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Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air – Who Wins?

Michael Looby November 6, 2014
Surface Pro 3 vs Macbook Air

Surface Pro 3 vs Macbook Air

When it comes to portability, the Surface Pro 3 and the MacBook Air are competing devices. Ask Microsoft which is the better of the two and they will tell you that their device, the Surface Pro 3 is the best. Ask Apple and they will tell you that their MacBook Air is hard to beat. This leaves users confused.

To help you make up your mind, we have done a comprehensive Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air review. We look at the good and the not-so-good in terms of hardware, screen display, performance and touch.

Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air – Hardware

Apple has been the market leader when it comes to hardware for years now. They have successfully managed to develop designs that their competitors, for some reason, are not able to generate.

That said, however, you have to acknowledge that the Surface Pro 3 is very much like the MacBook Air in terms of design. Microsoft designed their device with a magnetic power adapter, backlit keys and a magnesium alloy casing which are all features that are found on the MacBook.

The devices are also very similar when it comes to size; they both fit into similar sized bags. The Surface Pro, however, is lighter than the MacBook – it weighs 1.1 Kg which is about 200 grams lighter than its competition.

Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air – Screen Display

Both devices have sizeable screens – the Surface Pro is 12.1 inches while the the MacBook screen is 13.3 inches. That is where the similarity ends.

Microsoft created their device with a 2160 x 1400 megapixels while Apple did theirs with 1440 x 900. This makes the Surface Pro a much better screen. Put the devices side by side and you will see a huge difference. In the Surface Pro, images are a lot clearer. They are sharper and the user experience is generally a lot richer.

That said, you should know that the MacBook has way more battery power than the Surface Pro. You can easily keep it going for nearly 10 hours which is very uncommon in devices of this kind. The Surface Pro does not come anywhere close to that.

Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air – Performance

When it comes to performance, these 2 devices are very similar. As a matter of fact, users give them ratings that are almost parallel. That said, it should be noted that the Surface Pro 3 has a faster processor at 1.9 GHz while the MacBook Air clocks in at 1.4 GHz.

Both are Haswell processors that have the ability to Turbo Boost. If you are a regular user you will not notice much difference in the devices, but people who want to edit images or video will definitely do better with the Surface Pro 3.

Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air – Touch

Apple, for some reason, is yet to produce a device in this category that has the touch feature. It could be because of 2 reasons; their platform, the OS X doesn’t have the ability to handle touch yet. The other could be that they are concerned about the additional power that is required to drive touch.

Microsoft seems to have figured it out. The Surface Pro comes with a touch pen that is quite brilliant. Users who like to write or draw will have a great time using the Surface Pro.

Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air – Other Considerations

There are a couple of other things that you should consider before making up your mind. We have already touched on the first – battery life. The Surface Pro, because of all the cool features, has a very limited battery life. If you are a heavy user you will drain the battery every 3 or 4 hours.

The other thing to take into account is the keyboard. Although the Surface Pro has a keyboard that’s pretty impressive, the MacBook’s keyboard is definitely better. If you spend a lot of time typing or sending emails, you should go with the MacBook.

Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air – Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, which is the better laptop? Both devices have features that are similar, but if you want to have a great user experience we recommend that you go with the Surface Pro 3. Just remember that you will have to charge it more often.

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