The iPad Air has a large screen and a fast A7 processor, but can it face the challenge of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2?
The Surface Pro 2 is the successor to the Surface RT and comes improved with a more powerful processor and a high definition display, with the Windows RT 8.1 OS.
Design, Display and Size
The iPad Air is, as expected very elegant, with its aluminum combined with glass features, whereas the Surface 2 offers a sturdy magnesium alloy body, offering an industrial design. The two-stage kickstand is an additional design feature that makes it very easy to use on your lap. The iPad Air has a display screen of 9.7-inches and has dimensions of 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.29 inches, weighing 1.05 pounds. It is much lighter when compared to the 1.49 pounds of the Surface 2, with bigger dimensions of 10.8 x 6.8 x 0.35 inches.
The iPad Air has only one port for charging and for other accessories, whereas the Surface 2 has a USB 3.0 port for hard drives, mouse, keyboard along with a micro-USB port to enable support for more peripherals and expand storage.
The iPad Air has a resolution of 2048 x 153 p Retina screens compared to the lower level of 1920 x 1080 Cleartype display of the Surface 2. Colors are excellent and images are crisper on the iPad Air, offering a brighter and sharper display and color accuracy. The full speakers of the iPad Air also offer better audio features than the Surface 2.
User Interface and OS
The iPad Air comes with the iOS 7, along with additions like the Notifications center and the Control Center. It also offers enhanced multitasking features, where users can use the Home button for launching and running apps and close them as well as interact with several apps. As for the Windows RT 8.1 on the Surface 2, it offers a split screen mode for multitasking with 8 apps simultaneously. The Live Tile user interface also offers quick updates along with the Bing Smart search allowing web searching and Skydrive.
If you buy the iOS 7, you can access the iWork productivity suite. This will include access to Numbers, for spreadsheets, Keynotes, for presentations and Pages for Word processing. There is also an additional library containing many productivity apps. As for the Surface Pro 2, you can access the Microsoft Office, both Home and the Student, along with the familiar, Word, Excel, the PowerPoint, the Outlook Express and the Notes along with productivity apps like Lync and the Yammer, but the iOS offers a bigger selection of apps. The Snap in the Surface 2 enables the use of two applications simultaneously. Built in multi tasking features makes the Surface 2 better suited for productivity.
The Apple iPad Air comes with a dual core A7 processor of 64 bit, whereas the Surface 2 comes with Nvidia quad Core Tegra, a 4 Chip, with the iPad Air offering better performance in many categories, such as changing from horizontal to portrait for one. The iPad Air can also take photos more quickly when compared to the Surface 2 offering better performance.
The iPad Air is lighter than the Surface Pro 2 and so it is easier to take photos with the camera. The iPad Air as well as the Surface Pro 2 Camera comes with 5-MP resolution and both take good detail and satisfactory photos, but the Air’s images are more pleasing and crisp. In addition, the iPad Air’s front camera also takes sharper, brighter and more accurate pictures, whereas the Surface Pro 2 front camera is not quite up to the mark.
Price and Value
The 16GB version of the iPad Air costs around $499, whereas the Surface Pro 2 comes for around $450, for the 32GB version. The 32GB iPad Air costs $590, whereas the 64GB costs $699.
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