Tablets Why is the Surface apparently a big deal compared to the iPad?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by caspersoong, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. caspersoong macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011
    I find it mind-boggling why the Microsoft Surface was alleged by some to be an "iPad-killer". It does not really beat the iPad in any way, does it? The touch cover/type cover costs more than a hundred dollars! Besides, Anandtech said that the touch cover cannot be used to type comfortably for a long time while the type cover misses keystrokes. We can just buy a keyboard case for the iPad for less than a hundred sometimes, right? Is it because with the cover included and the kickstand (whose functionality many keyboard cases provide anyway) make the overall cost lower, with the addition of support for Office? Thanks for the replies! I hope this discrepancy can be clarified.
  2. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I think it's the combination of Microsoft's first tablet and the new Windows 8 OS. I guarantee you so many people are going to HATE Windows 8 on computers. I think it'll be OK for the tablet, although the apps are going to be lacking until consumers show they'll actually buy apps for it. But you've got people like my mom who HATE change. This will ditch what Windows people have been used to for 17 years for something I don't understand, and I at least have a glimpse of it on my Xbox.

    The Xbox UI is much more confusing than it was before the tile-based layout. I think it was designed by a monkey that liked pretty pictures more than words. That can be OK for a tablet, but it's crazy for a mouse-and-keyboard environment.
  3. Lindsford macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2012
    I'm staying away from Windows 8 on my Desktop. I hate that you're forced to update to the new dashboard on the 360... It's just a bunch of cluttered boxes next to each other in different sizes. How unique.:rolleyes:
  4. Tigerman82 macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    From a student's point of view, Surface can give the iPad run for its money. While obviously a small laptop is the preferred choice for a student, some of us would like to extend the versatility of a tablet to taking lecture notes etc. Obviously most of us need a real keyboard for it. The most popular and recommended keyboard for iPad I've read about is the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard. While it seems to be a great keyboard offering screen protection as well, the magnets on it are on the weak side which can lead to the keyboard detaching itself from the iPad time to time (when in screen cover mode). Surface and other hybrids are not going to have this problem as I'm sure they work seamlessly together.

    Of course storage has always been a downside when it comes to the iPad. You are restricted to the memory size you buy and, as Apple tradition goes, you have to pay top dollar if you want anything larger than 16Gb. Other tablets have memory card slots and USBs while the iPad does not. Luckily I'm not the type of guy who wants to carry the entire music and video collection with him (none of my devices carry even 50 songs). However, I am worried that if I buy the iPad and transfer 2-5 movies into it (if I e.g. travel), I will be out of space soon.

    Finally, Surface does have a version of Office which is a huge plus and at least in my university EVERYONE uses Word and Powerpoint and nothing else.

    I do think that iPad does offer the best tablet experience and I doubt Surface and others can much the quality of materials, component integration and software of Apple. These are the reasons why I use an iMac instead of a Win-PC, as well.
  5. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Windows 7 already erred me on my new notebook. Bought it because it was $500 cheaper than any MBA.

    Well, apparently updates to Norton 360 or whatever downloaded over my hotspot connection when I was covering football games with it on. I rarely turn the computer on at home, and I kept getting restart prompts from Norton. After getting a phone bill that said I used SEVEN gigabytes of data, this is the only logical conclusion I have.

    S again I'm reminded why I pay a little more up front for a Mac. I can't remember anything downloading huge files like that without screaming at me. This may be one reason Apple doesn't have automatic app updates. After experiencing this, I'm glad. I'll tap two buttons to not get an extra $30 charge.
  6. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    It's Microsoft, their first tablet and a huge change for their OS, so it's bound to be a big deal.

    However, I hear a lot of Microsoft fans say it's better than the iPad because it has 'better specs', a USB port and Office.

    ...Doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun to me.

    As soon as somebody mentions specs I know they have missed the point.

    They just don't get it. It's experience, experience, experience.
  7. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Specs are a misguided attempt to determine how fast something is. Does anybody care about how hot a toaster gets, or do they care that the darn bread gets toasted? You can get fooled like crazy just going on a processor and memory when comparing different devices.

    You can also get suckered on other components that will be gutted and slow your system down but not show up on the box. I noticed that with RAM speed and hard disk RPMs in the past. You could do the same thing on a tablet if you use cheaper memory or storage that slows down a faster bus.

    I used to build my own computers, so I know where those people are coming from. I'm so glad to worry about that less now.
  8. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    i think it was meant for the business/enterprise class but failed to include one thing mobile wireless. that is a must have for on the go, work related communications.

    without it, it's an instant fail. even the iPad mini has mobile options.
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Who says? Don't go tabloid on me.

    So they showed Surface + iPad side-by-side and they are the same thinness, and yet when I saw Surface at first by itself it looked pretty thick to me. Then I realize again, MS can't make cool hardware. I don't know what's the deal with them. Their X-boxes look decent but this Surface looks like a big Zune to me. That's the hardware.

