Microsoft Surface With Windows Pro Vs Apple MacBook Air Specs And Pricing Comparison

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Here’s a quick comparison of Microsoft Surface with Windows Pro and Apple MacBook Air. Both the devices have almost identical internals with a major difference of Surface being a Touch device with detachable keyboards.

Spec Microsoft Surface Apple MacBook Air
Image Microsoft Surface Pro Pricing and Availability Macbook Air
Size 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53in 11.8 x 7.56 x 0.68in
Weight Less than 2lbs 1.08 kg (2.38 pounds)
Display 1920×1080 1366 x 768
Touch Screen Support 10-point multi-touch No
Pen Input Supported and Included Not supported
CPU 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor
Memory 4GB RAM 4GB RAM
Storage 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB
Wireless Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) Bluetooth 4.0 technology Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) Bluetooth 4.0 technology
Battery 42 W-h 35 W-h
Cameras Two 720p HD cameras, front-facing and rear-facing 720p Front camera
Ports Full-size USB 3.0 microSDXC card slot  Mini DisplayPort 2 Full-size USB 3.0
Thunderbolt Port
Mini DisplayPort
Sensors Ambient light sensor Accelerometer Gyroscope Digital Compass Ambient light sensor
Keyboard Detachable Touch Cover/Type Cover Full-size backlit keyboard
Operating System Windows 8 Pro Mac OS X Mountain Lion
Pricing From $1020 with Touch Cover/Type Cover From $999


About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Il Baffo

    Ok, but the macbook air is already in the market.

    • http://twitter.com/counterblow the person

      so go buy a effing macbook troll.

      • Il Baffo

        at least I could, I am waiting since months for a windows pro tablet, but the only one found in retail stores is just the samsung, priced at 899 € like an ultrabook

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505515024 John Bascom

          The MacBook doesn’t have a touchscreen.. at all.

        • grs_dev

          @Baffo there is logic in waiting to release the Surface Pro. I am speculating that MS is probably banking on refresh cycles etc. Rushing a product to market in time to compete with the MAB would have resulted in a premature product that could have been sub par.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708677298 Alf Lenni Erlandsen

        Dood, you gotta major problem. Saying idiot and what not is trollish, so plz stop being a hypocrite. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1377612478 Franklin Smith Jr.

    Not bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ChuvelxD Andrew Christian

    Oh come on, they couldn’t have just priced it exactly at $999 with the MacBook?

    • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

      They will probably bundle the touchcover so the price will be $999.

    • http://twitter.com/counterblow the person

      That’s going off individual keyboard pricing. Bundle pricing will be just like the Surface RT. 64Gb with keyboard for $999 or 128 with keyboard for $1099.

  • MrDoubleB

    Wouldn’t it be great, if between the USD 500 RT and the USD 1000 PRO, there was a USD 750 version with an AMD Trinity APU?
    Not sure about the i5 they are using, but Trinity has 17W dual cores and 25W quads.

    • Me

      You sir are a genius. I would buy a Trinity ULV or better yet if they can get Temash out the door sooner instead of 3Q of next year which is last I heard. That is AMD’s biggest issue, execution, they have good products that get delayed to the point that they at best trade blows with the competition (Trinity, better GPU but weaker CPU than Intel).

    • jagster

      Doesn’t it just look like MSFT has left an untapped market that someone can slide into?
      Hmm… I wonder why and who? I’ve heard some rumors that Microsoft has these things called OEM partners but I’m not really sure what those are. /s

  • Mark

    Microsoft needs marketshare. My view too much $ – and I was looking to buy one.

    • blackhawk556

      dude you get everything that both a tablet and PC could do at a very competitive price.

      • arrow2010

        He wants a premium product at a bargain-bin price.

