Apple iPad Vs Microsoft Surface: Specs Shootout

Microsoft started taking pre-orders for its Microsoft Surface RT tablets yesterday.

Surface RT is powered by NVDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, comes with 10.6-inch display, 2GB of RAM, 720p HD rear and front facing cameras in a “VaporMg” magnesium casing. The Windows RT (Microsoft’s ARM-friendly version of Windows 8) tablet, also offers a built-in kickstand.

The price is right in line with the iPad, with the entry-level 32GB Surface RT costing $499. In fact, it is cheaper if you compare it with the 32GB iPad.

Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division at Microsoft told reporters “We’re pretty darn excited about the price, the value. When you think about everything you are getting, this is a terrific deal.”

So how does Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet stack up against Apple’s iPad, which currently has more than 50% of the market share?

Here’s a comparison chart where we have compared the hardware specifications of Surface with Apple’s iPad.

Please note that Microsoft hasn’t released a few specifications, for example: the company mentions only “720p” for its front- and rear-facing cameras. It is also not clear what kind of battery life Surface tablet will offer.

Let’s forget about the operating system, ecosystem and user experience that these tablets offer (as it is too early to comment on those points). Based on the just the tech specs, which one will you buy?


We have updated the chart as we had the operating systems reversed earlier and have also added the point about Microsoft Surface having an expansion slot.

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  • Glenn Hunt II

    I think you got the operating systems reversed.

    • iPhoneHacks

      We have updated the chart and corrected it. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Hank

    Looks like the operating system is swapped on the chart above

  • Alf

    Switched OS’s!

  • gj

    with more ram quad core and USB, SD and video port RT specs are definitely better, but there is no and won’t be anytime soon app which I use on iPad because RT doesn’t supports midi. So it will take years until RT will be usable for purposes I use iPad now.

  • Mr. Yeti

    Other things remaining constant, surface seems better. But other things are not constant, are they? I bought android tablet and i am still waiting for a decent apps for facebook :-(

  • Stan Bono

    It is a good product , looking only at the specs , I guess the Microsoft surface is better than the ipad, but let see how the MS surface works in real life before jugging.

  • Alan

    It looks like Microsoft is finally going to give Apple a run for its money. Looking forward to the fight as it is going to great for us as customers.

  • davems

    LETS REMEMBER, the IPAD is an oversized IPhone. Its the same OS. It is primarily designed for content/media consumption. Sure you can say the IPAD can create documents, but if you have ever used an IPAD to create documents, than you know your settling with a sub-par experience of document creation, it’s un-natural and awkward at best.
    What Microsoft did with Surface is a ground up reimagined OS, that is meant for not only content/media consumption, but also TRUE content creation as well. In includes a full version of the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint: worth $150 and you get it free). You also get a mail client, a full App store, lots of includes apps, a browser, unlimited FREE Music streaming (over 30 million songs, more than iTunes), a built in kick-stand (to watch movies and work more naturally when at a desk/table), a full USB port, MicroSD Card slot. (You don’t need to buy accessories to transfer files, photos, music documents, just use a USB stick or microSD card). The Surface is of course a full touch friendly device with dynamic informative attractive live tiles, (not static dumb icons like with IOS).
    Lets also point out that the Surface has a full keyboard and mouse pad that acts as a cover when not in use. Now, with the Microsoft Surface you can watch movies, listen to music (for free), take pictures, TOP notch security, encryption, video calls, download apps, surf the web, check email, create word, excel and PowerPoint documents just as you have in the past, socialize online, Tweet, Facebook, print, play games, and without compromise create documents using Office and a keyboard/mouse.
    So lets be clear, The Microsoft Surface is a no compromise Tablet. Its completely mobile, thin and light. In fact, for most people The Surface RT can replace a laptop. What the Surface brings is a mobile touch friendly tablet, that also allows you to work the way you would traditionally with a keyboard/mouse when you want to and when it makes the most sense.
    I am confident, once people try one out the decision to get one will be a no brainer!!! The Microsoft Surface RT gives you value for your money. And for those people who want to run legacy Windows x86 apps (like businesses, power users, etc…) The Surface pro will answer all their needs!!!

    • Jason

      Man you got your self a deal!

  • Xiaoher

    Will it come the surface with antivirus app?

  • Zedsefi

    Can I have full desktop in the Surface Windows? (with takbar and menues etc..) I mean is it a full Windows or just a mobile ŵindows 8? I don’t like the funny rectangle and square metro view. Could somebody answers me please? I am expecting a platform just like a full laptop running windows 7 or XP, otherwise I will stick ith my iPad.

  • Ben Wildeman

    Although the Microsoft Surface has 1366×768 pixel resolution display, you also need to take into account of sub-pixel rendering and contrast. Yes the iPad has 2048×1536 pixel resolution display, but there becomes a drop off point where more pixels doesn’t mean better screen quality. Other factors come into play to play to get the best clarity from a screen. The distance between the pixels and the actual screen is one of the key factors in screen clarity, and Microsoft Surface has the smallest pixel to screen distance ever seen to date.

    In order to compare two products equally, you have to give them the same factors as each other. Surface comes with a keyboard, a cover AND a stand, where as the iPad does not, therefore to make the iPad equal, you have to add in the cost for a stand, case/cover (or case with integrated stand) and a keyboard. Adding an extra $100 to the iPad and that is the real cost.

    Also another thing to take into account is what are these devices for. The surface with it’s full office suite software makes this a production and consumption device. On the other hand the iPad was only really built for consumption only, and after market apps, which aren’t all that great, make it into a production device BUT you have to edit the documents later on your laptop/computer anyway so there isn’t much point.

    If you have the iPad you need to have a laptop or computer along with it, so lets say you need a new laptop, you have a $499 iPad (keeping in mind that you do not need a case, stand or keyboard), and a new $499 laptop, that is $998 spent for the two devices. Value for money, the surface IS your consumption tablet and it IS your production computer. You get two devices for one great price.

    People fail to see these points when they compare the iPad to the Surface or the Surface to the iPad. People only see the Surface as just a tablet used for consumption yet it is so much more than that.

    Want a tablet to watch movies, play games, surf the web? get a cheaper android device. Want a tablet to watch movies, play games, surf the web AND create office documents? Get the Surface. Note how I did not say get an iPad for the two scenarios. Why buy an iPad for $499 when you can buy something half the price and do the same job.

  • Koi Castro

    Mac Vs. PC days!