All iPads So I tried out the Surface, and came back to iPad…Again

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 5, 2007
5,177
1,182
As evidenced by previous posts I have made, I have also taken the time to try out the Microsoft Surface RT. I also own other iPads, including a full sized iPad 2, and my main daily driver now, an iPad Mini + 4G LTE on Sprint.

At first, I loved it, I had the Touch Cover, and free Microsoft Office was very nice. Despite the lack of apps, Windows RT was not a bad OS at all, having the full Internet Explorer on a device was really nice, and definitely made up for the lack of applications.

The build quality of the Surface was very comparable to Apple's build quality. All metal, and I did really dig the kickstand and Touch Cover.

Now on to the bad and what caused me to return the device:

-The thing was just too dang wide to use comfortably. I am able to use the full size iPad 2 with no issues, but the Surface and it's 16:9 screen was just too awkward to hold in the hand to use "as a tablet."

-The battery didn't last as long, and the lack of built in 4G was a deal breaker. Yes I realize there is now a 4G model Surface 2, but I had the original RT which I got at a deal which included the Touch Cover in black.

-Heavy Heavy Heavy.

While I did really like the Surface, those unfortunately were deal breakers, and I had to return the device. I am now back to my iPad mini, and I do enjoy it very much.
 

raccoonboy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2012
917
5
r u talkin bout surface 1 or 2?

1 has bad battery, 2 is better. RT cant really justified Surface, try to pro one to really see the different. To me, i use my PC around 2 hrs each day after work so i see surface as a better substitution when i dont want to power up my destop.

Ipad on the other hand has great battery but i wont compare the latter version of ipad mini and ipad air material to surface. Ipad 2 has good built quality but from ipad mini to current, materials feel cheap.
 

Newtons Apple

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Mar 12, 2014
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Jacksonville, Florida
I have tried the surface twice including the new Surface Pro 2 with 512gb and it will not do what I need.

They said it would run any software but it does not run QuickBook Pro! All is good till I load up my company file nad then it boggs so badly it becomes unusable!

Maybe the Suface 3, 4 or 5!:rolleyes:
 
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darngooddesign

macrumors G3
Jul 4, 2007
9,310
210
Atlanta, GA
As evidenced by previous posts I have made, I have also taken the time to try out the Microsoft Surface RT. I also own other iPads, including a full sized iPad 2, and my main daily driver now, an iPad Mini + 4G LTE on Sprint.

At first, I loved it, I had the Touch Cover, and free Microsoft Office was very nice. Despite the lack of apps, Windows RT was not a bad OS at all, having the full Internet Explorer on a device was really nice, and definitely made up for the lack of applications.

The build quality of the Surface was very comparable to Apple's build quality. All metal, and I did really dig the kickstand and Touch Cover.

Now on to the bad and what caused me to return the device:

-The thing was just too dang wide to use comfortably. I am able to use the full size iPad 2 with no issues, but the Surface and it's 16:9 screen was just too awkward to hold in the hand to use "as a tablet."

-The battery didn't last as long, and the lack of built in 4G was a deal breaker. Yes I realize there is now a 4G model Surface 2, but I had the original RT which I got at a deal which included the Touch Cover in black.

-Heavy Heavy Heavy.

While I did really like the Surface, those unfortunately were deal breakers, and I had to return the device. I am now back to my iPad mini, and I do enjoy it very much.
There are other companies that make Windows 8/RT tablets which are smaller and lighter. Would you not choose the Mini if you didn't like the size/weight of the Air?
 

CoMoMacUser

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2012
671
3
I got the iPad in June 2010, and I like it. But when it got too slow, due mainly to 5.x, I decided to try a Windows tablet. I bought a Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx this past fall. No complaints.

At first I thought the plastic case meant it wouldn't last as long as the iPad, but so far there's not a scratch on it. I really like the wide screen, partly for the ability to have two things going side by side.

The limited app selection has been a non-issue, as I expected when I bought it. When I was deciding whether to get another iPad, I looked at my usage and realized that probably 90 percent of my time was spent in the browser or mail.

Battery life is good: about two days/eight hours between charges. The iPad 1 lasts longer.
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
From what some have said here and in other reviews, it seems like the Surface is closer to a really thin and (comparatively) light laptop replacement, not a tablet.

