The Surface's hardware array includes a full-sized USB 2.0 port, meaning you can plug in a flash drive or other accessories -- a feature the iPad conspicuously lacks.
The bottom edge of the tablet houses Microsoft's proprietary magnetic connector. The company's Touch Cover and Type Cover are the only compatible accessories right now, but Microsoft says third-party offerings are coming soon.
The Surface's smooth metal back is mostly blank, which I think enhances the look of the device. The only printing is a small Windows logo at the center of the kickstand.
That kickstand is a linchpin of the overall Surface experience.
Kickstands on smartphones are awkward and unnecessary, but on a device this size, they make watching movies a joy. Combine the kickstand with a Touch Cover or Bluetooth keyboard and you've got a traditional notebook experience.
The kickstand also covers a microSD card slot that reads cards up to 64 GB. It's a cheap way to triple the available storage on the entry-level Surface model and double it on the high-end version.