iPad Air 2 Vs. Surface Pro 3: No Comparison - InformationWeek

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iPad Air 2 Vs. Surface Pro 3: No Comparison
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rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
10/18/2014 | 11:56:57 AM
Re: Stupid
While not at all elegant, do they still make USB cellular connections?  If so, that could be added to an SP3.  However, most external devices generally come with horrible configuration apps and in this device category, folks just want it to work.  This isn't an issue on the iPad that switches between cell and WiFi as good as a smart phone.
DevonL523
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DevonL523,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2014 | 11:48:43 AM
Re: Stupid
Hi there,

Id like to make and argument for the sake of me believing this article may throw some readers off.

        Though the ipad does have a large ecosystem of apps I cant take to the claim that ipads can do something surface can not. There is a big distinction between a tablet & complete computer.  as Ipads do have many specific apps tailord to certain tasks and are familliar to use these are all still "apps" they are not the millions of programs windows has. That ecosystem of native programs alone makes the surface very very attractive and if its an attractive product thats people consume which they are hardware specific apps will come. Ipad apps are fantastic tools but none can really produce a profesional product especially without a macbook paired with the device (logic, ps6, afterlight) drawing from my experiences with vocal recording/video editting apps and beatmker 2. Being a Daw & vocal producer(fl studio & Protools), photoshop user and ocasionally drawing up Logos on autocad recently purchasing surface pro 3 on kiiji (950$)has done me wonders.

    see I can get everything from start to finish done on one 1 machine that has a 128 gb ssd and ive added a 128 gb with a class 10 micro sd as expandable memory. The unit has superior pixel density and color reproduction, greater portabiltiy and then carrying two units, and is definniatly something apple is bound to follow because the way look at it I saved over 1000$ by buying one device that after spending two weeks with is in a league of its own entirely. Surface pro 4 is going to be an even bigger threat to apple, and I can forshadow ipads becoming irrelevent real soon once apple decides to cave. Apple is clearly lacking in innovation which is sad to see, but they dont seem to feel bad putting astronomical price tags on purposily held of technology. This is why I made the switch, ipads just feel outdated I do have an iphone 6 just because I think its pleasing on the eyes but really cmon an ipad mini 2s only difference is a finger scanner & they justify the same price? still charging 100 dollars for a larger storage capacity in 2014? i think ill pass....

    on an e

           Ive never owned a product in these last 4 years that has made me feel gitty as this one. really this is a laptop one so pretty and portable I wanna bring it everywhere with me I even day dream of taking a backpacking trip with it and my iphone in my pocket, the computer has immediatly replaced my macbook & has me excited again for the future of computing. Microsoft is really doing something good.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
10/18/2014 | 8:13:08 AM
Re: Stupid
@Seven4King, good point about focusing on the aggregated needs of the consumer rather than, individual needs. The fact that the Surface Pro 3 can't support LTE is an interesting area. I feel that the aggregated consumer would also want to save on the cost of having an extra data line and would use their phone through tethering its data line because the Surface Pro 3 is not a smart phone replacement.

This would make a great research topic. One could take data from service providers and match it to consumers that own smart phones and tablets to know if consumers are actually paying for dual connections.
Army12Monkeys
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Army12Monkeys,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2014 | 9:04:33 PM
Re: Stupid
450K + Apps, please. Surface Pro doesn't really need "apps" because it can already run the millions of Windows programs that Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 can run. You dont need the "apps" because you already have the full fledged programs that run on Windows. Why would you chose to run a bastardized version of a program on an iPad when you can run the full software with all of it's capabilities on a Surface? 4G LTE issues, nonsense, plug in a 4G LTE dongle to the USB port and good to go, or connect to your phone's hotspot. Finger print access issues, nonsense, plug in a Targus or other mfg fingerprint reader to the USB port and good to go. Try opening any office doc residing on a file server, from the iPad, making changes, and saving it, not as easy, iOS isn't capable of doing that natively; You first need to find an "App" that has all the features to download the document to the iPad, then open, edit it, save it, and then re-upload to the server. On the Surface, it works just like your desktop or laptop, open, edit, save, close, you dont need to use a cloud service or google docs etc to make it work because the Surface works just like your deskpot and laptop, you can even use the good ol' drag and drop. i had a user who used a laptop in the office and a tablet (iPad) when in the field (for portability), now both devices have been replaced by a Surface Pro 3, has full access to our file server and internal network, didn't work as smoothly on the iPad; and best of all, i have full control of the device through Active Directory, can't say the same about the iPad.

Comparing the Surface to an iPad is dumb, unless all you want to do is compare the hardware specs. The Surface is a full fledged computer, but in tablet format, the iPad is simply a tablet that runs a bastardized version of its parent OS. If Apple could take their full OS and put that into the iPad then yes, you could compare the two the way Macs and PCs have always been compared, but in their current stage you can't compare the full version of Windows OS to the bastardized iOS.

