What makes all of these large tablets tick?

With the release of the Pixel C, we have yet another big Android tablet that's looking to challenge the other offerings out there. But this one's just a little different, as it has the choice of two different keyboards that are aimed directly at turning the tablet into something capable of handling some more productive tasks. The goal is not unlike the other tablet-masquerading-as-a-laptop devices from Samsung, Apple and Microsoft.

There's far more to a comparison of these devices than just specs — particularly when you start looking at productivity aspects of each — but knowing that you have enough power under the hood to get things done is always important. We've rounded up the specs for the Google Pixel C, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7, Apple iPad Air 2 and Microsoft Surface 3 to see how they all stack up.

Spec Pixel C Tab S2 9.7 iPad Air 2 Surface 3
OS Android 6.0 Android 5.1 iOS 9 Windows 10
Display 10.2-inch
ClearType LCD
Resolution 2560x1800
(308 ppi)
(264 ppi)
(264 ppi)
(214 ppi)
Processor NVIDIA Tegra X1 Exynos 5433 octa-core Apple A8X Intel Atom x7-Z8700 quad-core
Storage 32 or 64GB 32GB 16, 64 or 128GB 64 or 128GB
Expandable No Yes No Yes
RAM 3GB 3GB 2GB 2 or 4GB
Rear camera 8MP 8MP 8MP 8MP
Front camera 2MP 2.1MP 1.2MP 3.5MP
Fingerprint No Yes Yes No
Battery 9243 mAh* 5870 mAh 7340 mAh* 7567 mAh*
Optional LTE No Yes Yes Yes
Dimensions 242 x 179 x 7 mm 237 x 168.6 x 5.84 mm 240 x 169.5 x 6.1 mm 267 x 187 x 8.7 mm
Weight 517 g
(1.139 lbs)
389 g
(0.86 lbs)
437 g
(0.96 lbs)
622 g
(1.37 lbs)
Keyboard weight 399 g (metal)
391 g (folio)
317.5 g 517 g (Typo keyboard) 265 g (Type Cover)
Combined weight 916 g (metal)
908 g (folio)
754.5 g 954 g (Typo keyboard) 887 g (Type Cover)

* For ease of comparison, battery size converted from watt-hours using 3.7V for calculation

Looking at the line items, you can see that all four tablets are comparable in several areas. All of their screens are roughly the same size, with the iPad Air 2 and Galaxy Tab S2 on the low end at 9.7-inches and the Surface 3 at the high end with 10.8-inches. All have super high resolution screens, and go with a more square-like aspect ratio (be that 4:3, 3:2 or 1:✓2) that's a bit taller than your usual widescreen tablet. Each has a powerful processor, a good bit of RAM and a pair of cameras, with the iPad Air 2 and Surface 3 having an advantage in the storage department with 128GB options.

Each of these large tablets is often paired up with a keyboard accessory to make the most of its capabilities. We've listed the weight of the first-party keyboards (when available), as well as the combined weight of the tablet and keyboard when carried together. Because Apple doesn't make a first-party keyboard for the iPad Air 2 (only the iPad Pro has one at this point), we've chosen the most comparable keyboard that Apple sells directly, the Typo Keyboard Case, because of its adjustable viewing angles and full keyboard layout.

The iPad Air 2 is the heaviest of the bunch at 954 g when paired with a full-featured keyboard (though lighter ones are available), with the Pixel C in a close second at 916 g — the Surface 3 is surprisingly just 887 g in total, though a vast majority of that weight is the tablet itself. The Galaxy Tab S2 is feather-light at 754 g with its keyboard case, even with the case including a trackpad.

There's a lot to digest here, and how much each spec matters in a buying decision is very much a personal decision. But now with the knowledge of how each ranks in terms of specs, you're well on your way.