What we're doing wrong in Surface Pro 2 vs Macbook comparisons
I went through this large thread that was filled with complaints about Surface Pro's nonsensical pricing against the Macbook Air, when it still falls below Macbook Air's battery life, does not have that good a keyboard or a trackpad, is difficult to use on a lap and so on..
Taking further cues from the Reddit AMA by Panos Panay, we have some noteworthy reasons -
First of all, do not compare Macbook Air 13' with Surface Pro on battery - it runs a 54wh battery against Surface Pro's 42wh. It should ideally be placed against Macbook Air 11' that runs the same battery.
1. Surface Pro 2 uses a 1.6Ghz Intel Core i5 processor that has been specifically tweaked for better perfomance and battery efficiency. Macbook Air uses a bottom of the line Intel Core i5 that has 1.3Ghz. This is the main reason why Surface Pro falls an hour or probably two behind Macbook Air 11 inches. In day-to-day use, this can be pardoned but under usage for which Surface Pro is designed - Adobe, Autodesk etc, this will be HUGE.
2. Surface Pro 2 has a Full HD screen to power that is brightest at 400nits, and on top has two active digitizers to power - Capacitive touch and Surface Pen. This is another reason why Surface Pro 2 might fall an hour or probably two behind Macbook Air 11 inches. It is funny how reviewers compare by putting both's brightness at 75% which is 300 nits for Surface Pro and less than 200 nits on Macbook Air.
3. Surface Pro 2 does not have an inferior touchpad or keyboard experience. While keyboard could be an intimate preference of the user - the touchpad was confirmed by Panos and team to be a Windows 8.1 Precision Touchpad. This means that Windows 8.1 will natively control the touchpad like Mac OSX controls. This will give you as smooth an experience as touch on Windows devices.
If the Surface Pro could give me 7 hours without the battery cover, while my current Macbook Air 11 (2013) gives me 9 hours - I am sold - because after all, the only possible argument against Surface Pro's pricing is that those 2 hours of battery was more precious than having those 7 hours of a much better device.
If you believe in those 2 hours, yes, Surface Pro is priced nonsensically for you. But I am selling my Macbook Air.
Also, the reason why the 512GB Surface Pro is 200$ more expensive than the Macbook Air 11's 512GB version is because a) Surface Pro bundles 8GB RAM and it is optional for MBA and b) Surface Pro 2 uses a much more expensive low power mSATA (mini PCIe) whose price increases exponentially against a standard PCIe in the 512GB range.
I request those who make the comparison to factor in what is evidently different between two devices. They are NOT essentially the same hardware. Surface Pro 2 is so much more expensive to produce - and I am not even counting VaporMg, I am only looking inside the hood and at that gorgeous display. I love my Macbook Air too, but this time around, Microsoft truly has a better device.