"Apps" are handicaped versions of a full program that can run on Unix, Linux, Macs or Windows there is no comparison between the full version and a broken down versions found in iPads and Droids.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/17/2014 | 6:22:08 PM
Re: Stupid
bBob,


Thanks for the thoughtful comments.


Yes, I agree there's lots of overlap in iOS app store. But suppose that just 10% of those 450,000 apps is useful. That's still a pretty big number. What percentage of Windows Store Apps is useful compared to the percentage of iOS apps that's useful? What actual number of Windows Store Apps are useful? What actual number of iOS apps?

Which apps matter will vary by user, of course. For some users, there will be a few Modern apps that matter enough to move someone to a Windows tablet. For others, the tablet experience simply isn't as important as highly mobile access to legacy applications, so they buy a Windows hybrid because they "get" a tablet in the deal but "need" a "real" computer. But on the whole, if the Modern UI and iOS were interchangeable as mobile experiences, wouldn't a few more Windows tablets have sold? Wouldn't users download more Windows Store apps than they do? If the number of apps isn't relevant, then I'd argue that device usage and app revenue provide at least a bit more insight. Apple happens to be pretty dominant in both of these metrics, which suggests people are in fact using iOS apps (and presumedly finding value in them) at a much higher rate.

Just one example-- suppose you're a basketball coach who uses a connected basketball to help high school players improve. I know of iOS apps that do a pretty good job collecting this data and making it actionable. I don't know of Windows Store apps that do the same thing. That's just a random, niche example-- but it's also an example of a distinctly tablet use case, and one that the iPad does better (as far as I know) than Windows. Suppose you run CAD programs, which is generally more of a desktop thing, but you prefer the way you interact with models in the iOS UI. That doesn't make the iPad CAD program more powerful, but it makes it useful-- and at least for some users, even more useful than a desktop version.

I'm emphasizing Windows app store vs. iOS app store here because in terms of the tablet experience, we shouldn't include the Surface Pro 3's desktop capabilities. That's a different use case, and not one that really competes directly with the iPad Air's use cases. If someone wants desktop capabilities, I have to wonder why they're looking at an iPad Air in the first place. It can be a productive device, including in some ways that overlap with PCs-- but the experience of using a PC is different than the experience of using an iPad. Similarly, the experience of using a MacBook Air and iPad is different than the experience of using a Surface. I think Surface Pro 3's strengths overlap more closely with the MacBook Air's than with any iPad's.

That brings me to your second point, about things that an iPad can't do but that a Surface can. You bring up good points. All of those examples are among the Surface Pro 3's strengths. They're why I said it works best as a laptop but is lacking as a tablet. It's also why I said Surface Pro 3 and iPad Air 2 will be compared too easily. They're different devices with different strengths. Just comparing the two of them as "tablets with large screens," as some publications already have, is significantly conflating some meaningful distinctions.

All that said, it's a good time to be a customer, given how many options we have. You want a cheap tablet? Great, there are Windows and Android options galore, and the iPad Mini is now reaching fairly affordable levels. Want a quality "pure" tablet? Great, you've iPads, Samsung devices, and so on. Want a 2-in-1 device? I think the app gap is revelant, but some of the Broadwell-class Windows 2-in-1s are going to be beautiful peices of hardware. I don't think there's "one device to rule them all," which is why I find the Surface vs. iPad comparison a bit suspect. Different devices are good in different situations-- and we have more devices from which to choose than ever!
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/17/2014 | 5:55:24 PM
Re: Stupid
@Seven,


Thanks for all the thoughts!


"The apps that currently don't exist on the surface aren't incapable of working and being polished on the surface, they just haven't been adapted for it. Similar to how Android was (and still is, in some cases) when it first started it's sprint to the top. Still, they CAN be ported over and are slowly doing so." That's true, but how slowly? With new mobile apps, Windows is a distant third in developer priority. If Windows takes too long to develop parity, what other advances will iOS and other competitors have made in the meantime?


Agree on the Surface stylus being a differentiating feature-- as you probably saw, in the article, I referenced the stylus as one of the non-laptop use cases in which the Surface Pro 3 is quite intriguing. USB is another worthwhile point that I probably should have mentioned explicitly, though it falls under the "Surface Pro 3 is most useful as a thin, light laptop" idea I advanced in the column.

Regarding Continuity-- yes, that's true, Windows 8.1 offers a lot of syncing across devices, as the article briefly mentions. The significance is ecosystem dependent, though I think the implementations are different enough for people to subjectively grow to prefer one more than the other.

Also agree that both devices are well-built. That was sort of the underlying idea of the column. I find it a bit questionable to compare the Surface Pro 3 and the iPad Air 2 because each is excellent in its own distinct way. One isn't necessarily better than the other. Different tools, different needs.

