Windows Tablet PC

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Which Processor Should You Choose?
The third addition is the ZenBook Pro UX550. Starting at $1,299, it’s based around the Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card.
Chuwi’s HiBook is one of few tablets to dual-boot Windows 10 and Android Lollipop, making it a great proposition if you can’t – or don’t want to – separate work and play. This budget tablet comes in at a great price, too; find out more in our Chuwi HiBook review. Also see: Best budget tablets 2016 UK.
Windows tablets that can double up as a laptop when required are becoming increasingly popular, but Microsoft’s Surface line is expensive. Alternative Windows 10 tablets such as this Chuwi Hi12 can meet most user’s needs, and at a much lower price. Also see: Best Windows tablets 2016 and Chuwi HiBook review.

The Surface Pro 4 is incredibly fast, especially in its Core i7 incarnation, but some users really don’t need that much power. For general computing tasks such as reading email, browsing the web and completing basic productivity tasks, it could be considered overkill. Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2016.

The Chuwi Hi12 has a spec more in line with the entry-level Surface Pro 3 with which it shares similar specifications and dimensions. There’s a quad-core fifth-generation Intel Cherry Trail Z8300 processor (Surface Pro 3 has a fourth-gen Core i3, i5 or i7), 4GB of DDR3L RAM and 64GB of flash storage (plus support for an additional 128GB via microSD). In common with the Surface Pro 3 the screen is large and high in resolution at 12in and 2160×1440 pixels, but the Chuwi’s battery is higher in capacity at 11,000mAh (Surface 5,547mAh) – you’ll easily get a full working day and plenty of juice to spare from the Hi12.

You might also like: Surface Pro 4 review, Surface 3 review, Surface Pro 3 review

Chuwi Hi12
Chuwi Hi12 review: UK price and availability

The Chuwi Hi12 is available from GearBest for £194.71 (a version that dual-boots Android 5.1 Lollipop is slightly cheaper at £180.28). GearBest also sells the optional keyboard with trackpad, which costs £33.47. GearBest offers free shipping to the UK, but when importing goods from China you may be required to pay import duty. Read our advice on buying grey market tech.

By comparison, the cheapest Surface Pro 4 tablet starts at £749, and even the standard Surface 3 costs upwards of £419. These are both faster and have a more premium design, but as we’ll explain below the Chuwi is a great budget alternative.
Chuwi Hi12 review: Design and build

It might have a super-low price tag, but Chuwi hasn’t skimped on the build materials. The Hi12 has a tough grey (also available in gold) metal case with a large and high-resolution 12in, 2160×1440-pixel (216ppi), 3:2 IPS display that is sharp and offers great colours and viewing angles. From the front the Chuwi looks good, although a tendency to attract fingerprints and various logos on the rear weaken the overall design. See all Windows tablet reviews.

The Chuwi is large and heavy for a tablet, as you’d expect given the screen and battery specs, and the keyboard adds another 600g to the 852g package. It’s still just as portable as most 12in laptops, though, and shouldn’t weigh you down too much when carried in a bag.As with previous years, Acer launched a number of new products for 2016 including laptops such as the Aspire S13, smartphones, wearables and even a cycling computer. One of the most interesting is the Alpha 12 which is a direct rival to the Surface and arguable a clone. Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2016.
Acer Switch Alpha 12 release date and price

Like the Aspire S13, the Switch Alpha 12 has a release date of May in Europe and the price is also 699 Euros. In the US it will be available in June with a lower price of $599.

As far as we’re aware, the keyboard cover is included so this is a cheaper option compared to the $899 Surface Pro 4 which does not. Other rivals include the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S and the Huawei MateBook which are both more expensive.

Acer Switch Alpha 12 keyboard cover
Acer Switch Alpha 12 review: Design and build quality

Being a Surface clone/rival, the Alpha 12 is a Windows 10 tablet which can operate like a laptop thanks to a keyboard cover. It’s something even Apple is getting in on with the iPad Pro.
Set Microsoft’s Surface Pro (2017) next to its predecessor, the Surface Pro 4, and I defy you to tell the difference. With the same dimensions and weight, the two are virtually indistinguishable—a kickstand that reclines further and a few cosmetic changes are all that separate them. What sells the new Surface Pro, though, is on the inside: a dramatic upgrade to the processor and graphics that propels it to the head of the 2-in-1 class.

Microsoft built the Surface Pro around a new 7th-generation Kaby Lake processor and its associated Iris Plus integrated graphics, and boy, do they shine. Especially in graphics, the new Surface Pro (2017) almost doubles the performance of the two-year-old Surface Pro 4, and challenges notebooks like the original Surface Book and 15-inch HP Spectre x360, both of which use a dedicated graphics chip.

Microsoft demands a hefty premium for that kind of performance, though. (For full specifications and prices of the new Surface Pro, see our separate article.) Not only is the fancy Alcantara-bound Signature Type Cover sold separately ($160), but the more sensitive Surface Pen is as well ($100). Add that to the whopping $2,199 that Microsoft asks for our review model, and you have to ask yourself, do I really want a Surface tablet, or could I save upwards of $700 buying a slightly heavier notebook?
Surface Pro 2017 Surface Pro 4
Mark Hachman / IDG

Quick—can you tell the Surface Pro 4 from the new Surface Pro (2017)? The new one’s on the left.
Table of Contents

Subtle changes distinguish the Surface Pro (2017)
A mini-Surface Studio
Performance: Blazing fast, but at a price
Conclusion: The competition is catching up

Subtle changes distinguish the Surface Pro (2017)

Because the new Surface Pro is so nearly identical to the Surface Pro 4, most differences are trivial: The front-facing camera now fades into the tablet bezel, for example, and the Surface Pro features a softer, rounded profile. (I only noticed these differences after Microsoft pointed them out, and I bet most users simply won’t be aware of them.) The Surface Pro is also the first of Microsoft’s Surface products to ship with the Windows 10 Creators Update.

