Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 3: Spec comparison

Microsoft has just launched the Surface Pro 3, a tablet with lofty ambitions to fully replace your ailing laptop. But attempted assassination of the entire portable PC industry aside, how does the Surface Pro 3 stack up against the cheap and cheerful Galaxy Tab 3 10.1in?

After all, it stands to reason that this super-slate should stand head and shoulders above its tablet siblings if it can give laptops a run for their money.

Let's break down the specs and see.

Size and dimensions

At first glance, you may think that the Surface Pro 3 has pipped the Galaxy Tab to the post here. But whilst Microsoft's offering does indeed have a larger 12in display, at almost 798g it weighs a hell of a lot more than the 508g Galaxy Tab. So unless you wish your expensive new slate to double as a weight for bicep curls on the go, the Galaxy Tab is a winner here.

The Surface Pro is also thicker, measuring 9.1mm compared to the Galaxy Tab's 8mm. However in fairness this is because it offers a full-size USB 3.0 port, SD card slot and a kick stand to boot.

Basically, if you view the Surface Pro as a tablet it looks and feels unwieldy, even monstrous. As a laptop, however, it's perfectly normal.

Processor and storage

If the Surface Pro looks like a hulking powerhouse on the outside, it's only fitting that it packs a hefty punch below the surface (pardon the pun.) It runs Windows 8.1 Pro, meaning that it essentially functions as a desktop which is completely beyond the capabilities of the Galaxy Tab.

The most affordable model packs an Intel Core i3 processor with 64G of storage, while those wanting to splash cash can treat themselves to a Surface Pro 3 with a Cor i7 processor and 512GB of storage. Those wanting even more space can also beef up their storage with the SD card slot. Meanwhile the Galaxy Tab only offers the 1.6 GHz processor which Samsung has given it.

Camera

Budding photographers will likely lean towards the Surface Pro 3, which boasts a 5 megapixel camera both on the front and the rear. It also offers 1080p video recording, while the Galaxy Tab only offers 720p. Samsung's tablet also has a 1.3 megapixel front-facing snapper and falls short of the Surface Pro 3 with a 3 megapixel rear camera.

Still, it's worth mentioning that while on paper the Surface Pro 3 performs better, it will be a lot heavier and ungainly to lift and snap photos with. Bear that in mind before you lug it halfway up a mountain to "capture the view" and come back down with Popeye-esque arm muscles.

Accessories

Samsung tends to let its hardware is notorious for attaching all the bells and whistles to its technology, and the Galaxy Tab 3 is no exception. You can pick up a Smart Cover and Case to protect your tablet, but that's around it.

Microsoft meanwhile is offering a keyboard cover for the Surface Pro 3 which actually includes a trackpad. You can also pick up a Surface Pen stylus to use alongside your shiny new tablet.

Verdict

Really the question you should be asking is not "which is more powerful?" but "what do you want from your tablet?" If you want something that is essentially a laptop without the hinged screen, and you have the best part of a grand to spend, the Microsoft Surface Pro should be right up your street. It's powerful, comes in a range of price options for most budgets and packs a PC operating system.

Meanwhile, for those who want a lightweight, and light-on-the-wallet option, the Galaxy Tab comes out on top. Sure it doesn't have as powerful a processor, but it is a tablet through and through and for a tablet has sufficient specs.

Check out our hands on review of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to see exactly what we thought of it.

Galaxy Tab 3

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Display

Screen size

10.1 inches

12in

Resolution

1,024 x 600

2,160 x 1,440 pixels

Pixel density

149 ppi

216 PPI

Type

TFT

LCD

Processor and battery

Family

Atom

Intel i5

Cores

Dual-core

Clock speed

1.6 GHz

TBC

Battery

Up to 8 hrs

Claimed 9 hrs life

Storage and memory

Internal memory

16 GB

64 / 128 / 256 / 512GB

Card slot

Yes

Yes

RAM

1 GB

4GB

Camera

Megapixels

Front: 1.3MP

Rear: 3MP

Front: 5MP

Rear: 5MP

Video

1080p

1080p

Dimensions

Size

243 x 176 x 8mm

292 x 201.3 x 9.1mm

Weight

508g

798g

Operating System

Android Jelly bean 4.1

Windows 8.1 Pro

Price

£265

£639 (64GB / intel i3)

£849 (128GB / intel i5)

£1,109 (256GB /intel i5)

£1,339 (256 GB/intel i5)

£1,649 (512GB /intel i7)

UK Availability

Available

Available for pre-order