This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Prizefight: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Air 13" 2014

About Video Transcript

Prizefight: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Air 13" 2014

5:42 /

Microsoft made a direct comparison between the Surface Pro 3 and the MacBook Air 13", so we're throwing them into the Prizefight Ring to settle the score once and for all. Let's get it on!

[MUSIC] What's up prize fight fans I'm Brian Tong and this is a battle for one of these things is not like the other. It's a prize fight punch out between Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 and Apple's Macbook Air 13" 2014 edition. The Microsoft threw down the hammer with a direct comparison so we're putting it to the test. Our judges for this fight are Senior Editor Dan "The Man" Ackerman. Senior Associate Editor Joe "The Big Show" Kaminski and Brian "Ring-a-ling-a-ding" Tong. We'll take all three judges blind scores and average them out to the nearest tenth each round. The final prize fight score will be an average of all rounds using the same system. Let's get it on. Round one is design. [NOISE]. Microsoft brings in edgy and modern design, with the slimmest Core i5 PC ever made, that weighs 1.76 pounds, without the keyboard case. It's the power of a laptop in a tablet. Tablet form, it feels like a premium device. But the kickstand still doesn't fit on your lap comfortably. And it's form factor is great as a tablet, but just okay as a laptop. Now, the Macbook Air's design is classic and iconic. With its aluminum unibody weighing in at 2.96 pounds, its smooth hinge allows you to open it with ease. But let's be honest, this design hasn't changed for years. It feels dated, and we've said it over and over, that getting a thinner bezel around the screen should be a priority. Both designs impress, but they can also be better. We're calling this a tie at four points apiece. Round two is features. The Surface Pro 3 stands out with its 2,160 by 1,440 screen resolution touch screen. That pops compared to the Air's 1,440 by 900 display. It's the most flexible portable with a kickstand. And a keyboard cover with the responsive trackpad that really feels comfortable to use. Plus, a stylus for drawing and sketching. This truly allows you to use this the way you want. It's also compatible with Windows software, and the Windows 8 App Store. You might look at this as a dual experience that can be jarring at times, especially when you have to go into the desktop version and tweak some settings. But if you're looking at the Surface Pro you know what you're getting yourself into. Now Apple has kept the MacBook Air pretty simple and straight-forward and it's lack of a 1080p screen is a glaring omission with today's competition. Both systems include backlit keyboards, HDMI out with a mini display port adaptor, SD card slots, 80211 AC, and Bluetooth 4.0. Microsoft takes this round with a 4.3. And Apple gets a 3. So after averaging two rounds, Microsoft leads. Round 3 is Performance. Woo! We're facing off a Surface Pro 3 with a 1.9 GHz Core. Core i5 processor with 8 gigs of RAM versus a Macbook Air with a 1.4 GHz Core i5 with 4 gigs of RAM. Now the proof is in the pudding and in our cnet performance test Apple's MacBook Air performed better in the Handbreak Multimedia Multitasking test and it also performed in the iTunes encoding test. But the Service Pro 3 out performed the Air in our Photoshop CS 5 imaging process test. Now it's impressive that Microsoft didn't sacrifice performance for the tablet, but Apple get's the slight edge here with a 4.3 and the Surface Pro gets a 4. Next round is batter life. [NOISE] Battery life has been a forte when it comes to Apple's laptops, specifically the Air. Microsoft made valiant improvements to the Surface Pro 3 and in CNET's video battery drain test, we were able to squeeze out seven hours and 28 minutes of juice. But this is where the math book is in rarefied error. And in our battery drain test we were able to get a whopping 16 hours and 26 minutes of apple juice. It's truly a. All day device, and the MacBook Air gets a perfect five, and the Surface Pro 3 gets a three. So, after averaging four rounds, Apple has taken the lead. The final round that decides it all is value. Surface Pro 3 starts at $799 if you're willing to go with the Core i3 processor, we're not. But a Core i5 with 128gb storage starts at $999 the same price as the entry level 13 inch air and the Typecover is $129. So your total cost comes in at $1,128 before any other additions. Now a [UNKNOWN] has gone down $200 in the past two years and starts at $999. It's obviously the best money that you can spend on a dedicated laptop at that price today. So it's really the versatility of the Surface Pro that you're paying for and really they should include the keyboard in that price. But in the final round, our judges give the Macbook Air a 4.7 and the Surface Pro gets a 3.7. So let's average out all five rounds. And in the throwdown when the Surface Pro took an early lead, Apple fought back with its performance and battery life. Taking this battle from 4.2 to 4.8 and the matchbook error 13 inch 2014 edition is your prize fight winner. Now don't let the score tell the whole story. We're fans of the Surface Pro three. It's come a long way, and it's versatility makes it a truly unique product. But comparing these categories. It's still the Air that reigns supreme. I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching and we'll catch you guys next time for an another Prize Fight.

New releases

Samsung's premium-looking gas range costs less
2:06 March 28, 2015
The $1,699 Samsung Gas Range with True Convection, model number NX58F5700, has a lot to love at a reasonable price.
Play video
PicoBrew's automated beer maker too pricey for most home brewers.
6:28 March 28, 2015
We're cloudy on the benefits of the PicoBrew Zymatic, especially for $2,000.
Play video
Meerkat or Periscope? Which is better?
1:54 March 27, 2015
With Twitter's Periscope hitting the scene, we had to see how it measures up to Meerkat.
Play video
Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge: What's the difference?
2:30 March 27, 2015
Paralyzed by choice? CNET's Jessica Dolcourt helps you decide if you can really be happy with the base model S6, or if the S6 Edge's...
Play video
2016 Kia Sorento
5:28 March 27, 2015
CNET Senior Editor Wayne Cunningham test-drives the new 2016 Kia Sorento Limited Trim model and checks the tech on this comfortable,...
Play video
Mercedes F 015: Car of the future (CNET On Cars, Episode 62)
20:50 March 27, 2015
Mercedes asks what shall we do when driving ends, the new safety tech that must be on your new-car shopping list, and the Top 5 affordable...
Play video
Imagine a 10TB Solid State Drive
2:58 March 27, 2015
Could a 10TB Solid State Drive be in our near future? Amazon fluffs up their cloud service, Lyft goes social and Tim Cook gives ba...
Play video
It shoots. It scores.
2:53 March 27, 2015
Mirrorless Samsung NX1 takes on dSLRs for action photography.
Play video