The Surface 3, the tablet/laptop hybrid from Microsoft, is the budget or cheaper version of the bigger Surface Pro 3. Here is how it compares with the iPad Air 2 from Apple.
Both devices have great design. The iPad Air 2 comes with an aluminum chassis, which is now the standard for all Apple devices. On the other hand, the Surface 3 is crafted from magnesium. It only has one color, silver, while its competitor has three: gray, gold and silver. The Surface 3 is longer, wider and thicker than the iPad Air 2. As such, it is heavier even without its Type Cover attached. The Type Cover and the Kickstand allow the Surface 3 to convert into a laptop, something the iPad Air 2 cannot easily do. The Pen, which is designed for use with the Surface 3, is also of higher quality than any other third party pens you can buy for the iPad Air 2.
The size difference means that the Surface 3 has a bigger screen measuring 10.8 inches compared to the 9.7-inch screen of the iPad Air 2. As for resolution, the Surface 3 has 1920 X 1280 pixels with a density of 214 pixels per inch, while the iPad Air 2 has a resolution of 2048 X 1536 pixels with a density of 264 pixels per inch.
The Surface 3 comes with a slower quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 64 bit processor clocked at 1.6 GHz while the iPad Air comes with an A8X tri-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz.
When it comes to RAM, the Surface 3 has a 2 GB and 4 GB versions. The iPad Air 2 only has 2 GB onboard. The iPad Air 2 has three internal storage versions including 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. The Surface 3 has either 64GB or 128GB onboard. However, the Surface 3 comes with a MicroSD slot. As such, its memory can be expanded. The iPad Air 2 does not have such a slot.
When it comes to cameras, the Surface 3 has an 8-megapixel version at its rear and a 3.5-megapixel version at its front. The iPad Air 2 has a similar camera at its rear and a 1.2-megapixel camera in front.
The Surface 3 runs full Windows 8.1 and allows for split screen multitasking, which is not present on the iPad Air 2, which runs on iOS 8.
The iPad Air 2 with 64GB on board storage costs $600. The 64 GB Surface 3 with Type Cover and Pen included costs $680.