Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple MacBook Air 11in
Microsoft faces off against Apple's super thin laptop. Who will win?
While the Microsoft Surface RT is probably best compared to fellow ARM-based laptabs such as the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, the Surface Pro has one clear rival: the 11-inch Macbook Air.
Both offer a full desktop OS and a current-generation Intel Core chip in a handbag-friendly form factor, both weigh around a kilo, both come in 64GB and 128GB flavours. Here’s how they shape up in specs:
Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple MacBook Air 11in – display
The Air’s screen may be bigger, but the Surface’s 1080p touchscreen wins this round easily. Roll on the MacBook Air with Retina display.
Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple MacBook Air 11in – keyboard and build
The MacBook Air’s slightly heavier than the Surface Pro and its Type Cover, but you can’t beat the feel of that aluminium unibody – and a proper keyboard is much nicer to type on.
Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple MacBook Air 11in – CPU
The Air’s 2GHz Core i7 chip slightly outmuscles the Surface’s 1.8GHz Core i5.
Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple MacBook Air 11in – connectivity
Both the MacBook Air and the Surface Pro pack USB3.0, and the Air has Thunderbolt – but the Surface’s Mini DisplayPort and neat little 64GB microSD port wins it.
Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple MacBook Air 11in – battery
The Surface Pro powers through its battery after one movie and a couple of hours’ browsing. The Air gets you an extra hour, at least.
Microsoft Surface Pro vs Apple MacBook Air 11in – which to get?
At time of writing, neither. Okay, so we’d recommend the Air for its superior build, battery, processing power, keyboard and OS. But now is a bad time to buy any Intel machine, because in a few months machines using the new, dramatically less power-hungry Haswell architecture will begin to appear. Unless your laptop’s died and you really need a replacement, wait until then.