Surface versus Apple Alternatives
This is my assessment of the Surface versus the Apple products. I am admittedly an Apple user, but I was quite interested by today's announcement.
The Windows RT surface is the real competitor to the iPad. The keyboard accessory options give its real advantage for people that want both a tablet and productivity machine. It will a really compelling choice for students as well since Office is included. However, it does appear to have at least a few issues that could prevent it from competing directly with the iPad. First, the screen resolution which is about a third of the iPad. Second, Apple has outstanding app support. Third, we still don’t have pricing information for the Surface, but I will give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt in this regard. Also, we need to have people test out this devices before declaring them a panacea. If the keyboard and trackpad don't work well then this product could be a disaster, however, I'm sure Microsoft won't let that happen. Overall, I am excited about the new Surface tablet and would consider getting one if Microsoft increases the resolution.
The Surface pro has an HD screen, however, the price and weight are not in the same category as the iPad so it is not really fair to compare the devices. A person wanting to buy a $500 iPad probably won't walk out of the store with a $800 or $900 Surface. A more fair comparison is the Surface Pro versus the MacBook Air. I would admit that Surface Pro seems like it might be the more compelling deal as it includes both a touch screen that can function without a keyboard as a tablet and as a productivity machine. In addition, the screen is higher resolution than the Air, though Apple clearly has higher resolution screens on the way. Again we will have to wait to see how well the keyboard performs. The trackpad is another big question mark as Apple trackpad are unquestionable superior to all others in the industry.