This Day (Lagos)

23 June 2012

Nigeria: Can Microsoft's New 'Surface' Tablet Rival Apple's Ipad ?

opinion

Tablet computing has gone a long way in enhancing mobility and has redefined communication. The Microsoft's new Windows 'Surface' tablet is certainly born out of the increasing demand for tablet computing and driven with the goal to rival Apple's iPad series. With its ClearType HD display tampered with the Gorilla Glass 2, framed on Magnesium alloy chassis, and vapor deposition coating that makes it scratch and wear resistant; it is thin, light, handy and comfortable with cutaways edges.

The Microsoft-branded hardware has an intimidating bold window logo on the screen side of the device, which is not just a logo but also a touch button just like Apple's home on the iPad. It has a built-in stand much like a large kickstand running across the entire back of the Surface, with another Windows logo in a slightly matte finish. When not needed the hinge is firmly held in place by an array of magnets. The kickstand is designed to provide a lean-back, hands-free viewing experience for user to watch movies from their comfort zone.

The iPad currently runs on iOS 5 (with iOS 6 to be released later this year) while the Surface Windows will run the new Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, presenting a unified OS platform that allows the installation of desktop applications on the tablet. This is a huge cost server for people buying multiple licenses or separate application for tablets. It also fosters productivity couple with the Office '15' Apps and the palm-blocking digital ink feature and stylus, which enables users to make handwritten notes on documents such as PDF files and other supported documents, that allows users.

The 1080p HD resolution 10.6-inch multi-touch tablet (just about 1.1 inch larger than the iPad screen) is powered by the touting Intel Ivy Bridge i5 processor as against the Dual-core A5X chip of the iPad series.

Microsoft's surface tablet comes with a magnetic fastened "Touch Cover" just like Apple's SmartCover on the new iPad 3 with similar method of connection. It balances the slate on a lap or platform so that typing could be done as if it were a notebook. It also prevents the slate from falling forward or tipping backwards. "Touch Cover" has a full multi-touch keyboard; it changes the color of Surface's screen to the color of the cover when attached. Much like Apple's Smart Cover, the Touch Cover also turns the device on and off presumably through use of magnets.

Microsoft Surface is equipped with variety of input ports for input magnetic keyboard connector, power button at the top, integrated speakers at the sides, dual microphones, microSD, one USB 3.0 port and Micro HDMI (mini Display port), and a magnetic power connector similar to that used by Apple's MacBook pro series. Lots of input options as against Apple's single 20pin port, no wonder it is slightly thicker (0.53inch) and heavier (about 0.9kg) than the iPad series.

Windows Pro Surface is slated and spiced with storage capacity of 32Gb, 64GB and 128GB as against Apple, with both front and rare integrated HD video camera. Surface has a dual high performance antennas and receivers for optimal Wi-Fi performance.

This intriguing Microsoft concept reveals another move that shows Microsoft is intending to go toe-to-toe with Apple Inc. These features on the slate and cost could make Surface tablet a credible alternative to Apple's iPad.

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