Windows vs iPad vs Android tablet comparison

Pre-orders for the Surface tablet from Microsoft opened in eight countries on Tuesday (16 October 2012), revealing the pricing and further specifications of the device.

Microsoft is offering pre-orders in three configurations: a 32GB model with or without Touch Cover, and a 64GB Surface with a Touch Cover.

The Touch Cover is a protective shield that doubles as a keyboard that registers key presses as gestures.

A Type Cover is also available for $130 that uses more typical mechanical keys.

Although the Surface has yet to be confirmed for the South African market, it remains interesting to see how the device compares to its competitors and where its pricing should slot in.

Windows 8 surface
Microsoft Surface tablet

The table below shows the specifications of the Surface, iPad 3, and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Tab 2 10.1, as well as the US and local prices of the devices (where available).

Ideally one would like to see the Surface priced to compete with the iPad as it is in the US, but it remains to be seen what Microsoft will do in South Africa.

Tablet specifications Microsoft Surface with Windows RT Apple iPad 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Operating System Windows RT iOS 6 Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Display 10.6″ 1366×768 9.7″ Retina (2048×1536) IPS 10.1″ WXGA (1280×800) PLS 10.1″ WXGA (1280×800) PLS
Camera, primary 720p front (sub 1MP) 5MP rear 3MP rear 5MP rear
Camera, secondary 720p front (sub 1MP) VGA front VGA front 1.9MP front
Storage, internal 32/64GB 16/32/64GB 16/32 GB 16/32/64 GB
Storage, expandable microSDXC None microSD (32GB) microSD (64GB)
RAM 2GB 1GB* 1GB 2GB
Dimensions 275 x 172 x 9.4mm 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4mm 256.6 x 175.3 x 9.7mm 175.3 x 257.8 x 8.9mm
Weight 680g 652g (Wi-Fi) / 662g (Cellular) 587g 583g
Chipset Nvidia Apple A5X TI OMAP 4430 Exynos
Processor Nvidia T30 Dual-core 1GHz* 1GHz dual-core 1.4GHz quad-core
Graphics ULP GeForce PowerVR SGX543MP4* PowerVR SGX540 Mali-400MP
Battery Up to 8 hours “mixed activity”; 7-15 days idle 42.5Wh (11,560 mAh) 7,000mAh 7,000mAh
Wi-Fi only Price (US) $499 for 32GB w/o Touch Cover
$599 for 32GB with Touch Cover
$699 for 64GB with Touch cover
$499 for 16GB
$599 for 32GB
$699 for 64GB
$350 for 16GB $500 for 16GB
$550 for 32GB
Wi-Fi only Price (SA) None R5,299 for 16GB
R6,399 for 32GB
R7,399 for 64GB
None None
3G/cellular Price (US) None $629 for 16GB
$729 for 32GB
$829 for 64GB
None None
3G/cellularPrice (SA) None R6,499 for 16GB
R7,699 for 32GB
R8,799 for 64GB
R6,700 for 32GB R8,299 for 32GB
Specifications marked with * obtained from iFixit teardown. Samsung pricing from their own online store.

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Windows vs iPad vs Android tablet comparison