Surface Pro 2 vs Surface Pro 3: Price vs Features

Surface Pro 2So I’ve been looking at the Surface Pro for someone who is a WIndows user and doesn’t really want to switch over to a Mac (which would be my recommendation) or even a Chromebook.  I liked the specs on the Surface Pro 2, but they were a little pricey.  And basically, I forgot to get one, which might actually be a good thing now that the Surface Pro 3 is out.  I’ve read that the Surface Pro 2 was supposed to be a laptop replacement by combining all the functionality of a laptop and tablet.  Unfortunately, it didn’t look like consumers were really buying the marketing hype.  Now enter the Surface Pro 3 which is continuing the march towards replacing the aging PC laptop.  And more importantly to Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3 is supposed to be as attractive and sexy as a Macbook Air.  Until I see a Surface Pro 3 in-person, I can’t really say if it can topple or even be considered a true competitor to the Macbook Air in terms of looks and feel.  The real question right now is if the Surface Pro 3 is a better buy than the Surface Pro 2.  Let’s look at the differences:

Screen Size and Weight – Winner: Surface Pro 2

In terms of screen size and weight, I’m going to say the Pro 2 wins at 10.6 inches and 1.49 lbs compared to 12 inches and 1.76 lbs for the Pro 3.  I think the 10.6 inches is reasonable and the lighter form-factor is more attractive than the extra 2 inches.

Process – Winner: Surface Pro 3

The Surface Pro 2 comes with a NVIDIA Tegra 4 while the Surface Pro 3 comes with the choice of an Intel i3, i5 or i7 processor.  The Surface Pro 3 wins because consumers can select from a budget-friendly i3, a mid-range i5 or a performance-powerhouse i7.  Choices are always good, especially when you can pick the features/prices that are right for you.

Battery – Winner: Surface Pro 2

This was quite surprising – the older Surface Pro 2 has a reported battery life of 10 hours while the newer Surface Pro 3 has a reported battery life of 9 hours.  I can only imagine this is due to the change in processor, from a mobile-friendly NVIDIA Tegra to a more power-hungry Intel chip.  Also, the increased screen-size I’m sure also sucks up more power attributing to a shorter battery life.  So the Surface Pro 2 wins this round with its extra battery stamina.

Price – Winner: Surface Pro 2

It’s a pretty easy decision to pick the Surface Pro 2 with a starting price of $449 compared to a starting price of $799 for the Surface Pro 3.  I didn’t really see any major improvement that warrant such a price increase.  The better processor, bigger screen and even Apple-esque form-factor doesn’t seem compelling enough to shell out that much cash.

Conclusion – Winner: Surface Pro 2

It shouldn’t be no surprise that the winner is the Surface Pro 2 with it’s lighter form-factor, better battery life and much more reasonable price tag.  I’m really hoping there will be some good deals on the Surface Pro 2 now that the Surface Pro 3 has been announced.  I’ll update this post or report my finding on any good deals in case you’re also looking for a Windows tablet/laptop.