Microsoft’s Surface range has finally arrived in South Africa, with both the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 recently launching in the country.
These laptops are aimed at high-end users, offering premium hardware designed to offer maximum performance and portability as well as deep integration with Microsoft’s ecosystem.
Microsoft has partnered with Tarsus Distribution to distribute its Surface devices in South Africa, and the company told MyBroadband that it is excited for the consumer and commercial launch of these products locally.
“We know that our customers and Windows fans have been excited about the launch of Microsoft Surface products in South Africa,” Tarsus said. “We are thrilled to finally be making available two key product lines of the portfolio.”
“Even though we are facing challenging economic times, we believe that there is a pent-up demand for the capabilities that Surface brings in terms of design, customisation, the range of accessories and most importantly the Windows 10 experience.”
These devices are aimed at the premium market, meaning they are set to compete with devices such as those in Apple’s MacBook lineup locally.
When asked whether it thought Surface devices would take on Apple’s MacBook range in South Africa, Tarsus said that it competes with the Surface devices as well as other premium notebooks.
“We compete with a strong product offering with the Surface Portfolio but also strong premium offerings from internal OEM’s like HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, etc., who have a strong Windows Premium device products,” Tarsus said.
Both the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro 7 are available to purchase from Incredible Connection and Vodacom in two colours – Platinum and Matte Black.
Accessories including the Surface Keyboard Cover, Surface Pen and Surface Arc Mouse are also available to purchase from these stores.
To determine how well the new Surface hardware stacks up against Apple’s local offerings, we compared the Surface Pro 7 and Laptop 3 with the Apple iPad Pro and MacBook Air, respectively.
Surface Pro 7 vs iPad Pro
We compared the entry-level 12.9-inch version of the Apple iPad Pro with the cheapest Microsoft Surface Pro 7 configuration available in South Africa.
It is important to note that the iPad Pro uses the same mobile chipset that ships in Apple’s iPhone smartphones, which means it is difficult to compare performance across processors.
Additionally, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 runs Windows 10, while the iPad Pro runs a specially-built operating system which evolved from the company’s iOS mobile operating system.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7, therefore, supports wider functionality and app support.
Both devices have front- and rear-facing cameras, as well as detachable keyboards and optional styluses.
These accessories are priced as follows:
- Surface Pen – R1,999
- Surface Pro Type Cover – R2,799
- Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro – R4,599
- Apple Pencil – R2,999
Below are the specifications and pricing for the entry-level Surface Pro 7 and Apple iPad Pro.
|Specifications||Surface Pro 7||iPad Pro 12.9-inch Wi-Fi|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home||iPadOS 13|
|Display||12.3-inch 2,736 x 1,824 touch||12.9-inch 2,732 x 2,048 touch|
|CPU||Intel Core i3-1005G1||A12Z Bionic|
|Storage||128GB SSD||128GB SSD|
|Network||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Cameras||8MP Rear, 5MP Front||12MP + 10MP Rear, 7MP Front|
|Ports||1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x Surface Connect, 1x Surface Type Cover port, MicroSD||1x USB Type-C|
|Battery||Up to 10.5 hours of typical usage||Up to 10 hours of web surfing|
|Dimensions||292 x 201 x 8.5 mm||280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm|
Surface Laptop 3 vs MacBook Air
We compared the entry-level Surface Laptop 3 with the cheapest MacBook Air configuration available from iStore South Africa.
These devices sport similar specifications and prices, but there are a number of important differences which buyers should note.
The Surface Laptop 3 has a touchscreen display while the MacBook Air does not, and the CPU in the Surface device is more powerful than the chip in the Apple laptop.
The MacBook Air we used in this comparison is slightly more affordable than the Surface Laptop 3, however, and it sports two Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Below are the specifications and pricing of the entry-level MacBook Air and Surface Laptop 3.
|Specifications||Surface Laptop 3 13-inch||MacBook Air|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home||macOS 13|
|Display||13.5-inch 2,256 x 1,504 IPS touch||13-inch 2,560 x 1,600 IPS|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1035G7||Intel Core i3 10th-gen|
|Storage||128GB SSD||256GB SSD|
|Network||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x Surface Connect||2x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)|
|Battery||Up to 11.5 hours of typical usage||Up to 12 hours web surfing|
|Dimensions||308 x 223 x 14.5 mm||304 x 212 x 15.6 mm|