometimes.

  32. bill bacoyiannis Says:

    Wow, for laptop magazine to publish these findings , I will then assume they know nothing of what is required for day to day business activities.

    RETINA, Camera, Sound , oh yes these are business attributes.

    I have uses the IPAD on the road for work as a leisure device, since Surface RT, I take it for both leisure and WORK…

    Incredible how bad this review was based on.

  33. Giovanni Says:

    It might not be so good for real business use after all, but if you need to take pictures of “a large Super Grover doll”, nothing beats the iPad! “In the iPad’s image, [you will be ] able to discern individual strands of the blue muppet’s fur”!!
    Sorry my friends, I couldn’t resist this… :-) Still an affectionate reader, anyway.

  34. Brobaker Says:

    You can’t use a mouse with iPad and there is no video out port. Also iPad doesn’t come with a productivity suite. Surface’s onscreen typing is so much better than iPad as well and Surface virtual keyboard actually has directional arrows!!

    Was the fact that IE10 on Surface opens up a full webpage but Safari on iPad opens up a quicker mobile version of web pages taken into account? Or the fact that iPad won’t load any flash content so that makes it seem quicker?

  35. Gene Miller Says:

    I did extensive research about buying a tablet for business before buying a Surface just last Tuesday. I have an iPad 3 and it’s great for just picking up and using for net surfing or light duty but a business tablet? Really? You do USE laptops don’t you? I would assume then that you do know about Enterprise Networks.

    If you have to use real business networks you already are using Remote Desktop to administrate your server network and if you have already migrated to Server 2012 or use Server 2008 you know you have to have security AND SMB 2 & 3. Just where is that located at and what iPad app has it? Windows 8 RT IS Windows 8 and it’s built in. Network connectivity, file system compatibility, and network security are TOP priority’s for business. Server 2012 and Windows 8 were designed to integrate seamlessly. Surface is no exception.

    Let’s also not forget SSH that you’ll need to talk to those pesky Linux servers you probably have online too that Surface handles and probably secure FTP too.

    I won’t rehash yet again that it has Office built in but for business it’s by far THE business suite.

    Camera quality? Really? If it can Skype ok for business meetings it’s probably good enough.

    Cloud connectivity Surface wins hands down.

    Real snap on keyboard and USB mouse support a business win. I also added in a class 10 64GB Micro SD card for a whopping $45 plus I can use USB any size storage both disc and memory. This isn’t even possible on an iPad.

    $40 to directly attach to HDMI or VGA monitors when you need it. Another huge business win. How do you do this on an iPad? Pretty sure iPad can’t match that.

    I’m truly disappointed that you would even consider a consumer device already proven not to be business friendly or secure with a device that business capability was first and foremost as part of the design goal let alone declare the consumer device the winner for business use is just unfathomable for a publication that bills itself as laptop experts.

    I’m NOT a Microsoft fanboi and you would have to pry my iPhone 5 from my cold dead hands and I love my iPad but Surface as a business tablet just blows the iPad away. It’s not even a contest.

  36. DeanMN Says:

    I agree whole heartedly with a lot of the comments about what items were looked at for this review. Obviously, everyone will have their own impressions of what is important and what’s not, but things like camera, etc aren’t even on the list for most corporate users. Even design is not something business users really care a whole lot about. And I had to laugh that you actually chose the boxy, plastic-like feel of the Surface over the iPad. Priceless! But the thing I found most hilarious are the comments here. There are people here who have absolutely no idea what the iPad can do, but still feel the need to make claims as though they do.

    iPads are already everywhere in corp america and are used to get real work done. My Compaq laptop sits at my workstation all day while me and my Zagg shell/keyboard protecting my iPad run from meeting to meeting and get work done. I use my iPad to take notes in meetings, create and update documents — even create Powerpoint documents! Yes, I’m looking at you dude. The guy who claims no one creates presentations on the iPad. I do it every day.

    If I need something from the file servers I connect to our corporate network and VPN into my laptop from my iPad and work all day on-site/off-site in this fashion. But the most important thing to note, is that you don’t even need to VPN to get things done. You can do everything you need right on your iPad. I don’t need a mouse because all I have to do is use my finger to select or double-click an item and it launches (yes, developers of VPN were smart enough to think this through so iPad users don’t need mice to VPN in to their computers). I use Apple’s Mail app because it has built in Exchange connectivity — so my email, corporate contacts and corp calendar are always synched, up to date and available on my iPad. And yes, there is file storage — both in the Cloud and on the device itself. All it requires is for you to download one of the many excellent file manager apps available. Most are free or $.99.

