Dust has settled in tablet news and it's about time to see how the two most powerful tablets match up - the iPad Air and the Microsoft Surface 2. Can Apple's thinly-sliced iPad Air compete with the flexible second-generation Microsoft Surface? Let's find out which tablet comes out on top!
Apple's iPad Air had a noticeable slim down measuring absurdly slim at 7.5mm and weighing only 469g. The fifth generation iPad is more akin to the iPad Mini than the iPad 4 with a 43 percent smaller bezel.
Microsoft's Surface 2 is undoubtedly a refinement of the original with a noticeable 5-gram less and slimming to 8.9mm. Although the same dimensions stay put from the previous design, the Microsoft Surface 2 feels well-made and solid with its silver swatches. The kick-stand from the original Surface remains but the newer version offers a 20 and 40-degree tilt.
Albeit an upgrade to 8MP was expected to be coming, the fifth generation iPad stuck with the same 5MP sensor and 1080p video. Devices with the same 64-bit processor have features like panorama, slo mo and burst mode; unfortunately, the iPad Air doesn't have these upgrades yet. Also, the lack of LED flash makes night photography limited but the 1.2 MP front camera makes up for better FaceTime experience.
The Microsoft Surface 2 has similar 5MP sensor and 1080p video specs but this tablet has LED flash, making the device more usable in low light night settings. Also, its front facing camera is incredible at 3.5MP and 1080p.
Although not noticeable from a distance, the up-close and high-resolution images are razor sharp with the 2046 x 1536 Retina display of the iPad Air.
The predecessor of the Microsoft Surface 2 lacks screen specs but the second generation tablet rectified by ramping its resolution up to 1080p for a total pixel density up to 208 ppi.
Apple claims that the 64-bit A7 processor of the iPad Air is up to eight times faster than last year's silicon, which makes running multiple browser tabs and background apps seamless and smooth.
Microsoft's tablet is powered by the same processor that works in ASUS, Toshiba and HP - the fourth generation Tegra. But there had been rumours that the Tegra 4 has performance issues although not fully proven.
In terms of battery life the two tablets get head-to-head. The iPad Air has a 32.4Wh while the Surface 2 has a 31.5Wh battery. However, the official battery expectations of Apple's iPad Air is up to 10 hours and Microsoft's Surface 2 is up to 8 hours.
The Microsoft Surface 2, in terms of specs, competes fairly with the iPad Air. In fact, it beats the newest generation of Apple tablet in terms of connectivity and camera. If your reason of buying a tablet is to have a laptop replacement, then the Microsoft Surface 2 is the tablet for you.
On the other hand, if you are after consuming vast amount of information from the Internet and you are happy with the productivity apps the Apple Store offers, then look no further because the iPad Air is for you.
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