Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) launches the new Surface 2 tablet yesterday. The company will be hoping that this year’s model can do better than the original Microsoft Surface RT. A lot of that success will depend on how the computer stands up to the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. PCmag.com takes a look at how the devices stack up to one another.

surface 2 vs ipad 4

The piece goes through the stats of both devices and finds some victories landing in the iPad 4 column and others in the Microsoft Surface 2 column. Despite the even-handedness of the review, and the fact that the Microsoft Surface isn’t even on the market yet, it appears that there is only one winner in the tablet business.

Surface 2 doesn’t stack up to iPad 4

The Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface 2 is $50 less expensive than the iPad 4 at its lowest configuration. The device has battery life comparable to that of the iPad 4 and the Touchcover 2 will likely be an extremely popular addition to the tablet. Processor speeds can’t really be paired directly, because the practical effects differ depending on optimization.

The magnesium kickstand and the slightly larger screen are the last advantages that the Surface 2 has on the iPad 4, according to reviewer Brian Westover. Everything else appears to land firmly in the iPad 4 column. The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a much higher screen resolution, 2048 x 1536 vs. 1920 x 1080, but that isn’t why the tablet will remain the premium king.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a functioning and powerful App ecosystem. That is something that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) cannot compete with. Windows RT is not seeing the kind of OEM adoption and effort that Microsoft would like, meaning the chances of developers getting in on the ecosystem isn’t high.

Even that may not be the biggest trouble Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) faces getting its Surface 2 tablet off of the ground. There is a much bigger shadow on the horizon than the iPad 4.

Apple iPad 5 on the way

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to show off and sell the iPad 5 before Christmas, that means the new model will be the real device that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has to deal with. The Surface 2 is probably not going to be a direct competitor to the iPad 4 for very long.

There are no rumors suggesting that the iPad 5 will be a complete revolution, but it will be an update to the tablet computer. That is more than enough for the device to beat out the Surface 2 on many metrics, and enough to worry anyone with a stake in the Surface 2.