This is a personal observation since I had the opportunity to own both the Surface and iPad. You would be surprised to find out which device I actually kept. Can you guess? Microsoft Surface Pro was the one that I ended up keeping. I’m totally fond of Apple products and I still use them over “others”. For example, MacBook Pro is the primary laptop I use on daily basis, iPhone is the primary handset that I use for pretty much everything.
However, in the tablet world I was looking for a device that can do it all. Many will argue that iPad’s can achieve such, I strongly disagree after I gave Microsoft Surface Pro a chance.
With the Surface what you are running is a full blown version of Microsoft Windows 8. iPad’s are running a well designed but limited iOS version which essentially should only be used on handsets.
Second, I’m able to use a full Office products on the Surface. On the iPad I have tried various alternative “apps” such as: Pages, Office2, Smart Office2, and Docs2Go to name a few. Great apps don’t get me wrong, but neither of these applications could open a simple Word document that included, charts, and colour schemes. On the iPad the particular Word file in question looked like a mess. All I wanted to do was edit, and send it back to the sender. The program that came close was Smart Office 2, however after editing and attempting to save, the recipient could not open the document. I’ve tried literally everything to edit this simple Word file. I almost threw my iPad out because of it. (I was highly disappointed in Apple’s Pages) What took hours without success, took only seconds with Microsoft Surface Pro.
Okay, some of you may be thinking, just because of a Word document he got rid of the iPad over the Surface. Well no. Essentially iPad will more then likely beat the Surface in the entertainment area. BUT, there is one interesting feature that the Surface has that has not been advertised or talked about over iPad (entertainment related).
I love music, for entertainment purposes I would choose music over movies, games, etc. On the iPad the only way I could play an entire song was to either go on Youtube or purchase the song from iTunes. Well on the Surface there is an app called “Music”. You can search for any artist and listen to the entire song for free. YES for FREE. Not only the entire song, the entire ALBUM!. Can your iPad do that? There is no jailbreak required, there is no “hack” needed, just simply click on on the Music icon, and listen away.
The conclusion what I came up with was, if you are planning to use any iPad for productivity (aside from replying to emails), forget about it. You are looking at a wrong device.
I won’t be purchasing an Apple tablet until they release iPad Pro (which hopefully includes a full blown MacOS).
UPDATE (May 7, 2014): Needless to say I never kept the Surface Pro. I felt as though it wasn’t very compact. I rather bring a full blown laptop. I also found that touch-screen when you are doing serious work is not required. I’ve used the touch function maybe 10% of the time. I still believe Surface Pro is much better overall functional unit than iPad, however I’m sticking to laptops until possible iPad Pro release.