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



12.0 inches
12.2 inches
9.7 inches


Super Clear LCD


72.88 %
71.57 %
71.65 %


Ambient light sensor
Ambient light sensor
Oleophobic coating, Ambient light sensor

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



Internal storage



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



Single camera
Single camera
Single camera

Main camera

5 MP
8 MP
5 MP


Autofocus, BSI sensor


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, EIS, Video calling


5 MP
2 MP
1.2 MP

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 15 oz (427 g)
26.56 oz (753 g)
the average is 15 oz (427 g)
16.86 oz (478 g)
the average is 15 oz (427 g)


Back: Metal
Back: Aluminum



Shopping information


$ 1949
$ 929



94. evanspress

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 29, 2014

For the people complaining about the price. I do agree with many of you. I recently picked up the SP3 with the keyboard but only because Best Buy gave me 10% off. I personally believe MS needs to include a black keyboard, offer a trade in option for people that want a different color and then also include the same version of office that use to come on the Windows RT tablets. Do that and take the price to a base of $995 and I think you will have several people going why do I need a MacBook Air plus iPad. The fact of the matter is with many things in life you pay more for "special" items. Smaller sports cars can cost twice as much as a basic wagon or SUV for instance. Think about the Surface, MacBook Air, iPad, etc. in those terms and pricing isn't all that bad at that point. I'm also a 4 year user of a MacBook Air previous to owning the original Surface Pro. However I do have specific needs. On the flip side I kind of think 12" is a bit large for a tablet. I honestly think the 10.6" was a better form factor.

91. DaDaDa

Posts: 1; Member since: May 21, 2014

Why these companies seems to drop storage size (Gigabytes) bit by bit?.. why such prices for 64GB . 128GB ..etc. It seems like nothing else matters in pricing except the few gigabytes the built in extra for the buyer. come on, we all need storages like really much nowadays.

82. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

I do not understand... How are tech journalists making a SIMPLE mistake. Let's compare Core i7 running units with Qualcomms mobile chips... This is meant to be a Ultrabook/Laptop/Desktop replacement... with the convenience of tablet form factor. In NASCAR they use Camry shell body's... Does not mean you compare that machine with midsize sedans on the road. YOU COMPARE IT WITH OTHER NASCAR RACE CARS. I mean you CAN compare them... but you'd look stupid. But hey, "they both have wheels, and engines and stuff" ... yea I guess they do.

80. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

I will be buying this holday season. Just glad I never bought another tablet. I'll probably trade my laptop in for the SURFACE PRO 3.

76. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

With that cost, I'd rather get the Samsung FLAX NotePro 12.2 ..nothing comes close

81. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

for thw price of the Note Pro 12.2 you can get the i3 version, and is still a lot better

93. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Let me know how running full photo shop, 3ds max, blender 3d, visual studios, and other full desktop software on that note pro 12.2

57. Legnaldo

Posts: 63; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Its a Computer not a matter how you market it. Computer hardware + computer software = Computer. Mobile hardware + Mobile software = tablet. The only reason you could even call it a tablet is its overall appearance and thats it. Lets compare two items of similar intent with glaring differences in abilitiy like this post. A brand new compact car came out today. It can travel 120 MPH and has a luxurious interior with all the features of much larger vehicles of similar price but gets waaaay better MPG and can fit pretty much anywhere. But a tried and true bicycle is so much more affordable. It may not go as fast, or to as many places, and who cares about the features of a real car like trunk space or climate control; but can you say Unlimited MPG!? Obviosuly the cost of a car cant really justify the obvious advantages of the Appl.....umm....bicycle. Im mean come on.....Really?

55. amsam7

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 07, 2014

materials depends its cost... But its bold and beautiful. But yes for people who want to pay this kinda bucks they do really have big heart.,its a thing of aristocracy..and i love that ^_^

33. iampayne

Posts: 322; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

This really should have been compared to laptops since they were selling it as a laptop killer in the keynote.

49. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

BINGO!!! Exactly.