    Hey, it’s fine if you like your Surface and feel the need to have a file system OS. But please don’t equate your need with what the iPad can and can not do. You sound like a grandpa fiddling with a VCR and you are embarrassing yourself.

  37. Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Staff Writer Says:

    Hi all. I wanted to respond to some of your questions and let you know why we included categories such as Display and Sound quality in our face-off. While many of the comments here brand these categories as unnecessary, both of these features are relevant to business users. Having a sharper, richer screen makes everything from web pages and presentations look better. And having strong speakers helps when video chatting.

    In response to the comments regarding the Surface’s Typing Experience: the on-screen keyboard, the one the pops up when you begin typing, does not include a predictive text or auto-correct feature. There is a secondary on-screen keyboard that does offer these, but it is not the primary keyboard most users will be using.

  38. Klaus Says:

    Surface for business?
    HAHAHA!
    For example, the included MS-Office is a home/student-version – it’s a crime to use this for corporate purpose.

    Surface is nothing more than Zune 2.0…

  39. Quinton Says:

    It does not make any sense to buy a surface, your better off going with a laptop tablet, if your looking to check your emails with Microsoft office, need USB ports etc. If you want a easy to carry all around device with apps for everything you can think about; then ladies and gentlemen you want a ipad, I feel the ipad is the ultimate business tool, it allows me to sign documents on the go, invoice customers, take credit card payment, it even has an app to turn my ipad into a call centre, plus it’s a great learning tool and good for entertainment for those long trips.

  40. jdawg Says:

    Although people are saying this isn’t a good review, most categories were actually pretty accurate.
    However, there were missed points as people said, and the typing on an apple isn’t the best, though it probably isn’t on a Surface either. The surface has the kickstand and keyboard attachments which make it great to use anywhere.

    A mistake was also made on the system storage section. The 64gb Surface is supposed to have around 45gb free storage with the pre-installs, which is quite a bit more than 32! http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/en-CA/storage

    If the Surface was $50 less than it is, then it would be the clear winner for value in my mind, with better specs and all. Even though you gave it a tie for value, which is pretty accurate since the Surface decided to overprice their product to try to look like a top-dog along with the iPad, the iPad, along with all Apple products are the pretty boys of computing and are known for being overpriced for what you get (just see their laptop specs, I could get an extremely high-powered gaming laptop for the price of a Macbook). I’d give the edge to the surface, since you don’t actually lose as much storage as was said in the article, and most of the lost storage goes to Microsoft Word products!

    Now, the main point, which gives the iPad the big jump to the top (for now) is going to be available software. Way more apps available for iOS compared to RT. No contest there, the only thing is Apple had a huge head start here. The thing is though, a lot of those tablets out there who use Android (the highest share holder in tablets) might switch to RT, since a lot of them use Windows on their laptops. Acer will probably start using RT, ASUS, one of the best computer hardware companies there is, has already made a tablet for RT, and more will do the same probably, while Apple still sticks to only allowing their own devices to run iOS. It will probably end up just like laptops and desktops: those who like Apple products will use iPads, and those who like Windows products will switch to devices running RT.

  41. jdawg Says:

    One more thing in a reply to people saying “fanboi”.

    This is (supposedly) a business comparison (though is seems more like a general comparison, which isn’t a bad thing, it just should state that). Fanboi is used among 14 and 15 year olds, grow up already.

  42. John Says:

    Well I’m never coming to this site again. I like how you address audio quality as important but fail to address OFFICE being available on the Surface. You’re an idiot.

  43. yianni Says:

    Typing winner = iPad?

    After a few days I am at my max typing speed on the touch. I have replaced my laptop for 90% of my work, which Is much more than I can say for my iPad. This is due to typing alone, not to mention multitasking and office.

    Im sorry, I can’t agree with any of your conclusions. Perhaps try using the surface a bit longer for a fair comparison.

  44. John M Says:

    I have been using iPad for more than 1 year and just bought a Surface RT yesterday.

