iPad vs Surface vs Yoga

I am now entering my third week living with the Lenovo Yoga.  It only took the first week of using it and I gave my Surface RT away.  Not good news for the Surface.  Everything I said about it in my initial review holds true.  It raised my expectations of a tablet.  It made me realize that I don’t want to carry a tablet and a laptop.  It made me realize that it could almost be a laptop replacement.  Then I found the Yoga.  It is a laptop, but it’s also a tablet.  I’m in love, and it is now my primary machine for daily use.   But I realize that I’m not exactly the typical user, so I thought I’d put down a basic buyers guide.

IPad 3 (Wifi Only).  – 10” screen.  1.5lbs.

Buy if:

  • You’re already heavily invested in iTunes and iOS apps
  • You want a primarily consumption (reading, vs writing) device
  • You want a device that’s simple to use and “just works”

For me:

I still have two ipads floating around the house, but it’s pretty much only the kids using them now.  The interface feels really outdated and my Windows8 devices are just so much more productive.  Now that I have a decent News reader on Windows8, my last reason for picking up the iPad is gone.

Surface RT- 10” screen.  1.5lbs

Buy if:

  • You’re using it personally (not a business user)
  • You want Microsoft Office (not including Outlook) on your device
  • You want a lightweight tablet and a full keyboard

For me:

The Surface made me realize that I want a tablet that doubles as a laptop.  But once I bought a Yoga13, I gave away the Surface.  I needed Outlook.  I wanted a bigger screen. I needed network drives and DirectAccess.  I want a screen that hinges to any angle and can be used on your lap.  That silly hinged support on the Surface goes from a fun thing to click on commercials to a serious limitation.

Surface Pro – 10” screen.  2lbs

Wait and Buy if:

  • You want a full laptop and full Windows experience
  • The small size and 10” screen appeal to you.
  • You don’t want need functionality such as Bitlocker and DirectAccess

For me:

While it’s not on the market yet and I haven’t touched one.  My current understanding is that it’s just a smaller and less versatile version of my Yoga.  It comes with Windows 8 Pro, and for me the device is virtually useless without Windows 8 Enterprise.

Lenovo Yoga 13 – 13” screen. 2.5lbs

Buy if:

  • You want just one device that fills tablet and laptop roles
  • You don’t mind the extra bit of weight for a big screen and full laptop/windows experience
  • You’ve got $1200 to spend

For me:

I’ve now bought a USB 3.0 port replicator and this is becoming my do everything, all day machine.  It’s a tablet with the horsepower to replace my desktop and laptop.   I did have to format it when I bought it and install Windows8 Enterprise to make it everything I’m claiming it is.  It comes with Windows 8 Home and an option for Windows 8 Pro.  There is no upgrade path from Home/Pro to Enterprise (shame on you Microsoft).  Luckily drivers are shipped on the machine and a re-install of Windows is simple enough.


Hope this helps with your buying decision.  More to come on my thoughts around both Windows 8 and the impact of these devices on the enterprise.

One Response to “iPad vs Surface vs Yoga”

  1. So I don’t get it you do Yoga now? Ha! Personally I’m very frustrated with all these tablets, none of them actually do exactly what I need them to do….. still waiting!

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