Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2: specs comparison

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2: specs comparison
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has just gone official and it is one of the largest tablets out there with a massive, 12-inch display. However, Microsoft aims for the Surface Pro 3 to be much more than a regular tablet - it wants customers to use this as the one cross-over device that would come in lieu of using both a laptop and a tablet.

In order for this to happen, though, the Surface Pro 3 has to be good first as a tablet. Let’s see how it fares against its most obvious competitors: the 9.7-inch Apple iPad Air and the 12.2-inch Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

In terms of specs, the Surface Pro 3 is truly outstanding - it ships with a 4th generation (Haswell) Intel Core chip with the performance of a full-blown laptop. Even the basic model ships with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, and the highest-end model reaching a configuration with a blazing-fast Core i7, 8 gigs of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. Here are all the models of the Pro 3 that you'd be able to get:

  • 4th gen Intel® Core™ i3, 64 GB and 4 GB of RAM - $799
  • 4th gen Intel® Core™ i5, 128 GB and 4 GB of RAM - $999
  • 4th gen Intel® Core™ i5, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM - $1,299
  • 4th gen Intel® Core™ i7, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM - $1,549
  • 4th gen Intel® Core™ i7, 512 GB and 8 GB of RAM - $1,949

Put simply, even the most affordable Pro 3 is much more powerful than the iPad Air and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, but hey, we should not forget how much more expensive even that 'affordable' model is compared to those tablets. Right below we compare the Core i7 Surface Pro 3 with the Note Pro 12.2 and iPad Air in greater detail, take a look at the huge difference. Have specs convinced you to order a Surface Pro 3? Let us know what you think about it in the comment section below.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 vs Apple iPad Air


Display size

12.0 inches
12.2 inches
9.7 inches


2160 x 1440 pixels
2560 x 1600 pixels
2048 x 1536 pixels

Pixel density

216 ppi
247 ppi
264 ppi


Super Clear LCD

Screen-to-body ratio

72.88 %
71.57 %
71.65 %



Single camera
Single camera
Single camera

Main camera

5 megapixels
8 megapixels
5 megapixels

Hardware Features

Autofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)


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

Video recording

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

Recording format

H.264, MOV


Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization, Video calling


5 megapixels
2 megapixels
1.2 megapixels

Video capture

1920x1080 (Full HD)
1920x1080 (Full HD)
1280x720 (HD) (30 fps)



11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36 inches (292 x 201 x 9 mm)
11.64 x 8.03 x 0.31 inches (295.6 x 204 x 7.95 mm)
9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches (240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm)


28.16 oz (798 g)
the average is 20.6 oz (589 g)
26.56 oz (753 g)
the average is 20.6 oz (589 g)
16.86 oz (478 g)
the average is 20.6 oz (589 g)


Back: Metal
Back: Aluminum



Hardware & Performance

System chip

Intel Core i7
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974
Apple A7


Quad-core, 2300 MHz, Krait 400
Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Cyclone, 64-bit


Intel HD
Adreno 330
PowerVR G6430




Windows (8.1 Pro)
Android (5.0 Lollipop, 4.4)
iOS (12.x, 11.x, 10.x, 9.x, 8.x, 7.x)



9500 mAh
8820 mAh

Music playback

131.00 hours

Video playback

11.00 hours

Shopping information

MSRP price

$ 1949
$ 929



1. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Paying nearly $2,000 for the best option... you really can't compare the Surface to any tablet out there. With that money, I'll op in for a gaming laptop...

6. Sauce unregistered

This is a joke. Id rather spend $1200 on a macbook pro or any other good laptop, than this silly Surface

12. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Totally agree. At that price tag... only people who really have the need for that kind of mobility and performance will buy it.

48. sgodsell

Posts: 7428; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Why compare all 3 tablets? First of all for the majority of the population's needs would be fulfilled with an inexpensive Android tablet or the Apple iPad w/3g or the Samsung Tab Pro w/3g. If you want PC gaming and Microsoft development then go for a surface pro. (However if you want the Gaming and development then you could save a bundle and buy a much cheaper laptop and buy an iPad and/or Samsung tablet as well. Two for the price of one.

53. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I still don't quite get your point to my comment o.O I'm a bit lost. Most of my tech needs are fulfilled by my Z2 and the rest are by my computer. But only someone who really needs to pick up their laptop more than 10 times a day would need a tablet at the price tag. A doctor, for example, would be a good candidate for a Pro 3.

84. Mrmark

Posts: 399; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

They are not going to mass produce the higher priced products .... I don't think that was there goal.... More so for the option !

19. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Thank you.

24. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Why do these damn trools keep comparingit it big notebooks ? why not compare it with a desktop while you are at it ? Is competes against ultrabooks , like the Air... stop with the BS just because you envy it....

