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Surface 3 vs iPad Air 2 – Can Microsoft’s 2-in-1 Beat Apple’s Tablet?

Apple’s iPad is a good replacement for a PC, because it uses an internet connection and the owner can read his emails, browse the internet and run all kinds of applications. But Microsoft pushed things forward and came with a tablet that was better at productivity, allowing its users to add a physical keyboard and a mouse and transforming the device into a laptop. But the Surface 2 has a defect – the screen was too wide and didn’t offer a good notebook-like experience and the only applications that could be installed were from the Windows Store. The Surface 3 was improved and challenges Apple’s latest iPad Air 2 tablet, which was released in October 2014.

Designs and displays

Apple accustomed its fans with premium materials and sleek designs, but most of its devices have a similar appearance, the same aluminum casing, but different edges. The iPad Air 2 has a thickness of 6.1 mm and weights 437 grams (WiFi) or 444 grams (3G/LTE), it has a 1.2MP front-facing iSight camera and an 8Mp shooter on the back which lacks LED flash. On the front panel, below the 9.7inches LED-backlit IPS LCD screen that supports 2048×1536 pixels was placed a TouchID fingerprint scanner which can be used to lock and unlock the device. The tablet has volume buttons on the top right side and the power button is in the upper left side.

The Surface 3 was built for practical consumers who prefer bigger screens, so the 10.8inches ClearType Full HD Plus display supporting 1920×1280 pixels is more than enough for their needs. This low-cost tablet has a 3.5MP shooter on the front and an 8MP camera on the back with autofocus. The screen is surrounded by a black border, and below has a touch-sensitive Windows button. The back has a kickstand with three positions for the users to look at the screen from the best angles. It’s not adjustable as Surface Pro 3’s kickstand but it’s better than nothing. A type cover for the Surface 3 costs $129.

In addition, the Surface 2 has a microSD card slot for memory expansion, a headset jack mini DisplayPort and an USB port. The iPad Air 2 has a headset jack and Lightning Port.

Hardware

The iPad Air 2 is powered by the new 64bit triple-core 1.5GHz A8X processor coupled with a motion coprocessor and this combination is Apple’s latest innovation in terms of hardware components. The tablet runs on iOS 8.2 with 2GB of RAM.

The Surface 2 runs on Windows 8.1 and will be upgraded to Windows 10 when it will be released. The previous tablets ran on Windows RT and deliver a better battery life thanks to the Connected Standby feature and Nvidia Tegra processor. But the Surface 3 came with a totally new processor, an Intel Atom x7 Quad-core CPU clocked at 1.6GHz (with Intel Burst up to 2.4GHz) which pairs with 2GB or 4GB of RAM.

Prices

The 32GB variant of the Surface 2 costs 419 dollars, while the 64GB variant is priced at 600 dollars on Amazon. The 16GB variant of the iPad Air 2 costs 499 dollars, and for the 64GB variant you’ll spend 100 dollars more. The 128GB variant is prices at 699 dollars in the Apple Store.

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