Pixel C vs. iPad Air 2 vs. Surface 3

Looking to go toe to toe with the Microsoft Surface 3 and the iPad Air 2, Google's Pixel C starts at $499 and has a 10-inch display. But how well does it measure up to the tablets from Apple and Microsoft?

Display and size

At 10.2 inches, the Pixel C is larger than the Air (9.7 inches) but smaller than the 10.8-inch Surface 3. With a resolution of 2560 x 1800, though, the Pixel C's pixel density of 306.81 means it's a sharper display than both the Air (263.92 ppi) and the Surface 3 (213.6 ppi).


The Pixel C uses Nvidia's Tegra X1 processor, which is also found in the Shield TV smart console. By comparison, the Air runs on Apple's A8X chip, while the Surface 3 uses an Intel Atom processor.


For the starting price of $499, the Pixel C comes with 32GB of built-in storage. That's twice as much as the Air (16GB), but half as much as the Surface (64GB). And, the Surface is the only tablet of the three with expandable storage.

Battery Life

Google says that the Pixel C should last up to 10 hours on a charge. If those claims are accurate, it would last about 40 minutes longer than the Air 2 and 2 hours longer than the Surface 3.

MORE: 10 Tablets with the Longest Battery Life


At the launch event, Google touted the optional $149 magnetic keyboard that will allow users some measure of productivity. In our hands-on time with the Pixel C, the keyboard felt comfortable, if a little tricky to connect. Microsoft also makes a detachable Type Cover keyboard for the Surface, which costs $129. While Apple doesn't make a keyboard for the Air 2, there are numerous third-party options.

Tablet Guide

LAPTOP Reviews Editor