Apple iPad Air vs Nexus 10 vs Microsoft Surface 2 specs comparison

Apple iPad Air vs Nexus 10 vs Microsoft Surface 2 specs comparison
The fifth-generation Apple iPad is here and it is the first time Apple’s 9.7-inch tablet has gotten a huge redesign going more compact and modern to deserve a brand new name - the iPad Air. The big change have come to the outside, but there’s a lot improved under the hood as well, so let’s take a look.

Apple has traditionally held the upper hand in tablet graphics and the iPad Air ups the ante in both CPU and GPU power with the Apple A7 chip. That looks to be the same chip Apple is using in the iPhone 5s, a somewhat strange decision since we’ve been accustomed to getting an Ax version of Apple’s chips with more graphical oomph in iPads. Not this time probably.

In terms of the performance gain, Apple put it simple and clear: the new iPad Air has up to 8x faster CPU performance and 72x faster graphics performance in comparison to the original. The company is usually pretty spot on with those numbers, so we have no reason to distrust them.

The new iPad Air is also 2x faster opening files and supports Wi-Fi n (not the latest 802.11ac Apple bragged about including in the new Macbook Pros).

Most importantly, at all this Apple manages to keep the 10-hour battery life. However how will this all stack up against the big competitors, the Google Nexus 10 and the Microsoft Surface 2? Take a look at the spec comparison right below.

Apple iPad Air vs Google Nexus 10 vs Microsoft Surface 2

Display

Display size

9.7 inches
10.1 inches
10.6 inches

Resolution

2048 x 1536 pixels
2560 x 1600 pixels
1920 x 1080 pixels

Pixel density

264 ppi
300 ppi
208 ppi

Technology

IPS LCD
True RGB Real Stripe PLS
IPS LCD

Screen-to-body ratio

71.65 %
62.50 %
65.41 %

Camera

Rear

Single camera
Single camera
Single camera

Main camera

5 megapixels
5 megapixels
5 megapixels

Hardware Features

Autofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)
Autofocus
Autofocus

Specifications

Aperture size: F2.4; Focal length: 33 mm
 
 

Video recording

1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD)

Recording format

H.264, MOV
 
 

Features

Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization, Video calling
 
 

Front

1.2 megapixels
1.9 megapixels
3.5 megapixels

Video capture

1280x720 (HD) (30 fps)
 
 

Design

Dimensions

9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches (240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm)
10.39 x 6.99 x 0.35 inches (263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9 mm)
10.81 x 6.79 x 0.35 inches (275 x 172 x 9 mm)

Weight

16.86 oz (478 g)
the average is 20.6 oz (589 g)
21.27 oz (603 g)
the average is 20.6 oz (589 g)
23.84 oz (676 g)
the average is 20.6 oz (589 g)

Materials

Back: Aluminum
 
 

Hardware & Performance

System chip

Apple A7
Samsung Exynos 5 Dual 5250
NVIDIA Tegra 4 T114

Processor

Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Cyclone, 64-bit
Dual-core, 1700 MHz, ARM Cortex-A15, 32-bit, 32 nm
Quad-core, 1700 MHz, ARM Cortex-A15, 28 nm

GPU

PowerVR G6430
Mali-T604 MP4
Yes

RAM

1 GB LPDDR3
2 GB
2 GB LPDDR3

OS

iOS (12.x, 11.x, 10.x, 9.x, 8.x, 7.x)
Android (5.1 Lollipop, 5.0 Lollipop, 4.4.4, 4.4.2, 4.4, 4.3, 4.2.2, 4.2.1, 4.2)
Windows (RT 8.1)

Battery

Capacity

8820 mAh
9000 mAh
 

Stand-by time

 
20.8 days (500 hours)
the average is 0 days (0 h)
15.0 days (360 hours)
the average is 0 days (0 h)

Music playback

 
90.00 hours
 

Video playback

 
9.00 hours
10.00 hours

Shopping information

MSRP price

$ 929
$ 499
$ 449


FEATURED VIDEO

25 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

iPad Air > Surface 2 > Nexus 10.

2. loyals

Posts: 129; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

apple did doom the nokia tablets...

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

2520 isn't anything special. It's basically DOA.

8. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

hey Papa what do you think about Tablet Z? It should be next to those... (though kind of small battery)

10. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Tablet Z shouldn't isn't worth mentioning anymore. iPad Air puts it to shame completely.

19. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Disagree. Z is still an outstanding tablet if you want Android. Thin, super light weight, smooth, and great build quality makes this a great tablet to get.

