Last week I was KO'd by allergies and a cold. I spent Monday in bed sneezing, gorging myself on Girl Scout Thin Mints, and watching the last half of American Horror Story\u2019s first season on Netflix. I also got a start on the Netflix original series House of Cards. If you have to be sick, this is not a bad way to do it.\n\tOut of curiosity, I streamed the TV programs through Netflix\u2019s Windows app on my Microsoft Surface RT tablet instead of on Netflix\u00a0for my iPad (third generation). The Surface\u2019s display size is 10.6 inches, compared to the iPad\u2019s 9.7 inches, and it delivers a bigger picture that nearly fills the Surface screen. (There are thin black bars above and below the video image.)\n\tThe iPad, by comparison, has a smaller video window surrounded by much thicker black bars. But the iPad\u2019s video image is noticeably brighter and crisper, thanks to its Retina-display with 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi). The Surface\u2019s display resolution is 1366 x 768 at 148 ppi, which produced perfectly acceptable but fuzzier and slightly darker video images. Audio sounds slightly richer on the iPad as well.\n\tThe first screen shot below is from the Surface; the second is from the iPad. If possible, zoom your browser window in a bit. You should see crisper text in the iPad screen shot vs. the Surface. ) \u00a0\n\tOnce I\u2019d had my fill of video, I went to finish reading the novel Beautiful Ruins, which gave me an opportunity to compare the Kindle apps on Surface and iPad. Given the iPad\u2019s superior display, e-book text looks crisper. Also, the Kindle iPad app has an "X-Ray" feature that gives you background on the characters, events or topics mentioned on any given feature. (Not all e-books support the feature, however). The Windows Kindle app currently doesn\u2019t support X-Ray. It does, however, give you five font size choices vs. the iOS Kindle\u2019s two choices. You can also pin the book you\u2019re reading to your Surface\u2019s start screen, a convenient touch.\n\tWhen it comes to streaming Netflix videos and reading Kindle e-books, a Retina-display iPad has the advantage. The Surface isn\u2019t too far behind, though, and it offers a few things the iPad doesn\u2019t.