Microsoft Surface Tablet

With the Google Nexus 7 planned to emerge at the Google Play store and in electronic stores such as GameStop later this month, consumers wonder whether or not they should purchase the Nexus or delay their purchase until the Microsoft Windows RT emerges this Fall. The following review of these two tablets should reassure you as to which tablet you should purchase.

Screen Size

One feature you notice immediately about each tablet is its display screen size. The Microsoft Surface Windows RT version has a 10.6-inch screen, the same as the Windows Pro version (the software is the only change, not the tablet size). The Google Nexus 7 tablet has a seven-inch screen, which makes this factor a matter of preference. If you enjoy reading and listening to music on your device, the seven-inch screen may not be such a bother. If, however, you are a gamer who wants to play lots of games and experience the beauty of landscape mode, the Microsoft Surface RT may be the better purchase for you.

Pixel Resolution

The pixel resolution of a device refers to its graphics and on-screen presentation. An increased pixel density indicates a better graphics presentation; thus, with the Google Nexus 7 having a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and the Surface having a 720-pixel resolution, the Google Nexus 7 wins this category. Clearer graphics and images make a device more aesthetically beautiful and are bound to attract consumers.

Weight (Size)

The weight or size of a device impacts portability: the heavier the device, the less likely you are to carry it around. The Windows RT version of Microsoft’s Surface Tablet stands at 1.5 pounds (24 ounces) while the Google Nexus 7 stands at twelve ounces (less than one pound). At twelve ounces, the Nexus 7 weighs half the size of the Surface Tablet.

Processor

The processor of a device determines its speed and operations. The faster the processor, the faster the device speed. When it comes to the processor of these two devices, one (Surface RT) edges the other (Nexus 7) in its core processor (1.5GHz vs. 1.3GHz, respectively). This small difference in processor speed, however, is so small that most gamers and non-gamers alike will little notice it. Both devices will use a quad-core Tegra chip, but the Surface tablet operates more as a smaller, PC desktop—which may make it more of a powerhouse for some consumers than others. There are other factors in tandem with the processor factor that should help make up your mind in one direction as opposed to another.

Price

Price is a factor that most consumers cannot leave out of the equation when considering whether or not to purchase a tablet. Some weeks ago, Microsoft told its consumers that the prices would match those currently on the market. From what the tech world now knows, the Microsoft Surface RT will cost around $600; this is a rather steep price when you consider that the Google Nexus 7 will only cost you $199 (8GB) or $249 (16GB). In this category, the Google Nexus 7 reigns supreme.

Other Factors for Consideration

The factors above are important when considering your decision to purchase or wait. Nevertheless, there are other factors that could change your decision drastically. While the Microsoft Surface Windows RT does cost more than the Nexus 7, has a larger screen display, weight, and less pixel density, it is by all accounts a small desktop PC. I grew up in the days when desktop PCs (such as my mother’s Compact Presario from Radio Shack) would cost somewhere in the ballpark of $1500-$2000. To have a tablet such as the Surface Windows RT hit the market for one-third of that price is a remarkable feat indeed for Microsoft.

Additionally, the design matches that of other desktop PCs: the keyboard, for instance, is not virtual but embedded into the tablet cover. The keyboard cover is the most distinct feature of the Surface that makes it stand out above the rest. With tablets such as Apple’s new iPad, the Google Nexus, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab (in both its 10.1-inch and 7-inch versions), and other tablets of similar professionalism, you will not find the keyboard integrated into the tablet cover. Microsoft’s commitment to a “PC” feel is what prompted this original idea, something that I think all tablet manufacturers should emulate in the coming years.

Finally, the Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro versions of Microsoft’s Surface tablet offer the consumer “the best of both worlds.” At age 28, I grew up in the old way of life where desktop PCs reigned supreme—and alone. Tablets were not a thought in those days; the closest you got to a computer and typing was either a typewriter (the noise was annoying) or the traditional desktop. Microsoft’s Surface tablets give consumers both a small, PC desktop and a tablet, all into one.

When you realize that the Microsoft Surface provides two devices instead of one for $600, you are looking at a price that is only $50 more than your Google Nexus 7 for each device. The Microsoft Surface tablet costs $100 extra for its two devices than two Google Nexus 7 tablets. When you consider that the Surface will allow 64GB to 128GB of memory storage as opposed to the Nexus 7’s 16GB maximum, the Surface tablet is simply irresistible.