3. harvardale

Posts: 51; Member since: Jul 22, 2011

True. But an unfair comparison as the new Nexus 10 will be announced next week.

5. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

The new nexus 10 will be the best tablet once released. But, At least the iPad air will be best for 10 days, good job apple.

6. Santi_Santi unregistered

why is the Nexus 10 on that comparison?

17. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

its to good for it

7. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Why isn't this compared to Sony Tablet Z which is thinner... and a bit better specs... PA just want to make the iPad look better in comparisson..

11. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Google's flagship vs. Microsoft's flagship vs. Apple's flagship. There you go.

21. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Tablet Z has worst specs than the Nexus 10.....people these days.

9. loyals

Posts: 129; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

nexus 10 was a big flop. Apps n game quality is no where near ipad. nexus 10 is absolute waste of money , if u wanted to use it for apps n stuff . no app is decent. all upscaled ones.

12. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I can tell you never used a Nexus 10 before.

15. Santi_Santi unregistered

+1 for you, there

13. erikiksaz

Posts: 170; Member since: Apr 22, 2010

Plus the nexus 10 has been selling for mid 300s new for months now.

14. ady_lad

Posts: 83; Member since: Jul 17, 2013

So wait, you are comparing a 1 year old tablet (Nexus 10) with a brand new one, and another one that is yet to be launched? And by the way...why not the full Windows 8 Surface since most of the people do this comparisson when buying a tablet? Sure...this is a fair comparisson PA.

16. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

They should have waited for the new Nexus 10 to be released (which should be any day now), but they were right to use the Surface 2 and not the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro is a full laptop replacement with Intel's Haswell processor and 4+ GB of RAM, and full Windows 8.1. Plus it's $1000 for the base model, which is MUCH higher than these tablets. The Surface 2 is closer in price and OS practicality.

18. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

IS EVERYONE FORGETTING ABOUT THE NOTE 10.1! Best tablet on the market by longshot!

20. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The Nexus 10 was so ahead of its time that its crazy. Best tablet I have used by far and I would still put it ahead based on the PPI.

22. kimnurseboi

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Nokia 2520 is much sexier and much more innovative! ....

23. junkerbunk

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

HOW IS THE AIR BETTER THAN THE NEXUS 10??? Sure, the Air is 5 ounces lighter. I am not complaining about 5 ounces of extra weight when I have 330PPI display, 1.7GHZ Processor, and 20 Hours of up time with a ONE YEAR OLD DEVICE! While the NEW Air only has 264PPI, 1.3 GHZ processor, and only 10 hours of battery life? I can deal with 5 ounces to have a much faster processor, twice as long battery life, and much more rich/higher quality display. Especially when my tablet is one year old and this is Apple's latest and greatest. This just shows you how people are so easily succeptible to marketing that these basic facts are overlooked.

24. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

First, the Nexus 10 has a 300 ppi display, not 330 ppi. Second, despite being clocked 400 MHz lower, the A7 in the iPad Air MAJORLY outclasses the Exynos 5250, in both CPU and GPU power. The A7 even beats the Exynos 5420, Samsung's current flagship SoC, and it has 2 more A15 cores than the 5250 at a higher clock speed (1.8 GHz). It's not always about cores and clock speeds, it's about architecture, and the dual Cyclone cores + PowerVR G6430 GPU in the A7 either beats or matches everything on the market right now, whether it be quad core 1.8 GHz Cortex A15 or quad core 2.3 GHz Krait 400. Here's a link to benchmarks of the iPhone 5S, which has the same 1.3 Ghz A7; http://anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/5 And here's a link to the Nexus 10 benchmarks; http://www.anandtech.com/show/6425/google-nexus-4-and-nexus-10-review If you don't want to look through them, here's a simple run down; Mozilla Kraken benchmark in ms, the lower the better; iPhone 5S - 5,904.9 ms Nexus 10 - 11,146 ms Google Octane v1, the higher the better; iPhone 5S - 5,500 Nexus 10 - 2,748 The iPhone 5S and the new iPads have essentially twice the CPU performance of the Nexus 10. In GPU, it's the same story. "This just shows you how people are so easily susceptible* to marketing that these basic facts are overlooked." By only looking at the basic facts, you made some very bold statements that were entirely false. This just shows you how manufacturers gain people's bias by just playing the numbers game with cores and clock speeds, and you're a perfect example.

25. junkerbunk

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Wow great post Berzerk000. I see there is much more to consider beyond the stated specs to determine performance. Thanks for the revealing post. I learned something today.

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