    After spent a few hours to get used, I begin to love it. It takes a small learning curve know the new interface, then you will feel a lot of fun.

    Surface is not only a tablet, that is the bottom line.

  45. coco Says:

    I think the author was right when he mentioned camera. But this would be useful to persons with a home business or ecommerce like myself. The ipad square app is useful to business as a point of sale. More corporate users may want to use Surface and microsoft office.

  46. Shawn Says:

    After having attempted to use an Apple iPad and iPad mini and now being 3 weeks into using a Surface Pro for actual work…not just some theoretical, non-business focused examination like this article, I can tell you with 100% confidence that there is no comparison. Surface wins hands down. I was previously using an Asus Xenbook Ultrabook and have completely replaced that with the Surface. For the record, let me provide some details about the type of work I do. I am a Manager at a large corporation and most of my day is spent in meetings or moving between them. I take a lot of notes and rely on the Corporate standard Office applications along with numerous intranet-based web apps.

    Moving to a tablet may not seem like a great idea to a writer or reviewer and perhaps it would not be if you spent most of your day sitting at a desk. In my case, the tablet is great because I use it so often when I am on the run and I am constantly running from one side of the building or campus to the other. A day never passes when I am not stopped in the hallway by someone who wants to chat. Often things come up that I need to remember. With the iPad in native mode, I needed to sit it down and type or single finger type my note (we won’t even talk about trying to use the iPad to run Office Apps via Citrix other than to say I’d sooner jump out of a building as do that again). With the Surface, I can use the pen to quickly jot something down and deal with it later…much like the sticky notes that decorate many folks laptop displays around here. The overall size of the Surface is also better than all but the smallest Ultrabooks. And the performance is great, better than my iPad. I love the iPad but every since multitasking was enabled, it tends to bog down if you get too many things going on. Whether it is the Intel processor or the extra RAM, I do not know, but the Surface runs smoothly so far nearly 100% of the time (defender can make it chug for a few seconds here and there).

    And for typing, you cannot assume anyone is going to use the on-screen keyboard. Only someone who has not really tried using these devices for business would even consider that. You have to assume they will use an external keyboard. I have tried many keyboards with the iPad but have yet to find one that works as well, is as small and easy to use as the Type cover. That is what enables me to give up on the Ultrabook altogether.

    I honestly believe that anyone who truly wants to use a tablet for business, for whatever the reason, will want to use a Surface. This is even clearer if their corporate standard apps are Office apps. If they are using Google Docs or something else, perhaps an iPad would be a reasonable choice. For me, it just did not work and, trust me, it was not for lack of trying.

    For the record, at home when I want to surf, watch Netflix or play a quick game, I use the iPad. I use my iPhone for quick e-mail and weather checks (even during the day when I have the surface with me). But when I want to get real work done, I use the Surface.

    Anyhow, that is just my opinion. I recommend people try it out and create their own. And anyone on the fence about Ultrabooks, don’t hesitate. They are great. The days of buying an Macbook Air just to run Windows in Parallels to do your job are over. My Asus was as small and much more powerful than the Air, not to mention the extra performance you get by getting out of a Visualized environment. If it were not for the Surface, I would still be using it happily. (just get the one with the black keyboard…the original Xenbook keyboard and mouse sucked).

    Shawn

  47. Leonard Woody Says:

    I have rarely seen a worse review. The iPad has better performance? Really? Are you kidding me? Please take a Computer Science class. I suggest Processor design so you know the difference between x86 and ARM processors. Typing is better on the iPad? I can type 30 words per minute on my Surface, but I only attempt two line e-mails on my iPad. Don’t get me wrong. Love my iPad. But for business, hell no.

  48. BJ Says:

    As others have expressed this review is just flat out wrong.

    Sure, things like a camera or speaker performance might be important to some users (I’ve never once needed either for work related tasks) but the issue is the weighting. Even if someone would need them on occasion how does that even begin to compare to something like Office? If you work for a living you use Office every day. Having the right apps to be productive is about 75% of the consideration for an office machine. And no, there is no suitable alternative for an iPad.

    Then you have the display. When you zoom in 500% you can notice some differences. I have yet to hear a single person complain about the Surface display. The iPad is nicer – especially for high res photos and video – but for regular office use (i.e. MS Office) the differences are completely inconsequential and not even worth mentioning.

