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Microsoft Surface vs Asus Transformer Prime first impressions review

Windows 8 RT takes on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Thu Jun 21 2012, 16:25

MICROSOFT announced its shiny new tablet computer, Surface RT, on Monday and the immediate question on everyone's lips was 'how it will fare against Apple's mighty Ipad?'.

But hold on for just a minute. We can't go forgetting about Android now, can we? Tablets running the dessert-themed operating system (OS) count for almost 40 per cent of the tablet market after all. So for that reason, we have compared one of Android's more popular tablets, the Asus Transformer Prime TF201, against Microsoft's Surface, and in the words of the late Whitney Houston, take it spec-by-spec.


Aesthetics and Design
At first glance, there's no question which one of the two tablets looks like the most fun. The bright coloured keyboard that will be part of the cover of the Windows RT Surface is a definite eyecatcher.

Take the keyboard out of the equation and focus purely on the part that will be getting all the finger prodding action, and there's not too much to compare. After all, there are only so many ways to design a rectangular slab that's mostly a touchscreen.


One thing that does matter when comparing designs however is dimensions. The Transformer Prime is a whole millimeter thinner than the Surface, measuring 8.3mm compared to 9.3mm. In the grand scheme of things, a millimetre might not sound like anything to worry about. But in the world of tablets, it can make a difference to a buyer's decision making process.

Though the Surface might win over users wanting a more robust tablet, the weight difference could indeed change their minds, as at 586g the Transformer Prime is 90g lighter than the 676g of the Surface RT.


Taking a look at the tablets' backsides, the Transformer Prime's 'metallic spun-finish design' has a definite wow factor and appears more sophisticated. At the same time, it lacks one major feature seen on the Surface RT - the kick stand. The Transformer Prime has to be docked in its keyboard for it to stand at a viewable angle, meaning that you'll have to carry the dock around too in case you want to watch videos on it hands free without straining your neck, for example.

Winner: Asus


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