The quality of advertisements, especially in today’s technology market, are becoming increasingly bold. Case in point: Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3. In recent ads, the company has made direct comparisons to Apple’s line of highly mobile laptops and tablets, specifically against the MacBook Air. However, as far as business users are concerned a better comparison is between the Surface Pro 3 and the iPad Air 2, especially since the iPad Air 2 now supports a faster processor, a 64-bit architecture and a widespread adoption with business users.
In getting to the meat of things, it is important to understand that there are millions of iPads in user across the world as the tablet saw a 25% market share in Q3 2014 and the fact that the iPad is still a major seller in the tablet market. However, once you realize that the market share of the iPad has been declining since Q1 2014 while Microsoft’s market share increased . Regardless, the iPad is still ahead by a hefty margin and there are definitely pros and cons to each device when it comes to business users.
Surface Pro 3
The Surface Pro 3 comes with a thinner shell than its predecessor along with a 3:2 aspect ratio, allowing business users to run desktop apps without them looking weird when filling the screen. In addition to that, Microsoft also offers 3 different processor configurations with the Intel i3, i5 or i7. This gives business users more flexibility in what they want or need. The Surface Pro 3 also supports DisplayPort for connecting a monitor and a USB 3.0 port for connecting peripherals. A docking station for the Surface Pro 3 (optional) uses the power port to add networking, display and additional USB ports. Another neat feature is the touch pen. Microsoft’s OneNote app allows you to write notes in your own handwriting and then convert that writing into text.
However, there are some downsides to the Surface Pro 3. One of the biggest disadvantages is that the Surface Pro 3 is slightly heavy at 1.76 pounds. It weighs almost as much as two iPad Air 2 tablets. In addition to that, there is also no version that comes with built-in 4G connectivity, meaning you have to be connected to WiFi, though you can add a USB adapter for 4G service. Plus, Microsoft still hasn’t gained enough developers who make touch apps that run in the Metro tile interface. Even a cursory look reveals that there are still very few business apps, like Evernote and Skype, but hardly anything innovative or new.
iPad Air 2
The newest model of the iPad Air 2 improves on the original design without making any drastic changes. The new iPad Air is pretty intuitive, which has always been the main advantage for any business user. In addition to that, the iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the last model and weighs just under 1 pound. The display is not as big as the Surface Pro 3 but it does have a bright, crisp 2048 x 1536 pixels (the Surface Pro 3 has a 2160 x 1440 pixel screen). The Air 2 has a 64-bit processor, lasts all day and offers improved graphics and video processing. Unfortunately, the specs won’t specifically draw in any business users. The apps is where the iPad really shines. The iPad Air 2 has millions of touch-apps and touch-enabled business apps whereas the Surface Pro 3 only has a handful. Although, the Surface Pro 3 can run millions of Windows desktop apps, which isn’t something the iPad Air 2 is incapable of. The iPad Air 2 also has 4G connectivity and a lower price point.
The iPad is still the dominant force in the tablet market. There are more apps, the user interface is more intuitive and there are tons of third-party accessories, cases, docks and add-ons. Moreover, the iPad Air 2 is designed to keep you connected over email and over the web. On the other hand, for widespread use in the enterprise business market it is clear that the Surface Pro 3 is beginning to take a more solidified spot as a mobile device that people are starting to take seriously in the business market.