iPad Air vs. Surface 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) vs. Sony Xperia Tablet Z Specs Comparison

  • Michael Briggs , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Nov, 04, 2013, 04:33 PM

The holiday shopping season is nearly upon us. Apple has unveiled a new iPad dubbed the Air bound to be in high demand, but how does the next-generation Apple tablet's specs compare to its competition? Let's take a look in this "iPad Air Vs." specs comparison.

iPad Air vs. Surface Pro 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) vs. Sony Xperia Tablet Z


Apple iPad Air: 9.7-inch Retina display with 2,048 pixels by 1,536 pixels.

Surface Pro 2: 10.6-inch display with 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014: 10.1-inch display with 2,560 pixel by 1,600 pixel resolution.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: 10.1-inch display with 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels.

Winner: Samsung

Physical Dimensions

Apple iPad Air: 469 grams and 7.5 mm thick

Surface Pro 2: 676 grams and 8.9 mm thick

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014: 540 grams and 7.9 mm thick

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: 495 grams and 6.9 mm thick

Winner: Apple iPad Air

Rear Camera

Apple iPad Air: 5-megapixel

Surface Pro 2: 5-megapixel

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014: 8-megapixel

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: 8-megapixel

Winner: Draw


Apple iPad Air: "Up to 10 hours" of web surfing on Wi-Fi, video and music.

Surface Pro 2: "Up to 10 hours" for video playback.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014: 9 hours of Wi-Fi and 10 hours of video.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: Not official but, said to be 10 hours on video and 8 hours of web browsing.

Winner: Each maker claims different tasks, so comparison results in a draw.


Apple iPad Air: 16GB for $499 USD, 32GB for $599.

Surface Pro 2: 32GB for $450 USD (Minus Touch and Type Cover)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014: 16GB for $549 USD, 32GB for $599.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: 16GB $499 USD, 32GB for $599.

Winner: Surface Pro 2

iPad Air name a sign of a tablet to come?

How does that old saying go—there's more to a name than you think?

At least two analysts believe Apple's decision to call the company's new 9.7-inch tablet the iPad Air suggests much more than the tablet's light frame.

According to Will Power, an analyst at RW Baird, the iPad Air will be followed by a high-end tablet called iPad Pro that will feature some of the work tasks only currently available on PCs.

"The name change is likely intentional. Everything that Apple articulates it does for a reason," says Power. "Developing an iPad that is better designed for productivity is something that could very well make sense."

History also indicates that the name change to iPad Air was more than a savvy way to market the fifth-generation iPad. Apple's laptop and notebook computer line features a slimmer MacBook Air and a heavier-duty MacBook Pro.

"This would seem to leave room for a 'Pro' model at some point if a market for a higher performance tablet exists," Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, wrote in a note Tuesday to investors.

Even the new 7.9-inch iPad Mini is a borrowed name; Apple also offers a small desktop computer called the Mac Mini.

Previous speculation suggested Apple could be preparing a larger, 13-inch iPad that would bring a bit more diversity to the company's tablet line. Ben Reitzes, an analyst at Barclays, recently echoed those previous reports in a note to investors.

With Apple's iPad sales at 170 million (with most being used for leisure rather than work), there is still plenty of room for the company to grow. According to Gartner estimates, 300 million PCs are expected to ship in 2013, compared to only about 180 million tablets. Adding a high-end tablet that could do everything a PC can could help Apple get the most of the tablet market.

"Put that 170 million number in the context of the number of PCs out there," Power said. "There's still a significant growth opportunity for tablets and Apple is trying to find ways to further segment the market."

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