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Shootout: Apple iPad Air vs. Microsoft Surface 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1

By Sidney Wong - 29 Jun 2014





Apple iPad Air

Microsoft Surface 2

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1


  • iWork
  • Office 2013 RT
  • Best multi-tasking
  • Specially designed Type and Touch Cover keyboards 
  •  Hancom Office



Media Management
  • 5GB free iCloud storage
  • Lightning connector 
  • 15GB free OneDrive storage
  • MicroSD memory card slot (up to 64GB) 
  • Full-sized USB 3.0 port
  • Mini-HDMI port
  • 50GB free Dropbox storage (two years)
  • MicroSD memory card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Micro-USB 2.0



  • Over 1 million apps in Apple App Store
  • 500,000 apps optimized for tablets
  • Quality gaming apps 
  • Windows Store lacks quantity of apps
  • Over 1 million apps in Google Play Store
  • Lacks in quality and tablet optimized apps



  • Letterbox issue 
  • Audio output muffled by hands
  • No letterbox issue
  • Integrated kickstand
  • Good quality audio output from speakers
  • No letterbox issue
  • Easy access volume / brightness controls
  • Loudest speakers, but lacks in quality



Battery Performance
  • 3.73V, 8,827mAh battery 
  • 407 minutes
  • 7.6V, 4118mAh battery
  • 550 minutes
  • 3.8V, 8,220mAh battery
  • 450 minutes



  • Details are larger and easier to read
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Awkward 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Heavy
  • Awkward 16:9 aspect ratio


User Friendliness
  • Simplistic, straightforward interface
  • Unique interface of Live Tiles
  • Learning curve
  • More customizable and flexible
  • Portable


Data Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11n
  • Supports 4G LTE CAT 3
  • More 4G LTE bands supported
  • Wi-Fi 802.11n only
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Supports 4G LTE CAT 4 (Download speeds up to 150Mbps)
  • Network Booster



Final Tally

With a final tally of four wins, the Microsoft Surface 2 emerged victorious in the this shootout.

The Surface 2 trumps the competition in productivity, movies, media management and battery performance while the Apple iPad Air scored wins in games, reading and data connectivity. The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 won in two categories - user friendliness and data connectivity.

Despite the clear win for the Surface 2, the results of this shootout do not apply to everyone; people have different needs and certain aspects are more important than others. At the end of the day, you'll have to decide which tablet fits your needs. However, if you need one that fulfills productivity and content consumption needs well as a whole, the Surface 2 is our pick.

For a more in-depth look at each tablet, as well as full imaging performance and benchmark analysis, do refer to each tablet's individual review: