Apple iPad 4 vs Microsoft Surface

Microsoft and Apple are the big daddies in the rat race of gadget invention, and ‘necessity’ is not really the mother over here. Well, today let us commit the sin of comparing these two giants and see who is better in every skill set required for this race.

Microsoft started off as an operating system developer for various hardware manufacturers. The first OS they developed was called MS-DOS and was built for the IBM PC. The first version of ‘Microsoft Windows’ was launched on Nov 20, 1984 and since then Microsoft saw a perpetual upward graph of growth.

On the other hand, Apple was more-of-a hardware manufacturer and sold motherboards along with the CPU, RAM and some basic textual video chips. Apple invented and released its first computer called ‘Lisa’ invented by Steve Jobs with an in-house competition of ‘Macintosh’ in 1983, but was a commercial failure due to its high price tag and limited software titles. Apple then launched the first ‘Macintosh,’ invented by Jef Raskin in 1984 and was the first commercial success for the company after the failure of ‘Lisa.’

Considering the background of both the companies, it is very foolish to compare them. But, Microsoft has now entered into the hardware market by releasing their own hardware along with their latest operating system; Windows 8. There are two versions of the Windows Tablet which will be launched; the first one is with Windows RT (built for ARM powered devices) and the second is with Windows 8 Pro (for Intel core processor powered devices)

Let us compare the features of Microsoft Surface and fourth generation iPad and see which one suits you better.


The Surface comes with a VaporMG casing which is very strong and is capable of resisting a few drops here and there. The Microsoft Surface with Windows Pro 8 measures 10.8 x 6.8 inches and weighs 903 grams which is lighter than any laptop out there while Surface with Windows RT weighs a mere 676 grams. Surface has an additional touch sensitive keyboard as compared to the iPad which lets you type if you’re using a desk. The tablet automatically turns the external keyboard input off when flipped behind the screen.

The iPad 4 on the other hand comes with an aluminum casing similar to the previous models. While the iPad 4 stands at 10.5 x 7.3 inches, which is smaller than Surface, it hardly measures 662 grams and is quite handy as compared to the Surface.

Surface here stands with a strong stance as it is a bit larger and sturdier compared to the iPad 4. The difference hardly matters because, you are not going to take these tablets and go for a jog right?


The bigger the display, the better it is! But is it handy? Well, you can definitely make space for a tablet which has a Cleartype Full HD display of 10.6-inches which will give you the feel of using a tablet as well as a laptop. Surface with Windows Pro 8 has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and offers 10-point multi-touch input system. In short, you can use all your fingers at once on this screen (not lucky enough to use all the toes as well). On the other hand, Surface with Windows RT comes with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels which offers a 5-point multi-touch input system. The display ratio stands at 16:9 for both tablets.

iPad 4 sports a Retina Display of 9.7-inches with IPS technology and gives a resolution of 2048 x 1536 at 264 pixels per-inch (ppi) with a 4:3 display ratio. That simply means, it is better than Surface. If the size of the display doesn’t matter to you, the iPad wins the race in terms of the display quality.


Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro is available in two models which are 64GB and 128GB while Surface with Windows RT will come with a storage capacity of 32GB and 64GB. Guess what? Yes, you can increase the storage capacity by the microSDXC slot provided in the tablet.

The all new iPad 4 is available in the same options as the previous models which are 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

Storage is not necessarily the key factor when making a buying decision, but the 128 GB along with the additional storage capability via a microSDXC card sounds quite tempting.


The Microsoft Surface has two 720p HD LifeCams both front and rear with TruColor. Other features of the camera are yet to be explored.

The iPad 4 on the other has a 1.2 megapixel front camera which enables you to record HD video in 720p. The secondary camera captures photos with the 5 megapixel iSight camera and has features like autofocus, 1080p HD video recording, tap to focus (even while recording videos) and photo and video geo-tagging.

The obvious winner here seems to be the iPad, however the Surface camera is yet to be tested in comparison to that of the iPad.


The smart-looking Surface with Windows Pro 8 is also powerful from the inside as it includes the 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 processor along with the Intel HD Graphics 4000. It has 4GB of RAM with dual channel memory architecture. It means that the data is being transferred at twice the speed compared to our conventional single channel memory architecture. On the other hand, Surface with Windows RT comes with a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and 2GB of RAM.

