Microsoft Surface Beats iPad in Design, Productivity, and Accessory Use in New J.D. Power Study

The Microsoft Surface has been ranked the highest in overall consumer satisfaction, and six points above Apple's iPad in second place, according to J.D. Power's 2017 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study. This marks the first top spot win for Microsoft in all six years that J.D. Power has published the Tablet Satisfaction Study, with the company earning a total 855 satisfaction score out of a potential 1,000 points.

The J.D. Power U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction in the tablet market by looking at five areas: performance (28 percent); ease of operation (22 percent); features (22 percent); styling and design (17 percent); and cost (11 percent). The study accounts for 2,238 tablet owners who have owned their current device for less than one year, with participants being questioned between October and December 2016.

With these rankings, Microsoft has received the designation as "among the best" on the market, while Apple at 849 points is "better than most."

surface vs ipad
According to J.D. Power, Microsoft's win this year "is largely due to its top rankings in the features and styling & design factors." The company earned top marks in categories related to the variety of pre-loaded applications, internet connectivity, and availability of manufacturer-supported accessories. This last category highlights the Surface's versatility, according to consumers, who reportedly "have the highest incidences of accessory use" with Microsoft Surface when compared to competitors.

Specifically, the Microsoft Surface's stylus saw a 48 percent usage rate in comparison to 27 percent of the industry average, while the tablet's add-on keyboard had a 51 percent usage rate in comparison to just a 14 percent industry average. Rounding out the Surface's pros were its variety of input/output ports (like a microSD card slot, USB 3.0, and 3.5mm headphone jack) and amount of internal storage available.

“The Microsoft Surface platform has expanded what tablets can do, and it sets the bar for customer satisfaction,” said Jeff Conklin, vice president of service industries at J.D. Power. “These tablet devices are just as capable as many laptops, yet they can still function as standard tablets. This versatility is central to their appeal and success.”

Microsoft also beat Apple in areas like the size of the tablet, quality of materials used, and attractiveness of tablet design. Microsoft's customers who are using the Surface Pro line of tablets are said to largely be early adopters (51 percent), younger than the customers of its competitors, and "more likely to consider productivity features as important." Microsoft customers tend to list productivity-related tasks as "very important" in comparison to industry average, like emailing, word processing, and banking.

jd power tablet study
Overall, J.D. Power found that customer satisfaction with their tablets is rising, with the study average sitting at 841 and increasing 21 index points from the six-months-ago iteration of the study. Customers are also tending to choose large screens, with satisfaction at 869 points for customers with screens measuring 10 inches or more, 850 points for screens 8-10 inches or more, and 824 for screens less than 8 inches.

More key findings include:

  • Driving the selection process: Lower price and past experience are the most commonly cited reasons for tablet selection among customers (22% each). Reputation is next at 19%.

  • Data plans increase satisfaction: Nearly one-third (32%) of customers have a data plan with their tablet. Overall satisfaction among customers with a data plan is 863 vs. 834 among those without such a plan.

    Apple has moved up and down J.D. Power's Tablet Satisfaction Study throughout the years, earning the top spot on some iterations of the study, while falling back down a few months later in others. Previous first place holders include Amazon and its Fire Tablets, as well as Samsung. When it's on top, Apple has used J.D. Power's ratings in numerous web campaigns in the past.

    Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad
    Related Forum: iPad
  • Top Rated Comments

    Keniutek Avatar
    58 months ago
    It is better, an awesome little "machine". My wife uses one and she absolutely loves it (and she was a life long apple user). If they fit a better battery in the new one, im getting one myself. Windows is actually not that bad anymore...
    <Ducks for cover>
    Score: 72 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    Ds6778 Avatar
    58 months ago
    Hows that iPad "Pro" Tim? Maybe one more stupid commercial?
    Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    Crosscreek Avatar
    58 months ago
    Not surprising. ....it runs a full desktop OS.
    Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    rlavelock Avatar
    58 months ago
    This strong competition from Microsoft is great. It should inspire Apple to improve their products. They have had little motivation for too long.
    Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    ILuvEggplant Avatar
    58 months ago
    Well duh!

    The iPad after many years is still just a big iPhone!

    Innovate the iOS then you'll have my $ Apple.
    Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    hawkeye_a Avatar
    58 months ago
    But Apple has 'Clips'! /s
    Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)

    Top Stories

    apple california streaming event

    Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

    Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
    Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
    Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

    iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

    Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
    Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
    youtube apple tv

    YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

    Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
    YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
    original iphone

    Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

    Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
    To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
    iOS 15 icon on phone

    Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to Developers

    Tuesday August 17, 2021 10:05 am PDT by
    Apple today seeded the sixth betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming one week after Apple released the fifth betas. Registered developers can download the profile for the iOS and iPadOS betas from the Apple Developer Center, and once the profile is installed, beta updates will be available over the air. iOS 15 is a major update that...
    maroon5memories

    Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

    Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
    Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
    it home ecommerce app iphone 13

    iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

    Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
    Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
    MacBook Pro Coating

    Apple Launches Quality Program for MacBook Pro Anti-Reflective Coating Issues

    Saturday October 17, 2015 7:58 am PDT by
    Apple has issued an internal notice about a new Quality Program that addresses anti-reflective coating issues on MacBook and MacBook Pro models with Retina displays, as confirmed by multiple sources. These issues include the anti-reflective coating on displays wearing off or delaminating under certain circumstances. Apple will replace Retina displays on affected MacBook or MacBook Pro models ...
    iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

    Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

    Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
    With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
    iphone 12 colors 2021

    iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

    Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
    The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...