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Apple iPad vs Microsoft Surface RT vs Google Nexus 10 head to head review

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Apple iPad vs Microsoft Surface RT vs Google Nexus 10 three-quarter view

However, for those not embedded within Apple's ecosystem Google's Android offers a host of unique and compelling features.

Google Now is a good example of this. Google Now is a dynamic push update feature that aims to offer users up to the minute useful information on their immediate area.Google Nexus 10 Google Now

The service does this using dynamic "cards". The cards appear the moment you turn the Nexus 10 on, or can be accessed by pulling up from the Nexus 10's home button. The cards show everything from nearby restaurants to local public transport information.

Another good example, is Jelly Bean's newly added ability to run multiple user accounts off the tablet. The new feature lets you have similar account management powers to those seen on a regular Windows PC. The feature will be useful for business users, letting IT managers set up the tablet for use by multiple employees or create bespoke work and personal accounts.

This means that while Apple's iOS does have a compelling complete ecosystem offering, as a standalone OS in our mind it isn't as interesting as Android. For this reason picking between the two is fairly difficult.

However, lording above the two when it comes to business use is the Surface's Windows RT OS.

Windows RT is essentially a stripped down version of Microsoft's main Windows 8 platform designed for tablets, adding support for ARM-based processors. This means the OS is full of services and features aimed at business users.Microsoft Surface with Windows RT running Excel

Chief among these are the OS' Office and Outlook features. Windows RT devices come with Office 2013 pre-installed. This means that users can create and edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents on the move.

This fact is helped by the OS' SkyDrive integration. SkyDrive is Microsoft's answer to Google's Drive service, letting users back up and sync documents on the cloud. Using SkyDrive, Surface owners can sync documents between their central work station and tablet, and carry on working on them from the exact same point they left them when away from the office.

While Google Drive offers similar features, its Google Docs editing software isn't as good, featuring a significantly less thorough spell checker and having a tendency to muck up document formatting when importing them from Office.

Additionally, we, found it was far easier to integrate Windows RT's built-in Mail and Calendar apps with our corporate Exchange accounts. For these reasons we really do think the Surface's RT software is better for bring your own device work purposes.

However, it's worth noting for entertainment purposes the Surface isn't anywhere as good, featuring significantly less apps. This is because, by using ARM architecture, Windows RT isn't compatible with earlier Windows software.

Winner: The Microsoft Surface RT

Next: Performance and camera

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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