43. Sauce unregistered

My Macbook Pro 13 inch is just as portable. Not to mention the MB Air...... Heck, my 2007 HP sh*t laptop is just as portable. You're drunk. Go home.

50. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

a rMBP is just as portable as the surface Pro 3 the same way the Surface Pro 3 is as portable as the iPad AIr. You're just a plain idiot. No cure for that....

85. kryme

Posts: 469; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

dont think they can find home... they way too drunk... hope they not driving

88. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Based on what exactly? all of them are heavier for one. 2, of those 3 options only one runs full windows. I'm sorry, your "silly" macOS will never compete with windows. Or even linux for that matter. I would take either anyday over the apple option. Then, with the HP option, it doesn't have a pen. Sure, you may not use it, but I do. Also, I know MANY people that do. I'm far from a windows apoligist, as I *HATE* W8 with metro, but the Surface, especially in it's current form isn't a bad option. If they had released the 3 about 2 months ago I would have bought it over the Ativ tab 7 that I ultimately decided on after my Asus U35JC decided to self incinerate. As it was the best option with a pen at the time. 10.1 was never a good size for a full windows laptop.

35. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

The Surface Pro 3 is way better than the MacBook at that price as it offers better specs and a better and more useful OS overall, as OS X is a closed and almost restricted platform which is starting to show its age in terms of the UI & is not for the average Joe, who wants good browsing, gaming and software. But of course, iFans will disagree.

41. Sauce unregistered

I'll take OSx ANY DAY over that bathroom tiled impractical overly cluttered piece of crap OS.

52. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

You do know that you have desktop right i mean sure a man of your tech savy knows that desktop mode is there. right?

89. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I like the "bathroom tiles", you like the icons from the 90s. Fair enough!

59. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Bathroom tiles!lol and gaming on crap intel GPU lol. Lol lol lol.

67. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

If you are buying a laptop to play games then 17In is the way to go, so a tablet would not be for anyone. Then again those laptops have 2hr battery life and heat love. To each their own.

70. sgodsell

Posts: 7428; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

And you don't think Windows 8.1 is not closed or restricted? Ever since Windows 8. Windows is has become very restricted. You just have to make a new app using the modern UI. That will tell you how closed and restricted Windows has become.

73. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

i can install desktop apps on my laptop , i must have some kind of alien windows 8.1... /s

75. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

"Offers better specs" .... Go home you're drunk bro :) Don't just compare RAM and ROM to start writing your philosophical and artistically subtle comments

79. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

The mac is the joke around here. You have to think bout this not too many files can be READ on the MAC. Plus the MAC is over price for a laptop. and with the SURFACE PRO 3 you can expand the memeory with a SD CARD and options too choose frome 799-1,200 for power house users.

83. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

The MBA and MBP are not overpriced in their segment, so you need to check again. As for files, with the exception of .exe executables, there aren't any "files" you can't read on a Mac. For that matter, the MBA and MBP run Windows better than similarly priced and specced PC competitors.

90. greatoneiw

Posts: 41; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

mac book pro ??? really ??? u even play games? u write codes? i assume you're buying it just for showing off the brand cause playing music and movies and surfing the internet is clearly already achievable for you by what ever you're using right now !

2. oboboy14

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

My Toshiba p870, with pretty high specs and add-ons and a 17 inch screen, cost about half as much as the new surface. I'd like a surface, but as a tablet, not a laptop.

25. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

and a desktop will be even more powerfull , your point ??

56. oboboy14

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

My point is that Microsoft is trying to get people to ditch laptops for their surface. My laptop, with a larger screen, better specs, and additional features (multiple usb ports, hdmi port, harman-kardon speakers, etc) is cheaper than their top of the line model. My comment was to indicate that I would rather use the surface as a tablet, not as a laptop, which it seems is the direction that Microsoft is heading. Does that answer your question?

62. hulk_14

Posts: 72; Member since: Dec 14, 2013

My point is that before I started reading what people - like you - are writing in internet I was not aware that there are so many idiots in the world.! My desktop pc is cheaper than your notebook and is more powerfull than your notebook so you are an idiot as you bought this overpriced crap!

74. oboboy14

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

'Writing in internet'? Is internet a language? And I'm not sure why you're calling me an idiot, as my comments weren't ever meant to offend anyone. But I'm sure 15 year olds like yourself have a difficult time controlling what you think and do. I hope it gets better for you when you get older. Have a great day! Oh, and desktops aren't portable, that was my other viewpoint. Desktops are more powerful yes, but not portable.

64. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

not sure if you think that " microsoft is trying to make people change from heavy duty laptops to a SP3" They presented their target pretty well, ultrabooks; they compared it on stage against the MB air ..

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.