Apple iPad’s shortcomings (vs Surface Pro)

Max Sandoval
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Note:  The author of this article owns both an iPad (4th gen, 128GB) and a Surface Pro (2nd gen, 128GB).

The Apple iPad is the bestselling tablet line and will probably continue to hold on to that title for quite some time.  However, there are so many things that the iPad can’t do – even if you update it to iOS 8 (available later this fall).  After having my iPad for one year, it has been relegated to play Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign and chat on iMessage.

In comparison, Microsoft’s Surface Pro has barely made a dent in sales in comparison to the iPad.  In it’s third iteration, the Surface Pro is slimmer and better – and I’ll highlight the major ways the iPad inferior to the Surface Pro.


As you probably already know, the iPad lacks expandable storage. To add insult to injury, you can’t plug in a USB device and have the iPad recognize the device.  While there are workarounds for storage expansion – which normally require wifi or a data connection to access a remote server – the iPad simply lacks the hardware and software to accommodate external storage devices.

Then again, if you’re willing to pay another $100 for 16GB (the price difference between 16GB and 32GB), I wouldn’t support external storage as well.

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On the other hand, running out of storage on your Surface Pro – no problem!  Not only is there a microSD card port, there is also a USB 3.0 to plug in a thumb drive or an external hard drive.  Not only that, you can password protect your external storage using BitLocker.  #SECURE

Uploading a document

Seriously, I can’t upload a document online?!  WTF, Apple.  As a graduate student (and a tech correspondent), submission is a key aspect of my life (and probably yours too), but on your iPad after pressing the ‘Choose File’ button, you are only greeted with two options, taking a new picture or video or choosing an existing one.  #fail.

Yes, the Surface Pro is like a computer so uploading a document is easy peasy – what was that?  You also get a file directory? #ohnoshebettadont.  Yes, uploading a document on your Surface Pro is the same process as your Windows laptop or a Mac – search for the file and upload.


This is my #1 pet peeve with iPad.  If you use the native email app, there is no option to attach any document. Instead you have to find a file first, then email it.  #seriously?!

iPad tip: Perform a long hold in the letter part of your email and you can attach a photo or a video.

On the Surface Pro, emailing is great. I use Gmail as my main account and it works like a charm.  Attaching a document?  Just click on that paperclip to access the file directory – and yes you can send a picture or two, a PDF, an MP3 or a combination.


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Apple does not have an official keyboard – however, there are many options from 3rd parties.  With that said, this will require two additional things (1) a bluetooth connection and (2) charging the keyboard every so often.

The keyboard for the Surface Pro does not require charging or a bluetooth connection – you just snap it on and VOILA! A fully functional keyboard (which was used to write this article).


How many times have you double clicked that home button to jump from app to app?  Don’t you wish you can just see information from more than one app?  The Surface Pro is great for multitasking.  Listening to iTunes, while reading Vada and chatting with your friends on Viber, is easy peasy with your Surface Pro.


For most people the iPad is a great tablet especially for apps and media consumption.  However, if you plan to be more productive with your tablet, or if you are seeking a tablet/laptop/computer replacement, I highly recommend the Surface Pro – even the first generation is more productive and than any iPad out there.

Do you have any questions about using a Surface Pro? Or any general tech/mobile questions? Send me a tweet @hawaiiinsomniac.

About Max Sandoval

Max is a tech contributor and founder of