MacBook Air vs. Surface Book vs. Surface Pro 4: Apple and Microsoft deliver up their best devices but what are the differences?

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The MacBook Air, Surface Book, and Surface Pro 4 are three of the options a person can consider when looking for a laptop or notebook to buy. Here’s a rundown of the specs of these devices from tech giants Apple and Microsoft to make comparisons easier.

Size and Weight

MacBook Air: The 13-inch MacBook Air weighs only 2.96 pounds (1.35 kg), with a height of 0.11 0.68 inch (0.3 1.7 cm) and depth of 8.94 inches (32.5 cm). On the other hand, the 11-inch variety measures 0.11 0.68 inch (0.3 1.7 cm) high, weighs only 2.38 pounds (1.08 kg), and has a depth of 7.56 inches (19.2 cm.) Apple credits the thinness and lightness of their MacBook Airs to the flash storage that takes up about 90 percent less space than a normal hard drive.

Surface Book: Microsoft’s ultra thin laptop weighs 3.34 pounds (1.5 kg) with the keyboard. In terms of dimensions, the Surface Book measures 12.30″ x 9.14″ x 0.51 – 0.90″ (312.3mm x 232.1mm x 13.0 – 22.8mm).

Surface Pro 4: Of course, this newly released device from Microsoft is neither a laptop nor a netbook it’s a tablet. Still, with the company claiming that it can replace a laptop, it is worth pitting the Surface Pro 4 against the other two. Measuring 11.50 x 7.93 x .33 inch (292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45 mm), this tablet weighs 1.73 pounds (786g) when equipped with the i5 or i7 processor and 1.69 pounds when powered by the m3 processor.

Performance

MacBook Air: Powered by Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor, the laptop from Apple promises to deliver optimum performance from simply browsing the Internet to playing games with intense graphics. As mentioned before, the MacBook Air is equipped with flash storage of up to 512GB which is 17 times faster than normal hard drives with 5400 rpm.

Surface Book: In terms of processor, this laptop can be powered by sixth generation Intel Core i5 or i7. One can also choose which graphics card to install between Intel HD graphics 520 or NVIDIA GeForce GPU with 1GB GDDR5 memory if the processor selected is an i5. Meanwhile, memory can be 8GB or 16GB RAM depending on whether the laptop will be used heavily or not.

Surface Pro 4: Microsoft is into letting customers configure the device that they want, so it can fully support their needs. As for the Surface Pro 4, the options for processors are Intel Core M, i5, or i7, while memory can range from 4GB to 16GB. Meanwhile, storage can be 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or even 1TB.

Battery life

MacBook Air: As reported by Apple, the MacBook Air can pull impressive numbers when it comes to battery life because of the flash storage. With more space for a big battery, the 11-inch model can run for up to 9 hours on a single charge, while the 13-inch variety can last up to 12 hours. Also, when put to sleep for more than three hours, the standby mode can conserve battery for up to 30 days. The Power Nap option, meanwhile, will let the netbook receive emails or calendar invitations even when it is asleep.

Surface Book: In a test conducted by Microsoft on a model powered by an i5 processor, the battery lasted for more than 12 hours of video playback.

Surface Pro 4: This tablet with full functions of a laptop can last up to nine hours. The test was done on a preproduction model with i5 processor while all settings were on default.

Display

MacBook Air: Measuring only 4.86 mm thin, the display of Apple’s netbook has a resolution of 1366 x 768 for the 11-inch model and 1440 x 90 for the 13-inch one. Both sizes have LED-backlit displays to make colors pop from edge to edge.

Surface Book: Microsoft’s laptop comes with 13.5 inches PixelSense display. With resolution of 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) and aspect ratio of 3:2, the Surface Book will make images and videos crisp and clear.

Surface Pro 4: The 12.3-inch PixelTouch display of this tablet boasts a resolution of 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI) and aspect ratio of 3:2. Considering that this is officially a tablet, the display of the Surface Pro 4 is one of the best in the market nowadays.

Price

MacBook Air: The price of Apple’s device varies depending on the price and storage that comes with it. The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $899 for the base model, and it can go up to $1,099 for the 256GB storage. Meanwhile, the base model for the 13-inch variety is pegged at $999, while the 256GB storage option costs $1,199.

Surface Book: Microsoft’s laptop is more expensive than Apple’s netbook. The 128GB, i5 processor, and 8GB memory model has a price of $1,499. The most expensive model is the i7 one with 512GB storage, 16GB RAM, and dGPU. This costs $2,699.

Surface Pro 4: Starting at $899, the tablet can be configured depending on what the customer wants. The most expensive model, however, is tagged at $1,599, and it is powered by an i7 processor coupled with 256GB storage and 8GB RAM.