The Signature Type Covers are pleasingly fuzzy, though the fabric tends to compress a bit, especially on the bottom, and collect dust. The color options are nice: platinum, burgundy, and cobalt blue, as well as the standard black. The new $100 Surface Pens ship in the same colors.

The specifications should sound familiar. The new Surface Pro measures 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches, the same as the Surface Pro 4, and weighs between 2.37 and 2.41 pounds. Our calipers found the Surface Pro 4 to be 0.327 inches thin, versus 0.345 inches for the Surface Pro.
At the back, like the Surface, is a kickstand which flips round a long way (165 degrees) so you can position the screen facing upwards. The kickstand is a metal bar, though, with a rubber section for gripping the surface it’s on.

Acer Switch Alpha 12 design

Like the Surface and other rivals, the Alpha 12 comes with a keyboard cover. While there are differences in the design of the tablet itself, this attachment is essentially identical to the Microsoft Type Cover.

That’s not really a bad thing as it’s an excellent piece of design. The two attach satisfyingly together with magnets and metal connectors ensure you don’t need to fiddle around with Bluetooth.

Acer’s keyboard cover also features proper keys with 1.4mm travel and we found it a nice thing to type on. There’s a trackpad and a loop on the side with which to hold the optional Active Pen stylus.

As well as working flat, additional magnets mean you can angle the keyboard should you find it more comfortable. The regular model is not backlit but there is the option for this feature.

One of the interesting design points is that the Alpha 12 is fanless despite having a Core i processor – fanless rivals use the Core M chips instead. You can’t see it but a ‘Double LiquidLoop’ closed loop cooling system keeps on top of things where the

Stereo speakers sit at the bottom left and right edges of the device, so you have to be careful you don’t muffle them with your palms when holding up the tablet, but the volume goes reasonably loud. For volume we found it about level with our iPad Air 2, although the Chuwi gave a slightly tinnier sound.

Various ports and connections sit along the device’s left edge. There’s Micro-USB for charging the tablet, mini-HDMI for plugging it into a big screen, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a mic and a microSD slot that can accept up to 128GB. There are also front- and rear cameras, rated at 2- and 5Mp respectively.

Chuwi Hi12
1×1 pixel

As we’ve mentioned the Chuwi can be either tablet or laptop, with a magnetic, plug-and-play keyboard dock sold separately. If you’ll be doing a lot of typing then the keyboard is a lifesaver, holding firm to the tablet and charging itself from the Chuwi’s battery. The keys are generously sized and well spaced, and typing isn’t the chore it is on many Bluetooth keyboards.

You can tilt back the screen for more comfortable typing – although not quite far enough in our opinion, an extra 15- or 20 degrees would be ideal – or flip the tablet round to conceal the keyboard when used in tablet mode. A USB port sits at each side of the keyboard (for left- or right-handed use), but it doesn’t have enough power to drive much more than a mouse. In our opinion the keyboard itself is fine in use, although we’d prefer a UK- to US layout.

We do have a gripe with the keyboard, though: its built-in trackpad is horrendous, far too easy to inadvertently touch and move the cursor and, as we found, use to accidentally zoom in or out onscreen and even resize the desktop icons. A button on the keyboard let’s you turn off the trackpad, although you will need to plug in a USB mouse.
Chuwi is a Chinese brand that is sold in the UK via grey-market sites such as Geekbuying, which supplied our HiBook for review. (US customers can also buy Chuwi devices on Amazon.) Read our advice on grey market tech before you buy.

The Chuwi HiBook reviewed here is sold by Geekbuying for £143.42, while the optional magnetic docking keyboard costs £34.97. Geekbuying didn’t supply the keyboard for our review, but we strongly recommend you consider it if you’ll be making much use of the Windows 10 OS on this tablet for productivity tasks. As well as adding a full-size keyboard and trackpad it gives you two full-size USB outputs; without it the HiBook has just Micro-USB, Micro-HDMI, USB-C and a microSD slot.

The low price looks even better when you consider that the Chuwi runs a full version of Windows 10 Home, which it dual-boots with a vanilla version of Android Lollipop, putting all the apps you could possibly want at your fingertips. The tablet has 64GB of internal storage, with 50GB reserved for Windows and 16GB for Android; each OS consumes around 6GB. This isn’t a huge amount of storage for either OS, but anything you’re not storing in the cloud can be saved on to removable media such as a memory card or mobile hard drive.

To switch between OSes the tablet requires a reboot. Fortunately it performs this pretty quickly, but you should remember not to leave any work unsaved. At startup you can choose to boot Android Lollipop by pressing the volume up key, or Windows 10 by pressing volume down; if you don’t make a choice the HiBook will boot into the last used OS by default. A shortcut on the Windows desktop lets you switch to Android, or if you’re using Android you can tap the Switch to Windows icon in the drop-down notification bar to revert to Windows.

