Surface for Windows RT vs. the iPad

A Windows 8 tablet that's thin, light and easy on power consumption naturally invites comparisons with the iPad

A Windows 8 tablet that's thin, light and easy on power consumption naturally invites comparisons with the iPad, so here goes.

Microsoft yesterday unveiled the Surface for Windows 8 device, a touch-screen tablet running Windows RT, the ARM-friendly version of Windows 8.

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It differs from the new iPad in that it has an attached keyboard that doubles as a lid. The keyboard can respond either to gestures or, with the addition of a thin keyboard insert, to touch.

When configured as a notebook, the weighty part of the device is propped up by a kickstand that folds out of the back and the keyboard lies flat on the surface where the device rests.

Here is a feature-by-feature comparison of the two devices that is limited because Microsoft didn't release some key specs such as screen resolution, length, width, processor speed, cameras, etc.

Weight: Surface, 1.49 lb.; new iPad, 1.44 lb.

Display: Surface, 10.6-inch ClearType HD; new iPad, 9.7-inch multi-touch capable capacitive screen

Thickness: Surface, 9.3 mm; new iPad, 9.4 mm.

Processor: Surface, Nvidia Tegra-based ARM chip; new iPad, A5X dual-core 1GHz cortex-A9

Memory: Surface, 32GB, 64GB; new iPad, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB

Battery life: Surface, 31.5 working hours; new iPad, 9 hours 3G, 10 hours 4G

Wireless: Surface, 2×2 MIMO antennae indicating 3G support; new iPad, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G

Business applications: Surface, some Office apps; new iPad, none

Price: Surface, unavailable; new iPad, $500-$829

Keyboard: Surface, Touch Cover, Type Cover; new iPad, on-screen touch keyboard

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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