How else do you explain Microsoft’s continued attempts to compare a Surface PC with touchscreen to a Mac without a touchscreen? Or, to compare a Surface notebook to the premier tablet, Apple’s iconic iPad. I’m tired of such comparisons and I plan to call them out whenever they go public.
Yet Another One
Even the automobile world compares cars and trucks yet seldom do you see a sedan compared to a truck, right? Does a Lexus get compared to a Toyota Corolla? Is a Honda Fit compared to a Chevy Impala? No.
Because apples to apples applies. If so, then why doesn’t Apple to apples apply?
Microsoft’s recent advertising pits a notebook to a tablet; an iPad. Another ad highlights a tablet feature and compares it to a Mac notebook. It’s not just Microsoft that does the dastardly deed of comparing Apple to apples. Technology writers do it all the time, too.
Here’s an example. Brian Nadel:
Tablets have gotten more powerful over the years, but even top-tier 2-in-1s like Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Apple’s iPad Pro are still a step away from replacing laptops for many business users.
Allow me to pick apart such misguided considerations.
What is a 2-in-1? A notebook with a touchscreen? A tablet with a keyboard? Is Microsoft’s Surface Studio desktop— with a touchscreen— also a 2-in-1; tablet and PC? Any kind of compare and contrast needs definitions, right? Regardless, usability rules. Microsoft’s Surface line of touchscreen devices seldom get used as tablets. Instead, customers use the device as it was meant to be used– with a keyboard– and that is official. 2-in-1? Not really two of anything. Those are not tablets. They are PC notebooks with a touchscreen. Nothing less. Nothing more.
OK, if usability rules, then what about iPads? Nearly any Bluetooth keyboard can be hitched to an iPad; from $20 or so to $200 for iPad Pro. Does that attached keyboard turn the iPad into a traditional personal computer– as evidenced by the operating system’s capabilities– Windows, macOS, or Linux?
No. The keyboard gives the iPad some capabilities from the PC world, but it’s not a PC. Likewise, a touchscreen on a PC notebook does not a tablet make. The comparisons between a Surface-whatever and a real world tablet are worthless.
They do provide a very attractive alternative to lugging around a notebook on business trips, but these flagship tablets start at anywhere from $650 to $900 and can easily climb to $1,500 or more after you configure them and add in the cost of a keyboard case and stylus.
I’m not so sure that premise is correct; at least, not in the traditional sense.
Add a Smart Keyboard Folio to a new iPad Pro– up to more than $2,200 if you have money to burn– and the device is more powerful and more capable than most notebooks, but that completely depends upon what you want the device to do. iPad Pro with keyboard weighs more than Apple’s entry level MacBook.
That’s where smaller second-tier tablets can come in. Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad and Microsoft’s new Surface Go for Business carry significantly lower price tags than the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro, yet they’re still powerful, well-built and ready for business.
Fair enough. Let’s back up to the entry-level segment, but it’s still a comparison of a traditional notebook with a touchscreen vs. a traditional tablet without a keyboard.
They are not the same.
Surface Go starts at $399. iPad starts at $329. Add a keyboard to each, and iPad is less expensive and does more. More? More capability and convenience and features and applications than the Windows-based Surface Go, but not the same capabilities. This is not an Apple to apples comparison because how the devices are used varies greatly. Both are sold sans keyboard, but one is used as a traditional PC more than the other, which is used more as a tablet.
How hard is that to understand? Yet, the ill-advised comparisons continue. Nadel made each device road-ready, and gave a stylus and keyboard to each.
While the Surface Go for Business starts at $449, my test machine came in at around $830 with its accessories. The iPad starts at $329, but the model I tested added up to around $760 with accessories.
Who would put $830 into Microsoft’s almost-most anemic Surface PC? How many of Apple’s faithful who want an iPad will opt for the $2,227 iPad Pro fully equipped? They are not the same even if they weigh about the same.
Different strokes for different folks, folks. Leather seats in a Honda Fit does not a Lexus make.
I found that they both hit the Goldilocks sweet spot for business travel: Not too heavy, not too underpowered, and not too expensive.
Here we go. Which one was the best fit at the assigned tasks of being either, 1) a traditional PC notebook, or, 2) a traditional tablet? If a keyboard is added, then we’re not talking tablet usage, are we? If there is no keyboard, then which device is the best tablet?
See the problem?
OK, which one, well, won?
The whole article comparing an anemic Windows-based notebook with a touchscreen vs. an iPad with a keyboard is lame enough, but classifies as link bait because you have to register to see the end result comparison.
Sorry, that’s shameful; worse than a simple comparison that spans two or three or more pages. We at Mac360 have grown tired of such ridiculous comparisons and will expose them for the charlatan link bait they have become.