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iPad Air vs. Surface 2: The Microsoft Tablet Is Better with Pricing and Office but Apple Wins

Now that the iPad Air’s launch is here, the logical thing to do is compare it to some of its top competitors. Therefore, I decided to go with Microsoft’s new Surface 2.

By Robert Christie r.christie@hngn.com | Oct 23, 2013 06:37 AM EDT

iPad Air
the iPad Air's name has caused many to believe that an iPad Pro is in the works. Analysts believe it could marry iOS and OS X for the first time ever. (Photo : iPad Air/Facebook)
Microsoft Offers Flat $100 Discount On All Surface 2 Models
Microsoft Offers Flat $100 Discount On All Surface 2 Models (Photo : Microsoft Surface 2/Facebook)

Now that the iPad Air’s launch is here, the logical thing to do is compare it to some of its top competitors. Therefore, I decided to go with Microsoft’s new Surface 2.

Unlike the conventional methods of comparison, let’s go with these three categories—fun, work, price.

FUN:

The Surface 2 does fairly well in this category with its Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and 10.6 inch display with 1920 x 1080 HD resolution. Games (such as Halo and other Xbox titles) will look great on your screen. However, the Air takes the cake here. I could just mention the thousands of apps available on the App store and stop there. However, the iPad also boasts a retina display with 2048 x 1536 display on a 9.7 inch LED screen. Also, when the iPad air debuts in November, it will give you the opportunity to take your gaming on the road. The Air is available on the four major wireless carriers. According to CNET, the Surface won’t be getting AT&T and Vodafone (and only AT&T and Vodafone) until early 2014. Then there’s the question of physical make-up. The Air wins once again here because of its light-as-a-feather feeling. At 1 lb. (or 1.05 lbs if you want to put it on a wireless carrier), it’s much easier to play games or hold it in your had for FaceTime or Skype. While the Surface 2 at 1.49 lbs isn’t bad, it’s not as light as the iPad.

WORK:

Having Microsoft Office gives the Surface 2 too an early edge here. Since Microsoft office is used by pretty much everyone (including Mac users) there’s a sense of familiarity with the apps. Therefore getting presentations and papers typed up are much easier. So if you want an fairly easy Microsoft Office experience with your tablet (and that’s the most important thing) get the Surface. However, many of the things that make the iPad Air fun, also make it great of work. If you’re a business man who does a lot of work while traveling, then you’ll enjoy the Air’s ability to run on a wireless carrier. Facetiming with a business associate becomes easier. Sending emails or presentations is also easier.

PRICE:

AIR (WI-FI ONLY): 16 GB -- $499, 32 GB -- $599, 64 GB -- $699, 128 GB -- $799

AIR (WI-FI AND CELLULAR): 32 GB -- $729, 64 GB -- $829, 128 GB -- $929

SURFACE 2: 32 GB -- $499, 64 GB -- $549

Pricing goes to the Surface 2.

CONCLUSION:

The Surface 2 is the better priced device (as with most devices that go up against Apple products in pricing). Although I’m a fan of the Surface 2 , the Air is has more than enough features and specs to beat out it’s Microsoft competitor.

The Surface 2 is available in stores now.

The iPad Air hits stores on Nov. 1.

RELATED ARTICLE: iPad Air: 5 New Features To Know, Including Powerful New A7 Chip & Faster Download Speeds 

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