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October 26: Microsoft Surface RT launches to much fanfare.
October 30: Google Nexus 10 makes Microsoft Surface RT obsolete.
A while ago, I started a thread saying Microsoft was preparing a tablet OS, but there weren't any good tablet processors available. Well, now there is one. But Microsoft isn't using it. And soon there will be many more that Microsoft also isn't using. Let's give a quick rundown on the gory details.
Processor: Google Nexus 10 uses a state of the art Samsung Exynos 5250, with two ARM Cortex A15 cores and the latest and greatest ARM Mali 6 generation graphics (DirectX 11 support, though they don't say about OpenGL) on a 32 nm process node. Microsoft Surface RT uses an aging Nvidia Tegra 3 chip with four old ARM Cortex A9 cores and last generation GeForce ULV graphics on a 40 nm process node.
Monitor: Google Nexus 10 hits the high end with a 2560x1600 resolution. Microsoft Surface RT uses the traditional low end 1366x768 resolution. While the Surface RT has a larger diagonal size than the Nexus 10 (10.6" versus 10.1"), the narrower dimensions of the Surface RT mean it actually uses a smaller display (5.35" versus 5.20") in the "short" direction.
Software support: Google Nexus 10 uses Google Android, which is the OS of choice for a large majority of "smart" phones, in addition to more than a few tablets. That means there is a lot of software available, and with an open platform, you're not restricted to what Google wants you to have. Meanwhile, Microsoft Surface RT runs Windows RT, which is brand new with no legacy software support and little hope for getting all that much new software. A locked bootloader also means it can never run anything other than Windows RT.
Weight: Google Nexus 10 is 604 g. Microsoft Surface RT is 680 g.
Price tag: Google Nexus 10 starts at $400. Microsoft Surface RT starts at $500.
Capacity: The 32 GB version of Microsoft Surface RT has only 15 GB free after an OS installation, which leaves it with barely more capacity available to the end user than the 16 GB version of the Google Nexus 10. And Google has a 32 GB version available, too.
In fairness to Microsoft and as Microsoft itself has pointed out, different tablets serve different purposes. If what you really want is access to Microsoft Office in a tablet form factor, and your actual usage of Office is limited enough that the not entirely functional keyboard that is paired with Surface RT (for an extra $100) is good enough for you, then maybe Microsoft Surface RT makes sense for you. But for anyone else?