Updated 01:01 PM EDT, Tue, Oct 26, 2021

iPad Mini 4 vs Microsoft Surface 3: Release Date, Specs, Features & Price Roundup [Facts & Rumors]

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Much to the surprise of unsuspecting netizens, Microsoft dropped the Surface 3 at the end of March. All these time, most rumors are geared towards the Surface Pro 4, yet the revelation of the new laplet certainly had prying eyes turning.

Aimed at a larger customer base, Microsoft intended the Surface 3 to possess "the very best" of the Surface Pro 3 -- packed into one convenient and more affordable slate.

The steaming competition in the tablet arena makes it necessary to determine how the Surface 3 fares against its rivals. So far, with specs and features in hand, we've seen how the device compares to existing tablets such as the Surface Pro 3 and iPad Air 2, as well as rumored products including the Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro (aka iPad Air Plus / iPad Plus).

While the iPad Mini 4 has not been confirmed by Apple, the device appears to be another Surface 3 rival, considering the latest of its purported details. We hope to get a glimpse of how these slates potentially fare against each other.

Release Date & Pricing Information

The latest iteration in the iPad Mini family -- the iPad Mini 3 -- is unveiled in October 2014. The device was born alongside the iPad Air 2, few weeks from the announcement of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The earlier iPad Mini 2 and original iPad Mini were likewise unwrapped in the same month.

That being said, it makes sense to hypothesize that the new iPad Mini launches in October 2015. Know Your Mobile expects a time line that runs from October to December.

In terms of price, Gotta Be Mobile predicted that the iPad Mini 4 will start at $399, citing the possibility of the iPad Mini 3 dropping to $299 and the iPad Mini 2 to $249.

The Surface 3, starting at $499, is already available to pre-order here. According to TechRadar, Microsoft claims launching the device in 26 markets on May 7. In addition to the standard tablet, a mobile-broadband version (4G LTE) is also available.

Processor & Random Access Memory

The iPad Mini 4 is expected to run an A8X processor, the similar chip found in the iPad Air 2. This is seen to offer 40% faster performance and 180 times faster graphics. RAM is reported at 2 GB.

Another side of the rumor mills pegs the device to house a more advanced A9 processor, the chip speculated to mark Apple and Samsung's collaboration.

As noted by ZDNet, the Surface 3 packs a quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor, supported by 2 MB cache and Intel Burst technology (up to 2.4 GHz). The device is offered in 64 and 128 GB models, supported by 2 and 4 GB of RAM, respectively.

Design & Display

According to the Inquisitr, the iPad Mini 4 will come with a 7.9-inch screen, sporting a thinner profile akin to the iPad Air's architecture. To date, the iPad Air 2 stands as the world's second-thinnest tablet, owning a depth of 6.1 mm.

At 1.37 lbs (622 g), the Surface 3 measures 10.52 x 7.36 x 0.34 in (267 x 187 x 8.7 mm). It is known as the thinnest and lightest Surface the company has ever shipped. It comes with a 10.8-inch screen, featuring ClearType Full HD Plus display in a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels.

Camera & Other Features

Details about the iPad Mini 4's camera are scarce, but for an insight, The Science Times noted "a much better camera." The outlet also listed the possible inclusion of 802.11 ac Wi-Fi support.

More recently, an alleged iPad Mini 4 leak has stirred the grapevine community. The device's casing, shown in a video, suggests the removal of the lock switch, two rows of ten speaker holes and "a more iPad Air 2 look," Pocket-lint said.

The Surface 3 captures rear photos at 8 MP, while its front snapper shoots at 3.5 MP. For more information about Microsoft's newest laplet, head over here.

These are just few of key differences between the iPad Mini 4 and Surface 3. With the former still unannounced, expect more information as the industry fits puzzle pieces together -- or when Apple finally gives the word.

What do you want to see in the next iPad Mini?

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