Surface Pro 3 vs iPad Air vs Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Surface Pro 3
The Surface Pro 3 is a handsome tablet indeed

Microsoft has unleashed its cavalry in the battle of big tablets in the form of the Surface Pro 3, its most impressive and desirable tablet yet.

But is it enough to draw the eyes of the masses from the iPad Air and even the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2?

As phones continue to get bigger, the same is true for tablets, and the space for 10-inch plus slates is getting more and more crowded.

So which big tablet has what it takes to beat the other two?


Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is the largest table in terms of sheer size, at 12.2 inches - .2 inches larger than the 12-inch Surface Pro 3. The Note Pro is 7.95mm thick and weighs just 750g, 50g less than the Surface Pro 3's 800g. The Surface is also thicker at 9.1mm.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 size

King of the ring

Meanwhile the iPad Air measures 9.4 inches and 7.5mm thick, making it the thinnest of the three tablets. It weighs just 469g as well.


The Surface Pro 3 has a beautiful 12.2 inch screen with the uncommon aspect ratio of 3:2 and a dense 2160 x 1440 resolution. Whether the aspect change from the Surface 2's 16:9 is a good or bad thing will have to play out over the long run as we see how the OS and apps perform.

iPad Air screen

iPad Air resolution bests the Pro 3

The iPad Air's 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 LED display with IPS may be more dense than the Surface Pro 3's, but that has more to do with its smaller size than its comparable resolution.

The LCD-equipped Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 has the biggest screen at 12.2 inches and the highest resolution at 2560 x 1600.


The Surface Pro 3 lets users choose between an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor and up to 8GB of RAM. The default i5 is clocked at 1.6GHz but can Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz.

Surface Pro 3 processor

Pro power in your hand

Apple's iPad Air comes with the company's own 64-bit A7 chip, designed to conserve battery life while improving performance over past iPads.

The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 can handle a few configurations: the Wi-Fi and 3G model has an octa-core chip comprised of a 1.9GHz quad-core A15 and a 1.3GHz quad-core A7 chip, while the LTE version has a single 2.3GHz quad-core Krait processor. The octa-core configuration gives it a leg up in terms of sheer processing power.

Battery life

Microsoft has yet to specify the Surface Pro 3's battery in detail, but we do know that it's supposed to run for approximately 9 hours, 20% longer than the Surface Pro 2's.

galaxy note pro 12.2 battery

Which big-size tablet lasts the longest?

The iPad Air's roughly 8,820mAh battery has it beat with an estimated 10 hours of active use, and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2's is even better at 9,500mAh and a reported 13 hours. Naturally, battery consumption varies wildly with use, and the differences among these three may well prove negligible.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.