The mobile landscape on Monday became a tad more interesting place with the announcement that Microsoft was going to enter the race with its own tablet product marketed under the Surface moniker.

We’re now less than an hour away until another major Microsoft presser, this one concerning Windows Phone. With that in mind, iDB thought it’d be interesting to gauge our readers’ opinion on the Surface vs. iPad dilemma…

With Surface, Microsoft finally has a tablet business model. Some even go as far to spell doom for iPad, such as The New York Time‘s Sam Grobart or Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz who published a piece headlined “Microsoft Surface Just Made the MacBook Air and the iPad Look Obsolete”

You’ve got your regular pundits on the other side of the spectrum, such as MG Siegler and Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber who notes that the Surface competes “directly against Windows licensees”.

OEMs are apparently stoked and reportedly feel betrayed, though Acer founder opines that Redmond is not committed to the Surface, which in his words is meant to help Windows 8 take off and won’t be around for too long.

It’s easy do dismiss the Surface as a product without a shipping date or a price. On the surface (pun intended indeed), the two different hardware versions – one based on ARM chips and the other running Intel’s silicon – will only confuse folks with their respective  “Surface for Windows RT” and “Surface for Windows 8 Pro” branding.

Plus, it’s got a pen, which brings back to memory Steve Jobs’ saying: “If you see a stylus, they blew it”.

Conversely, it could also be argued that the Surface raises the water line with its ability to run both shiny new Metro apps and legacy Windows programs (only in the Pro version, though), meaning it’s the world’s first Windows and Office tablet.

The surface also has a full-sized USB port, is 9.3mm thick and sports a magnesium alloy case.

And its clever kickstand cover which doubles as a physical keyboard will no doubt appeal to many, though it’s questionable how comfortable typing on a 3mm thin piece of plastic is compared to, say, Logitech’s 8mm thick UltraThin iPad keyboard case.

So with both advantages and drawbacks ticked off, it’s time to cast your vote right below. Should be fun.

One thing’s certain: competition in the tablet space is heating up.

While Apple’s iPad will continue to dominate with an IDC-estimated 63 percent of all tablet shipments in 2012, what the next year and the year after will bring is now difficult to predict.

At the end of the day, we’re all for competition here and iDB will be making sure to keep tabs on what the competition is doing.

We’d love to hear your your opinion on the Surface and why you voted how you voted.

Meet us in comments.

  • I can only hope the post title is sarcastic

  • Apple should get ready to hit the sue button because it looks like a DNA traits of the ipad

    • I do not think it resembles an IPad at all… With its cheap plastic and non retina screen, there’s actually nothing that resembles them + its got a pen -.- Whatever Windows, do what you want…

  • Are you kidding? Microsoft still doesn’t know how to grab the attention of consumers the way apple does in it’s keynotes. Apple has already established the word iPad as the basis for tablet, just like kleenex is the word for tissue. This is just another tablet, but I do hope it does well…for competitions sake.

    • Agreed with the keynote thing. I looked at Ballmer’s presentation again and kinda felt like the guys was screaming and yelling at me. He looked pissed off the whole time. Turned me off for sure, presentation wise…

      • Yeah, ballmer did not look that optimistic. I liked the third guy that talked. He was the one that looked best optimistic.

    • I said almost the same thing. totally agree. Its not fanboyism its just facts and basic economics.

    • Ken P

      So because Apple is better at Keynote speaking…and creating Fanboy’ism, this automatically makes the Surface ‘just another tablet”? Wow.

  • certainly, Surface looks like the best iPad contender.

  • Howard Ellacott

    I hope they do so that Apple panics, and makes a huge leap in both software and hardware so it’s miles ahead of anything else!

    • This is true because we all know apple holds back purposely to string customers along this might force their hand!

  • One is made by Apple. The other is made by Microsoft.

  • Surface is a beautiful hardware, but I believe its the apps that determine the true king. MS needs major help in this department or it’s game over for them before it even starts.

    • I agree all they did was show hardware they did not show software and seeing how any company can make a tablet the biggest challenge is make software that runs regardless if it has a USB port. And why where they scared to announce pricing saying it will be competitive pricing dosnt tell us much but the fact that it will be priced higher than the 16gig iPad which for me tells me that the iPad will still out sell

  • The biggest issue won’t be hardware. It’s going to be if they can knock out the software (Windows 8) to be truly functional for the tablet. Also, they will have to compete in the app game and hope developers jump on board and make the popular apps us Apple users use. I doubt they’ll get a lot of people to jump ship that already own iPad, but I’m sure there’s plenty out there that may buy one of these depending on the price point. Definitely need to watch out.