The HiBook runs much the same hardware as the larger Chuwi Hi12 we recently reviewed. This 12in tablet runs Windows 10 only, but does so using the same Intel Cherry Trail X5-Z8300 processor, 4GB of DDR3L RAM and 64GB of flash storage as this HiBook. Key differences are the smaller, lower resolution screen on the HiBook, a lower-capacity 6,600mAh battery, and the loss of two full-size USB ports afforded by the Hi12’s larger chassis. See all budget tablet reviews.

Chuwi HiBook
Chuwi HiBook review: Design and build

On paper the screen on the Hi12 sounds more impressive, with 2160×1440 pixels across its 12in panel. However, thanks to its smaller 10in display, the 1920×1200 pixels (still full-HD) on the HiBook appear just as sharp – sharper in fact, since the HiBook has a 224ppi against the Hi12’s 216ppi, but you won’t be able to differentiate between the two with such a small difference.

It’s a nice screen, with its IPS tech offering realistic colours and good viewing angles at a 16:10 ratio. It’s not the brightest screen we’ve seen, but it’s sufficient – and the HiBook supports adaptive brightness controls. We also find its size more practical for using this budget tablet on the road. However, the HiBook suffers the same issue as the Hi12: you need only point a finger in its direction and it smears. Also see: Best Windows tablets 2016 UK.

Ignoring the difference in size between these two tablets, though, the design is very similar. As with its bigger brother the Chuwi HiBook has a silver (also available in gold) metal body that’s just 8.8mm thick, which is impressive for a budget tablet. It feels reasonably heavy at 522g, and we presume it would be even heavier with the keyboard, but it’s not a major complaint. More importantly, despite its cheap price tag the HiBook feels well made, with no rough edges or creaking parts, and tiny metal screws adding to its durable feel.

The screen bezels are rather chunky, especially given that Android’s back, home and recent buttons are found onscreen (necessary since they have no function in Windows). However, in the top bezel sits a 2Mp webcam, which will be useful for video chat if not offering the best quality for selfies, and to the right of the screen (or the bottom if held in portrait mode) is a Windows button that acts as a home button in Android.

Chuwi HiBook

Both tablets feature two cutouts on the bottom edge for docking a magnetic keyboard that also acts as a cover, turning this tablet into a hybrid laptop when required. We’re disappointed that Geekbuying didn’t send us this keyboard to try, since Chuwi told us it is greatly improved over that designed for the Hi12, which has an infuriating trackpad.

It’s quite possible to use Windows 10 with the touchscreen, although relatively small icons and options make it easier to switch to tablet mode. And without a keyboard and mouse, Android is more user-friendly in our experience. Unfortunately, without the keyboard the HiBook has no full-size USB ports for adding these peripherals, although you could connect devices wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.0.

For ports and connections you get reversible USB-C for charging, Micro-USB for connecting devices such as a mobile hard drive, Micro-HDMI for hooking up the Chuwi to a large screen, and a microSD slot for up to 64GB of additional storage. There’s also a mic and 3.5mm headphone jack. As with the Hi12, stereo speakers sit at the bottom left- and right edges of the tablet, which means they can be muffled with your palms when held in landscape mode
It’s both thinner and lighter than previous ZenBook Pro machines at 18.9 millimeters and just under 4 pounds. It has a spacious 15.6-inch 4K screen. Asus has found room for a four-speaker audio system, battery life is an impressive 14 hours according to Asus, and it comes with a fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello biometric login.
For the best performance choose an Intel Core i7, i5, i3 or m3 processor, in that order. With these processors, you will get performance similar to what you experience on a desktop computer. In exchange for better performance, you will often sacrifice battery life.
Disclaimer: While we aim to provide accurate product information, it is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and others, and has not been verified by us. See our
The Acer Aspire Switch 11 V combines stand out style and easy functionality. Acer’s next-gen Snap Hinge 2 improves on the original with a guide plane design. It ensures easy tablet re-connection and a secure bond using latchless magnetic connectors that still let you easily separate the tablet from the keyboard base. The flip-around display also gives you a couple more display positions that make for even better usability.
Manufacturer Refurbished Acer Aspire SW5-173-632W with WiFi 11.6″ Touchscreen Tablet PC:

Technical Specifications:

800MHz (with Max Turbo Speed of 2.00GHz) Intel Core M 5Y10c dual-core processor
4GB LPDDR3 of system memory
11.6″ IPS LCD with LED backlight touchscreen, 1920 x 1080 resolution
If you don’t require top-end performance, or if you want to save money, choose a Windows 10 Tablet with an Intel Atom processor. These tablets are often smaller, cheaper, lighter, and have great battery life
Memory and Storage

Look for tablets with a minimum of 4GBs of RAM. This will allow you to run multiple applications comfortably. A 2GB Windows Tablet may be fine for light duty but performance will decrease as you open more applications

Look for Windows tablets with at least 64GB of storage. With 32GB of storage, you will often have very little available space available for your files because most of the space will be used by the operation system and programs. More space is preferable but 64GB should be your absolute minimum.
Battery Life

The Intel Core based Windows Tablets should get around 6 to 8 hours of battery life. Intel Atom based devices should get 8 hours or more. Tablets with an attached keyboard may see 8 to 10 hours or more.
Windows Tablets with a Stylus Pen (Digitizer Pen)

If you want a Windows Tablet with a stylus pen, you probably should go with one of the Microsoft Surface devices. They all ship with a digitizer pen and each provides a reliable pen experience.
Road warriors need work machines that are lightweight, rugged and reliable. Lenovo has long promised these qualities in the ThinkPad, a laptop line that was first conceived by IBM in 1992, and has been targeted at business users ever since. And now we have the ThinkPad Twist, which brings Windows 8 touch gestures and a clever hybrid design to a laptop legacy that’s always been a bit buttoned-up and stodgy.