The iPad 4 runs on the Dual-Core A6X processor developed by Apple and has quad-core graphics capabilities. The hardware of the Microsoft tablet sounds heavier than the one in iPad. But we shall come to know which one compliments its operating system better than the other only when these machines are in the hands of the consumers.


The operating system is the biggest thing here for both the players. Microsoft is launching Surface with the launch of Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro. It is believed that the new operating system is going to take the stress out of using personal computers. All the glitches and errors might not be visible in this new Windows operating system.

The new fourth generation iPad will come with the much-criticized iOS 6. This operating system has updated version of Siri, which is a virtual personal assistant software. Added to this, there are real-time Apple Maps for iOS 6 users which shows the 3D image of every building out there. Still, there exist some glitches in applications like Maps and App Store which will eventually be cleared.

Let us experience the all new Windows OS system and we can comment which one stands better. But so far, all the early reviews of Windows 8 have mixed opinions and many also suggest that Microsoft has failed in terms of the software. However, we want to try it out ourselves before we reach the final verdict.


Surface with Windows 8 Pro comes with a 42 W-h battery while the one with Windows RT comes with a 31.5 W-h battery. That means, the Windows 8 Pro version will provide you with a battery life of up to 10 hours (video playback) while the one with Windows RT will provide you with a battery life of up to 7.5 hours.

Comparatively, the iPad 4 has a 42.5 W-h battery which will provide you with a battery-life of up to 10 hours, similar to the Windows 8 tablet.

Microsoft Surface seems to be a better deal than the iPad 4 considering the hardware and the additional features one can have, but it is obvious that Apple has a huge eco-system surrounding its tablet and already there are a bunch of apps and accessories to choose from.

There are some individual features of both the machines which we can only discuss after we get our hands on these machines. Stay tuned till then and read on…

10 thoughts on “Apple iPad 4 vs Microsoft Surface”

  1. The points made here are completely factual. The camera of the iPad (and other things) might be better, but I would still purchase the Surface instead of the iPad considering its overall features.

  2. He is pro-Apple ! As for apps, how can you compare the two when Surface has been out for only a few days. Author, you may want to consider another profession.

  3. I am using the MS Surface to type this post. I also own an iPad 2 (I have the iPad 4 on order) and I will be getting the Acer Iconia W700p-6821 Windows 8 Pro tablet. I have a wife and daughter who share these devices. We also have PCs and a MAC Airbook. As far as phones go we all have iPhones they just got upgraded to iPhone 5s and I am waiting for the Windows 8 phones especially the Nokia Lumina 920. The iPhone 5s are buggy whether its the hardware and/or the software is yet to be determined. Back to Windows 8 and the Surface. I love this tablet/laptop hybrid. Its perfect for me. It can do everything I need to do both work and personal. The iPad cannot. I do like Apple’s eco-system/store better due to more variety but MS will surpass Apple here shortly and the current MS store is very nice and has a decent variety already. Actually from first purchase was a movie rental (Prometheus) for $0.99 what a great deal/experience. So far all the apps I download are free along with the great apps pre-installed like office. Windows 8 Metro which is the OS GUI/Interface is awesome. It blows Apple and Android out of the water. Its intuitive, sexy, and very easy to use. The integration MS is providing with Windows 8 across all my devices is the big game changer. My MS eco-system now spans my PC, Tablet, Xbox, and soon my phone. Also Xbox games play on these devices, some restrictions here but it will get nothing but better. I now have Xbox music both local and streaming (MS gave me a free subscription for being in the first 100 to but a Surface at their store). Simple things like MSN have been updated for Windows 8 Metro and the experience is awesome on the tablet (I use it for news). Bottom line is I am moving my family slowly but surely from Apple to MS for so many reasons and this round of Apple phone and tablet upgrades are my family’s last as we convert solely to MS devices and the awesome Windows 8 Metro and fast growing eco-system. And don’t even get me going with things like Xbox glass using multiple devices simultaneously for productivity and awesome entertainment possibilities. I am giddy with delight and will enjoy the ride MS is providing to vastly improve my family and myself a innovative and clearly better quality of life with superior technologies across the board both hardware and software based. The touch keyboard rocks!






    1. You seem to have completely misunderstood the statement, it reads ‘All the glitches and errors might not be visible in this new Windows operating system.’ What it suggests is that Microsoft has got rid of most of those po-up error messages (or just messages) that usually use to show up when you have a certain file that is missing, driver missing, etc. This will be a UI improvement to the OS making it a much smoother experience.

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