Oh boy people! We’re nearing that time of the year when companies go all out to get products into the face of hungry consumers, who are starving for some good ‘ol fashion tech goodness. If you’re looking to snag a deal on a fancy new tablet this upcoming holiday season, you’ll have plenty to choose from, naturally – though, it seems like certain ones have a better balance between price, features, and performance. Apple and Microsoft have been in a never-ending quest to outduel one another, but in the tablet space, it’s been nothing but smooth sailing for Apple – and nothing but catching up for Microsoft.

Last year’s Microsoft Surface tablet didn’t pan out quite the way Microsoft envisioned, as it clearly didn’t do enough to capture the hearts of minds of consumers. In fact, it felt simply underpowered in comparison to the rest of the field at that time. This year, though, its successor is outfitted with beefier specs and an updated experience that’s more befitting for a flagship device, but the new iPad Air also has some new tricks under its sleeve – a totally new design that’s accompanied with a refreshingly updated experience as well. So what tablet is going to reign supreme this time? Let’s find out!


When these two employ quality characteristics that makes them premium devices in the arena, it’s really tough deciding which design we like better. With the iPad Air, it’s most notable for its thin and light construction – a marvel to behold no doubt, since it feels exquisitely easy in the hand. At the same time, its build quality isn’t compromised, since it’s constructed from that brushed aluminum material we’re familiar seeing with the beloved line. Even though it’s technically thicker and heavier than its rival, the Surface continues to have a slick industrial design that’s highlighted most by its angular cutouts and sturdy “VaporMg” chassis. Best of all, the Surface 2 packs along a very useful kickstand – a rare item to find with tablets.

Between them, we absolutely love how the Surface 2 features ports that are commonly found with today’s laptops – like a full-sized USB 3.0 port, microHDMI out port, microSD card slot, and a magnetic power connection port. They’re actually all quite useful and show the flexibility of the tablet, whereas with the iPad Air, it only packs along a Lightning docking port, which requires the purchase of an additional adapter to gain video-out functionality.


Last year’s Surface disappointed many with its low-resolution display, but Microsoft has seemingly quieted any concerns with its successor. Happily, we’re presented with a 10.6-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD screen, which is a pleasant treat when compared to the iPad Air’s 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 Retina Display. Indeed, its pixel density count of 208 ppi doesn’t match the iPad Air’s higher 264 ppi tally, but in all honesty, the difference is negligible – especially when they exhibit the same sharpness from a normal viewing distance.

Relying on good old IPS LCD technology, they produce colors that are neutral in tone. However, the iPad Air’s screen is brighter and offers better viewing angles, allowing it to shine when it’s viewed outdoors with the sun present. Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate how the Surface 2’s display is up with the times, but the iPad Air’s Retina Display continues to prove itself as being the more attractive one.



22. spectrums

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 14, 2013

vote for apple ipad air.

20. sgodsell

Posts: 7659; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Still only one browser (Internet Explorer) on Surface 2. Not to mention a really limited app selection.

18. pookiewood

Posts: 631; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

Can't wait to get a Surface 2. Almost there!

14. shammont

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

These 2 devices are pretty equal. Go with which ever gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. I personally would pick the Surface. I have a Galaxy Tab2(Android) and a Surface Pro. The Tab2 is so clunky and jerky. It is just not smooth like the Apple and Microsoft products. I would take 100 bucks for the Tab2 and it is brand new. Anyone interested let me know.

12. alaahershy

Posts: 34; Member since: Jan 02, 2013

iPad Air ---> Who care it's on ios 7 Surface ---> I care It's 8.1

5. MojoDojo

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

If one follow your comparison one would think that the conclusion will be to buy a Surface 2. It wins in most of the inportant comparisons between the two, and the categories it doest win in, it eqauls. Except the app ecosystem. Yet Surface 2 got 8 and Ipad Air got 9.2!! An example of what you can do with the Surface 2:

8. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Surface 2 will start getting 9 + once it captures 10% of market share.

9. HASHTAG unregistered

How does market share have to do anything w/ the score it gets?

10. MojoDojo

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Are you serious? I dont know if your comment is funny or stupid. Maybe both.

17. stealthd unregistered

Tablets are pretty much useless without a decent app ecosystem. Unless you're content with just using the browser and the few apps available. The surface 2's screen is also lower res, processor isn't as fast. Then there's Windows 8's still awful tablet/desktop hybrid UI. I think it's pretty clear why the Surface didn't win.

4. thezunelune

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

Thank you for a fair review. They are so hard to come by, seriously.

3. xIJoeyBoyIx

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 25, 2013

I'm not a apple fan but the new ipad is a great piece of kit the look and fell is phenomenal. If only android could add more tablet optimized apps and someone like Samsung make a tablet that is made from aluminium but yet has great specs then would that only be an ipad beater but also a fantastic project. I'm just surprised that it hasn't been done yet.

6. Jason2k13

Posts: 1486; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

so it has to be made out of aluminium to be considered premium?

16. stealthd unregistered

I think it was a suggestion, not a requirement. The point is the plastic Samsung uses definitely isn't premium. Plastic can seem premium, but the slimy glossy plastic they've been using isn't it. The Note 3's texture is better.

19. xIJoeyBoyIx

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 25, 2013

Personally I think premium is when software and hardware and aesthetics work perfectly. The Samsung note 2014 edition is a beast of a tablet, great screen and great performance but yet still doesn't do it for be with the build quality. If I am paying over £400 for a tablet I want it to feel better in the hand. I use a nexus 10 and I still believe its the best android tablet you can buy and that's not made from aluminium. Also to answer your questions no aluminium doesn't need to be considered premium but it helps product seem more money worth.

21. Jason2k13

Posts: 1486; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

90% of people i see with ipads or samsung tablets uses a cover/case... they probably have the same view as you about having the "premium feeling".

7. taikucing unregistered

My $12 Chinese MP3 player with speaker is made of aluminium. My $5 Chinese iPod nano clone is made of aluminium. So my cheap MP3 player is premium? You want an iPhone beater? Goophone i5S You want an iPad clone with aluminium case? Chinese can make it. You want someone like Samsung make a tablet that is made from aluminium? Your wish comes true --> Motorola Xoom

11. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

What a surprise. Another droidtroll thinks his slow laggy Nexsucks with the toy camera, stuttering screen, and loads of malware can even compete. At least it finally has 4G. Too bad it has nothing else to compete.

13. Sauce unregistered

KABOOOOM! Goes the dynamite.. x'D

2. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Is this just the surface 2 or the pro because the pro blows the iPad air away. Can I get a motion for that

15. stealthd unregistered

It's also much more expensive and has much worse battery life. They're really in different categories.

1. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

"especially when the Surface 2 is more PC-like than your average tablet." Actually, Microsoft made the PC tablet-like, so that when people use their tablet, they get the impression they are on a PC.

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