Microsoft Surface: Five ways it beats the iPad
It’s official: Microsoft Surface is coming next week. The Windows 8 powered tablet is available for pre-order now, priced up at £399 in the UK – exactly the same as the new, third-gen iPad.
Apple didn’t take long to play its trump card, sending out invites to the iPad Mini launch event within the hour of Microsoft’s news. But Microsoft’s Windows tablet could still stand out from the crowd: here are five reasons why the Microsoft Surface could finally be the slate to go toe to toe with Apple’s.
A better magnet cover
Apple’s magnetic smart cover for the iPad is pretty smart, flicking on the screen as soon as you peel it back. But it doesn’t have a full size QWERTY keyboard built in like the Microsoft Surface’s does. The touch sensitive model is just 3mm thin, while a version with a tactile keyboard is only 6mm deep, so it won’t add much weight or volume to your bag.
A USB port
Although the Microsoft Surface is pretty slim at just 9.4mm deep, it’s still tall enough to squeeze in a full size USB port. That means you can shove in a hard drive or flash memory stick, or even use USB accessories like a keyboard. That’s a lot more convenient than the situation with Apple and its iOS line up: the current iPad accepts accessories that use its 30-pin dock, but you can almost certainly expect the iPad Mini and future iPads to use the smaller Lightning port – which has very few accessories right now.
Check out the Microsoft Surface in action now
Run your own apps
While the version of the Microsoft Surface going on sale next week will only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store, an upcoming version of the Surface running on an Intel processor will run the full Windows 8 software you’ll find on laptops and desktops. And that will run any app you can download from the web, not just those Microsoft thinks are OK. There’s no such luxury in Apple’s walled garden of an app store, which is policed heavily by prudes and spoilsports.
Add your own storage
If you find yourself running out of storage space on an iPad, well, tough. You better start deleting apps because you can’t add storage: there are 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options and that’s your lot. But with the Microsoft Surface, you can just pop in a micro SD memory card: they’re widely supported, offer up to 32GB of storage and cost very little online these days. Simple.
Kickstand built in
You can use the iPad’s Smart Cover as a stand of sorts, but it’ll cost you extra, and it’s not particularly robust. The Microsoft Surface packs a stand built in, so you can pop it up and work on the go on long train commutes and plane flights.
Which are you going for, Microsoft Surface or Apple iPad Mini? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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