Microsoft Surface vs. iPad 3 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1: Which is the Best Tablet?

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By Kristin Dian Mariano | June 21, 2012 9:15 AM EST

Microsoft unveiled its latest hardware last Monday - Surface. It is speculated that it will battle head on with Apple's iPad 3 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Which among the three is the best tablet?

The tablet wars is really on for three rival companies. Apple's iPad remained on the top spot since its introduction in 2010. Apple holds the largest share in the tablet market. Samsung and Microsoft can be considered as underdogs in the industry as they do both do not have a concrete market for their tablets.

With a lot of choices for tablets in the market, which is the best among these three devices? Below is the comparison of the flagship tablet of the three companies.

Form

Apple made its design famous following Steve Jobs' minimalist design in all of its iOS devices. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, on the other hand, have changed its design compared to its predecessor to avoid another legal battle with Apple. The new Galaxy Tab round edges and the whole device has an added grey/silver bezel round the outside. Microsoft Surface seems like a hybrid of a tablet and a laptop when it comes to its design. It has a light yet sturdy magnesium case for protection.

Display

iPad 3 introduced the Retina display, with a 2048x1536 resolution on a 9.7-inch screen, while the Galaxy Tab 2 has a 1280x800 resolution on the 10.1-inch display. The iPad has 246 ppi, while the Galaxy Tab 2 has almost half - 149 ppi. Microsoft Surface Tablet will have a 10.6 inches touchscreen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. In this aspect, iPad 3 is way ahead of its competitors.

Hardware

The new iPad of Apple features a new processor chip called the A5X, which has quad core graphics. Thus, the device is four times faster than its nearest rival, the Nvidia Tegra 3 chip. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 2 is fitted with a dual core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, which is the same components of other tablets in the market. Although not really revolutionary, the processor fares well in navigating the Android platform. Microsoft Surface Tablet will have an ARM based version as well as Intel Mobile Processor and Nvidia Tegra 3.

Software

Apple's iPad 3 is equipped with the iOS 5, which can be updated upon the release of iOS 6 later this year. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is equipped with Android's Ice Cream Sandwich. Microsoft Surface sports Microsoft's latest Windows operating system - Windows 8.

Camera

Apple's iPad 3 camera system is the best among the three tablets. The device borrowed some of the features of its brother gadget - iPhone. iPad 3 is equipped with a 5-megapixel backlight-illuminated sensor (BSI), stabilisation for both video and still images, 1080p video recording and both autofocus and auto-exposure. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.2 has 3.15MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos. The camera system is 2048x1536 pixels and has a LED flash alongside autofocus and geo-tagging. Lastly, there is no confirmation whether Microsoft Surface Tablet would have a camera or not. 

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