    What does matter (aside for Office)? How about being able to print to any printer (not just an Air printer and definitely not having to pay money for an app to enable printing)? How about hooking up to external storage? How about integrating with virtually every accessory ever made? How about integrating within a corporations already existing security infrastructure? For Surface Pro – how about the ability to run corporate legacy apps? How about easy hook-up to monitors/projectors, mice and keyboards? The list goes on and on.

    I have minor quibbles with who won each category but that’s largely just opinion and I don’t worry about that stuff. What isn’t opinion is that Surface is better geared to help more people be more productive in the most common office environments. The fact that you had to write an article about it is laughable. The fact that you found the iPad as a better productivity device is just sad.

  49. ES Says:

    I know I am late to the party but I have to join the essentially unanimous (maybe one commenter out of 50 agreed with the author?) response that the conclusion to this article makes 0 sense. I thought it was fairly well understood that Apple makes pretty devices good for consumption, so if you want an attractive tablet for playing games and watching movies, the ipad fits the bill, but if you want something truly productive, you would get the Surface (Pro>>>>>RT, which is what was reviewed in this article, which is perhaps parts of the issue).

    It is pretty nonsensical to weigh all 14 categories equally. Sure the camera or PPI may be important for some business people, but should it really be given the same weight as categories that matter more to every business person, like the cloud, keyboard, or interface. The fact that you can only have one app open (in the forescreen) at a time on the ipad totally kills it from a business perspective for me. If I wasn’t able to have data open on the left half of my screen and the spreadsheet I was entering it into on the right, I’d be so much slower and probably go crazy. It is pretty ridiculous that the ipad doesn’t have this functionality…basically the ipad is a big iphone with a nice display and a pretty exterior. Even my Galaxy Note II allows me to have two apps open on the forefront of my screen at once, and it has about a quarter the real estate of the ipad!

    As others have noted, I am shocked that the ipad won the keyboard category. The typecover is the best tablet-dock-keyboard-esque accessory I have ever used. Plus the Surface has a mouse which makes things much easier from a productivity perspective. I guess you meant the on-screen ipad keyboard is better than the on-screen surface one, but why not recognize that a keyboard/mouse accessory designed for the surface like the typecover is vastly superior to an external Bluetooth keyboard that must be separately charged and has no mouse, the best that is available for the ipad.

    Basically what it boils down to is that the ipad is a gigantic iphone while the surface (pro, at least, and RT to some extent) is much closer to a computer. Can you really tell me with a straight face that you would rather use your iphone for work than a computer?

  50. Zach Says:

    this dude must not know what the word “business” means. surface is to business as ipad is to 2006 paperweight

  51. Kay Says:

    I have Android, Apple and MS products and by far MS is better for business. Apple is good for entertainment and browsing and Android is good for gaming. If you want a good review you should get it from people in business vs. reporters.

  52. Chris Hoerske Says:

    The section in regards to apps makes no sense. What makes the Surface the best option for business is that there is no need for an ‘app’ store. You simple install ANY Windows application onto the device. App stores are for watered down iOS devices like Androids and Apple iOS products… In the business world we need the ability to build applications without submitting to app stores.. And more importantly we need to simple purchase full blown applications to install on the mobile device.. Ones that are not available in the app store nor should they be. Anyway.. Just thought I would clarify a bit.

  53. Raphael Tokmakjian Says:

    If you come to business use, there is no way you can compare two devices, in world of business what matters is your Email, Office Apps, easy to get files into your tablet!!!! without the need to connect to itunes or even use a 3rd party dongle with an app (like ipad)
    Keyboard is a must in business I use Surface RT and I am in quality assurance of Telecom Services/Products, the Surfaces gives you almost 8 hours of battery life…
    Try to work on an excel which has 25 Sheets and in each sheet more than 3000 rows and 20+ columns on an ipad, you will lose your mind…
    With Surface, just use the MS Keyboard & Mouse and it will feel like your working on a laptop not a tablet….

    If you want to make a comparison for business you have to change the points, ignore how fast applications are opening ppl don’t give a damn about it, ignore the browser and camera (Camera is used to scan documents!!)

    Check One Note App, Office Capabilities and Email Client plus the easy of use to transfer files…etc connecting to HDMI for presentations

    Thanks

  54. Johna412 Says:

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