Blog Post: by Calin, SSV Digital Learning Leader

Calin, Digital Learning Leader. The DLLs are a group of students who are reviewing a number of portable devices at Senior School this term.

So, now that I’ve had a week (give or take) to judge the Surface, I feel confident in providing an unbiased comparison against the current iPad 1:1 programme. I’ll attempt to compare it in quantifiable and relevant criteria, using the iPad as a baseline.

Physical Size & Weight

This device is certainly larger than an iPad in size; its screen size is 12.3 inches diagonally, with dimensions of 292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45 mm compared to the iPad 4’s dimensions of 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mms and diagonal screen size of 9.7 inches. The weight difference between the two is honestly unnoticeable, with the Surface weighing in at 786g and the iPad at 652g.

Storage

The Surface absolutely kicks the iPad into the dust when it comes to available storage. It comes with a minimum of 128GB of hard drive storage, and with a maximum of 1TB. In addition to this, it can also use removable microSD and USB storage. The iPad 4 can’t touch this, with no removable storage options of its own and a maximum hard drive storage of 128GB (The Surface’s minimum).

Battery Life

Both the Surface and the iPad have ample battery life to last a full school day’s worth of usage, but the iPad does win over the Surface in this category. I’ve noticed that the iPad offers enough battery life for almost a full day’s worth of use on low brightness, while the Surface needs immediate charging after a school day’s worth of use under similar conditions.

Additional Notes & Thoughts

The Surface is amazing for using the Remote Access, working far quicker and smoother when compared to my MacBook Air. As far as I’ve been able to tell, it has no problems with overheating, even when in use for 5 hours straight. I could feel it physically heat up slightly, but it had no affect on performance and did not cause any crashes.

However, I’ve had one instance where the Surface has made some rather curious clicking noises. I haven’t been able to replicate this problem, even when attempting to under similar conditions, so I’ve chalked it up to an unusual one-time occurrence. Another curious thing happens with the Surface while on school WiFi; for some reason, it is significantly slower than my iPad when connected to the same network, but again, I haven’t been able to replicate this problem at home so I’m going to chalk it up to the school WiFi being at fault somehow and not the Surface.

I can’t comment on its processing speed, as I haven’t had any chance to push it to its limits yet.