As with most ThinkPads, the Twist is a tad heavier than a consumer-grade laptop. And at 3.5 pounds, the Twist—even with its 12.5-inch, 1366 by 768 display—is a bit heavier than Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga, which has a larger, higher-resolution screen. But what’s nifty about the Twist’s display is its hinge design, which lets this hybrid engage a tablet mode while still keeping the machine’s keyboard protected. This makes the Twist more robust in tablet mode than the Yoga, whose keyboard remains exposed.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro lineup has remained largely unchanged for the last two generations. Now you can make that three: The new Surface Pro (2017)—no, not the Surface Pro 5—features substantial internal improvements, but otherwise refuses to mess with a good thing.

Ranging in price from just $799 to a whopping $2,699, the Surface Pro is slightly more expensive than its Surface Pro 4 predecessor, which has been discounted from $799 to $699 at Microsoft’s store. All of the new Surface Pros are available for preorder, and will ship on June 15, the same day as the Surface Laptop. They’ll launch in 26 markets—including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Taiwan, and more. Type Cover keyboards will cost an additional $129 to $159, Microsoft says.

Perhaps the biggest change is semantic: Microsoft has decided to call the Surface Pro a “laptop” rather than a 2-in-1. Microsoft’s not abandoning the idea of a “tablet that can replace your laptop,” but the company believes that users now buy Surfaces as laptops, doing everything on them that they’d do on traditional notebooks.
[ Further reading: Our picks for best PC laptops ]
Microsoft Surface Pro 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft’s new Surface Pro (2017), in the flesh.

Why this matters: The Surface Pro (2017) gives Microsoft three families, including the high-performance Surface Book with the Performance Base and the more balanced Surface Laptop. What’s not clear is where Microsoft is going with this “laptop” rebranding. The Surface Pro’s form factor has always had “lapability” issues, and changing the name isn’t going to make that go away. The Surface Pro 4 is aging rapidly, however, and we’re glad to see this refresh, even if it’s mostly internal.
How the Surface Pro stacks up

Microsoft Stores will offer “custom device fittings” to help people find the Surface that’s best for them. We’ve already worked out the pros and cons of a Surface Pro 4 vs. Surface Laptop and Surface Pro 4 vs. Surface Book, and we’ll soon have the same for the Surface Pro compared to Microsoft’s other products.

Set next to each other, the Surface Pro 4 and the new $799 Surface Pro are virtually indistinguishable, especially when matched up with the Surface Pro 4’s Signature Type Cover. Both boast 12.3-inch PixelSense displays, but the new Surface Pro (2017) adds a better keyboard, reclines to a Surface Studio-like 165 degrees, and takes advantage of a new, more sensitive optional Surface Pen. You’ll have the choice of either a more traditional Type Cover keyboard ($129) or a new Signature Type Cover with the Alcantara fabric used on the Surface Pro 4, for $159. The Surface Pen will cost $100.

Inside, the differences are much more profound. The new Kaby Lake chips boost performance by 20 percent, and battery life increases from 9 hours to about 13.5 hours, about an hour short of the Surface Laptop’s spec. And if you don’t like the Surface’s fan, you’re in luck—there’s a new, fanless Core m model, too.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG

The new Microsoft Surface Pro (left) and the older Surface Pro 4.
A ‘laptop’ that looks a lot like a tablet

Some things about the Surface Pro haven’t changed. Microsoft still prefers the Surface connector for charging, for instance, rather than the trendy USB-C port.

In other ways, Microsoft’s changed course from prior generations. The new Surface Pro will go out the door with an Intel Core m option (it was a later arrival in the prior generation). None of the new Surface Pro devices will be sold with a Surface Pen. That has nothing to do with user reluctance to use the pen, Microsoft says, but merely reflects that Surface owners who choose to upgrade may already own one.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft has stuck with the Surface connector (bottom), rather than USB-C.

In fact, Microsoft is also using the Surface Pro’s launch to show off a new Office app that depends on the pen: Whiteboard, a collaborative app where ink can be applied from multiple users as part of a shared drawing space.

Future Surface Laptop versions this fall will include a dedicated LTE version, and, surprisingly, a version running its new Windows 10 S operating system. That would be a change of pace, as the Surface Pro hardware has always showcased Windows 10 Pro.
Detailed specs

For Surface Pro 4 owners, the new Surface Pro is a tablet that’s 20 percent faster, with 50 percent more battery life, all for roughly the same price. If you’re wondering how Microsoft eked out more battery life, executives said it was a combination of an increased battery capacity as well as efficiencies in both the new Core chip and the Creators Update of Windows 10.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG
All of this also means the device is lighter at 766g for the Core M model. This is because it doesn’t require a fan so you can add 20g if you opt for a Core i model which isn’t exactly a big jump. This thing is seriously light and portable.