        • Mark

          Missed the point. Microsoft needs market share. Selling at high end doesn’t do that. Potential for a repeat of headlines of slow sales for RT (indep projections now 1/2 of Microsoft’s initial projections). Hope not… time will tell.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clint-Curry/100000764137308 Clint Curry

            Oh yah because everything that is popular now was cheap and inexpensive…lets see…The first smart phone, iproducts, laptops, tablets, etc… Sounds wonderful, never happens thou…

          • neilspartacus

            Yes, marketshare is key because that will drive in more devs and inturn apps. Instead of spending $1.5B on stupid useless crappy ad campaign they should have taken half a billion loss and sell the RT for half of what it is now. Wonder when the idiots at MS will get this

          • jagster

            Marketshare is key. But it’s Windows marketshare that MSFT wants more than anything, Surface marketshare would just be a byproduct of them doing everything they can to build over Windows sales for them and their partners. In case you haven’t heard, hardware margins are very thin unless your product has an apple logo slapped on it and I doubt Microsoft’s surface play is really to get into the hardware manufacturing business (in fact they have stated that is not their goal with the surface).

          • jagster

            Apple has always sold at high prices even when they had no market share. They didn’t reduce prices to get market share, they just advertised and convinced the market that their items were worth it. Microsoft can take the same path if their device is truly worth it, which so far it seems to be. Remember, Microsoft isn’t trying to cannibalize their OEM partners too much and want to leave some room for them to create innovative devices at price points that they can still profit and continue pushing Windows.
            Some people just have no grasp of Microsoft’s business or their partner ecosystem.

          • Splatman

            A friend summed up the Surface Tablet as being like a Flying Car! He is hardcore MS. He meant it as a compliment,” who wouldn’t want a flying car!” There are a lot of reasons we don’t have flying cars but historically flying cars didn’t fly well and didn’t drive well. To me, I have to agree with my friend, the Surface Tablet feels like a Flying Car…it isn’t a great tablet and it isn’t a great laptop. It lacks battery power and LTE to be really mobile and as a laptop it is expensive, has a small screen size and less than great keyboard. Sure it can do Office, so what? Entry level iPad can do that, sure you have to open the Office file using an $10 Apple program like Numbers for spreadsheets or Pages for Word documents but it is easy to do and once you open the file and make changes you can save it as a MS document or as an Apple document…so that really isn’t an advantage.

            Seriously, I don’t get it, I *can* create a huge spreadsheet on my phone or my tablet, I *can* edit video or photo files on my phone or my tablet but WHO WANTS TO! That is what desktops are for with the added real estate of a BIG SCREEN!

            If the Surface is the digital version of a flying car it is doomed!

          • Alex F.

            Microsoft already has 90+% of the marketshare… Surface Pro is not an ARM tablet, it’s a x86-64 ultrabook!

        • nalij

          It’s called the Nexus line….

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gavin-Tom/100001144097567 Gavin Tom

      We all knew it would debut at around 1k, what the hell where you smoking, a premium product is not going to launch at 500 bucks. Come on use your brain. And if you are saying it is too expensive because it cost 200 more dollars than you thought…..yeah.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708677298 Alf Lenni Erlandsen

        But then again, when Xbox launched, they shaved of sooo much in order to compete. And… look where the xbox is today. You know MS actually lost money on the xbox at first.

        • jagster

          But they made it back on games. Different business models.

      • NGM123

        No, it’s too expensive because u can buy a quality laptop with HDMI, USB 3, 500GB hard drive for HALF the price, oh yeah, and it has a built in keyboard as well.

        Drink as much cool aid as you like, and I’m an MS fan, but the Surface is WAY to expensive IMHO.

  • bnlf

    fair price. imma buy one ASAP. :D

  • blackhawk556

    Getting ready to sell my RT for $400 as soon as I get one of these.

    • Nevi_me

      lol why’d you buy one?

      If it’s physically good, the nice thing’s that Windows 8 will let you reset it :) nice feature

      • SteveyAyo

        I’m doing the same thing, I bought the RT to make sure Microsoft could make a proper hardware device… they did, now I’ll invest in the Pro version

      • blackhawk556

        I got a HTC 8x at the launch event and sold it for $595. At the end, the Surface was free :-)
        Sent from my Windows Phone

        • J A

          Ping me when ready to sell. Does it have a cover?

          • blackhawk556

            Sorry dude, I need the cover

            Sent from my Windows Phone

    • koenshaku

      I’d hang on to my RT it gets twice the battery life they both have different uses.

