x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA
  • Hidden picShow menu
  • Home
  • News
  • 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

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

OSWindows (8.1 Pro)Android (5.0, 4.4)iOS (10.x, 9.x, 8.x, 7.x)
Dimensions11.5 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)
Weight28.16 oz (798 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)
26.56 oz (753 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)
16.86 oz (478 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)
MaterialsMain body: Metal Main body: Aluminum
Physical size12.0 inches12.2 inches9.7 inches
Resolution2160 x 1440 pixels2560 x 1600 pixels2048 x 1536 pixels
Pixel density

Pixel density - The pixel density of a display represents the number of pixels over an area of one inch. It’s measured in “pixels per inch”, or ppi. The higher the number, the more detailed and good-looking the display is.

216 ppi247 ppi264 ppi

Technology - There are two main screen technologies currently used in phones and tablets: LCD and AMOLED. The former usually features a light source and liquid crystals, while the latter is based on organic light-emitting diodes. Newer LCD variations like IPS-LCD and Super-LCD allow for very accurate color reproduction and very wide viewing angles, where no significant image quality loss is observed. Current AMOLED screens differ in such a way that they can exhibit much more saturated colors (sometimes too much) and incredibly high contrast levels, which is due to black color being completely black in AMOLED displays.

Screen-to-body ratio

Screen-to-body ratio - Shows what part of the frontal area of a phone its screen occupies.

72.88 %71.57 %71.65 %
Colors 16 777 21616 777 216
Camera5 megapixels8 megapixels5 megapixels
Flash LED 
Aperture size

Aperture size - The aperture of a camera is the opening through which light travels before it reaches the camera sensor. The smaller the number is, the bigger this opening is, allowing for more light to pass.

Focal length (35mm equivalent)  33 mm
Hardware Features AutofocusAutofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)
Software Features Digital zoom, Geo taggingDigital image stabilization, Touch to focus, Face detection, Self-timer, Digital zoom, Geo tagging
Camcorder1920x1080 (1080p HD)1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)
Recording format  H.264, MOV
Features  Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization, Video calling
Front-facing camera5 megapixels2 megapixels1.2 megapixels
Video capture1920x1080 (1080p HD)1920x1080 (1080p HD)1280x720 (720p HD) (30 fps)
System chip

System chip - Most modern handsets use an advanced chip that includes many of the device’s hardware modules like the processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and sometimes even the wireless radio. This field shows what particular system chip (or System-on-a-Chip) is used in the phone.

Intel Core i7Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974Apple A7

Processor - The processor is the main computing component of a phone and is a major factor when it comes to the overall speed of the device. Some more powerful smartphones use dual-core and quad-core processors designed to deliver greater performance.

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

Graphics processor - The graphics processor is important for the smooth operation of the system and especially in games and other applications that may involve complex graphics and animations.

Intel HD GraphicsAdreno 330PowerVR G6430
System memory

System memory - System memory, or RAM memory is the type of memory that the device uses to temporarily store data from the OS or currently-running apps. The more RAM available to the device, the better the performance will be when multiple or heavier programs are running.

8 GB RAM (Dual-channel) / LPDDR33 GB RAM (Dual-channel, 800 MHz) / LPDDR31 GB RAM / LPDDR3
Built-in storage

Built-in storage - Bigger storage capacity allows you to keep more content saved onto your device, such as more applications, photos or video. Games and video content typically take up the biggest amount of storage space.

512 GB64 GB128 GB
Storage expansion

Storage expansion - Some handsets allow you to expand their storage capacity by using a memory expansion card – most often microSD. Expansion memory is mostly suitable for media storage, such as photo, video or music content.

microSD, microSDHCmicroSD, microSDHC 

Capacity - The bigger, the better! However, battery capacity is not the only factor that has an effect on battery life. Those include the chipset in use, the software running on the device, as well as the consumer's unique usage pattern.

 9500 mAh8820 mAh
Music playback 131.00 hours 
Video playback 11.00 hours 
Screen mirroringMini Displayport TV-out

CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access. A technique of multiplexing, also called spread spectrum, in which analog signals are converted into digital form for transmission. For each communication channel, the signals are encoded in a sequence known to the transmitter and the receiver for that channel. The foremost application is digital cellular phone technology from QUALCOMM that operates in the 800MHz band and 1.9GHz PCS band. CDMA phones are noted for their excellent call quality and long battery life.

  800, 1900 MHz
GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
UMTS 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
LTE (FDD)  Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26
Data LTE Cat 4 (150/50 Mbit/s), LTE, HSDPA+ (4G) 21.1 Mbit/s, UMTSLTE, HSPA, UMTS
Shopping information
MSRP price$ 1949 $ 929

  • Options

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:01 9

1. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 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...

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:09 13

6. Sauce (unregistered)

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

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:20 2

12. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

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

posted on 20 May 2014, 13:04 2

48. sgodsell (Posts: 4735; Member since: 16 Mar 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 13:14 1

53. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 19:45

84. Mrmark (Posts: 303; Member since: 26 Jan 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 !

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:28 1

19. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Thank you.

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:35 4

24. brrunopt (Posts: 742; Member since: 15 Aug 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....

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:52

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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 13:06 5

50. brrunopt (Posts: 742; Member since: 15 Aug 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....

posted on 20 May 2014, 20:18

85. kryme (Posts: 382; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)

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

posted on 20 May 2014, 21:01 1

88. 14545 (Posts: 1668; Member since: 22 Nov 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:44 11

35. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:50 2

41. Sauce (unregistered)

I'll take OSx


over that bathroom tiled impractical overly cluttered piece of crap OS.

posted on 20 May 2014, 13:13 9

52. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 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?

posted on 20 May 2014, 21:36 2

89. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

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

posted on 20 May 2014, 13:56

59. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

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

posted on 20 May 2014, 14:26 2

67. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 14:33

70. sgodsell (Posts: 4735; Member since: 16 Mar 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 14:55 1

73. brrunopt (Posts: 742; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

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

posted on 20 May 2014, 15:14

75. iGeek (Posts: 171; Member since: 15 Mar 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

posted on 20 May 2014, 17:34 1

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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 19:13

83. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 22:49 1

90. greatoneiw (Posts: 41; Member since: 08 Apr 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 !

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:02

2. oboboy14 (Posts: 51; Member since: 27 Mar 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 12:36 5

25. brrunopt (Posts: 742; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

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

posted on 20 May 2014, 13:46

56. oboboy14 (Posts: 51; Member since: 27 Mar 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?

posted on 20 May 2014, 14:14

62. hulk_14 (Posts: 71; Member since: 14 Dec 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!

posted on 20 May 2014, 15:09

74. oboboy14 (Posts: 51; Member since: 27 Mar 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.

posted on 20 May 2014, 14:17

64. brrunopt (Posts: 742; Member since: 15 Aug 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 ..

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories