Head-to-head: Surface Pro 3 vs. new MacBook

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Earlier I shared a post explaining why the Asus Zenbook UX305 is a much better deal than the new Apple MacBook. Now I’m going to compare the MacBook with a device I am significantly more familiar with–the Surface Pro 3.

The Surface Pro 3 is my primary computer. It is the one I use day in and day out to make a living. It is also the computer that replaced my 2011 MacBook Air, so I am familiar with both sides of this equation.

I wrote this post examining the two head-to-head and comparing size, weight, features, capabilities, and price to see which device offers a better value:

Apple wowed the world this week. Yes, there’s apparently some sort of wrist-based timepiece or something, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Apple also unveiled the new MacBook line Monday, and it looks like a very impressive, well-engineered laptop. So, how does the new MacBook stack up against the Surface Pro 3?

Well, let’s take a closer look at that.

Apple’s new MacBook is very thin. It’s barely more than half an inch thick at its bulkiest end. The front edge is almost like a knife edge at just 0.14 inches. The footprint is 11.04 inches by 7.74 inches. The MacBook is also very light at just two pounds.

That all sounds very impressive until you look at the Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro 3 has a slightly larger footprint — 11.5 inches by 7.93 inches. However, it’s only 0.36 inches thick across the whole device and weighs only 1.76 pounds. If you add a Type keyboard cover — which you should, to keep things fair — the Surface Pro 3 becomes 0.56 inches thick and the weight climbs to 2.4 pounds.

The new MacBook has a 12-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440. That’s not too shabby. The Surface Pro 3 also has a 12-inch display. Its resolution is a little lower at just 2160 x 1440, but the Surface Pro 3 display is also touchscreen-enabled and comes with a Surface Pen for handwriting, drawing, and other input.

The new MacBook uses a less powerful Intel Core M processor, while the Surface Pro 3 line is built on a 4th generation Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, depending on which model you choose. The two devices claim similar battery life, and both have 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 support. They both have cameras, but the MacBook has only a front-facing 480p FaceTime camera, while the Surface Pro 3 has front and rear-facing 5 megapixel cameras.

Check out the rest of the comparison at TechRepublic: Pitting the Surface Pro 3 up against the new MacBook.

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About Author

I have a passion for technology and gadgets--with a focus on Microsoft and security--and a desire to help others understand how technology can affect or improve their lives. I also love spending time with my wife, 7 kids, 2 dogs, 5 cats, 2 rabbits, 2 ferrets, a pot-bellied pig, and sulcata tortoise, and I like to think I enjoy reading and golf even though I never find time for either. You can contact me directly at tony@xpective.net. For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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