Which’s lab experts examined the top 10 tablets in the U.K. To assess the speed of each, the group used Geekbench‘s cross-platform processor benchmark, which runs tests and simulations of real-world tasks.
Performance certainly isn’t everything, but it should play a big part in your decision to buy a tablet. After all, tablets have come down significantly in price, so it’s all the more important to know whether you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Geekbench quantifies performance with a final numeric score — the bigger the score, the faster the device. Here are the results:
- Microsoft Surface Pro 3 128GB i5: 5069
- Apple iPad Air 2: 4046
- Google Nexus 9: 3537
- Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 2014: 3060
- Apple iPad Air 32GB wi-fi: 2687
- Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1: 2650
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5: 2594
- Asus MEMO Pad 7 ME572C: 2351
- Tesco Hudl 2: 2084
- Apple iPad mini 3: 1790
The Surface Pro 3 is 20 percent faster than any of its rivals, at least according to Geekbench. Samsung’s tablets perform worse than the best tablets from Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon.
That said, the Apple iPad mini 3 is almost three times slower than the Surface Pro 3, which isn’t surprising given that it’s such a small tablet. Which points out, however, that the iPad mini 3 can’t keep up with two of its 7-inch competitors, Asus’ MEMO Pad 7 and Tesco’s Hudl 2, both significantly cheaper devices.
Which offers some important final thoughts based on the results:
The Surface Pro 3 also strikes a more unwelcome similarity to laptops — its price. You’ll have to shell out £849 for the 128GB model, and even the cheaper 64GB version starts at a lofty £639. And that’s before you add Microsoft’s detachable Type Cover keyboard for another £110.
On the other hand, you can get another podium-placed tablet for less than £300. The Google Nexus 9 — with its striking 1536×2048 resolution screen and imperious 8MP camera — is the quickest Android device, leaving the several Samsung and Amazon tablets trailing in its wake.
In short, while the results bode well for Microsoft, this isn’t the full story. And anyway, the company markets the Surface Pro 3 as “the tablet that can replace your laptop,” so we’re not exactly surprised.
Some would argue that the Surface Pro 3 is more of a computer than a tablet, considering its hardware (we can’t help but wonder how the Surface 3 would place in the above list). Yet the line between Microsoft’s Surface and Apple’s iPad is blurring, and consumers just want a portable computer with a touchscreen that handles whatever they throw at it.