How Microsoft's Newly Launched Surface Pro 3 Stands Against The MacBook Air

The Surface Pro 3 is the next step in the Surface line, and attempts to merge features commonly found in both tablets and laptops. But how does it compares to the Macbook Air?

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Microsoft has officially unveiled the Surface Pro 3, a device aimed at eliminating the "conflict" Microsoft sees between the tablet and laptop

Surface Pro 3

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In his usual style, Surface chief Panos Panay boldly proclaimed that the Surface Pro 3 will remove the conflict of choosing between a tablet and laptop — that it's been designed without compromise with the best aspects of both.

The Surface Pro 3 comes with larger surface area than its previous model and even lighter than a MacBook Air

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It's 12 inches, up from 10.6 inches, to increase productivity and weighs 800 gram, without a keyboard

By far the most immediate and noticeable change in this year's Surface Pro is the display. At 12 inches, it's now larger than previous models and also features a much higher 2160 x 1440 resolution. That puts it near 216ppi, which doesn't quite match the iPad Air's 264ppi pixel density, but again, you're working with a larger surface here — no pun intended.

Microsoft has also finally done away with the unwieldy 16:9 screen ratio of other Surface tablets in favor of a taller 3:2 ratio, making the latest device easier to hold and a better fit for a lot of content.

In addition to an improved hinge, users can now tilt the screen to an angle of up to 150 degrees

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The device features a pen too, which during the on-stage demo seemed to work seamlessly when writing letters into a New York Times crossword puzzle. By clicking the pen, it impressively turned on a note-taking app too.

WATCH: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Hands On Video:

Microsoft is dubbing the Pro 3 "a tablet that can replace your laptop," and positioning it against the thinnest, most portable notebook on the market — the MacBook Air. So how do the two really stack up?

The MacBook Air is weighed against the Surface Pro 3 at a Microsoft event in New York City.

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Throughout the Surface Pro 3 presentation, Microsoft took the time to compare its newest device against Apple's iconic portable computer.

This table the specs and features of the Surface Pro 3 and the mid-2014 MacBook Air. The MacBook Air lacks a touch screen and support for a Surface Pro Pen accessory, but here's how the rest of it compares:

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Although the MacBook Air and the Surface Pro 3 have many of the same features, looking at the price ranges can be a little misleading

The Surface Pro 3 starts at $799, that's for a model with 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and an Core i3 processor. A more even comparison is between the $999 version of the Surface Pro 3 and the base configuration MacBook Air.

Both machines have Core i5 processors, 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. The Pro 3's speed is clocked a bit higher than the MacBook AIr, but the MacBook Air has an extra USB 3.0 port and a better GPU.

Likewise, the $1299 Surface Pro 3 — which features 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage — is priced the same as a MacBook Air with that configuration. (The $1199 MacBook Air has only 4GB of RAM, but can be configured to have 8GB for an extra $100.)

In fact, the MacBook Air actually comes out cheaper than the Surface Pro 3 once we enter configurations with a Core i7 processor. The MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a Core i7 processor is $1449. A Surface Pro 3 with those same specs is $1549. A fully maxed-out MacBook Air — including a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD — is $1749. The highest-end Surface Pro 3 configuration, which boasts the same specs, is $1949.

The bottom line? The Surface Pro 3 can hold its own against the MacBook Air.

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At first glance, it’s easy to assume that the Surface Pro 3 offers a sharper display and lighter body than the MacBook Air for the same $999 price tag. However, you’ll need to pay an extra $129 for the Surface’s Type Cover keyboard, which is essential for using the slate as a laptop replacement. It might be worth splurging for the Pro 3 if you want a touchscreen device with some neat pen features, but the MacBook Air still provides the most solid notebook experience for your money.

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