I have tried them out briefly at Best Buy. I think if I was considering a Windows laptop, the Surface would be really appealing. However, like others have said, the 16:9 ratio seems awkward to hold as a tablet.
 

dgr874

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2012
88
21
Texas
I got the iPad in June 2010, and I like it. But when it got too slow, due mainly to 5.x, I decided to try a Windows tablet. I bought a Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx this past fall. No complaints.

At first I thought the plastic case meant it wouldn't last as long as the iPad, but so far there's not a scratch on it. I really like the wide screen, partly for the ability to have two things going side by side.

The limited app selection has been a non-issue, as I expected when I bought it. When I was deciding whether to get another iPad, I looked at my usage and realized that probably 90 percent of my time was spent in the browser or mail.

Battery life is good: about two days/eight hours between charges. The iPad 1 lasts longer.
Pretty much my experience too. Almost everything I do is in the browser and because of the surface's full browser, it does some things better than my iPad can do.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,011
1,291
I have tried the surface twice including the new Surface Pro 2 with 512gb and it will not do what I need.

They said it would run any software but it does not run QuickBook Pro! All is good till I load up my company file nad then it boggs so badly it becomes unusable!

Maybe the Suface 3, 4 or 5!:rolleyes:
umm interesting, something to do w/ the surface pro or just win 8.1? AFAIK it should run just like any other win machine. :confused:
 

Newtons Apple

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Mar 12, 2014
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umm interesting, something to do w/ the surface pro or just win 8.1? AFAIK it should run just like any other win machine. :confused:
It ran Quickbooks Pro fine with their small sample file but my company files is over 150mb which is large but I know of company files that are near 500gb.

The would open my company file to do a seach everything including the mouse/cursor would go int a slow motion or delayed mode. Within a few minutes an error would freeze the tablet. I think the lack of RAM needed to load up my company file and give the device "head room" to operate was the problem.
 

darngooddesign

macrumors G3
Jul 4, 2007
9,310
210
Atlanta, GA
It ran Quickbooks Pro fine with their small sample file but my company files is over 150mb which is large but I know of company files that are near 500gb.

The would open my company file to do a seach everything including the mouse/cursor would go int a slow motion or delayed mode. Within a few minutes an error would freeze the tablet. I think the lack of RAM needed to load up my company file and give the device "head room" to operate was the problem.
You probably would have had the same problems running that file on a laptop with the Surface's specs.
 

HenryDJP

macrumors 603
Nov 25, 2012
5,087
829
United States
I have to agree, I don't care for the Surface either. Tried it multiple times in stores and with two people that I know own them. One person I know has the Surface Pro 2 and the other has the RT. It makes ZERO sense to even bother using the Surface in Portrait mode. It's just too tall. Landscape is too wide. The native resolution is too high so the close buttons are too small and it makes window management cumbersome on a 10" screen.

The Surface Pro 2 is NOT a Tablet, IMO. It's more of an overpriced Windows laptop (especially for a 10" screen) without the built-in keyboard. It's very heavy and the battery life certainly could be much better. The Surface 2 and RT both lack apps and I see no point in wasting money on those two machines.
I don't personally get some of the people here that see Internet Explorer as a plus especially since very few websites even require the use of it as it was back in the day, but if people see a benefit to that then good on them.

I'm good with my iPad Air and even though I don't use MS Office, that's just another great reason to not bother with the Surface.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,011
1,291
It ran Quickbooks Pro fine with their small sample file but my company files is over 150mb which is large but I know of company files that are near 500gb.

