Head-to-Head: Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Apple iPad 4

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Forget about holding either of these tablets in one hand for more than a minute or two; they're just too big. The Surface is wrapped in a dark gray metal case that's 10.8 inches long by 6.8 inches wide and slightly more than a half-inch thick. The iPad's IPS panel is surrounded by a 9.5 x 7.3-inch white or black plastic and metal enclosure that's about one-third of an inch thick. At a full 2 pounds, Surface Pro is more than a half-pound heavier than iPad's 1.44 lbs. Apple wins on physical dimensions.

Both have power and volume buttons, a headphone jack, mic and speakers and a dedicated "home" button. Apple adds a combo mute and rotation-lock button. CRN credits Microsoft for developing a magnetic power connector, which pops off easily under stress, sparing the motherboard and other components accidental damage. Ironically, Apple uses MagSafe only on its MacBooks, opting on iPhones and iPads for the all-digital Lightning port, which handles charging, syncing, video output and other communications duties.

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