    OK once u get pass the ugly hardware, u still want a Windows machine, fine. To me the RT (can't run existing Windows app) is gonna take a while for the Arm-specific apps to catch up, if the dang thing doesn't die before.

    The Surface Pro is the one that can run current Windows App, but I am going guess most of the gesture functionality is gone when you are in this "classic" mode. Apps will get updated "eventually" :rolleyes: and the Pro is gonna be close to $1K

    News is that MS hardware partners were flabbergasted when MS announced back in June that they are going to sell the Surface in competition.

    So there. MS is in no position to kill anybody, YET.
  10. k995 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2010
    And who said its an ipad killer?

    usualy that word gets thrown around by people trying to make a point wether someone said it or not.

    It does in several fields, while in others ipad is better.

    ANd the type cover does do this comfortably and is just as expensive.

    With this typing is far better then on any ipad or ipad keyboard combination.

    Bulky cases yes, thin ones like from logitech cost just as much and even they are bulkier and just dont work as wel together with the ipad.


    Funny how you blame windows 7 for something norton 360 did.
  11. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    If Windows 7 was built better, I wouldn't need 360 or it would notify me before doing such updates. I've used a MacBook Pro and iPad in the same situations without hundreds of megabytes of downloads taking place without me knowing.
  12. urkel, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

    urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Norton 360? Either you're a grandma, a time traveler or you simply don't know how to use Windows because your bias against it seems to be prohibiting you from using it right. (Look, I prefer OSX over Windows but win7 is a pretty solid OS even in the hands of my mailing list loving mom. )

    As for phantom downloads and your claim that Norton 360 downloaded 7GB (of WHAT?) while Macs would never do that. Well, you're wrong because that happens on Macs also if you don't manage the settings.. AppleTV movie purchases. iOS apps and books. OS updates. And lets not forget that PowerNap is a new feature that makes downloading huge files while a computer is asleep. These updates are meant as a convenience even if they are sometimes a pain.

    You obviously had a bad experience and are irrationally using that to fuel your anger towards Windows (3rd party apps are a users responsibility) but for most people then Windows 7 is just fine. It's not as good as OSX for you or I but its good enough for 90% of the rest of the world. And to bring that bitterness against Windows 8 is silly because the whole point of this Widows overhaul is to transition themselves away from the legacy problems so why get so worked up over them trying to fix known problems?

    I can't get my mom to switch to Mac so Ill probably get her an RT device. It'll handle all the basics that an average Windows user needs ar an affordable price. And I definitely won't be using any Norton products on it.
  13. HowardSmith macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2012
    The Suface is offering choice. I got the 64gb nit with black keyboard cover coming on Friday. I feel that if done right, it can and will be an additional choice for users.

    Not everyone has swallowed the Apple pill. I left Blackberry for a more dependable device and picked Apple. Over all Apple has been good for me and other than it's still tiny screen ( but longer), I see no big leap with the iPhine 5 or iPad 4. When I see how many of you Apple people got pissed when the came out with another iPad . . . . Well maybe another Apple pill will help.

    The Surface is just the beginning and will give others choice. I need MS Office. The business world still runs on Office. The Surface gives me the ability to use removable storage where I can keep files without using iTunes. I use DropBox but Aplle does not allow my iPad to sync/store files for use when I do not have DropBox available. Just this make the Surface more open and free and not so restricted like Apple.

    In the end choice is good and it is still up in the air as to if the Surface will replace my iPad but I am sure going to give it a shot and have not already made up my mind like many here. If the Surface stick, that Nokia 920 is going to start to look good!:eek:
  14. caspersoong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011

    Thanks, that's a great answer.
  15. scottw324 macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    You could always jailbreak your device and use a 32 GB thumb drive and CCK for more storage. That is typically what I do. I put my movies on the thumb drive and either watch them from there or copy/paste them to the iPad file system, watch and then delete afterwards. This is on my iPad 3 on iOS 5.1.1.
  16. PrayForDeath macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2012
    Sounds like it was your fault for not disabling auto-updates on a limited connection (seven GBs is too much? You should see my monthly traffic :D)
  17. HowardSmith macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2012
    Every PC I have ever had, the forst thing I do when it comes out of the box is to DELETE NORTON!
  18. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    Nonsense. It's about having a working computer instead of a toy for watching movies, listening to music and spamming the internet with crap photos and videos of your friends acting like idiots.
    I have a windows 7 tablet and an ipad, and the windows tablet is what I reach for when I have some real work to do.
  19. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    This. That's about the software equivalent of going at your computer with a claw hammer, then blaming Microsoft because it won't turn on anymore.