You wouldn’t want to use it for long periods of time with one hand but it does make a difference overall with handling and carrying. Let’s face it, the Surface is really made for being used on a flat, er, surface predominantly.

Otherwise, things are pretty similar with essentially the same design including the kickstand, camera placement and port placement. The thinner bezel around the screen means the touch sensitive windows button is gone and another small change is that the volume rocker is now on the top next to the power key.

Surface Pro 4 design and build

This is so that the Surface Pen, still included with the tablet, can be attached magnetically to the left side. This is a lot better than the Surface Pro 3 which allowed you to attach the Pen on the right side but the hold was very weak and it covered the power port.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: Hardware and specs

As mentioned the screen on the Surface Pro 4 is larger but without increasing the size of the device itself. It’s jumped a little from 12- to 12.3in which isn’t a big jump but it does make a difference. Also important is the resolution which is now 2736×1824 resulting in a crisp and clear pixel density of 267ppi.

As you might expect, the Surface Pro 4 comes with Windows 10 Pro and it looks great on the PixelSense display. Overall, it’s one of the best we’ve seen on any laptop or tablet offering excellent all-round performance. There are top notch viewing angles, plenty of brightness, great contrast and accurate colours – the list goes on.
Price and release date

You can preorder the Surface Pro now. As of June 15, you can now order all but the two most powerful Core i7 models of the Surface Pro—the 16GB RAM/512GB SSD and the the 16GB RAM/1 TB SSD. According to Microsoft, those models were previously scheduled to ship on June 30, but Microsoft has removed the estimated shipping dates. Otherwise, the Surface Pro will launch in 26 markets—including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Taiwan, and more. Our news story from the Surface Pro launch has many more details.

Microsoft’s Surface products have never been cheap, and the Surface Pro’s base model is $100 more expensive than the base model for the Surface Pro 4. Keep in mind that the prices below include the Surface Pro tablet only. Microsoft doesn’t bundle it with any accessories at all, not even a keyboard, unless there’s a special promotion.

Intel Core m3, Intel HD Graphics 615, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD: $799
Intel Core i5, Intel HD Graphics 620, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD: $999
Intel Core i5, Intel HD Graphics 620, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD: $1,299
Intel Core i7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD: $1,599
Intel Core i7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD: $2,199
Intel Core i7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD: $2,699

Microsoft Surface Pro 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft’s Surface Pro Signature Type Cover ships in three colors.
Accessory prices

Though you can use a Surface Pro as a simple tablet, you’ll almost certainly want to buy some of the accessories, all of which cost extra.

Keyboard: We’ll start with the one everyone will want—a Type Cover keyboard. Microsoft offers two: the Surface Pro Signature Type Cover ($159), clad in fancy Alcantara fabric, and the primarily plastic Microsoft Surface Pro Type Cover ($129).

Pen: Unlike the Surface Pros 3 and 4, Microsoft doesn’t include a new Surface Pen, which costs $100 extra.

Both the Pen and Signature Type Covers ship in three colors: platinum, burgundy, and cobalt blue. The generic Surface Pro Type Cover is available only in black.

Mouse: Though both Type Covers include a trackpad, an optional Surface Arc Mouse will be available at launch for $80.
Specs: Kaby Lake and an outstanding display

HP will offer one $1,300 retail version of the Spectre x2 (the one we tested):
[ Further reading: Our picks for best PC laptops ]

Model name: Spectre x2 12-c012dx
CPU: Core i7-7560U

Four more SKUs will be available via

An entry-level Core i5 version for $1,150:

Model name: Spectre x2 12t
Mentioned in this article
HP Spectre x2 12t (2017)
MSRP $1,149.99
CPU: Core i5-7260U

An entry-level Core i7 version for $1,230:

Model name: Spectre x2 12-c052nr
Mentioned in this article
HP Spectre x2 12-c052nr
MSRP $1,229.99
CPU: Core i7-7560U

Two higher-end Core i7 versions have these starting configurations and can be upgraded. This one starts at $1,670:

CPU: Core i7-7560U
RAM: 16GB LPDDR-1600

The highest-end one starts at $1,970:

CPU: Core i7-7560U
RAM: 16GB LPDDR-1600

HP Spectre x2 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG

The Spectre x2’s fan vents are situated at the top of the tablet, perhaps making them appear louder. In any event, the fan seems to turn on frequently.

All the versions use Intel’s Iris Plus 640 integrated graphics and a 12.3-inch touch display with 3,000×2,000-pixel resolution behind Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4. This display is a big boost over the first-generation Spectre x2’s 1920×1280 display and even the new Surface Pro’s 2736×1824 display. According to our light meter, it pumps out up to 411 nits, a surprising amount of light for a tablet. You’d have to go back to the Surface Book or the MacBook Pro to surpass it.

A plus and a minus of the new Spectre x2 is the 2.4GHz Core i7-7560U in most of the SKUs. The prior-generation Spectre x2 used Core m chips, so Core i7 pushes it into the higher end of Windows tablets (more on that later). But I was surprised to find that the Spectre x2’s fan kicks in frequently, even while installing an app or transferring a few gigabytes of files. It’s not loud but definitely noticeable, with a steady hiss.
HP Spectre x2 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG

Small grilles reveal the front-facing speakers, which deliver a lot of punch.

