By some standards, the Microsoft Surface Pro is the best-ever hybrid of tablet and laptop, combining a full windows 8 OS with an Intel Core i5 CPU, and a best-in-class detachable keyboard cover.
But, at over $1,100 if you include a 128GB SSD and the keyboard, it’s also very expensive, especially if a slim Windows 8 touch-screen ultrabook, Atom-powered tablet, or something non-Windows-based would work for your needs.
The following is a quick survey of the major alternatives to the Surface Pro, from other Core i5 tablets to Apple’s new 128GB iPad.
Windows 8/Core i5 tablets (Example: Acer Iconia W700) The closest competitors to the Surface Pro are other tablets and hybrids with Intel Core i5 processors — essentially full-featured ultrabooks squeezed down to tablet form. Acer’s Iconia W700 fits the bill, and includes a space-age-looking dock, as does Samsung’s new Smart PC Pro 700T.
Strengths: Mainstream power and performance
Weaknesses: High prices, shorter battery life
Windows 8 iPad killers: Round 1
Splittable laptop-tablets: The U1 Hybrid had it right all along
Wrapping up computers, tablets, and hardware at CES 2013
Apple getting ‘defensive’ with 128GB iPad, says analyst
Eating your own, Microsoft style