Apple's new MacBook is very thin. It's barely
more than half an inch thick at its thickest end. The front edge is 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 great until you look at the
Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro 3 is slightly larger… 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 impressive. 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.
When it comes to ports and expandability, the
Surface Pro 3 wins hands down. The new MacBook has only two ports -- an audio
jack for headphones and a USB-C port. The USB-C port can be used for charging,
USB devices, or connecting an external display. However there's only one port,
though, so if you want to do all three of those things at once, you'll need an
additional dongle that that will set you back $80.00.
The Surface Pro 3 has an audio jack for
headphones in addition to a USB 3.0 port, mini DisplayPort, and a microSD
memory card slot. The Surface Pro 3 also includes a variety of features and
functions lacking in the MacBook, such as an accelerometer, gyroscope, and
prices. The new MacBook is
$1,299 for the 256 GB version, and $1,599 for a version with a 512 GB SSD. Tack
on the extra $80 for the USB-C dongle, and you'll pay $1,379 and $1,679!
The Surface Pro 3 starts at $799 for a Core
i3 model with only 64 GB of storage. TheIntel Core i5
Surface Pro 3 with 256 GB SSD costs $1,299 -- the same as the
MacBook. You have to add on the $129 for the Type keyboard cover as well,
though, so it's $1,429.
You have to spend $1,949 to get the Core i7
Surface Pro 3 if you want a 512 GB SSD, so the 512 GB MacBook is a much better
deal. On the other hand, you can add 128 GB of storage to the 256 GB Surface
Pro 3 with a microSD card for under $100.
For the most part, the two are pretty darn
close. There's a little give and take in the specs and capabilities, but in
general, they're very similar -- all the way down to the cost. It basically
boils down to spending $1,379 for the MacBook or $50 more for an equivalent
Surface Pro 3.