Microsoft Surface Go Vs 10.5-inch iPad Air: Which to Buy?

Estimated read time 6 min read
Microsoft Surface GoiPad Air
Excellent design.
Surprisingly strong graphics.
Decent price.
Fantastic display and speakers.
Excellent display.
Strong battery life.
Snappy performance.
Support for Apple’s Smart Keyboard.
Still no accessories included.
Less powerful than an iPad.
Screen could be sharper.
Windows desktop mode feels cramped.
Uses the goofy old Apple Pencil.
A design that’s getting rather tired.
Only two speakers.


Microsoft Surface GoiPad Air
Dimensions10.31 x 6.26 x 0.39 inches (262 x 159 x 9.8 mm)9.8 x 6.8 x 0.24 inches (248.9 x 172.7 x 6.1 mm)
Weight504.0 g464.0 g
MaterialsBack: PlasticBack: Aluminum
BiometricsFingerprint (touch)
ColorsPlum, Plum, Twilight blue, WhiteGold, Gray, Silver

Microsoft Surface Go:

On this device, what I like the most about the design is the in-built stand which looks nice and also useful if you are watching videos or using it as laptop.

The back of the device looks really smooth and modern as well. While holding the device in the hand it also feels comfortable and durable as well. However, it is also a little heavier in comparison to iPad Air, it weights 1.15 pounds and it is 8.3 millimetre thin.

iPad Air:

The design of this device is consistently similar to other iPad Air’s. By having a look at the device, it feels quite minimal and modern. It also has the aluminium body and while holding this device it feels comfortable and modernized as well. It weights 1.03 pounds and it 7.5 millimetre thin. There is also touch ID sensor on the front which is nice for security purposes and it is quite fast as well.


Microsoft Surface GoiPad Air
Size10.0 inches10.5 inches
Resolution1200 x 1800 pixels, 216 PPI2224 x 1668 pixels, 4:3 ratio, 265 PPI
TechnologyIPS LCD
Screen-to-body69.42 %79.41 %
FeaturesScratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 3), Ambient light sensorPressure-sensitive, Oleophobic coating, Ambient light sensor

Microsoft Surface Go:

This device has got 10-inch display with 1800 x 1600 pixels. Which is perfectly fine for me, but what’s more disappointing on this device is the large bezels all around the display which looks like a outdated design.

However, the panel is nice as the colors are sharp, bright, and contrast is good as well. This device maxes out at 350 nits. So overall this is also a nice display and to be frank you will find that there is not too much difference between both the screens, when you put them side by side.

iPad Air:

iPad Air comes with 10.5-inch retina display with 2224 x 1668 pixels. This display is much brighter and it is easily visible in sunlight without any issues. There is also P3 color gamut and true tone display which basically adjust the white balance according to the environment.

There is no air gap between the pixels and the display because the display is completely laminated. Sadly, pro-motion technology is not available but still you will get 60Hz refresh rate. Overall this is a beautiful display and you would definitely love to use this screen to watch movies or any types of videos.


Microsoft Surface GoiPad Air
System chipIntel Pentium 4415YApple A12 Bionic APL1W81
ProcessorDual-core, 1600 MHz, 64-bit, 14 nmOcta-core, 2490 MHz, Vortex and Tempest, 64-bit, 7 nm
GPUIntel HD Graphics 615Apple 4-core GPU
Internal storage128GB256GB
OSWindows 10iPadOS (13.x)
Wi-Fi802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, dual-band802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, dual-band; MIMO

Microsoft Surface Go:

There are two stereo speakers and because the speakers are on the side of the device, the audio here is really loud and crisp.

There is a Intel Pentium 4415Y in this device which is not as powerful as A12 bionic chipset but it is powerful enough to do all the work related stuff like emailing, browsing internet, writing some documents, etc.

The RAM is not sufficient enough to handle all that things at once. Overall this is not the best device in terms of performance and it’s certainly not as powerful as iPad Air’s but it is decent enough and usable as well.

iPad Air:

2 Speakers are located at the bottom of the device. I would have loved if there were four speakers on this device. Quality-wise, the sound is pretty clear and loud. 

Now, the performance on this device is going to be top class as there is A12 bionic chipset. This processor is really powerful enough to do video editing without any issues and also there were no issues while playing high-end games like PUBG. Apps like Youtube, chrome, Facebook or Instagram works perfectly fine and doing multi-tasking is really great as well.


Microsoft Surface GoiPad Air
RearSingle cameraSingle camera
Main camera8 MP8 MP (Autofocus, BSI sensor)
Video recording1920×1080 (Full HD)1920×1080 (Full HD) (120 fps)
Front5 MP7 MP (HDR)
Battery Capacity26.12 Wh8134 mAh

Microsoft Surface Go:

This device has also got 8 MP camera on the back and there is 5 MP camera on the front. These camera’s are also decent enough nothing too special.

This device has got the 26-watt hour battery which is a little smaller than the iPad Air. This device is a little power hungry as it has Windows OS. It only lasted for 6 hours. This device will not last more then 6 hours which is just like using mobile phone with 10-inch screen.

iPad Air:

The iPad Air has got 8 MP camera on the back of the device and there is a 7 MP camera on the front. These camera’s are good enough to take quick photos or you want to do facetime. In general, tablets are not made for camera.

The battery on this device is 30.2 watt hour battery which is quite a lot. While I was using this device it lasted for 10 hours which is almost half the day and if you are not heavy user then it may last for 2 days.


If I want to buy one these devices then I would definitely buy the Apple iPad Air as it is really great device in every aspect. The design is better, performance is great, display is really beautiful and bright. The battery life is also better in comparison to Microsoft Surface Go. If you are someone, who do lot of office related work then Microsoft Surface Go would be great option to buy.

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Jaskaran Singh

Jaskaran, a tech enthusiast from childhood, inspired by his father, began his tech journey by rooting Android phones. He now writes on various tech topics, aiming to simplify complex ideas for a broad audience. His writing is direct, concise, and flows effortlessly, making tech topics accessible and engaging.

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