Microsoft Surface RT vs Apple iPad 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 vs Asus Transformer Prime: cameras and speakers
There are two cameras in the Surface, both 720p HD, and it has a pair of stereo speakers plus twin microphones for improved audio in video calls. The iPad 4 has a 720p, 1.2MP camera for video calling and a 5MP, 1080p camera for photography and video recording, but just a single speaker. The Galaxy has a 1.9MP front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear with LED flash, while the Asus has a 1.2MP camera on the front and an 8MP one on the back, again with LED flash; both devices have stereo speakers.
Microsoft Surface RT vs Apple iPad 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 vs Asus Transformer Prime: network
There's no 3G or 4G in the Surface, but it does have 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 - as does the iPad, which is also available in a 3G/4G LTE Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The iPad also supports dual-band 802.11n, which can deliver download speeds of up to 150Mbps, as does the Galaxy Note, which adds Wi-Fi Direct support into the mix and which is also available in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G versions. There's no 3G for the Transformer Prime: it supports the same a/b/g/n Wi-Fi standards but only on the 2.4GHz band, and its Bluetooth radio is Bluetooth 2.1+EDR compared to the others' Bluetooth 4.0.
Microsoft Surface RT vs Apple iPad 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 vs Asus Transformer Prime: battery life
Microsoft claims up to 8 hours from a single charge, with Apple promising ten on Wi-Fi or nine on the mobile data network. Samsung doesn't claim anything, saying just that the battery is a 7,000mAh Lithium Ion one, and in our labs we found that worked out as around six to seven hours of everyday use. Asus says you'll get 12 hours from the Prime, rising to 18 hours when docked.
Microsoft Surface RT vs Apple iPad 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 vs Asus Transformer Prime: dimensions and weight
The Surface is 274.7 x 172 x 9.3mm and weighs 676g. The iPad 4 is 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4mm and 652g (662g for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model). The Galaxy Note 10.1 is 262 x 180 x 8.9mm and 597g (600g for the 3G version), and the Transformer Prime is 263 x 180.8 x 10.4mm and 586g. That's without the dock, of course: adding that takes its widest point to 19.4mm and its weight to 1,123g.