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Surface Pro vs MacBook Air; Microsoft's Hybrid to Launch Against Apple's Ultrabook

Microsoft's Surface Pro is compared against Apple's MacBook Air.

By Dexter Keyton, EnStars on Feb 08, 2013 03:45 PM EST
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MacBook Air
MacBook Air (Photo : .)

The Microsoft Surface Pro will be released tonight at midnight and will compete against the likes of Apple's MacBook Air.

But how does Microsoft's hybrid tablet and laptop stand against its Apple competitor?

With the MacBook Air you've got an 11.6-inch display while the Surface Pro works with a 10.6-inch display - you could also get a 13-inch MacBook Air, but here we'll compare the display that's nearest to the Surface Pro. The display on the Surface Pro works with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution while the MacBook Air's native resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels.

It's also worth making the distinction between these two displays in the fact that the MacBook Air does not support touch while the Surface Pro supports 10-point multi-touch input and comes with a stylus. The physical Type Cover keyboard doesn't come standard on the Surface Pro and will cost an extra $130.

Both devices are also very lightweight with the Surface Pro weighing two pounds and the MacBook Air just a third of a pound heavier than that. They also each come with an Intel Core i5 processor, an Intel HD graphics 4000 card, and 4 GB of RAM.

The storage on the Surface Pro and the MacBook Air both come with 64 GB hard drives, with a 128 GB optional upgrade. However, Windows 8 takes up 45 GB of space leaving which can really take a big hit depending on the version purchased. Microsoft's device does come with a micro SDXC slot for users that want to boost their storage capacity.

The MacBook Air has five hours of battery life, which is good for an ultrabook. The Surface Pro has four and a half hours battery life which is decent for a laptop but does not live up to other similar tablet types.

Users looking to compare prices need to keep in mind that while the $899 baseline for Surface Pro is $100 cheaper than the base model Macbook Air, the keyboard must be bought separately, giving Microsoft's hybrid a higher retail figure.

In the end, the Surface Pro is impressive as a hybrid but falls more in line as a mini laptop while the MacBook Air maintains solely as an ultrabook. The Surface Pro will likely go for business professionals looking for a more portable Windows 8 device, but only time will tell if it will be as well received as Apple's beloved laptop.

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