    Delete Norton. I mean purge that thing. Get a damn Catholic priest in there to exorcise it if you have to.
  20. 62tele macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2010
    I don't think there is that much excitement. A summary of reviews I've seen have panned it. Some are downright brutal.

    Apple is dominant in the tablet market and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

    Microsoft will blunder through Surface and Windows 8 and eventually come up with a decent product.

    For now, Surface isn't going to threaten Apple's supremacy in Tablets.
  21. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    I was going to be childish and say you've missed the point, but I won't :)

    Look, if you're doing lots of typing and multitasking, then a keyboard and more robust OS is a must, and absolutly you're going to get more work done on Windows than iOS.

    However, "getting work done" was never the reason people bought iPads.

    Its the experience, the convenience, the simplicity of being able to do 90% of the things you do on a computer in an easier, and dare I say it fun way.

    Next time I have to write that 3,000 word essay I will absolutely grab my Macbook, the thought of doing that on an iPad terrifies me.

    But when I want to browse eBay, or even sell something on eBay, or edit the photo's from my holiday, i'm picking up the iPad and lying back on the sofa.

    ...Where were we... I totally got off point.

    Point is, specs don't make the iPad what it is, it's the experience.

    The experience of putting a word document together is probably better on the Surface.

    Yet everything else is yet to be seen, maybe it will be a great experience, I don't know.

    What it like to buy and download an App?
    What about downloading an album?
    How will the browser perform?

    But my initial irk was, people say the Sruface will be better because it has a faster processor and more RAM, but it doesn't mean anything.
  22. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    To be honest for me the only thing my iPad has going for it over a Surface tablet is the LTE. I really miss not having access to a file system, being able to use an SD card for my movies and recorded TV. Plus with Windows 8 RT you can actually have two windows opened side-by-side. I miss this too when I'm shopping and need to access my ewallet.

    I'm running Win 8 on my Asus tablet and like it a lot. But then I have been using windows tablets since about 2003 (HP 1000 and 1100, they saved me hours and hours of meeting notes transcription via OneNote). If I were not retired or if I were a student a Surface tablet would win hands down if for no other reason than the file access.

    But now that I'm retired and travel a lot I don't create anything, I simply consume content. For that the iPad with LTE works best. However, when someone comes out with a Windows RT tablet with LTE I'll probably spring for it. Then I'll compare and see exactly which works best for me.
  23. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Actually, I put together an over 3000 word document on my iPad. Did it with the Apple keyboard though. There's no way in hell I'd type that much on the touchscreen.

    You're both kind of right about the spec issue. Specs won't save a terrible product. If it's bad with 512 meg of ram, it'll be bad with a gig onboard. On the other hand, higher specs will allow you to do more. The Surface Pro, which is the one I'm interested in, will allow me to use Photoshop on a thin ultrabook style tablet with an onscreen digitizer. This one fact alone puts it ahead of the iPad for me.

    No, Windows 8 isn't the best platform for a pure touch experience, and it won't be winning any fans in the consumer market because of this. But I do like the fact I can do more with it than I currently can with iOS. It's the choice between having a smooth experience with a limited amount of functionality, or considerably more functionality, but having to endure occasionally stabbing around in a desktop environment with a stylus. I wish I could have the best of both worlds, but for now, I'm gonna go with more functionality.

    ...and wait in the meantime for either MS to complete their touch based environment, or for Apple to power up the iPad.
  24. jigzaw, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

    jigzaw macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    I'll check the Surface out, but my gut feeling is that it's a so-so tablet and a crummy small-screened mushy-vinyl-keyboard top-heavy laptop with the guts behind the screen instead of under the keys, and very limited software options.

    If I want a tablet, then I want a TABLET. One that's slick, thin, works smoothly and intuitively for quick tasks and of course the better the screen, the better for watching Netflix and reading. If I MUST do a lot of typing on it, I'll invest in a bluetooth keyboard with REAL KEYS to type on instead of a mushy rubbery flat doormat type thing. I think I'd rather type on a pane of glass than on that spongy roll-up mushy-keyed thing.

    If I want a laptop, I've already got a cheap Acer Windows 7 machine (for under $300) that does everything a Surface Pro (at $1000) will do and more, including play and burn DVD's! And it has a real keyboard I can type swiftly and comfortably on, rather than flat weird indents on a mushy plastic mat that looks like something you'd put on the floor of your car.

    I don't want to use Microsoft Word or Excel on a tablet-size screen, especially if I have to work for extended sittings and ESPECIALLY if I have to type on a flat mushy keyboard. No thanks.
  25. HowardSmith macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2012
    I think it is way early to make any judgements on what Win8 and Win8 hardware will bring to the market. It will take a year or two but I do predict that Win8 will be a "player" and to be considered along with Android and Apple.

    I do not care which, I want freedom to do what I want to do without jumping through the iTune hoops! Apple will never let the iPad be what it COULD be and no I am not interested in jailbreaking the device!

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