Difference between Microsoft Surface RT and Sony Xperia Z Tab

Key Difference: The Microsoft Surface RT is a tablet that features a 10.6-inch TFT HD capacitive touchscreen with approximately 148 ppi density. The screen affords the true 16:9 aspect ratio. However, the OS is not compatible with old Windows PC programs. Sony has recently announced its revamped smartphone and tablets line. Along with the new flagship phone Sony Xperia Z, the company has also added a new tablet, the Sony Xperia Z Tab. The tablet supports a 10.1 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen and is created using the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 technology.

The market for bigger, better and more able smartphones is increasing. People are getting bored with the regular phones that would just place calls or send text message, now the phones need to be able to do many other things to even be considered as a choice. The phone should allow the users to surf the internet, check e-mails, record their schedules, find things on the internet, understand their speech, etc. They have become less phones and more personal secretaries. Now, it goes even further and tablets have come into the picture. Tablets have the portability of a phone and the functions of a laptop. Some tablets even allow users to place calls. Microsoft, which was originally a Desktop manufacturer, has now shifted focus on creating smartphone operating systems, laptops, and even tablets. The Microsoft Surface RT was launched in November 2012.

The Microsoft Surface RT is a tablet that features a 10.6-inch TFT HD capacitive touchscreen with approximately 148 ppi density. The screen is pretty decent in terms of resolution and shows clear, sharp images. The screen affords the true 16:9 aspect ratio which matches most movies and shows, eliminating the black bars that pop up. The tablet runs on the Windows OS, but has a huge lacking feature. The OS is not compatible with old Windows PC programs such as VLC, Photoshop Elements, etc. This is one of the reasons for the tablet not being so popular even after the amazing design and other attractive features. In order to run the old PC programs, one would require Windows 8 with an Intel processor, which is offered in the Microsoft Surface Pro.

The device has a slab form that makes it look thicker and heavier than it actually is. The device is only 9.4 mm thick, same as the iPad; however, the slab form that has not been tapered towards the end makes it seem thicker. The tablet is a little heavier compared to other devices because of the extra inches on the screen. The device is quite slick, which makes it easier to grip but more prone to slipping through the fingers. The device comes with a built-in kickstand that helps it stay upright when placed on a surface. The device is covered in a VaporMg casing, which according to the company, makes the device scratch and water-resistant. The device also has an intriguing feature, which is a cover that doubles as a keyboard. The sleek and flat keyboard has an aesthetic appeal and is also productive.

On top of the device when facing front in landscape mode, there is an ambient light sensor along with the front facing 1.2 MP camera. On the bottom bezel is the Windows Home sensor that takes the user to the start screen or the last app accessed. On the right side of the device, there is a speaker grille, a Micro-HDMI port, a full USB 2.0 port, and the power port. The left side has an additional speaker grille, a headphone jack, and a volume rocker. The kickstand is said to be a bit difficult for some people, while other claim that the stand was pretty smooth and easy to access. Under the stand, resides the microSD port, while there are magnets on the bottom to attach the Touch and Type keyboard covers. The device also has a 1.2 MP rear camera, in case anyone would like use it take photos.

The tablet is powered by a 1.3 GHz Quad-core Cortex-A9 and comes in 32 and 64 GBs variants. The device feature 2 GB RAM. The processor provides enough power to allow the swiftly shifting between apps and windows. The tablet supports 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 4.0, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and a built-in compass, but no GPS. The device houses a 31.5 W-h battery that drained pretty quickly according to CNET. The main problem that comes with this device is that it is less of a tablet and more of an even more portable laptop. The design is obviously appealing, but in terms of features and price, maybe going for Microsoft Surface Pro.

Sony has recently announced its revamped smartphone and tablets line. Along with the new flagship phone Sony Xperia Z, the company has also added a new tablet, the Sony Xperia Z Tab. It shares many features to its little brother, but is also different in many ways. The Xperia Z tab has already seen the light of day in Japan in January, while it was recently unwrapped for global availability. The company’s claims the tablet to the lightest and the slimmest LTE tablet available in the market. The tablet supports a 10.1 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen and is created using the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 technology. Similar to its little brother, the phone is water-resistant and dust proof. The phone can be submerged about 1 meter for 30 minutes without any damage (However, all the ports and slots should be firmly closed). The phone can also withstand water jets and the screen is coated with shatter-proof film coating. The borders of the tablet have been designed in a way to not obstruct side viewing.

