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Surface Pro 3 vs Apple iPad Air 2 – High-End Tablets Compared

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The Surface Pro 3 Tablet from Microsoft might be around since June, but it’s most worthy opponent may have dropped just now. The iPad Air 2 is the successor to Apple’s original iPad Air, which was of great success, and promises the same quality. Let’s see if it has what it takes to take on the Surface Pro 3.

Design and Display

Starting with the Surface Pro 3, we have a total weight of 800 grams, and a profile as thick as 0.36 inches. The competition comes with a 0.24 inch profile and a total weight of 437 grams, so if you’re looking for light and slim, we have a clear winner.

The design of the iPad Air 2 is very similar to what the original iPad Air offers from this point of view, but without doubt, the most clear change in appearance is represented by the massive weight loss, as the Air 2 is a lot slimmer than its predecessor.

The Air 2 comes with a premium look and feel, but the Surface Pro 3 is not far behind. The Microsoft tablet has a magnesium based chassis that provides a premium experience., and also a boost in performance, as the design on the edges help with the tablet’s ventilation system.

Moving on to displays, we have a 12 inch screen on the Surface Pro 3. The Full HD display features a 2160 x 1440 resolution and a pixel density of 216 ppi. On the other side, we have the iPad Air 2, which comes with an IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1536 x 2048, all packed within a 9.7 inch display. The pixel density here is of 264 ppi.

Hardware and Software

The Surface Pro comes with a wide range of option in terms of processing gear. You choose from the Intel pool of processor which includes the i3, i5 and i7 processing units. The RAM capacity also differs for each variant, as you can get 4 or 8 GB of RAM. This configuration is matched up against the triple core processor of the iPad Air 2, which is represented by the A8 CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz. Other specs include 2 GB of AM and 16/64 /128 GB memory options. The Surface Pro has 64/128/512 GB storage variants available. In addition, both devices have some perks that the other device misses, such as the fact that the iPad features the TouchID fingerprint scanner, while the Surface Pro provides a Surface Pen stylus which can be used for writing, jotting or other helpful tasks.

While Apple’s device will of course go with the iOS operating system in terms of software, the Surface Pro 3, being a Microsoft product and all, will of course incorporate the Windows 8 OS.

Camera

Although cameras aren’t exactly the main focus of a tablet device in terms of functionality, it’s nice to know which device has the better lens, so note that the Air 2 has an 8 MP camera combined with a 1.2 MP shooter on the front panel. The Surface Pro 3 has a smaller 5 MP camera, but a better front facing camera which also has 5 MP.

Battery

You can count on Microsoft’s device to last for about 9 hours, while the iPad Air 2 can sustain 10 hours of usage, putting ahead of the Surface, but not by very much.

Price

The starting price on Amazon.com is of $775 for the Surface Pro 3, while the 64 GB iPad Air 2’s starting price is $660.