    • biobots

      why sell it under the market price?

      • blackhawk556

        I’m only going to sell the tablet not with the touch cover. New they cost $500 so I dont think I can get anywhere near that. May be $450?
        Sent from my Windows Phone

  • MikadoWu

    I will take 3. Thank you…..

  • http://trustnoduck.blogspot.tw/ 茶米

    Surface Pro really lost me here…
    I’d rather side with Air or other Windows 8 laptops/tablets with real keyboard.

    • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

      Typecover is a real keyboard.

      • http://trustnoduck.blogspot.tw/ 茶米

        Yeah… but with laptop or tablet with keyboard dock I get to adjust the screen angle and type wherever I want. Productivity.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708677298 Alf Lenni Erlandsen

          But with a great screen you dont need to adjust because it looks great even when 5 degress off. :)

        • SteveyAyo

          I do like the Yoga for only $100 more… plus Lenovo is the one pc oem I actually trust with quality

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Njoi-Fontes/590077451 Njoi Fontes

          really… you think that adjusting the screen angle is more importante than detachable keyboard, 10 point touchscreen including pen input and superior battery and micro sdcard support… oh and office

        • neilspartacus

          Productivity comparison (for most people on earth) between full win8 (with a 10 point multi touch surface tablet) vs osx (on Macbook Air in this case) is probably like the population comparison between China & USA.

    • http://twitter.com/counterblow the person

      You sir, are an idiot.

      • http://trustnoduck.blogspot.tw/ 茶米

        Oh so we’re calling names now? Real mature.

        • http://twitter.com/counterblow the person

          just calling em as I see them. Definitely mature when it fits. A person who can’t see that the Surface Pro has a real keyboard has a mental issue.

    • GG002

      You must be generally lost.

      • http://trustnoduck.blogspot.tw/ 茶米

        I’ll be even more lost if I stay here and try to reply to comments like this. Shared my point, got to go and hope you guys enjoy your Surface Pro, which is still nice, just not my type.

  • VHMP01

    “The devices have almost identical internals”… What? Display: 1920×1080 vs 1366 x 768. Pen Input: Supported and Included vs Not supported. Battery: 42 W-h vs 35 W-h. Cameras: Two 720p HD vs One 720p. Ports: microSDXC card slot vs Non / Non vs Thunderbolt. Sensors: Ambient light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope & Digital Compass vs Ambient light. Price difference $21.

    • Bob

      Actually the Surface Pro starts at $899.

      • TweetsOfSumit

        you have to count in the type-cover if you compare it to a MBA

  • http://twitter.com/brianchau Brian Chau

    MBA doesn’t even have a touch screen, let alone a pressure sensitive pen. Perhaps we should compare Surface Pro with Wacom Cintique. Now Surface Pro is much cheaper.

  • SteveyAyo

    If you’re going to add the price of a touch cover to make the devices “comparable” make sure to add the cost of an iPad to match the surface’s touch capability that the air lacks… so 1020 vs $1500 roughly, oh and of course more programs available for the pro and less devices to drag around

    • http://www.facebook.com/alfred.soyemi.9 Alfred Soyemi

      Not trying to nit pick, you missed the weight total:
      Lets see; Now you have 1.89LBS Surface Pro versus (Macbook air 2.38lbs + 1.45lbs iPad) 3.83LBS Comparable apple ultra.. Just saying..

  • mrdeezus

    HAHA CRAPPLE PWNED BY THEIR OWN GAME HIGHER REZ DISPLAY AND LACK OF FEATURES, HAHAHAHAHA
    Sorry, but I see these types of comments by apple fanbois all the time. BOHICA BABY, Bend Over Here It Comes Again!!
    ]You should have seen the look on this guy who had a iphone 5 with otterbox case when he was told my 920 screen was better….he couldn’t believe it til he saw it…anyway, I will be selling my rt for this when released.