The Spectre x2 (2017) weighs 2.48 pounds, among the lighter tablets we’ve seen. Folded up, the tablet measures 11.57 x 8.15 x 0.52 inches. Although you probably won’t be making hand-to-hand comparisons like I did, I gripped the older Elite x2, then the new Spectre x2. HP’s latest tablet feels noticeably lighter, though the thickness remains about the same. I also liked how the underside of the keyboard uses a very grippable, ridged coating of rubbery material to protect it and make it easier to hold.

Along the sides of the tablet are a pair of USB-C ports, either of which may be used for charging as well as I/O (USB 3.1 Gen.1, at 5Gbps) as well as to drive a DisplayPort monitor. Even better, HP includes a USB-C to USB-A dongle inside the box. I’m still not wholly convinced that the time is now for USB-C, but HP has neatly bridged that gap, and without any additional cost to the user. Bravo. You’ll also find a microSD card slot along the left side of the tablet.
HP Spectre x2 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG

The USB-C to USB-A dongle pokes out stiffly, but it’s handy for legacy devices.

The two cameras include a 13MP rear one for those who like to take photos and videos with their tablets. A 5MP wide-view front-facing camera does a fine job for Skype, and there’s an IR camera to supplement the optical camera for Windows Hello. (With Hello, I find that I need to improve the recognition every so often by re-scanning my face; the same goes for the Spectre x2.)
Surface Dock: The Surface Dock, a port expander which adds four additional USB ports and two miniDP connections, is $200.

While it’s not available now, Microsoft says it will ship a version of the Surface Pro with integrated LTE later this year. A version with the new Windows 10 S operating system, rather than the usual Windows 10 Pro, is also planned.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2017
Mark Hachman / IDG

Two of the optional Surface Arc Mice.
PCWorld’s full review

In PCWorld’s review of the Surface Pro we gave the flagship 2-in-1 3.5 out of 5 stars, chiefly for three reasons: the excessive price of our review unit, the incremental improvements over the Surface Pro 4, and the quality of the competition. The performance improvements offered by the new Kaby Lake CPU and Iris Plus graphics are marvelous, but it’s hard to swallow high prices that do not include a Type Cover or a Surface Pen (both pricey in their own right).

The Surface Pro seems nearly identical to the Surface Pro 4, but the differences in CPU, graphics, and features do matter—for better and for worse. Watch our review video to see more.
Surface Pro 4 screen

Microsoft has listened to demands and provided up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage so those power users out there will be pleased. Of course, those with lower requirements can simply choose a lower-spec model. Things start at 4GB of RAM with a 128GB SSD and improve the more you’re willing to spend.

Note: The 1TB model is not available in the UK at the moment so the highest spec model you can buy comes with 512GB. This is a real shame as it’s a big feature of the Pro 4 but things may change in the future. We received the following statement on the subject.

“We do not comment on pending market availability. That said, we have taken and will continue to take a measured and phased approach to Surface Pro 4 availability to meet customer demand and partner expectations.”

Inside the new slender frame of the Surface Pro 4 is, at the least, a 6th-generation Skylake Intel Core M3 processor but you can also get a Core i5 or Core i7 if you wish. That’s a lot of power on offer inside a 12in tablet but as mentioned earlier, you’ve got to pay a decent chunk of money if you don’t want the entry-level model.

Surface Pro 4 kickstand

Ports are sort of boring but still darned useful and despite being thinner, the Surface Pro 4 still has USB 3.0, a Mini-DisplayPort and a Micro-SD card reader. The front camera remains at 5Mp but the rear camera has been upgrade to 8Mp should you find cameras on a tablet useful – arguably the front camera would be more suited to the enhancement for video calls.

Those are the core specs but it’s also worth noting that the Surface Pro 4 comes with 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 once again.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: Performance and battery life

Microsoft says the device is 50 percent faster than a MacBook Air and 30 percent faster than the Surface Pro 3.

As mentioned earlier we’ve been given a Core i5 review sample with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Handy since we have a Core i5 Surface Pro 3 at PC Advisor towers, too. We can’t say we’ve seen a 30 percent improvement but it is certainly better than its predecessor. On the MacBook front, as you can see from the table, it’s not 50 percent faster compared with a Core i5 model from 2013 – at least in a Geekbench 3 benchmark which primarily tests the CPU.

Benchmark figures, see below, are one thing but real-world usage can often be very different. On this front we can vouch, for this particular model at least, that the Pro 4 is a speedy machine indeed.

Microsoft touts a battery life of up to nine hours of video playback – that’s the same figure given for the Pro 3 so there no change in this area. In our tests we recorded a battery life of 11 hours and two minutes – looping a local video with the screen set to 120cd/m.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: Pen and new Type Cover

As usual the Surface Pro 3 come with a Surface Pen – the digital stylus now comes in five colours and attaches magnetically which is a real boon. That’s not all though, as the new Pen has 1,024 levels of pressure and an eraser on the end which is much more like an actual rubber. Pressing and holding it activates Cortana which is handy while pressing it will open OneNote – it’s a shame you can’t reassign the functions.

Surface Pro 4 Pen

We’ve found the new model to be a lot better than its predecessor and the good news is that you can use it on the Surface Pro 3 if you like – it just won’t attach with the magnets. You can also buy different nibs but this pack is an extra and we don’t have a price for it at the moment.

The Type Cover is an essential piece of the Surface Pro puzzle and there’s a new model with various upgrades for the Pro 4. It still costs extra so you’ll need to add 109 to the overall cost if you want the full laptop-like experience.

