Head-To-Head: Microsoft Surface For Windows RT vs. Apple iPad 4

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Inputs And Outputs

For content creators, the biggest hole in the tablet picture is the lack of a hardware keyboard. Microsoft provides a simple and elegant solution with Touch Cover and Type Cover, optional integrated keyboards that connect magnetically and double as system covers. They start at about $100. While there's certainly no shortage of third-party keyboards for iPad, features, functionality, fit and finish vary wildly; Apple provides no solution of its own. The best of these costs about $100.

Apple has famously left ports for USB and data card off its iOS devices, which limits the movement of files. But to do so with a Windows device would be unthinkable, and Microsoft has bestowed Surface with one slot for USB 2.0 and another for a microSDXC card. Like iPad, Surface also has a proprietary port for video output, the cable for which is optional. The better value here depends on your chosen platform. People using Windows need file access, so Surface provides it. People using iOS really don't, so they are not likely to miss it. Good keyboards and other input devices are available for both.

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