IPad or Surface – Early Considerations

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With the release of Windows 8 tablets the already crowded market for your tablet money just became a lot more confusing. So if you are thinking about investing in a new tablet should your choice be Apple’s iPad or something else? Well that is a good question and to make the decision even harder for you here are my thoughts regarding reasons to buty an iPad and reasons why not to.

Reasons You May Want an iPad

1.  I personally have never read an entire book on my iPad but I do read magazines with the Zinio app. I also read the daily newspapers with Press Reader app. Both of these work great on the iPad.
2.Gaming. The iPhone became a surprise hit among gamers, or at least expanded the market to include lots of previous non-gamers. The iPad is obviously optimized for the gaming experience.
3.The iPad makes it easy to share media. With Apple TV streaming movies and music to your television is seemless. It is also just the right size for sharing up-close and the lack of a keyboard makes the iPad easier to handle than a notebook.
4.Applications.  No one has more “apps” available then Apple. It seems eveyone has an IPad or iPhone app these days so if you like the simplicity of these apps the iPad will work for you.

5. The iPad is an obvious winner and one of the biggest success stories in the technology world, so it is not going anywhere.

Reasons You May NOT Want an iPad
1. The wrong screen. It’s not clear why Apple didn’t choose a 16:9 aspect ratio, the standard for widescreen entertainment, but not doing so makes the iPad much less interesting for watching movies. The Microsoft Surface as well as many Android tablets have much better displays.
2. It’s not much of a work machine. The Microsoft Surface is incredibly superior here. Maybe it isn’t even fair to ask a device so well-tuned for entertainment, like the iPad to work at the office too. The Surface Pro has the ability to run any Windows application inclusing of course Microsoft Office.
3. If you are primarily looking for an e-book reader and you do not need all the other features, a Kindle or Nook offer better battery life for e-reading.
4. The iPad is a “tweener,” in the best sense of the word. It is not a computer, laptop nor is it an ultrabook. The iPad lacks the functionality of a notebook and the convenience of smartphone. The iPad may be just one more thing to haul around if you already carry a notebook, which it doesn’t come close to replacing. Once again this is another area where Microsoft’s Surface shines. Earlier this year I was able to travel with only my Surface tablet. No laptop had to go with me for the first time in at least a decade.

There are many more reasons, both pro and con, regarding an iPad purchase but the best one may be the simplest: What do you want to do with your tablet? If it is basically for recreational use including basic functions such as email and internet surfing the iPad is probably a good choice. If you have bigger plans such as professional work, a Windows 8 tablet, especially Microsoft’s Surface may be the best consideration.

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Cost Considerations

The iPad with Retina Display (128 GB) retails for $799 while the Microsoft Surface Pro with 128 GB goes for $999. Therefore is the extra $200 worth it to you? It all depends on you and what you are looking for from your tablet.