iPad Air vs. Surface 2: Specs Compared



  ipad-air-specs-black-2013  surface2 

Apple iPad Air Microsoft Surface 2
Starting Price  $499 $449 
CPU 64-bit Apple A7 

Nvidia Tegra 4

Display  9.7-inch Retina display  10.6-inch 1920 x 1080p display
OS  Apple iOS 7 Microsoft Windows 8.1
Expandable Storage N/A  64GB via microSD 
Battery Life Estimated 10 hours  Estimated 10 hours video playback, 7-15 days idle
Connectivity Wi-Fi/Cellular Data (optional) Wi-Fi
Size 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.29 inches  10.8 x 6.8 x 0.4 inches
Weight 1 pound  1.5 pounds
Storage  16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB 32 GB or 64GB with 2GB of RAM
Cameras Rear / Front 5-MP/1.2-MP  5-MP/3.5-MP
Ports Headphone jack, Lightning connector  USB 3.0, Headset jack, HD video out

Apple may have just unveiled its ultra-thin iPad Air, but that’s not the only new tablet on the block. Microsoft’s new Surface 2 is one of the Apple slate’s biggest competitors, packing a Tegra 4 processor and a lighter design for $449. With the iPad Air finally out in the wild, how do the latest, slimmest tablets from the two hardware giants stack up? Here’s our breakdown. 

MORE: iPad Air Hands-on

Both the iPad Air and Surface 2 pack more power than their predecessors within a thinner design. If you want the lightest 10-inch tablet possible, the 1 pound iPad Air edges out the slightly heavier 1.5-pound Surface 2. However, the Surface 2′s larger overall design allows for a 10.6-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel display, while the Air offers a smaller, 9.7-inch Retina display. 

The Surface 2 runs on a 1.7-GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, while the iPad Air operates on the Apple A7 chip first found in the iPhone 5s. Microsoft’s slate offers 32GB of storage (up to 64GB with microSD) for $449, which is twice the amount you get from the $499 16GB iPad Air. Both slates have an expected battery life of 10 hours.

MORE: Apple iPad Air Specs vs. The Competition

While both tablets are Wi-Fi ready, Apple’s latest is the only one to support cellular data for an extra monthly fee. The Surface 2 sports USB 3.0, headphone and HD video out ports, while the iPad Air only has headphone and lightning charger jacks. Both slates have 5-MP rear lenses, while the Surface 2′s 3.5-MP front-facing camera is a bit sharper than the Air’s 1.2-MP FaceTime lens. 

As with last year’s models, the new Surface and iPad cater to different users. Microsoft’s slate offers the most storage and screen size for your money, while the iPad Air is the thinnest and lightest tablet of its kind. 

AUTHOR BIO
Michael Andronico
Michael Andronico
A devout gamer and tech enthusiast, Mike Andronico joined the Laptop team in July 2013. With a B.A. in Journalism from Purchase College and experience at GameNGuide, Examiner and 2D-X, Mike tackles everything from iPhone rumors to in-depth hardware reviews.
Michael Andronico on
Facebook Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE