2014’s Battle of the Tablets


As 2014 comes to an end, we thought we’d review some of the consumer electronics industry’s hottest, most innovative products. Phablets, tablets, smart watches—2014 was chock full of surprises for tech-savvy consumers on the go. To stay ahead of this bevy of enticing products from the biggest players in the field, consumers are going to trade in their old devices. This means, of course, that there’s never been a better time to implement a profitable recommerce solution.


As we approach the end of the year, one thing is clear: Google and Apple are not about to stop fighting over the title “Best Tablet.” Apple’s iPad Air 2, released on October 17, has faced a significant challenge from Google’s Nexus 9, released just two weeks later and the new Windows Surface Pro 3, released in June. The three were the hottest tablets of 2014, and they’ve been fighting over customers ever since.

But which is better? Let’s take a look.

iPad Air 2 – The Incumbent

Not surprisingly, the iPad Air 2 is a powerhouse. A 9.7 inch screen with 264 pixel density is powered by a triple-core, 1.8 GHZ processor and 2.5 GB RAM, making for smooth operation even in high-usage situations. The new model is thinner than ever, while new features range from a fingerprint sensor on the home button to a new, 8 MP camera. The drawbacks, however, cannot be ignored. Apple again refused to move its speakers out from the bottom of the tablet, making audio difficult to hear in many situations. The new iPad is also the most expensive of the three models discussed here – coming in at $500 for the most basic, 16 GB model.

Nexus 9 – The Rival

The Nexus 9 shines where the iPad falls short. For starters, it’s $100 cheaper for the same storage capacity, and its front-facing speakers make the multimedia experience much more tenable. It’s also lighter than its Apple Rival, clocking in at just under an ounce less than the iPad. Yet, despite a theoretically faster processor (an Intel quad-core with just over 2.3 GHZ), its apps and screens load more slowly than the iPad, something a software update will hopefully fix in the future. The Nexus is also smaller than the iPad, coming in at 8.9 inches of screen size.

Surface Pro 3 – The Challenger

And then there is the Microsoft challenger. For years it’s been considered an afterthought in the tablet battle. Will this be the year that the Surface Pro joins the top duo in customer preference? Some of the prerequisites are there: it offers the most powerful processor (Intel i3), the most RAM (4GB) and the most storage (64 GB). Yet, it falls short on most other aspects. The 5 MP camera is the lowest-resolution of the three, yet it’s heavier (1.76 lbs) than both of its competitors, and it offers no 4G or LTE possibilities. To make matters worse, the price – $799 for the cheapest model – is far beyond what Apple and Google can offer.

Nonetheless, the Surface’s attachable keyboard and USB capabilities make it an attractive option for some consumers. While the iPad remains the most popular tablet on the market, its relative market share has dropped over the past year, with Google and other brands – including the Surface – edging closer.

Holiday Time Is Prime Buyback Time

As the competitors edge closer together, the war of tablets will only increase in intensity. And as that happens, consumers will pick sides – and you should be ready to welcome their old tablets with open arms. Upgrade-hungry consumers are prevalent during the holiday season, which is the perfect time to intensify your recommerce efforts! Contact us today to find out how you can help your business with buyback programs.



Justin Finkelstein

Co-Founder & CTO at Sourcely; server swiss army knife; flavor architect; the wildcard.