In his latest video, MacRumors videographer Dan compared the iPad Air to Microsoft’s Surface Go to determine which one he liked better for on-the-go computing.
For this comparison, Dan decided to focus on using the iPad Air and the Surface Go as somewhat of a laptop replacement. The iPad Air starts at $499 while the Surface Go comes in at a $399 base price, but in an effort to look at these as potential laptop replacements Dan opted to consider the devices equipped with first-party keyboard accessories, which pushes the iPad Air up to $659 and the Surface Go to $529.
In his video, Dan shares his impressions on the design and features of each, including important productivity accessories like respective keyboards and styluses.
As potential laptop replacements, performance is really where the rubber meets the road, and Dan came away somewhat unimpressed with the Surface Go. He wanted to like its relatively full-fledged Windows 10 operating system, and it was fine for basic tasks like emails, web browsing, and document writing, but he found things bogging down a bit when trying to multitask.
With the iPad Air, you don’t really get a desktop-class operating system, at least for now, but it generally works very well when you need to multitask, switching easily among Safari, Messages, Notes, Mail, iWork and more with no performance issues. And with iPadOS 13 coming later this year, the iPad will become even more powerful.
So where do we come down on the iPad Air versus the Surface Go? It’s a challenging comparison considering they have some significant spec differences and everyone’s use case is different. Overall, Dan found the iPad Air to offer a more enjoyable user experience, although it’s not quite a laptop replacement. But neither is the Surface Go in his experience, and he wonders whether it isn’t better to just point someone toward a Chromebook or more traditional Windows notebook if they’re looking for a cheap laptop experience.