iPad Air vs Surface 2

April 26, 2014 | By | Reply More

While many Android tablets have tried to compete against the iPad, it’s now Windows’s turn to enter a true competitor. Windows initially tried with the original Surface, but it was a commercial bomb. At the same time, the Surface 2 is an improvement that is slated to go head-to-head against the new iPad Air. Which one is the best? It largely depends on your needs and preferences.

iPad Air vs Surface 2

Similarities

These tablets share a surprising number of similarities. They are roughly the same price. The Surface 2 is $449 and the iPad Air is $499. They are also both very thin and light with the iPad Air being about 7.5mm thick and just a pound, and the Surface 2 being 9mm thick and 1.5 pounds. Another similarity is that they have a similar screen size. The iPad Air has a 9.7-inch display with a thin border, and the Surface 2 has a 10.6-inch display. The last similarity is that they are both meant for productivity, but they achieve this through different means.

Productivity

The Surface 2 is more productive if you are transitioning from a laptop to a full-time tablet. Not only does it have a keyboard, but the kickstand makes it easy to use on flat surfaces or your lap. It’s also easy to multitask by using several apps at once. The iPad Air is thin and light, making it very easy to carry around. Not only that, but the new iOS 7 makes it easier to switch between apps. Both Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air and Surface 2 will be available through AT&T. Expect price to drop significanly just like LTE-enabled smartphones listed here during AT&T Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale.

Processing Speed

Both of these devices are incredibly quick, but it’s hard to say which is better because the iPad Air hasn’t been benchmarked yet. The Surface 2′s Tegra 4 chip is incredibly fast and responsive, putting it leaps and bounds ahead of the original Surface. At the same time, many people are expecting the iPad Air to be faster because its A7 CPU is said to be fast enough for desktops. Not only that, but Apple has promised that the iPad Air will be the fastest tablet to date.

Peripherals

Apple has never been good with peripherals. Every iPad accepts certain USB peripherals, but only if you use an accessory to pair the peripheral with the tablet. If you just want to use a memory card or USB device, then the Surface 2 has you covered. There’s a standard USB 3.0 slot and micro SD reader for your convenience.

Apps

No one can deny that the Surface 2 has significantly better apps than the original Surface, but Windows’s app marketplace is still meager when compared to the iOS. Not only that, but the Windows’s app marketplace primarily offers productivity apps. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the Apple App Store offers you hundreds of thousands of apps for your every need.

OS Differences

Both tablets are sporting a new OS. The upgraded iOS 7 closely emulates Android with several easy controls, the ability to multitask by switching between apps and by scaling up the speed and responsiveness. The design has also been modernized. At the same time, the new Windows 8.1 OS corrects many of the issues that people had in the past. Not only are apps easier to use, but the entire OS has been made to stress productivity. While iOS is definitely easier to use, you might want to consider checking out the Windows 8.1 OS to see if it’s right for you.

Conclusion

It’s hard to say which of these tablets is really the best. The iPad Air wins when it comes to apps and responsiveness, but the Surface 2 stresses productivity, multitasking and peripherals.

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