  • Rob

    Considering how hot the MBA gets under a little bit of processing I can’t imagine what happens to the Surface when holding it in your hands… Not even taking into account the noise the vents will make…

  • J A

    This is stupid, comparing a tablet with an ultrabook. You might as well compare the iPad with Dell XPS13.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ganoran Regan Anderson

      You do know that the Surface Pro is an ultrabook just with a touch screen and without a keyboard, right? As shown above they have similar stats and are both running on mostly the same processor. You can’t compare the Surface Pro to an iPad either, because they both run on completely different architectures. Just because it’s a tablet form-factor doesn’t mean that it’s not a fully featured computer.

      • J A

        You mentioned the keyword “form-factor” that is all that changes the classification of all these things since they all essentially run the same components (CPU, Storage, RAM) on printed motherboard no matter how you cut it. So, again this is stupid, both Surface products are tablets and MacBook Air is an ulrabook which needs to be compared with Dell XPS13 ultrabook.

    • jagster

      “tablet” is just a form factor. Just like “notebook”, “tower”, “desktop”, “ultrabook”, etc.

      Nothing wrong with comparing a notebook and a tower if your comparing specs. Just like there’s nothing wrong with comparing a tablet to an ultrabook for the same reasons as long as they both run comparable operating systems (ie, same class. Can’t compare devices running iOS to OSX for example but devices running Windows XP/Vista/7/8 to OSX is perfectly legitimate).

    • JRV

      The Surface is an innovative new form factor. Between ultrabook and tablet, and neither ultrabook nor tablet. As such, comparisons with both ultrabooks and tablets are quite apt in order to understand what the form factor represents. I’ve been around long enough to know that every time a new form factor has emerged, similar comparisons have been made, and for exactly the same purpose.

      Comparison with a tablet such as an iPad would reveal that for a lot more money, you get a lot more device. But that’s obvious, isn’t it, and doesn’t offer much perspective.
      The fact that Surface Pro far surpasses the MBA at nearly the same price makes this comparison even more apt.

      Had you opined that, had Microsoft priced it at EXACTLY $999, including a Touch cover in buyer’s choice of color, they would have driven the point home with an elegant flourish, I’d be forced to agree with you.

  • http://twitter.com/Makavelli_Jrw Mr.InTernaTionaL

    Microsoft you need to go $100 down and it then would be perfect and sell out the ass. There are a ton of people who are gonna look the other way because they would be able to get a laptop for $100 less regardless of if it has a touchscreen or not. Plus I could careless if they undercut the OEMs especially after how they did Microsoft for the launch with close to no stock in any stores.

  • bhss

    The MacBook Air has a 1.7Ghz Intel Core i5 not a 1.5Ghz like a Surface

    • jagster

      I’m sure most people would notice the difference. Especially since the CPU’s are usually running at a fraction of their rated spec as part of their power saving techniques.

    • grs_dev

      @bhss bwahahahah… LOL! Wahahahaha!
      I shouldn’t laugh because you’re right, but, LOL… I mean come on! really?

  • tommy

    They didn’t mention you also get a blue screen of death from Microsoft…not even an option with Apple!

    • José Villaró

      Your trolling is a bit off, It’s not blue anymore.

    • nalij

      It’s called the ‘spinning wheel of death’ on mac’s and it has been around forever, well, at least since NeXTSTEP. Not 100% as the Blue Screen but from a user perspective, it stops your comp and you lose all work.

  • Joe_HTH

    I’ve decided to wait for Surface 2. The reason being I just can’t deal with cooling fans in my tablet, and the Surface 2 RT or Pro will be thinner and lighter with better, more powerful internet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Njoi-Fontes/590077451 Njoi Fontes

      There are no spining fans on the surace pro (or if there are they are not used as usual), they are using perimeter venting, meaning the air comes out uniformelly from the sides of the surface, ensuring that it does not warm your lap or the tablet itself. Look you can ALWAYS wait of the next thing that will always be thinner/ligher, etc but by that logic you can wait forever

  • Avatar Roku

    I think if Microsoft really wanted people to view this as an ultrabook rather than a tablet, then they should have included the type cover in the box.