20. farhad_per

Posts: 128; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

Note pro 12 all the way ..! Its has everything with also good price..! Its more portable compare to surface and also dont forget lte support and absolutely best battery life...!

34. arenanew

Posts: 286; Member since: Dec 30, 2013

note pro is dumb play angry bird on ur dumb note

42. farhad_per

Posts: 128; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

Do you buy a tablet to play angry bird kid....? So funny...!

46. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Probably some kid on a low end ZTE, rather ignore him than reply to his rubbish.

17. superfans

Posts: 155; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

Beat iPad and Galaxy Tab not so much with the price tag like that , but macbook air might has a shot.

69. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

The i3 version should be the one beeing compared , and would still be better...

9. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Why is this being compared with iPad 4 and not iPad Air???

16. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Read my replies to HTC freak and straightedgenexus. Basically the pro 3 wins any specs comparison hands down with anything below a desktop and ultra book, which the iPad Air is. The only thing that really matters in this comparison is the size of the device. It has to meet the laptop and tablet sweet spot and we all know for a fact that the iPad Air dimensions are too small for even a proper net book let alone an i5 ultra book. And no way you put an i5 in a 7.5mm frame, maybe an atom. So based on that, older tablets like the ipad 4 and nexus 10 are better for a head to head comparison. Once the surface pro can do laptop work in a 2011 or 2012 tablet form factor with an i5, that is when windows 8 starts reaping the rewards. Until then it will bomb. We are getting close though.

21. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

This is a comparison for most people who want to get a good idea of the latest and greatest tablets, yes the Surface wins either way, but it makes no sense to bring the iPad 4 in over the iPad Air, in the end the iPad Air is Apples latest and greatest tablet.

32. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Only a moron would need a surface pro 3 vs iPad Air comparison. They are not even in the same class. Okay I'll make it as easy for you to understand. Surface pro 3 = a nice pair of boots Ipad 4 = similar boots but lower cut IPad Air = sandles or slippers Why the f**k does anyone need to compare boots with sandles? In this case, the only thing we care about is whether these boots are going to be almost as comfortable as the low cut boots but still be able to offer extreme use with the comfortability of the shoes. We simply don't give a s**t about the sandles because the comparison doesn't matter whatsoever. So of course the ipad 4 is the better gauge in this case.

44. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

The problem with this is that you assume that size is the only area that will matter, when it isn't, and seeing as you are starting to get immature we may as well end it hear.

78. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Size is the only thing that matters when comparing the surface pro. The sole existence of the surface pro is to replace both your laptop and tablet. Otherwise you would just buy an ultrabook if size was not the only concern. The surface RT is solely for the people that don't need an ultrabook and want something closer to the iPad air size. Only you are too clueless to see this distinction. The only reason the surface pro exists is to be an ultrabook level tablet. The only reason RT exists is for people that think the surface pro is too big. Pretty shut and closed that the only concern here is, you guessed it, size. If you want to compare specs. Pro 3 >>>> all other tablets. Fact If you want to compare operating systems then you compare operating systems. So what's left? Yes the dimensions....moron

87. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Check the title moron, your argument was not valid to begin with, next time you consider insulting someone, take a look in the mirror as there's a 99.9% chance that the name and insult you want to call them actually applies to you. Cheers dumb ass! :)

18. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2365; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

IPad air is iPad 4, just a new shell.. .yup................

23. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Quit being ignorant, internally and externally the iPad 4 and Air are different, from the CPU, GPU to the Design. You can't just chalk them up as the same. That would be utterly stupid.

58. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Quit arguing. All these are die hard nokia fanboys who have converted into MS fanboys, you'll never win.

7. twens

Posts: 1191; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

When beauty meets power and productivity it can command any price. This thing is a beauty. If most people had the money they will buy it in a heart beat.

10. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Power huh? Without GPU LOL.

14. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

One thing we can finally agree on for once :D Without GPU, there isn't much of power there. It can run a lot of software, but the Surface still can't run the more powerful ones.

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