Listen, I might write for an Apple website, but I have a lot of respect for Microsoft. I'm a longtime Xbox fan and I have a Windows gaming PC that I adore with all of my heart. That being said, the company's tablet game could use some improvement. For example: the company's iPad competitor, the Surface Pro 3, which was just announced in a special event.
As expected, the slate is thinner than its predecessor, but not nearly as thin as the iPad Air. It's also heavier than the iPad, but that doesn't make for a very compelling stage presentation, so Microsoft's Panos Panay did the next best thing: he compared its weight to that of a MacBook Air.
But rather than just say that it's lighter than the MacBook, he had an old-timey scale on stage to prove his point. On one side was the new Surface Pro 3 tablet, and on the other was a 13" MacBook Air -- which, it's important to remember, is the larger of the Air options. Huh. Well, OK then.
Microsoft's aim in all of this seems to be that the Surface Pro 3 is a laptop replacement, rather than an iPad competitor, so directly comparing it to a MacBook might seem like a solid move. However, the Surface Pro 3 on the scale didn't have the keyboard case equipped, while the MacBook, of course, has its full keyboard along for the ride at all times.
A useless comparison? I have to think so, and the Twitter reactions from the tech crowd at the event were a mix of hilarity and confusion at the odd head-to-head. I guess we'll see if this helps them move more tablets, but history hasn't exactly been kind to the Surface line.
UPDATE: Later in the event, the scale was revisited to show that the tablet with keyboard case equipped was indeed still lighter than the larger MacBook Air... though there was still no mention of head-to-head comparison with the iPad.
[Photo credit: TechCrunch]
Microsoft Surface Pro 3