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Five ways the iPad beats the Surface RT

Tony Bradley | Dec. 3, 2012
This isn't the first year that tablets are a hot gift item, but it is the first holiday season that enough serious contenders make the buying decision tougher. Following my reasons you should consider the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT over the Apple iPad, here are features and benefits that give the iPad an advantage over the Surface with Windows RT.

It is possible for the IT admin to configure Cisco AnyConnect in such a way that Windows RT can connect, but it requires weakening security in ways that negate the point of using AnyConnect in the first place. For now, though, the simple fact is that Cisco does have an AnyConnect app available for the iPad (as well as the iPhone, and Android tablets and smartphones), but there isn't one for the Surface RT.

4. Camera

Yes, it looks ridiculous when someone holds up a full-size tablet to take a picture or capture video. But if you're going to do it, you want to do it with an iPad instead of a Surface RT.

The front-facing cameras on the two tablets are very similar. However, the rear camera of the Surface RT pales in comparison to the iPad's. The iPad sports a 5 megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video, while the Surface RT has a one megapixel camera that records 720p video.

One area where the Surface RT may be better is the placement of the front camera. The front camera is in the center of the tablet when used in landscape mode, which makes it ideal for Skype, Lync, or other video conferencing tools. The front camera on the iPad is in the center in portrait mode, but if you use the tablet in landscape mode it's off to the side so everything is skewed and off-center.

5. Apps

It should not come as a shock to anyone that there are more iOS apps than there are Windows RT apps; Apple had a few years of a head start. I'm not faulting Microsoft for not having hundreds of thousands of apps already for Windows RT, but the disparity of apps is a reality that businesses and consumers must weigh when choosing a tablet.

Many of the premier mobile apps are already available for Windows RT: Kindle, Netflix, Evernote, Box, Skype, and Angry Birds to name a few. However, there are also some glaring omissions--namely Facebook and Twitter.

In a way, the integration of Facebook and Twitter into the core capabilities of the OS raises the bar over the traditional siloed app approach. It unifies social media into the mainstream communications so you don't have to treat each service as an island. However, the Facebook and Twitter capabilities of Windows RT itself are extremely limited, and miss out on many of the functionalities available in the equivalent iPad apps.

It will be a long time, if ever, before Microsoft can catch up to Apple in terms of the sheer volume of apps available. Quality is more important than quantity, but right now Microsoft is a little low on both.


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