Mixed Reviews: Surface v. iPad

Can Microsoft’s first tablet stand up to Apple’s iPad? The Surface’s early reviews are in, and, as you might have expected, they’re all over the place.

Walt Mossberg likes it. Putting his blessing into a historical context, he writes in AllThingsD: “With this device … Microsoft is adopting the model of its longtime rival, Apple, which has always believed that the better way to deliver digital products is to build them end-to-end.”

Rich Jaroslovsky, in Bloomberg Businessweek, admits that the Surface is the slickest laptop he’s used in a very long time. Whether it can truly compete with the iPad, however, he’s not so sure.

Giving the new gadget four-out-of-five red dots, PCMag.com suggests that it will bridge the distance between tablet and laptop for many users, “particularly if you use the Web or Microsoft Office constantly.”

In The New York Times, David Pogue recognizes the Surface to be, “a brilliantly conceived machine whose hardware will take your breath away … but whose software will take away your patience."

Not mincing words, Gizmodo calls the Surface “undercooked,” and a huge disappointment. “Surface brings the appearance of unity, but it's really just the worst of both worlds … Instead of trading in your laptop and tablet for Surface … you'll miss them both urgently.

Meanwhile, we’re not sure what Wired thinks of the Surface. “It’s something completely new and different,” it says of the Surface. “It is, in some ways, better than an iPad. In some ways, worse. It’s brilliant, and yet it can be puzzling as well … It’s a tablet of both compromises and confusion. It is a true hybrid.”

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