The would open my company file to do a seach everything including the mouse/cursor would go int a slow motion or delayed mode. Within a few minutes an error would freeze the tablet. I think the lack of RAM needed to load up my company file and give the device "head room" to operate was the problem.
Let me know what laptop/macs can handle 500gb files w/ similar hardware specs then ;) The issue is your hardware choice for your work, but appreciate the honesty. I though something in the coding of the surface made it not work. and heap ram is prob the issue w such big files and the delays.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,357
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Prescott Valley, AZ
I have to agree, I don't care for the Surface either. Tried it multiple times in stores and with two people that I know own them. One person I know has the Surface Pro 2 and the other has the RT. It makes ZERO sense to even bother using the Surface in Portrait mode. It's just too tall. Landscape is too wide. The native resolution is too high so the close buttons are too small and it makes window management cumbersome on a 10" screen.
I agree. I own a Surface 2. Love the physical hardware and the connectivity/ports. But, 16:9 is not a good AR for tablets larger than 8". As you mentioned, too wide in landscape and too narrow in portrait. And it is virtually unusable without a physical keyboard. In landscape mode the onscreen keyboard takes up over 3/4 of the screen. In portrait mode, the large bezel makes it difficult to type with the onscreen keyboard.




The Surface Pro 2 is NOT a Tablet, IMO. It's more of an overpriced Windows laptop (especially for a 10" screen) without the built-in keyboard. It's very heavy and the battery life certainly could be much better. The Surface 2 and RT both lack apps and I see no point in wasting money on those two machines.
I agree regarding the Surface Pro 2. I never was a fan of the Pro. Not at that price, battery life, and cooling fan.

The chronic lack of software for Windows RT does indeed make the Surface 2 very limited in usefulness. IF all a person wants to do is use Office, browse the web, and check email, then it makes a decent netbook.


I don't personally get some of the people here that see Internet Explorer as a plus especially since very few websites even require the use of it as it was back in the day, but if people see a benefit to that then good on them.
The benefit of Internet Explorer is that it can display the desktop version of websites. It also supports flash which can be helpful.

But they mostly laud IE because they look at it as "filling the gap" of the app shortage by stating that they don't need "all of those apps" that iOS and Android have. They can use IE to visit the site directly. This is of course a convenient and limited argument... implying that most of the apps that people use are nothing more than front-ends to websites.

Lack of browser options is a deal-killer for me. It's a shame because the Surface 2 hardware capabilities overshadow the iPad.


I'm good with my iPad Air and even though I don't use MS Office, that's just another great reason to not bother with the Surface.
I keep going back to my iPad 4. With the addition of a Logitech Ultrathin keyboard cover and Office for iPad I can do a lot of what I need to do with the iPad. I wish that Apple would upgrade bluetooth support to include support for mice.
 

CoMoMacUser

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2012
671
3
And it is virtually unusable without a physical keyboard. In landscape mode the onscreen keyboard takes up over 3/4 of the screen. In portrait mode, the large bezel makes it difficult to type with the onscreen keyboard.
The iPad and Windows tablets are better for content consumption than content creation. For years I tried to make the iPad double as a laptop, but typing even a brief email or message on a site such as this was a chore. That's why I bought an MBA.
 

HenryDJP

macrumors 603
Nov 25, 2012
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United States
The benefit of Internet Explorer is that it can display the desktop version of websites. It also supports flash which can be helpful.

But they mostly laud IE because they look at it as "filling the gap" of the app shortage by stating that they don't need "all of those apps" that iOS and Android have. They can use IE to visit the site directly. This is of course a convenient and limited argument... implying that most of the apps that people use are nothing more than front-ends to websites.

Lack of browser options is a deal-killer for me. It's a shame because the Surface 2 hardware capabilities overshadow the iPad.


.
Ah, thanks for clearing that up. That makes sense. I am very new to the iPad. The Air is my first one and I never understood the point of using website apps when I could just go to the website via a browser. I get it now though. Using a website app is more beneficial than a browser because the UI of that site is already built into the app so there's no page loading to wait for or dealing with browsers that aren't properly coded for that particular website.
Between Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox, it seems to depend on the which browser the Developer prefers which makes it a lottery on which browser works best with select websites. I kinda wish there were more dedicated website apps for Windows and Macs computers.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,357
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Prescott Valley, AZ
The iPad and Windows tablets are better for content consumption than content creation. For years I tried to make the iPad double as a laptop, but typing even a brief email or message on a site such as this was a chore. That's why I bought an MBA.
Part of the difficulty was probably due to a lack of mouse/trackpad. I can't say enough nice things about the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard cover. I've used it for extended typing sessions (9+ hour days) and it works extremely well. But breaking the rhythm to tap the screen is distracting.

