Surface Pro 3 vs iPad Air

Devices Ben Sullivan

09:40, May 21 2014


Microsoft's brand new 'laptop replacement' goes head to head with Apple's iPad Air.

Dubbed by Microsoft as "the tablet that can replace the laptop", the Surface Pro 3 was launched yesterday at a New York press event.

The 12-inch slate packs a full HD display, various options of 4th generation Intel Core processors and up to 8GB of RAM.

Panos Panay, corporate VP of Microsoft, said: "Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop - packing all the performance of a fully powered laptop into a thin, light and beautifully designed device. You'll love being able to carry a single device for your next class, workday or weekend getaway knowing you have all the power you need."

The Surface Pro 3's screen is 38% larger than the Surface Pro 2, and at just 9.1mm thick, it has become one of the thinnest PCs.

Microsoft Chief Satya Nadella said: "Our goal is to create new categories and spark new demand for our entire ecosystem. That's what inspires us and motivates us with what we are doing in our devices and hardware."

Apple, Samsung, Asus, Lenovo and Amazon have all outsold Microsoft in the tablet category for the last two years.

Research firm IDC shows that the Surface tablet range took just 1.5% of global tablet shipments in the first three months of 2014.That's just 640,000 units, down 1.8% from the same time last year.

Nadella branded the Surface Pro 3 as the "laptop replacement" - and compared to it Apple's lightweight Macbooks rather than a tablet.

Surface Pro 3 specifications:

The Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch ClearType Full HD display with a 2,160 x 1,440 resolution, and comes with the option of an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor. 4GB or 8GB RAM variants are available, with storage options coming in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 512GB.


A 5MP camera comes with the Surface Pro 3, and it has a battery life of nine hours at reasonable usage. Ports on the tablet are USB 3.0, microSD card reader, mini DisplayPort, and of course headphone jack and a charging port.

Accessories include exclusive colours in purple, blue, red, cyan, and black, that each cost around £77. A docking station which converts the tablet into a computer costs £119.


292mm x 201.3mm x 9.1mm


800 grams


Screen: 12" ClearType Full HD Plus

Resolution: 2160 x 1440

Aspect Ratio: 3:2

Battery Life

Up to 9 hours of web browsing


64GB or 128GB storage with 4GB RAM

256GB or 512GB storage with 8GB RAM


4th generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7

TPM Chip for enterprise security


Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11ac/802.11 a/b/g/n

Bluetooth® 4.0 Low Energy technology


Full-size USB 3.0

microSDcard reader

Headset jack

Mini DisplayPort

Cover port


Windows 8.1 Pro

Cameras, Video and Audio

5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera, 5.0 megapixel front-facing camera

Stereo microphones

Stereo speakers with Dolby sound


Price: Starts at £639

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