    Since the device comes with no keyboard or touch pad, but a pen instead I think most people will simply view Surface Pro as a tablet. The default configuration is a tablet, it’s up to you to buy additional accessories to turn the device into an ultrabook. The vast majority of people will not do that and will just have an expensive tablet.

  • freeiam

    This is the end of Micro$oft

  • Ocelotty1

    4.5 hr battery life on the surface Pro :( I am so upset right now.

  • JRV

    Thank you, Pradeep.This comparison is precisely why the wailing and knashing of teeth over Surface Pro pricing that we’ve seen today is utter–albeit predictable–nonsense.

    That said, including a Touch cover in the buyer’s choice of color and having it price out to EXACTLY the price of a MBA would have driven the point home with an elegant flourish.

  • Myclevername

    I read that the Surface Pro doesn’t come with Office preinstalled for free like the current Surface. If that’s true then you can tack on another $200 to the price of the Surface Pro.
    :-)

    • jagster

      Does MBA come with Office preinstalled free or am I missing your point?
      Doesn’t SkyDirve come with free Office Web apps now that is sufficient for most users or is that just something I dreamt?
      Isn’t Office Home/Student/Business regularly found on sale for around $100 or less or maybe my memory is just a bit off?

      • Myclevername

        I’m just pointing it out. Also the MBA has an 11.6″ screen as opposed to the Surface’s 10.6″ screen. And the MBA weighs in at 2.38 lbs. with a backlit keyboard vs. the Surface Pro at 2 lbs. without a keyboard.

  • mecheng

    Why is it that people are still comparing Surface with Macbook Air??? Its not possible. Surface is Touch device.

    Yes we as “nerds” will understand that you can compare the two but the general consumer, which by the way accounts for more than “nerds”, is still going to think tablet for tablet and laptop for laptop. So far the tablet war is still won by Apple which puts Surface at a disadvantage.

    Another GREAT point is…didnt microsoft enter the tablet market so they can take a slice out of Apples share??? Noticed I used the word TABLET. This was made clear from the beginning! And now you are getting people such as yourselves changing the SCOPE of a project.

    • p0kes

      Why do you assume all non ‘nerd’ consumers are stupid?

      Do you think all they will see is an Surface pro and solely compare it to iPad? If they are comparing the 2 they will also therefore know about the Surface RT and if price is the factor then they will chose the iPad or the Surface RT.

      Those in the know, doesn’t have to be just ‘nerds’ as you put it, will see the Surface Pro for what it is and buy it for its merits – A Tablet with better than Macbook air internals.

      If you compare this to the iPad and don’t begin to understand the benefits this has over the iPad or if the benefits are not useful for you then you shouldn’t be considering the Surface Pro.

      I see it like this…why buy a Macbook air and an iPad when you can buy the surface pro on its own??

      End of…

      • Serky

        Well its not really about being stupid or not. Tablet is a device for consuming information not for producing and Microsoft is trying to merge these two. They tried this before with touch screen laptops and it failed. Later netbooks emerged they failed. I think it’s not about the technology I think it’s about the idea. I think tablet is practical, less sophisticated and aimed at consuming. It’s just doesn’t feel right. I personally prefer having two different devices for consuming and producing. A simple and easy to use device and a more powerful device. I wouldn’t want to run out of battery on the go because I watched videos or listened to music. I think surface pro is going to fail. Can’t say the same for RT but still Microsoft is quite late in the game.

    • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

      “didn’t Microsoft enter the tablet market so they can take a slice out of Applesshare??

      Hold on here. Lets get your facts straight. You mean didn’t Apple enter the tablet market at a time when technology finally allowed for smooth pinch to zoom, in order to take an idea that Microsoft created, and make it better? And isn’t Microsoft now coming back in an attempt to do something with tablets that they see Apple is NOT doing?

      No ONE invented any of this stuff. Every single company and technology stands on the shoulders of another, while everyone else tries to do something better to be competitive and make MONEY. Apple folks have this NEED to get a pat on the back for everything they do that is successful, what is the psychology of that?

  • Bobolinho

    Totally owned.

