Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Air: Specifications, Killer Features, Release Date, Price Comparison

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | June 6, 2014 8:45 AM EST

Microsoft launched 'Surface Pro 3' on May 20, 2014. The tablet that doubles as a laptop is expected to be released on June 20, 2014 in the U.S., while the release date for Australia is August 31, 2014.

The MacBook Air (2014), on the other hand, was released in April 2014. Apple has refreshed its original MacBook Air model with a super-slim look that is powered by Intel's latest Haswell chipset to boost the speed.

The slew of updates on the recently released MacBook Air 2014 calls for a comparison with the latest device from Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3. Readers who are planning to purchase the Surface Pro 3 or the MacBook Air (2014), here is a specification and price comparison pertaining to Australia.  

Display and Size

The Surface Pro 3 comes with a 12 inches display, while the MacBook Air (2014) features a slightly lesser 11.6 inches display. The Surface Pro 3 packs a superior resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 pixels, when compared to the MacBook Air (2014) model, which comes with a 1,366 x 768 pixels screen resolution.

The dimensions of the Surface Pro 3 are 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36 inches and it weighs lesser than MacBook Air (2014) at 798 g. The MacBook Air (2014), on the other hand, comes with the following dimensions 11.8 x 7.56 x 0.11 inches and it weighs a whopping 1080 g. This thumping weight can be attributed to the integrated keyboard that comes with the MacBook Air model.

Hardware and Software

The Surface Pro 3 runs on the latest Windows 8.1 Pro. On the other hand, the MacBook Air (2014) runs on the latest version of OS X, named Mavericks.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is powered by Intel Core processor. The company provides 3 different processor options to choose from: 4th generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor options with 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM. In addition, the device houses TPM Chip for enterprise security.

The MacBook Air (2014), on the other hand, is powered by a dual-core Intel Core i5 (Haswell) 64-bit processor, clocked at 2.7 GHz turbo and it houses a powerful 4 GB of RAM.

Memory

The Surface Pro 3 comes with a built-in storage of 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB with microSD card support, whereas the MacBook Air (2014) comes with 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB of internal storage capacity.

Camera

The Surface Pro 3 houses two 5 MP rear and front-facing cameras, while the MacBook Air (2014) houses a 720p front-facing webcam. It is worth noting that, MacBook Air being a traditional laptop, there is no requirement for a rear-facing camera unit. The Surface Pro 3 tablet, on the other hand, doubles as a laptop.

Battery

The MacBook Air 2014 houses a 38 W-h battery unit. Apple claims that the new MacBook Air can provide up to 9 hours of battery life. Whereas Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 3 can provide up to 9 hours of battery charge. Nevertheless, Microsoft has not specified the details of the Surface Pro 3's battery yet.

Misc

The MacBook Air is a typical laptop; hence it comes with an integrated keyboard and a trackpad. On the other hand, Surface Pro 3 is a tablet that can double as a laptop; hence it does not come with an attached keyboard.

Nevertheless, the keyboard can be purchased separately. With a heavy build and a detachable, flimsy keyboard, the Surface Pro 3 is not as comfortable as working with a MacBook Air, says Recode. In addition, folding the keyboard to transform the tablet into a laptop is not a pleasing experience.

Also, it is worth noting that, MacBook Air does not support touchscreen mechanism, while the Surface Pro 3 does. In addition, the Surface Pro 3 comes with a Pen/Stylus.

Colour

Both the devices come in silver shade.

Price and Release Date

The 12-inches Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (128 GB) is priced at AU$1,209 and Surface Pro 3 (64 GB) is priced at AU$979. On the other hand, the 11-inches MacBook Air 2014 (128 GB) is priced at AU$1099 in Australia.

Potential buyers can pre-order Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft's official Web site. According to the Web site, the shipment would start from August 31, 2014 in Australia. In addition, the same device can also be purchased from Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi in August.

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