Tablet Wars : Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad mini

microsoft vs appleBy now, everyone either has a tablet or has been able to try one out. While Apple dominated the market early with the iPad, it’s becoming more and more clear – just check out a few television commercials – that there are a number of companies who would like to challenge the iPad’s conquest of the tablet world and earn your tablet approval.

One such device is the Microsoft Surface, an ingenious tablet-laptop combination that allows for both a tablet touchscreen experience and a traditional laptop experience – depending on how you’re using it. As for Apple – never a slouch – they have introduced another tablet to the market called iPad mini that might just redefine what we consider to be a ‘tablet’ in the first place. Let’s compare these two products and see how they stack up against each other.

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft SurfaceTo some extent, comparing the two tablets is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Why? Because Microsoft’s ‘Surface’ is not just a tablet – it’s essentially a laptop, too. A nice little engineering trick enables Surface owners the experience of both by attaching a little ‘leg’ to the back of the Surface that allows it to be set up as a laptop would be, transforming the touchscreen portion of the tablet into the monitor.

As you might expect, this device costs as much as a full-sized tablet or a standard laptop would – but not much more than that. If you’ve been looking to get a tablet but didn’t want to sacrifice the traditional laptop experience, the Surface is exactly the kind of device you’ve been looking for.

Apple’s iPad mini

Apple iPad miniApple isn’t exactly inventing the wheel with its latest offering, but you already knew that. Essentially, the iPad mini has all the capabilities and functions of a regular iPad but in a smaller, lighter package. The result of the iPad mini will be that many electronics companies are going to have to find out exactly what size tablet people most enjoy these days: do they like the laptop immersion of the Microsoft Surface, or do they prefer something more handheld?

The benefit of the iPad mini is that it costs less than many tablets. That’s certainly good news if you’ve been looking for a modern, new iPad without the cost of a new iPad. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little size in exchange for the iPad experience, the mini might be for you.

Additionally, the iPad mini is a great gateway into the full Apple experience as it includes all of the apps you’ve grown to love over the years. The Microsoft Surface is a great device, but if you’re used to Apple’s particular apps (like GarageBand), there’s no substituting for the real deal.

Our conclusion: the tablet you will like more depends on your tastes more than the individual quality of either device. Your preferences, not brand loyalty, should guide your buying decisions. The tablet world is a rich one – there’s no sense in limiting your options.