Surface Pro 3 wages war with MacBook Air

Microsoft has revealed the Surface Pro 3, and the new Windows tablet's main rival is clear: Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air. The OS X ultraportable was brought up on-stage during Panos Panay's presentation announcing the Surface Pro 3, and promptly slapped on a scale to show how the two hold up in terms of what you'll feel in your bag.

The MacBook Air comes in at 1.25kg in 13-inch form. In contrast, the Surface Pro 3 is 800g and only 9.1mm thick, though that's without a keyboard cover attached.

However, Panay later added a keyboard to the scale, to show that even with the extra weight it was still less than Apple's notebook.

It's not just in terms of weight that the Surface Pro 3 bests the MacBook Air, Panay argued during the presentation. Thanks to the higher resolution display, Microsoft says that you actually fit 6-percent more content on-screen than on the 13-inch panel of the Air, despite the screen being physically smaller, at 12-inches.

That's a factor both of the 3:2 ratio, Panay pointed out, and the content scaling.

Microsoft's argument is that people like the idea of a tablet but still find they have to go back to a notebook to do any real work. "Most of you buy two things," Panay said, discussing the in-store retail experience. "We are taking this conflict away."