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Apple MacBook Air vs Microsoft Surface Pro 3: Which Is Best For You?


Apple MacBook Air vs Microsoft Surface Pro 3: Which Is Best For You?

Vs Michael Grothaus 10:fifty six, 22 Might 2014

Microsoft claims the newest Floor closes the hole between pill and laptop computer like by no means earlier than. How does it examine to Apple's Macbook Air?

Whereas many view the Microsoft Floor Professional three as an iPad competitor, Microsoft truly designed it to compete with extremely-moveable laptops, becoming into that candy spot for people who need the portability of a pill with the facility of a laptop computer with out having to hold two units round. And that’s precisely what the Floor three does when you purchase the non-compulsory Sort Cowl: it’s half pill, half extremely-moveable. However how does it compete towards Apple’s extremely-moveable marvel machine: the eleven-inch MacBook Air--and which is greatest for you?

Design & Show

The MacBook Air options an eleven.6-inch LED-backlit shiny widescreen show with a decision of 1366x768 pixels. Its facet ratio is sixteen:9. The aluminum unibody of the MacBook Air is  192mm (h) x 300 mm (w) x three-17 mm (d). It weighs 1008 grams.

Microsoft’s Floor three is made out of a magnesium alloy and measures 201 mm (h) x  292 mm (w) x 9.1mm (d). It weighs 800 grams. The physique homes a 12-inch 2160x1440 pixel ClearType HD touchscreen show at 216 pixel per inch. Its facet ratio is three:2.

Because the MacBook Air is a standard laptop computer its backside portion is a full-measurement (spectacular for an ultraportable) backlit keyboard with a Multi-Contact trackpad that helps inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, 4-finger swipe, faucet, double-faucet and drag capabilities.

The Floor three doesn’t function such a sturdy keyboard. Matter of reality, it doesn’t include a keyboard in any respect. You have to purchase the elective Sort Cowl for £109 if you'd like the power to sort on a separate keyboard. The Sort Cowl is good as a result of its so skinny, thus not including a lot bulk to the Floor three, however for people who just like the bodily reassurance of a spring behind a keyboard the Floor three Sort Cowl won't be your factor. Having used each keyboards earlier than, I favor the MacBook Air keyboard over the Sort Cowl.

That being stated, the Floor three does have benefits over the MacBook Air right here. Its display, in any case, is a touchscreen--and one at a a lot greater decision than the MacBook Air’s paltry decision. And lets not overlook the Floor three is also a devoted pill as properly.

Processor, RAM, Storage & Enlargement

The eleven-inch MacBook Air is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB PCIe-based mostly flash storage configurations. It provides 4GB or 8GB of RAM and sports activities a 1.4GHz twin-core Intel Core i5 or 1.7GHz twin-core Intel Core i7 processor. However with the MacBook Air neither the RAM or the storage is upgradable after you purchase it, so make sure you get the mannequin that may fit your wants over its life earlier than you take a look at.

The Floor three is available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB configurations. It options an Intel Core 1.6 Ghz i3, i5, or i7 processor and 4GB or 8GB of RAM relying in your configuration. Just like the MacBook Air its exhausting drive and RAM can't be upgraded after you purchase it, however the Floor three does supply a microSD card reader that you should use so as to add further storage (as much as 64GB).

General, the 2 are about equal within the processor and RAM sphere. They're principally the identical on storage too, though the Floor has card enlargement. The Floor three supplies a wider vary of storage and processor choices, however solely on the low-finish. The max configurations all have the identical quantity of storage, RAM, and processors.

Connectivity & Ports

The MacBook Air options 802.11ac and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth It has two USB ports, one Thunderbolt port, a three.5mm audio jack, and a MagSafe 2 energy port.

The Floor three has a devoted energy charger on the aspect together with one other coupling connector to connect an elective Sort Cowl/Keyboard. It features a USB port, a MiniDisplay port, and a three.5 mm audio jack. Inside you’ll discover Wi-Fi 802.11ac and 802.11a/b/g/n, and Bluetooth

If connectivity is necessary to you, on this space the MacBook Air beats the Floor three. It gives twice as many USB ports and in addition contains a state-of-the-art Thunderbolt port, though admittedly there aren't plenty of equipment that use this port.

Digital camera & Battery

The MacBook Air has a entrance-dealing with 720p FaceTime HD digital camera. The Floor three’s entrance digital camera is 5MP 1080p HD. It additionally has a rear 5MP 1080p HD digital camera.

If we’re simply counting the variety of cameras, the Floor three clearly wins right here. But to be truthful I’ve by no means seen a laptop computer that gives a rear digital camera so it’s no marvel the MacBook Air doesn’t have one.

On the battery entrance, the Floor three and the MacBook Air each function non-detachable batteries. Each units function boast 9 hour battery life.

OS & Apps

The MacBook Air comes with Apple’s newest OS X 10.9 “Mavericks”. This consists of not solely the OS itself, however the iLife suite of software program together with iPhoto, iMovie, and Storage Band and the iWork productiveness suite, together with Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

The Floor three ships with Home windows eight.1 Professional, which can also be optimized for the Floor’s contact display. It comes with some very primary pre-put in apps like OneNote MX and Recent Paint, however lacks any true productiveness or creativity apps of the type Apple’s MacBook Air comes with.


The Floor three doesn’t have UK costs but however within the US the Core i3, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage mannequin will value $799 (about £473) whereas the highest-finish Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage mannequin prices $1,949 (about £1150). But in addition don’t overlook the elective Sort Cowl will add one other £109 to the worth.

The entry-degree 128GB MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM will value you £749 whereas the highest-finish 512GB, 8GB RAM, 1.7GHz twin-core Intel Core i7 processor mannequin will set you again £1349.

So, which is best for you?

That is no straightforward option to make. The design and type of the MacBook Air makes it the perfect devoted extremely-moveable available on the market. Nevertheless, it’s simply an extremely-moveable; the Floor three is each that and a pill (so long as you purchase that non-compulsory Sort Cowl).

Spec for spec, they're about the identical, although the MacBook Air provides extra ports. However then once more the Floor three has that contact display and expandable storage. Then there’s the software program. The MacBook Air comes with OS X--arguably the world’s greatest working system. The Floor’s Home windows eight.1 Professional is usually a bit buggy. Plus the MacBook Air comes with all these iLife and iWork apps. You are able to do just about something you need on it proper out of the field with out having to purchase further software program. That’s not the case for the Floor three, which comes with a naked minimal quantity of apps, most of which you’ll by no means use.

In the long run your determination will come right down to how a lot you hate carrying round two units: a pill and a laptop computer. Should you hate it lots, get the Floor three because it’s each units in a single. Nevertheless, in case you simply need a actually good extremely-moveable and don’t use a pill a lot, get the MacBook Air; its design, ease of use, and software program make it the right extremely-moveable for numerous customers.


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