It’s been improved with more space between the keys (a 19mm pitch) and a 1.3mm travel for a better typing experience that we noticed immediately, and the trackpad is now glass backed and 40 percent bigger, too. It’s smooth, responsive and a joy to use – better than a lot you get on a full-size laptop.

We can hardly express how much better the new keyboard is and you really notice the improvement when you go back to the old model and struggle to even type your name.

Surface Pro 4 Type Cover

The new keyboard helps bring the Pro 4 one step closer to becoming a tablet that can replace your laptop, because it really feels comfortable to use whereas the Pro 3’s keyboard took a bit of getting used to.

You may have spotted that some models also have a fingerprint sensor next to the trackpad for added security – these are designed for the Pro 3 since the Pro 4 supports facial recognition (Windows Hello). However, like the 1TB model, this is currently for the US only.

The good news for Pro 3 owners as the new Type Cover is fully compatible so you can upgrade without buying the new tablet itself.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: Can it replace your laptop?

Microsoft’s big claim about the Surface Pro 4 is that it’s ‘the tablet that can replace your laptop’ so we wanted to address this question as well as giving you our final verdict.

The short answer is yes but that’s not the full story here. The Pro 4 is an amazing device which over the years has been tweaked, honed and tuned into something thin, light and powerful. As good as the Pro 4 is, it isn’t the best choice for everyone.

Despite its portability, the design is still more awkward than a normal laptop when you use it in various ways – for example actually on your lap. It’s also very expensive even for the cheapest model plus the essential addition of the Type Cover so that’s another barrier. When it comes down to it, a traditional clamshell laptop might still be a better choice.

There is a great deal to like and rave about the Surface Pro 4. The design is thinner and lighter for starters. The screen is awesome, there’s plenty of power available, the new Surface Pen is better and the Type Cover is a vast improvement on the last one. However, the design is inherently awkward at times, it’s more expensive that a lot of laptops and the Type Cover, which you’ll pretty much need, isn’t included lowering the value.

Microsoft has four color options for its Surface Pro peripheral accessories, all wrapped in Alcantara fabric.

With the new Surface Pro, looks like you’ll have a comparable selection of processors, memory, and storage to the Surface Pro 4’s. The cheapest $799 model includes an Intel Core m3, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD, and Intel HD Graphics 615. Two Core i5 models are available: a $999 4GB RAM/128GB SSD version and a $1,299 8GB RAM/256GB SSD model. Both use Intel’s HD Graphics 620. Finally, the Core i7 options include a $1,599 8GB RAM/256GB SSD version and a $2,199 16GB RAM/512GB SSD variant. If you want to shell out the big bucks, there’s a $2,699 16GB RAM/1 TB SSD option, too. All of the Core i7 models use Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 640.

You’ll also be able to select among four colors of accessories: The new Surface Pen, the improved Type Cover, and a Sculpt Mouse will each be available in platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, or black.
surface pro 2017 vs surface pro 4 weight adjusted

Many of the Surface Pro’s specs are identical to those of the earlier version, the Surface Pro 4.

Otherwise, most of the revamped Surface Pro echoes the older Surface Pro 4, including the memory and storage configurations. You’ll notice slight improvements here and there, including better Bluetooth connectivity.and the faster NVMe interface for the terabyte storage option. Microsoft executives also said they’ve rounded the Surface Pro’s edges and pushed the cameras further back into the bezel—all recognizable features when someone points them out, but otherwise small details that you may overlook.
The base-model Twist ships with a 500GB hard drive and a 24GB caching SSD. Working together, the two drives deliver speedy startup times and copius storage. Lenovo does offer one model with a traditional SSD intended for storage, but it’s a fairly scant 128GB. This SSD option, however small, will likely play well in larger businesses, where IT departments tend to lock down which applications can be installed.
Price: Galaxy Book’s value proposition
Samsung rightfully earns praise for its bright, vibrant displays, and the Galaxy Book is no different. The 12-inch, 2,160×1,440 Super AMOLED touchscreen shines 355 nits’ worth of light into your eyeballs, and displays rich colors—though without the advanced options Microsoft built into its Surface Pro. Part of that has to do with the Galaxy Book’s integrated high-dynamic range (HDR) capability, which allows the screen to render brighter brights and deeper blacks. This is a feature typically found on high-end televisions, so the Galaxy Book is unusual, and perhaps unique, among Windows tablets in having it.

I expected the Galaxy Book to lean a bit more upon Samsung’s legacy of quality Android tablets, however. It’s no crime to exclude a physical Windows button, as the Galaxy Book does. I was a bit surprised, though, to discover that the screen bezel was a bit on the chunky side. The Galaxy Book’s dimensions are fine: 11.47 x 7.87 x 0.29 inches, and just over 2.5 pounds with the keyboard attached, or about 2.78 pounds if you add the small, cellular-style USB-C power charger. Still, the tablet felt somewhat awkward to hold in the hand.
While some competing 2-in-1 products we’ve reviewed cost upwards of $1,400, the version of the Samsung Galaxy Book we tested ships for $1,300. The price includes 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, plus optional LTE connectivity via Verizon. A more full-featured version starts with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. There’s also a microSD card slot that accepts cards up to 256GB. Inside you’ll find 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth 4.1 BLE.