The tablet houses the 1.5 GHz Krait Quad-core processor and the Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064 chipset. The tablet runs on 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and can be upgraded to 4.2 Jelly Bean. It is available with 16/32 GB internal memory, which can further be upgraded up to 64 GB. The company has maintained the camera technology on the tablet. The tablet houses 8.1 MP Exmor R primary camera and a 2.1 MP secondary camera for video chatting. The phone offers features such as Superior Auto, geo-tagging, Exmor R for mobile image sensor,

HDR for both picture/film, continue burst mode, scene recognition, sweep panorama, smile detection, face detection and touch focus.  Superior Auto automatically adjusts the shooting profile depending on the shot that is being taken. Additional features include face unlock, screenshot capturing, wake-up mode, screen mirroring, throw feature, TV side view and remote control application. The throw feature allows users to automatically connect and play mobile content on any devices that can be connected to the phone via screen mirroring, DLNA or Bluetooth. Face Unlock allows users to place their face in front of their phones to unlock the photo. The company has not yet announced pricing of the tablet.

The information for the detailed table about the two devices has been taken from the Microsoft website, Sony Mobile website and GSMArena.com.


Microsoft Surface RT

Sony Xperia Z Tab

Launch Date

November 2012

Q1 of 2013



Sony Corporation


274.6 x 172 x 9.4 mm

172 x 266 x 6.9 mm


10.6 inches TFT HD capacitive touchscreen

10.1 inches TFT capacitive touchscreen with on-screen QWERTY keyboard


1366 x 768 pixels (~148 ppi pixel density) 16M colors

1920 x 1200 pixels (~224 ppi pixel density), Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2


VaporMg casing

Water-resistant & Dust-proof, anti-shatter film coating


680.4 grams

495 g

2G Network


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

3G Network


HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100

4G Network


LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600


Windows RT

Sony UI

CPU speed

1.3 GHz Quad-core Cortex-A9

1.5 GHz Krait Quad-core


ULP GeForce

Adreno 320


Windows RT

Android OS, v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), planned upgrade to v4.2 (Jelly Bean)


Nvidia Tegra 3 T30

Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064


2 GB

2 GB

SIM Size



Internal Memory

32/64 GB

16/32 GB

Expandable Memory

Up to 64 GB

Up to 64 GB


Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass, Ambient light sensor

Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass


Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth, USB.

HDMI via MHL support, Wi-Fi and WiFi Hotspot functionality, DLNA Certified, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB


WLAN, Bluetooth, USB.




HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL


Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot


Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP

Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP


USB v2.0, USB Host support

microUSB v2.0 (MHL)

Primary Camera

1.2 MP

8.1 MP Exmor R autofocus camera

Secondary Camera

1.2 MP

2.2 MP Exmor R camera 1080p@30fps


720p @ 30fps

1080p@30fps, HDR

Camera Features


16x Digital zoom

Superior Auto


Exmor R for mobile image sensor

HDR for both picture/film

Continue Burst Mode

Scene recognition

Sweep Panorama

Smile detection

Face detection

Touch focus

Sound Enhancement

Two microphones, Stereo speakers

3D surround sound enhancement

Audio supported formats

MP3/ WAV/ eAAC+ player

MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player

Video supported formats

MP4/ DivX/ Xvid/ H.264/ H.263 player

Xvid/DivX/MKV/WMV/ MP4/H.264/ H.263 player

Battery Capacity

31.5 W-h

Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery




Standby Time



Available Colors

Dark Titanium

Black, White


Email, Push Email, IM

Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS






Stereo FM radio with RDS



Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS



Yes, via Java MIDP emulator

Additional Features

  • microSDXC card slot
  • Headset jack
  • HD video out port
  • Cover port
  • Built-in kickstand
  • 5-point multi-touch
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview
  • Windows Mail and Messaging
  • SkyDrive
  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Bing
  • Xbox Music, Video, and Games
  • Face unlock
  • Screenshot capturing
  • Wake-up mode OmniBalance design
  • Screen mirroring
  • Throw feature
  • TV side view
  • Remote control application
  • Pre-loaded applications
  • SNS integration
  • TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
  • Organizer
  • Document viewer
  • Photo viewer/editor
  • Voice memo
  • Predictive text input

Image Courtesy: microsoft.com, sonymobile.com

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