MacBook Air vs Surface Pro 3

Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air comparison: why compare a tablet and a laptop?

Blame Microsoft. During the Surface Pro 3 tablet launch event the presenters were at great pains to point out that Surface Pro 3 is a rival for both the iPad and the MacBook Air. Indeed, Microsoft wants you to ditch both of those devices and carry only Surface Pro 3: tablet and laptop in a single chassis. 

Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air comparison: UK price

The 12in Surface Pro 3 starts at £639 inc VAT for a Core i3 device with 64GB storage. Upgrade to the 128GB Core i5 version and you will pay out £849 inc VAT. The other Core i5 version has 256GB storage and costs £1,109 inc VAT. And at the top fo the range there are two Core i7 devices, with 256GB and 512GB storage. These cost £1,339 inc VAT and £1,649 inc VAT respectively. Like the MacBook Air all the Surface Pro 3 tablets are Wi-Fi-only, by the way.

There is another cost associated with Surface Pro 3 - the keyboard cover. If you want to use this device instead of a laptop such as MacBook Air you really do need to invest in either the Type cover. And that will cost you £109, in addition to the tablet itself.

MacBook AirThe MacBook Air of course has an integral keyboard. It starts at £749 inc VAT for an 11in display with Core i5 chip, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. You pay £849 inc VAT for the 13in version with similar specs. Trade up to a 256GB model with an 11in display and you will pay £899 inc VAT. And for £999 you can get a 13in MacBook Air with 256GB of storage.

All of which puts the MacBook Air squarely in the middle of the Surface Pro 3's pricing spectrum. You can get a 12in Surface Pro, with 64GB storage and a Type keyboard cover for £748 inc VAT - a whole £1 cheaper than the 11in MacBook Air with a similar amount of storage. You get what you pay for, and both these devices are priced fairly, if not cheaply.

Next section:Surface Pro 3 vs MacBook Air comparison: build quality and design