    I really think windows 8 will be a game changer in the tablet market….I’m a huge apple fan but the I hate how apple manage their yearly upgrades ….I was let down big time with iPhone 4s… give you the the felling that they reach thier limits and there nothing else they can bring to the table … with surface announcement….hopefully will put pressures on apple to step up thier games if they wanna stay ahead ….)

    • A big time apple fan would have known better with the 4S. Dont remember the 3G to the 3GS? The annual device is more of a two-year cycle.

  • Dan

    I gotta say that I’m impressed with the design. I absolutely love the keyboard. What will be a game changer for me, will be the way that the tablet can interact with my PC at home. Also, the quality of the apps will be a big factor.
    I’I like Apple, but I’m not tied to it. If microsoft does a good job, I may very well switch to this tablet on my next upgrade.

  • I turely loved surface for how it was made. but it lacks one thing. smplicity. What microsoft has done is exactly how a PC and MAC is distinguished. Just poured over everything in.

  • I’m sure my employer will buy these things considering we’re develop using MSDN but to say this obsoletes MacBook Air and iPad is a stretch. I watched the entire keynote and the whole time I was thinking “is this Apple?” if ya can’t beat em, copy em or build off their success, right? My question is, will the device have a retina display? Will it need antivirus? Will it resume from sleep without crashing? 😉

    • Retina display is overrated ,i won’t deny that i love it, but only certain apps make real use of retina display, it is almost impossible for games and certain apps to render at retina’s native resolution with iPad 3 cpu/gpu.

  • The answers to the poll are horribly biased and aren’t suited to spark meaningful disussion about the topic.

  • The one thing that pulls me towards the surface is that it has USB port, something the iPad is lacking, with USB port I can directly plug in my Flashdrive directly and I don’t need to email myself documents. I will defiantly be considering this tablet

  • twited21

    I want xp on it and uk 4g if I can’t have these they can blow it out of their @ss
    I’m old school

  • Ken P

    I hope this pushes Apple to release more features quicker in the future. You know damn well that Apple is holding 1000’s of chips up their sleeves, but they only release as many chips as they need to each time they upgrade the devices. If they release all the chips in one shot, then no one would want or need to upgrade their iDevice each year. I for one, am very interested to see what the Surface has to offer. The keyboard, the touchpad, and the ability to run “Programs” as well as “Apps” is a huge bonus. Trying to build a webpage from scratch on an iPad is not a user friendly experience. I see the Surface and a true laptop replacement that is a portable tablet. That to me, is a #Win!

  • ipad is a kings of kings !!!!!!!

  • In a word. No. What happened with the Zune is going to happen to the Surface. MS is too little too late. Most people have already made the brand association between Apple/iPad and tablet – for most, the word tablet and iPad are synonymous. Apple is pretty well dug into the tablet market. Its going to take some insanely low pricing models to root Apple out of its position.

    • Actually Zune came out before the iDevices. They were beginners in the 3.5-4 inch device game. I can bet that Apple looked at the faults of Zune, and make sure not to have the same mistake.

      • Wikipedia says Zune was released in 2006 while the iPod was released in 2001.

      • That iPod wasn’t 3.5 to 4 inches (screen size). I am talking 2007-present devices.

      • ok well I’m not. the screen size is irrelevant to my comment. I’m talking iPods and Zunes. The iPod Touch has the 3.5″ screen.

  • Cool, It runs Windows 8, but its not going much anywhere, any other tablet is known by many an iPad, a music player? iPod, just as Band Aid is to Bandages, and Kleenex is to nose tissues.

  • Niko360

    As long as Microsoft don’t let anyone else use win8 or RT for a tablet.
    (remember the Zune anyone I don’t lol)

  • I think it will keep Apple sharp and focused on just developing better and better technology for their iPad products.

    But, for me the MS Surface is still a big “yawn” and it is a little too late IMHO. Lets see, it has an awkward kickstand, wow… big deal. It has a keyboard cover…. Oh, no one ever thought of that before???…. yawn yawn.

    I’ll be waiting to see user reports, but if it “boots up” like a typical windows machine, then I’m certainly “out”. Who needs those ridiculously long boot up times in the day and age of RAM memory??

