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5 Reasons Why the iPad Beats the Surface Go

Microsoft has come for Apple's tablet crown with the $399 Surface Go. I hate to break it to Microsoft, though: I don't think this device can be the iPad killer that it's getting hyped to be.

Not only does the iPad have the new Surface beat on apps, performance and battery life, but the Surface Go is also more expensive. When has Apple ever been the cheaper option? Here are my top five reasons why the iPad beats the Surface Go.

The Better Apps of iOS

Sure, Windows purists may laugh at me for this, but after spending a month using Windows 10 at home, I've been disappointed by the lack of strong third-party applications. Nowhere in Windows can I find to-do productivity apps as good as Things, a podcast client as great as Overcast or (especially important) a Twitter program as capable as Tweetbot.

Also, this may just be personal preference, but iOS apps are so much more pleasing to look at. Windows 10 and the Universal Windows Platform apps introduced a bland aesthetic made for touch capabilities. This platform breaks every app down into a ton of white space and giant rectangular buttons for our fingers, and it's flat-out ugly.

For gaming, the Surface Go should have the edge on the iPad, considering it's a Windows machine. But remember that it's rocking a Pentium processor (more on that later) that isn't fit for much gaming beyond the simplest, most-modest titles. The iPad, on the other hand, leverages its A10 Fusion chip for support of AR-based games, such as the robot-battle game The Machines, as well as educational titles, such as Froggipedia.

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And while Windows does provide full-fledged versions of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps, The iPad is no slouch on creative editing either. Apps such as Procreate, Linea and Affinity Photo provide a ton of ways to adjust and liven up your art, and the tablet's even powerful enough to edit 4K video.

Cheaper

It's hilarious that people are talking about the Surface Go's $399 price as a perk, as the basic $329 iPad costs $70 less. Neither tablet includes a keyboard or stylus, which is annoying for those, like me, who don't enjoy typing out whole essays on glass screens.

The discrepancy continues when you add the keyboards and styli that Apple and Microsoft present at checkout. The Apple Pencil and Microsoft Surface Pen both cost $99, as do the standard Surface Go Type Cover and the Logitech Slim Folio Case with Integrated Bluetooth Keyboard that Apple suggests you buy. But if you want to pair your Surface Go with an Alcantara keyboard, which offers that soft, luxe material, you'll have to spend more, as it costs $129.  

More Power

Microsoft isn't positioning the Surface Go as a speed machine, because the tablet's Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU is not going to break any records anytime soon. Meanwhile, the A10 Fusion Chip in the iPad is a beast for a tablet in this price range.

Looking at quantitative tests, the iPad scored 5,983 on the Geekbench 4 general performance test. While we haven't tested the Surface Go yet, Pentium-class chips have yet to hit such great heights, as the Asus Vivobook E403NA's Pentium N4200U chip scored 3,849 on the same test.

Longer Battery Life

We look forward to putting the Surface Go through the paces of the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness. But Microsoft's slate is  already starting off from behind the iPad. In our testing, Apple's tablet lasted 10 hours and 7 minutes on the test, which beats the Surface Go's rated 9 hours of life.

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Also, the Surface Go's life is based on a test using local video playback, meaning that the machine's Wi-Fi connection isn't stressed at all.

Continuity with iPhone and Mac

People embedded in the Apple ecosystem have plenty of reason to pick the iPad over the Surface Go. If your iPhone gets a phone call while you're using the iPad, you can take said call from the tablet, and the same goes for text messages.

Also, AirDrop and Handoff allow you to seamlessly send your content from one device to the other, without needing to create a new email to send a file.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.