Apple's iPad Air: How does it compare to Microsoft Surface 2 and Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1?

Daniel Bean

Apple unveiled a new iPad -- named the new iPad Air -- on Tuesday. It's essentially the follow up to last year's fourth-generation iPad; Apple CEO Tim Cook called it the thinnest, lightest full-sized tablet ever.

Changes in the overall casing and a bump in processing power - the iPad mini now features the speedy new A7 64-bit chip that the iPhone 5s and new iPad mini have - were the major changes for the new 9.7" tablet. With thinner bezels, the new iPad Air's design now more closely resembles the iPad mini, and it's available in the same silver and white or space grey and black colors as the mini, too. The Retina display and camera on the Air remain the same as last year's 4th generation iPad.

Though Cook explained at Tuesday's event that Apple has sold over 170 million iPads to date, the company isn't the only device maker churning out new tablets each year. Microsoft's new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 went on pre-sale last month and are hitting store now and Samsung recently launched its newest Galaxy Note 10.1 full-sized tablet.

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So, even though Apple is selling a lot of these tablets, we wonder if they are, indeed, making the best device on the market. Microsoft has taken its tablet in the direction of a laptop hybrid with the Surface's kickstand and attachable keyboard and Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 continues to push the envelope of multitasking with its hand-drawn S Pen app windows and note taking features. All of these idiosyncratic features can make the choice in device a bit hard for users, but we're here to help with our handy chart comparing all that is comparable on these full-sized tablet.

The iPad Air will be available November 1st, with a starting price of $499 (16 GB). Take a look at our device spec comparison below to see how the Surface 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 match up to Apple's newest.

Apple iPad Air vs Microsoft Surface 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

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