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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Versus iPad Air


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Today marked the official release of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, so it is only natural then to do a comparison against the older technology taken from the iPad Air. It has been eight months since the release, on November 1, 2013, of the newest iPad. During its first quarter, Apple made $26 million in iPad sales, and iPhone sales reached all the way up to $51 million, setting a new company record. Many people are looking forward to the iPad Air 2 which is rumored to boast a 64-bit A8 processor, and iOS 8 as well. However, rumors are rumors and many of the companies’ fans do not ascribe to such things. There was, however, a so-called “perfect replica” floating around the Internet for a while, so that may hold a little more sway for some.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 was just released today and already has some pretty good reviews, being rated a four out of five on CNET. Doing a five point comparison of the two captains-of-industry seems fair. Beginning with hard drive space, the iPad Air packs 120GB of storage capacity into that beautiful .29 inch thin design. Next-up is the screen resolution, boasting a 9.7 inch screen the iPad Air packs 264 PPI (Pixels Per Inch), as well as a 2,048 by 1,536 resolution. Now comes the internals. RAM is where the iPad Air falls pretty flat coming up against the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, as it contains only 1GB. The processor on the other hand seems like it would fall flat, but I have never heard anything bad about it. It is a 64-bit A7 dual core ARMv8 chip that clocks in at 1.4 GHz, but it also has a separate GPU for graphics processing separately. Special features of this device include a high-speed LTE radio, for amazing connectivity anywhere, as well as an M7 co-processor that handles all the sensor data from the device separately.

Now comes the new kid on the block. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 can run with a maximum 512GB of storage barely contained in a .36 thin magnesium case. Slightly thicker than the iPad Air. This is a dynamically beautiful 12 inch ClearType Full HD display, running at 2160 by 1440 resolution, and 216 PPI. The average gamer, or someone who uses their tablet a lot may notice the nearly 50 pixel difference. Remember that the tablets being compared are the top of the line, so these are the best that both brands have to offer currently. The inside of the Surface is something to brag about. Running 8 GB of RAM, this “tablet” can handle almost any amount of multitasking that could be thrown at a desktop PC, much less a tablet. The processor is an amazing Intel i7-4650U Quad-Core processor that clocks in at 1.7 GHz, although it reaches speeds of up to a blazing 3.3 GHz in its turbo-mode. Special features include a 3.0 USB High-Speed port and the ability to run two external monitors at 1920 by 1200 resolution each.

Clearly the top of the line got a little higher today with the release of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, when compared against the Apple iPad Air. There is just one more thing though, whereas this iPad Air is a meager $929 USD, the Surface Pro 3 is a crazy $1950 USD. So clearly when the devices are placed side by side on the surface, they may look similar, but under that hood is a completely different story.

Opinion By Phillip Schmidt

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