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Surface Pro 3 destroys iPad Air 2 in consumer watchdog speed test

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is officially the fastest tablet in the West, after beating out Apple's iPad Air 2 – at least according to new research from consumer watchdog Which.

Which tested a bunch of leading tablets using the Geekbench software, putting the slates through their paces in terms of multitasking apps and other real-world tasks, and working out an average total score.

The Telegraph reports that the Surface Pro 3 (128GB version with the Core i5 processor) topped the rankings with a score of 5069, massively ahead of the iPad Air 2 which achieved a score of 4046. Of course, that particular model of Microsoft’s tablet costs £849, whereas Apple’s slate starts at £399, less than half the price - so this result is hardly surprising.

Google's Nexus 9 was in third place, again a fair chunk behind its nearest rival, notching up a tally of 3537. The Kindle Fire HDX came fourth on 3060.

The older first-generation iPad Air found itself in fifth place with a score of 2687, just beating out the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro on 2650.

The top 10 was rounded out by the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, then the Asus MeMO Pad 7, followed by the Tesco Hudl 2 which actually managed to edge out the iPad mini 3. This latter fact is certainly a surprising result, given the price difference between these two tablets – the compact iPad costs three times as much as Tesco’s budget slate.

Which editor Richard Headland commented: "Our tablet speed test is a great indication of how fast tablets can run when downloading apps or using multiple functions at once.”

The latest incarnations of Microsoft's Surface tablets have certainly been well received by critics and consumers, and Redmond has also moved to make the Surface 3 more viable for enterprises, with a recently released driver update that allows for mass deployment of the device.