You remember Microsoft, right? Seattle company. Bill Gates. MS Paint.
Well, if all the Apple hype has relegated them down into the depths of your brain, Microsoft is hoping its new tablet will bring them back to the "Surface." (And now you know how the device got its name! Not really.)
Their major launch into the tablet game is actually the first device Microsoft has ever directly designed and sold themselves. The new Surface tablet will debut later this year in 32GB or 64GB sizes, running Windows' new RT mobile operating system. Three months after it launches, a supercharged version running Windows 8 will roll out with 64GB and 128GB capacity options.
iPad: 1.5 pounds
Surface: 1.4 pounds
Ten Commandments: Gotta be at least 20 pounds. Though Charlton Heston never had much trouble carrying them.
Advantage: Surface, barely. Plus, the Windows 8 version will be two pounds.
iPad: 9.4 millimeters
Surface: 9.3 millimeters
Ten Commandments: Measuring tools were notoriously imprecise, but figure around four inches. Or, about 11 iPads.
Advantage: Again, Surface wins, but barely. The Windows 8 version will be larger: 13.5 millimeters.
iPad: $499 - $699, depending on how many gigs you want
Surface: Microsoft says the RT version will be "comparably" priced to the iPad; the Windows 8 version will be priced to compete with Ultrabooks, so possibly around $1,000.
Ten Commandments: More than both of them. Combined. Probably by a lot.
Advantage: Toss-up. (Figuratively. Not literally. Cause then this would happen.)
Screen Size and Resolution
iPad: 9.7 inches, 2048x1536 pixels, aka Retina Display
Surface: 10.6 inches, HD display on the RT; 10.6 inches 1080p Full HD on Windows 8 version
Ten Commandments: About three feet. Resolution? Yes, it has facilitated many.
Advantage: Ten Commandments
iPad: 42.5 watt-hours, holds charge around 10 hours
Surface: 31.5 Wh for the RT, 42 Wh for Windows 8. Microsoft didn't reveal how many hours it stays charged
Ten Commandments: None required
Advantage: Ten Commandments
iPad: Micro-SIM port for 3G, cover which converts to a stand
Surface: USB ports (including USB 3.0 for Windows 8 version), MicroSD slot, Micro HD Video port. Also the much-discussed case which converts to a keyboard. No word if that will be included with the tablet.
Ten Commandments: Laws which govern entire Judeo-Christian world.
Advantage: Tough to top a USB 3.0 port in a device that slim, but not coveting your neighbor's wife, etc. has definitely stood the test of time. Ten Commandments.
Microsoft must have known it couldn't possibly enter the Tablet race unless it came out with something ready to pose a solid challenge to the iPad. From the looks of it, they have. Still, reporters at Windows' big announcement were only allowed a few minutes to really try the device out. So while the Surface looks good on paper, its true performance remains mostly unknown.
Microsoft very well might have made a tablet as good or even better than the iPad, but that may have been the easy part. Getting people to actually buy it might be the real challenge in this "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC" Apple-worshipping landscape. Though as Microsoft (and Charlton Heston) would advise, idol worship has its pitfalls.