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


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

Vs Michael Grothaus 15:03, 21 Might 2014

Can Microsoft's multi-position slate give you greater than Apple's iPad? We discover out

Microsoft made plenty of laptop computer/pill hybrid followers comfortable yesterday when it introduced the brand new Floor Professional three. The primary theme behind the gadget can just about be summed up as greater, higher, and extra, extra, extra. It’s obtained a much bigger show, higher processors, extra RAM, extra storage, and extra of the whole lot that makes a pill good.

The apparent query on everybody’s minds is how does the brand new Surface 3 examine to Apple’s flagship iPad Air? It’s a troublesome query to reply as a result of the Floor three is definitely designed to be a pill and a laptop computer alternative--not only a pill various. So how do the 2 stack up anyway?

Design & Show

Apple’s iPad Air is produced from a strong block of machine-crafted aluminum and measures 240 mm (9.four in) (h) x 169.5 mm (6.sixty seven in) (w) x 7.5 mm (zero.30 in) (d). It weighs 469 grams. The physique homes a 9.7-inch 2048×1536 pixel colour IGZO show at 264 pixels per inch. Its facet ratio is four:three.

Microsoft’s Floor three is made out of a magnesium alloy and measures 201 mm (7.ninety three in) (h) x 292 mm (eleven.5 in) (w) x 9.1mm (zero.36 in) (d). It weighs 800 grams. The physique homes a 12-inch 2160x1440 pixel ClearType HD show at 216 pixel per inch. Its facet ratio is three:2.

The very first thing you’ll discover concerning the Floor three versus the iPad Air is that the iPad Air is noticeably thinner and lighter. However the comparability isn’t precisely truthful for a lot of causes.

First, the Floor three boasts a display that's over two inches bigger. The second purpose is that the Floor three isn’t particularly designed to solely tackle the iPad Air. It’s a hybrid system, which suggests Microsoft is positioning it as the right system for customers who want the facility of a laptop computer and the portability of a pill. That’s why the Floor three has a 12-inch display and an non-compulsory keyboard cowl.

Processor, RAM, Storage & Enlargement

The iPad Air is available in sixteen, 32, sixty four, and 128GB configurations, however presents no exterior enlargement. The Floor three is available in sixty four, 128, 256, 512GB configurations, and presents a microSD card reader that takes playing cards as much as 64GB in measurement. No query about it: the Floor three is the clear winner right here by an extended shot. 512GB in a pill is unprecedented.

As for processor and RAM, the Floor three additionally comes out clearly forward. It options an Intel Core 1.6 Ghz i3, i5, or i7 processor and 4GB or 8GB of RAM relying in your configuration. The iPad Air options Apple’s A7 chip and 1GB of RAM.

What all this implies is that, spec-for-spec, the Floor three cleans the ground with the iPad Air. It’s obtained as much as eight occasions the RAM and presents a variety of processors to fill anybody's wants. In fact these specs aren’t precisely truthful comparisons both. The iPad Air isn’t designed to be a laptop computer alternative, so it does not want all the additional energy inside. A product higher fitted to element comparisons to the Floor three would in all probability be the 12-inch MacBook Air - one thing we'll cowl in a separate comparability.

Connectivity & Ports

The iPad Air has a Lightning connector on the underside for charging and transferring knowledge and a three.5mm audio jack for plugging in headphones or exterior audio system. Inside it you’ll discover 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth, in addition to GPS and, in choose fashions, 4G.

The Floor three has a devoted energy charger on the aspect together with one other coupling connector to connect an non-compulsory Contact Cowl/Keyboard. It features a full-measurement USB port, a MiniDisplay port, and a three.5 mm audio jack. Inside you’ll discover Wi-Fi 802.11ac/802.eleven a/b/g/n, and Bluetooth Sadly there's nonetheless no 4G choice.

On this space, the iPad Air beats the Floor three as a result of it provides customers the selection of 4G--one thing that is essential for lots of people. However apart from that the Floor three once more cleans the ground with the iPad Air. It’s received all of the connectivity choices laptop computer customers are accustomed to and provides the ports some iPad customers with the iPad had (USB, anybody?). One factor we might say thought is that each use proprietary charging options fairly than microUSB, which is no less than midly irritating.

Digital camera

On the digital camera entrance the iPad Air encompasses a entrance 1.2MP 720 HD digital camera and a rear 5MP 1080 HD digital camera. The Floor three’s entrance digital camera is 5MP 1080 HD, and its rear can also be 5MP 1080 HD.

Holding in thoughts that greater than the megapixels of a digital camera issues in good photographs, it’s nonetheless clear that the Floor three’s cameras beat the iPad Air’s. The specs don’t lie: a 5MP entrance and rear digital camera on the Floor three makes it the pill with one of the best digital camera choices.

Software program & Apps

Okay, that is the place you actually start to see the variations between the Floor three and the iPad Air. The iPad Air options iOS 7.1. The Floor three options Home windows eight.1 Professional. There are properly over half one million iPad apps. The Floor three then again has a bit greater than one hundred,000.

Arms down, iOS 7 is the perfect cellular working system on the planet. It’s obtained the apps, the safety, and the convenience of use. Home windows eight.1 Professional then again is just a little laggy for my style and a bit sluggish and susceptible to crashes.

Nevertheless, in relation to OSes on tablets, the Floor three has the facility of the complete Home windows desktop behind it. You possibly can run any Home windows program on it identical to you possibly can on a regular Home windows laptop computer. On this approach, the Floor three presents a lot better software program than the iPad Air. It will be a dream if the iPad might additionally run OS X, nevertheless it doesn’t seem like that may occur anytime quickly.


The iPad Air begins at £399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi mannequin and goes all the best way as much as £739 for the 64GB Wi-Fi+4G mannequin. 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). As you possibly can see the Floor three will value far more than the iPad Air, however once more, it’s extra similar to a laptop computer than a pill.

So, which is best for you?

Regardless of the huge variations to the Floor three and the iPad Air, answering which is the suitable one for you is comparatively straight ahead. Are you a consumer who often carries a laptop computer and a pill round with you? Or are you a consumer who simply likes a great, solitary pill expertise?

When you lengthy for the day when you'll be able to ditch your laptop computer or pill and carry only one, the Floor three is the best choice for you (offered you’re a Home windows consumer). It’s loaded with the complete model of Home windows and full of highly effective specs. Getting the Floor three will can help you carry only one gadget as an alternative of two.

Nevertheless, should you’re the sort of one that simply needs one of the best pill expertise potential, get an iPad. Its design, consumer expertise, and OS can’t be beat. And since most customers these days simply need to surf the online, verify e mail, and submit footage, the iPad is greater than sufficient for that.

So, energy-consumer, or want a pill and laptop computer for work: get a Floor three. Informal consumer who makes use of a pill for easy, enjoyable duties: the iPad Air is your greatest guess.


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