    As I have said in several previous posts – I would love it if they combined the keyboard from the MacBook Air in with the iPad – so the keyboard would be a cover and also double as a stand, or completely fold back so the entire unit can lay flat.

  • All hardware, no software. Same reason people choose iOS or Android over Windows Phone 7, it’s all about the apps at this point, and Microsoft is going to need a lot of good ones to make people want this thing.


  • If MS can give the RT(which i assume would be around ipad money) that fancy digitizer and pen, full blown office suite and usb port they got my money already. Love my ipad when lounging at home but my iconia a500 comes with me to work. I am skeptical about the PRO though, even the ipad gets hot playing nova3 imagine an i5 running photoshop.

  • There’ll be no continuity between MS OS updates. Whatsmore, nothing MS produces works well unless the user has expert knowledge of all-things-microsoft. It’s unfortunate, but MS platforms are overly complicated systems that don’t work to full potential for the average user. Apple products are intuitive and easy to use. Google is coming along. MS can only take a top spot in this market by scratching their current logic and starting from scratch. Likely that will ever happen though, and they’ll continue to snowball their OS into the decades ahead, eventually reaching a point where you need a college-level tutorial before using their systems.

  • The problem with introducing a new tablet isnt just competing with hardware, but with challenging our investments. Most of us with iPads dont just have devices, but apps and magazine subscriptions. And the more industrious have jailbreak tweaks and the like. This defines our experience. You can go super sleek, add a functional keyboard, and show me you’re confused about what you wanted to make, but can you match the experience? Are the developers I’ve relied on that make my magazines awesome to read interested in re-working something for the Surface? Android hasn’t even scratched iPads e-magazine surface yet and they’ve got some time in the market.

    Anyhow, really tired of alleged “killers” and Jesus Diaz’s hyperbolic and grandiose piece.

  • AMB_07

    ”Plus it’s got a pen”… are you insinuating that because Microsoft offers a stylus as an optional mean to use the tablet that the surface could fail? Come on Christian you’re smarter then that, right?

    I’m sure Steve Jobs meant that if the whole thing revolved around the use of a stylus (i.e. if it’s the only way to use the touch screen) then yes they blew it! And I couldn’t agree more.

  • Tell you what..
    PPL viewed on YouTube Apple New iPad tablet ads for 366,548 in three months, where PPL viewed Microsoft Surface tablet for 3,415,428 in only ONE day so far!!!
    Apple is going down as long its thinking money more that inventing.

  • YujinNY

    A tablet with viruses, malware and spyware…do you think people are willing to put themselves through the same garbage on their tablet? At work yes, since there is no choice, but at home where you use it to consume content? I don’t ink so

  • Carlos Briones

    I love the Steve Jobs quote especially. I think Apple will continue to dominate, as they have the last what, 5 years? I have an iPhone, an iPad, and I’m slowly thinking of converting from my current HP laptop to a Macbook Pro with retina display. Doesn’t look to good for Microsoft, I think Surface will fail.

  • I welcome added competition and options. I love my iphone and I think it’s worth every penny, but I find tablets waay overpriced for what I want one for, surfing the net, reading and watching movies on my couch. They’re too bulky for outdoor portability imo, so I can’t see myself spending more than $100 for that ability, my only option is to look at the used market. With the original iPad still very pricey, I’m hoping that either MS’ Surface or Google’s tablet depreciate much quicker to snag one lol

  • Wael Abdo

    not the panic button, but sure the awareness one, first iPad was playing solo, then came a bunch of bullshit gadgets, i think the microsoft surface would put some rivalry into play, specially the pro one that runs a full windows 8 with a usb port ppl are just gonna love that. they now went a step beyond in terms of operation, now that pro pad can really get u out of the laptop era, lol u can use it to sync its music to an iDevice. ok we got the ipad 3 upgrades, retina and faster and so on, microsoft here went beyond all other tablets and manufacturers and put a full desktop OS in a Pad. apple should consider that….

  • are you kidding??? what the hell is surface?

  • Nikos_72

    Surface looks certainly nice and due to the fact that it will inherit a lot from the productivity aspects of older windows versions, it will become an ultimate tablet in terms of functionality. Where it falls short is the simplicity of its interface. Eventually the user will get lost in the ways that windows treat many apps at once and this is where the ios thrives. Simple, yet nice and quite effective.
    I think that geeks will love it, minimalists will turn away from it.