The Galaxy Book family also offers a smaller 10.6-inch tablet, with a 7th-generation Core m3 inside, starting at $630. For both sizes, the associated keyboard and pen ship for free, a trend we’d like to see become more common.
Overall, the Twist brings the ruggedness of the ThinkPad line with some of the most usable features of Windows 8 tablets. The only significant omission is a 3G/4G mobile broadband option, which would make the Twist a more attractive hybrid for frequent travelers. Nevertheless, the Lenovo Twist is compact and reasonably light, which should allow it to travel well.
Surface Book | Surface Pro 4 | Surface Pro 3
Windows 10 Tablets with a Keyboard

To get the most out of your Windows Tablet, I strongly suggest you consider devices that include, or offer optional keyboards. Keyboards are a must for interacting with legacy Windows applications. Keyboards also give Windows Tablets an edge versus Android tablets and the iPad in terms of productivity.

All of the tablets in our comparison chart has a keyboard option except for the 8″ NuVision Tablet.
Windows Tablets with 3G/4G Sim Slot
The clamshell laptop is finally joining the beige desktop in the museum of computer artifacts. The basic hinged design made its first appearance in a device called the Grid Compass way back in 1982, so no one can scoff at the clamshell’s longevity. Nonetheless, times are finally changing, which means it’s time for the pure clamshell laptop to ride off into the sunset.

The traditional clamshell is being replaced by a wide variety of designs that merge tablets and laptops into a single physical package. These Windows 8 hybrid devices should directly appeal to PC users who might otherwise buy thin-and-light laptops. First-generation hybrids are already shipping, and most of them are flawed in some way, but they nonetheless bring new use-case scenarios to a mobile computing paradigm that hasn’t changed much in 30 years.

Sure, there have been attempts to upend the clamshell. Take Microsoft’s Tablet PC initiative during the Windows XP era. But those early efforts were hobbled by bolting touch control onto an operating system that was poorly suited for touch interfaces. Windows 8 and Windows RT, however, are designed from the ground up for the touch experience.
[ Further reading: Our best Windows 10 tricks, tips and tweaks ]

Now that we’ve reviewed a good number of Windows 8 portables, it’s time to step back, name the best models, and put them all in context. Given their intrinsic design compromises, none of them is a clear winner as a do-it-all system. But we can still look at five innovative designs, walk you through why you’d want one, and suggest which usage models may best apply to you.
Primarily a PC: IdeaPad Yoga
The Yoga’s screen rotates to a “tent” mode for easy presentations.

Sometimes you really need a full laptop keyboard, but you’d like to couple it with a Windows 8 touch experience. And, occasionally, you may need to use your system as a pure tablet—but you don’t anticipate that being the machine’s primary use. If any of this resonates with your personal needs, consider Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga. It’s an excellent 13.3-inch Ultrabook that includes a multitouch, capacitive touchscreen for all the cool new gestures built into Windows 8.
The Chuwi Hi13 2-in-1 tablet aspires to be a poor man’s Surface Book, with a price tag a mere fraction of Microsoft’s own. But as our Hi13 review demonstrates, it falls short in terms of performance, battery life, and even construction.

It must be said that the Hi13 performs basic computing tasks adequately: office work, web browsing, 4K video playback, and even (very) light gaming. For $400 (plus an additional $65 for the almost-obligatory keyboard base, and $35 for an optional stylus) Chuwi tries to deliver a ruggedized version of the Surface Book—there’s even a virtually identical 3,000×2,000 display. Our opinion, though, is that Chuwi would have been better off spending a tad less on the display and investing more heavily elsewhere.
The Yoga has what it takes to be a solid ultraportable laptop. The keyboard is excellent for touch typists. The battery life approaches 6 hours. The sound quality of the speakers is surprisingly good. And it weighs less than 3.5 pounds.

However, it’s the display that really sets the Yoga apart. It’s a full 1600 by 900 pixels, offering a good balance in pixel density between 1366 by 768 and 1080p (or 1920 by 1080, by any other name). The panel rotates 180 degrees, allowing the Yoga to be used as a full tablet (albeit with its keyboard exposed) or in the “tent mode,” where you can use it to give presentations or easily share content.
Current generation Windows Tablets equipped with a 3G/4G Sim slot are mostly non-existent. The Surface Pro 2 featured broadband compatibility but this device is no longer available.

The only option I’ve seen currently available is the HP Stream 8. If you aren’t interested in the HP, the best option is to chose the Windows Tablet you like the most and make use of an external 3G/4G device.

HP Stream 8 (Amazon $184.82 | User Reviews)
Your cell phone’s mobile hotspot feature
A Mi-Fi device purchased from your wireless carrier
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 via eBay

What About Windows RT Tablets

Do not buy a Windows RT tablet! This line of devices is dead. Microsoft has stopped manufacturing them. Windows 10 Tablets perform better, have comparable prices and battery life, and have greater compatibility. Plus you can find many cheap Windows Tablets running Windows 10 these days. This makes the Windows RT tablet an unnecessary product, which is why Microsoft killed it.

For you unlucky soles that purchased a Windows RT Tablet like I did, I didn’t forget about you! Check out my Best Windows RT Apps for Microsoft Surface! 😉
Which Windows 10 Tablet will you Choose?

Now that you have reviewed our best Windows Tablet list, which Windows 10 tablet will you choose? Are you still undecided? If you have a question, please feel free to share it in the comments section below.

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