Add to that the insane battery life... After a year of owning it, I swear that the battery life on my iPad 4 has IMPROVED. I was easily getting around 12 hours on a battery charge, now that has crept up to nearly 14.


Ah, thanks for clearing that up. That makes sense. I am very new to the iPad. The Air is my first one and I never understood the point of using website apps when I could just go to the website via a browser. I get it now though. Using a website app is more beneficial than a browser because the UI of that site is already built into the app so there's no page loading to wait for or dealing with browsers that aren't properly coded for that particular website.
Absolutely. These front-end-to-a-website apps are also beneficial because they are customized for a touch interface. That's one of the downsides of using IE on the Surface. Having separate apps allows for smoother and more consistent use of the tablet also. On the Surface, we can set up favorites/bookmarks as a live tile on the Start screen but that ends up clogging up the browser with tabs, often duplicate tabs.

This is all made worse by restricting the browser to IE only.
 
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CoMoMacUser

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2012
671
3
Add to that the insane battery life... After a year of owning it, I swear that the battery life on my iPad 4 has IMPROVED. I was easily getting around 12 hours on a battery charge, now that has crept up to nearly 14.
I don't think Apple gets enough credit for its power-efficient designs. My iPad lasts as long as it did when it was new, and my mid-2012 MBA still lasts at least six hours.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,357
8,716
Prescott Valley, AZ
I don't think Apple gets enough credit for its power-efficient designs. My iPad lasts as long as it did when it was new, and my mid-2012 MBA still lasts at least six hours.
It was very impressive to use the iPad w/bluetooth keyboard cover non-stop for 9 hours and still be far from empty.

In contrast, I've had to disable virtually all of my live tiles on my Surface 2 because of the battery drain. It defeats the purpose of having live tiles.
 

TheWheelMan

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
982
0
The iPad and Windows tablets are better for content consumption than content creation. For years I tried to make the iPad double as a laptop, but typing even a brief email or message on a site such as this was a chore. That's why I bought an MBA.
I do most of my writing on my iPad. But I'm disabled, and typing on the iPad, for me, suits my needs.
 

CoMoMacUser

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2012
671
3
I've had to disable virtually all of my live tiles on my Surface 2 because of the battery drain. It defeats the purpose of having live tiles.
From your post and others, I'm starting to think that other vendors (e.g., Lenovo) have done a better job than Microsoft when it comes to making Windows 8.1 power efficient.
 

s2mikey

macrumors 68020
Sep 23, 2013
2,462
2,521
Upstate, NY
Agreed, I was surprised at how heavy it was myself and the 16:9 aspect ratio with the thickness/weight made holding it not really feasible. It had to rest on a desk or lap.
This alone is a deal killer for me. I have to use one at work to test our software on and it's rather clumsy. When being used hooked up to a mouse and keyboard it's actually pretty good and I didn't mind using it.

What I'm saying is that it's a pretty dodgy tablet. No go deal. But, it's a solid super portable laptop or whatever. My iPad Air destroys it as far as a tablet is concerned. USB ports and office do NOT make up for the rest of the tablet-centric shortcomings.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,663
167
Bay Area, Ca.
lol whoever recommended a surface pro to someone that prefers an iPad. That's kinda nuts. The Surface Pro weighs 1.5lbs and is a lot bigger.

If someone had an iPad and was happy with the workflow I wouldn't recommend a surface pro to them. it just doesn't make sense! I have one, and for what I've been using it for, it's fantastic. If you draw, it's a great tablet.. maybe not the best, but pretty good. If you're working on stuff you'd do on a windows laptop/desktop, it still might be great.

It's probably overkill for most other things.
 

HenryDJP

macrumors 603
Nov 25, 2012
5,087
829
United States
lol whoever recommended a surface pro to someone that prefers an iPad. That's kinda nuts. The Surface Pro weighs 1.5lbs and is a lot bigger.

If someone had an iPad and was happy with the workflow I wouldn't recommend a surface pro to them. it just doesn't make sense! I have one, and for what I've been using it for, it's fantastic. If you draw, it's a great tablet.. maybe not the best, but pretty good. If you're working on stuff you'd do on a windows laptop/desktop, it still might be great.

It's probably overkill for most other things.
The Surface Pro/Pro2 actually weigh 2LBS.