It's good to get your perspective as someone who's found the Surface useful as a tablet. I haven't, but it's not for lack of trying. As I mentioned, the app ecosystem is different, the touch UI is different, the ergonomics are different-- unless we're reducing the tablets to the point that functionality trumps experience, the devices offer too many differences to brush off. I like the Surface Pen a lot but otherwise use the Surface Pro 3 mostly as a laptop. I use the device a lot and the tablet experience still hasn't won me over. So while I continue to find Microsoft's hardware interesting and ambitious on the level of intended function. I agree that the Surface's kickstand is a nice touch that might sway some people's preference. Anyhow, my point isn't that the Surface can't be an acceptable tablet for a given person's need; it's that the Surface offers a different kind of tablet experience than the iPad, and that the rush to compare the two devices as "big-screened tablets" really undermines these substantial differences.

That said, I do think there's interest in an Apple 2-in-1 of some sort. As you point out, the interest around the rumored iPad Pro speaks to this idea. That said, I suspect some people are interested because they hope Apple will find a more elegant solution to hybridity.
bBob12345
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0%
bBob12345,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2014 | 5:33:47 PM
Re: Stupid
I understand you are trying to put a troll into their place but without trying to be a troll, I want to think about you are saying in your response or lack of saying in your response.

 

What the person posted asked what can you do on a iPad that you can't do on a Surface Pro 3. That is a valid question and an answer of 450,000 apps that don't run on a Surface Pro doesn't answer that. To me the number of Apps is meaningless because we do the Apps do that makes them unique. When I got my first iPhone I notice the overlap of apps was tremendous and that has only gone up. Type in backgammon and see how many games that are out there. The apps you need and provide an unique task is the only important number.

 

To the reverse the question what can I do on a Surface Pro that you can't do on an iPad. I can run the full version of Microsoft Office, , I can the full version of Adobe Creative Suite, I can run Call of Duty etc. I can run Windows and any program there in. Within that understanding, what can you run on an iPad that I can't run on a Surface Pro 3?

 
Seven4King
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0%
Seven4King,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2014 | 5:03:14 PM
Re: Stupid
For the sake of the debate...

The apps that currently don't exist on the surface aren't incapable of working and being polished on the surface, they just haven't been adapted for it. Similar to how Android was (and still is, in some cases) when it first started it's sprint to the top. Still, they CAN be ported over and are slowly doing so.

The iPad CAN'T use an active stylus. The iPad CAN'T transfer data to and from a USB drive. The iPad CAN'T stand up on its own. The iPad CAN'T run full-fledged applications like Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc. The iPad CAN'T increase storage capacity by adding a flash drive. The iPad CAN'T be hooked up to a monitor through a MiniDP connector or docking station. The iPad CAN'T be used with a USB mouse/keyboard or any other USB peripherals.

The Surface Pro 3, in turn, CAN'T support LTE. The Surface Pro 3 CAN'T login using a fingerprint.

Your argument about continuity... Windows 8 has great syncing capabilities that an iPad wouldn't be able to do with a Windows desktop PC or laptop. That feature's significance is entirely dependent on the ecosystem you choose to invest in.

I think both products are exceptionally well built. The design aesthetic of Apple products is undeniably pleasing. My personal preference however is very much utility. The Surface Pro 3 fits all of my needs. I use my phone as a hotspot, I don't go anywhere without it, and it doesn't make sense to me to pay for an extra line of data.

You said that it makes increasingly less sense to compare these devices but I would definitely have to disagree. If I were to buy into the Apple ecosystem I would need a MacBook and iPad to accomplish what I can do with the Surface. With the docking station and my touch screen Dell monitor I actually replace the desktop equivalent as well. People argue that Windows 8 is a horrible confusing experience. I argue that the expectation that it will be a horrible experience heavily influences that belief. I mean if my Grandma can figure it out... I'm not saying that it isn't or wasn't flawed, but who else is merging or attempting to merge the tablet and laptop experience? The fact that an "iPad Pro" rumor started means that people are interested, agreed? Maybe Windows 10 will correct the current issues users have with Windows 8. Then it could really be a game changer.

Another person argued that you can't hold it in one hand which is arguable. Additionally, anyone I've watched using any device (iPad, Android Tablet, Surface) rarely are holding it out in a way that requires them to hold the entirety of the devices weight. Typically they've got it resting on their lap or a table, etc. The benefit of the Surface is I don't need my hands or a bulky case to prop it up.

I'm both agreeing and disagreeing with you. People should choose what works best for them. What would be nice is if writers of these tech articles would lay out ALL of the facts rather than bits and pieces of them and in favor of what suits their personal needs. It would be refreshing if someone would give the whole picture for once.
Michael Endler
IW Pick
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/17/2014 | 4:52:29 PM
Re: That app ...
It's free!
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/17/2014 | 4:10:03 PM
That app ...
Michael, Any word on the cost of that video editing app? It sounds intriguing.
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