  • Alpha0er0

    Compared to a MacBook Air, there is no contest:

    Lighter, Pen Input, better battery life, Runs Windows, thinner, Much higher resolution, can run apps and real programs, a second camera, gyroscope and microsdxc slot.

    Oh and can take the real “TYPE” keyboard off and 10 to the X power capability of the iPad and still retain all the features above.

    ALL WIN. PERIOD.

    • Splatman

      Why is running Windows such a big deal? MBA easily runs Windows, it costs an extra $100 to do it but it works like a charm and doesn’t slow anything down. I also am not sure what you mean by REAL apps or REAL programs…care to mention a few? So that doesn’t really count because there aren’t any the MBA can’t run. Battery life, humm where do you read that the Surface RT gets better battery life than the MBA…I read 4-4.75 for the Surface and 5 for the MBA. With the cloud, most of the ports become sort of redundant. Pen…maybe for some people but I suspect most won’t use it. Unless they are trying to use super small fields in a program like excel and are forced to use the pen other than that it is just one more thing to loose. Face it, Excel on a tablet , phone, or ultrabook isn’t ideal. Touch, maybe as a tablet but I don’t WANT to touch my laptop screen. I think Apple learned all these lessons years ago. I just don’t get the Surface ….it isn’t mobile and it isn’t a great laptop. It is the digital version of a flying car….sounds good but in reality doesnr’t do either function well. I predict it will sell to hard core MS people that have never *really* tried the Apple eco system long enough to feel comfortable in it and in the end will being a flop. Come on, no LTE and a short battery life….for over $1000, you have to be kidding me. For years MS people beat on Apple for their high prices, and now are trying to justify the Surface by comparing it to an *entry level* MBA. It just isn’t that great a product.

  • Alpha0er0

    Compared to a MacBook Air, there is no contest:

    Lighter, Pen Input, better battery life, Runs Windows, thinner, Much higher resolution, can run apps and real programs, a second camera, gyroscope and microsdxc slot.

    Oh and you can take the real “TYPE” keyboard off and can get “10 to the X” power capability of the iPad and still retain all the features above.

    ALL WIN. PERIOD.

    • GadgetCanada1

      Let’s get some real truthful comparison now:
      1. The surface pro with the keyboard is 2.5lbs (the comparison is a lie). That’s heavier than a Macbook Air.
      2. The MacBook Air can run OSX and Windows 8.
      3. The 64GB Surface Pro uses 41GB of that space for the OS and other bloatware.
      4. They mention battery size but not battery life (Gee I wonder why?). The Surface Pro has a larger battery yet the MacBook Air lasts double the Surface Pro.
      5. Macbook Air has the best touchpad in the universe in a natural position right below the keyboard. Surface Pro wants you to hold your hands up to the screen for hours on end when used as a laptop. Well at least 4 hours max.

  • Kuan

    Thanks for the compare. Now can we have it compare to the rest of the similar Windows 8 devices? That will be more helpful!

  • Splatman

    A friend summed up the Surface Tablet as being like a Flying Car! He is hardcore MS. He meant it as a compliment,” who wouldn’t want a flying car!” There are a lot of reasons we don’t have flying cars but historically flying cars didn’t fly well and didn’t drive well. To me, I have to agree with my friend, the Surface Tablet feels like a Flying Car…it isn’t a great tablet and it isn’t a great laptop. It lacks battery power and LTE to be really mobile and as a laptop it is expensive, has a small screen size and less than great keyboard. Sure it can do Office, so what? Entry level iPad can do that, sure you have to open the Office file using an $10 Apple program like Numbers for spreadsheets or Pages for Word documents but it is easy to do and once you open the file and make changes you can save it as a MS document or as an Apple document…so that really isn’t an advantage.

    Seriously, I don’t get it, I *can* create a huge spreadsheet on my phone or my tablet, I *can* edit video or photo files on my phone or my tablet but WHO WANTS TO! That is what desktops are for with the added real estate of a BIG SCREEN!

    If the Surface is the digital version of a flying car it is doomed!

  • StillBroke Jones

    But if you are using a Surface Pro people might think you only have a $500 RT! You won’t look like a rich hipster with a $1000 MBA!