The Surface Pro is Microsoft's Windows tablet equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor and Windows 8 Pro. There are a number of alternatives on the market, and today we will take a closer look at three recent arrivals: the Acer Aspire P3, the Lenovo Yoga 11s and the Toshiba WT310. All three run on the latest Y-generation Intel Core processors.
Windows 8 (and Windows 8.1) were developed with touchscreens in mind. The new (formerly known as Metro) interface works well with touch, but the classic Windows software such as Microsoft Office still runs the best in the desktop environment along with a normal keyboard and mouse or touchpad.
The Surface Pro cornered by the new kids on the block.
The ideal combination manufacturers are going for is the perfect balance between tablet features and a keyboard. There are different interpretations as to what the best approach is for this. Microsoft has two special touch and type covers that turn its tablet into a laptop. They work fine on a hard surface, but are too flexible to have in your lap for example. So it's not a complete alternative to the traditional laptop.
The Surface Pro is thicker, but the 10.6-inch screen still makes it more compact.
Another approach is the hybrid, a laptop with a removable screen. Examples this type of design are the Samsung Smart PC Pro, the ASUS Transformer Book TX300 and the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix. The advantage of this model is that you can put an extra battery inside the keyboard, and a longer battery life is certainly useful for these energy-hungry Windows tablets.
The three convertible tablet/laptops we are reviewing today are new products. The Acer Aspire P3 has a starting price of around £550/ €599 euros. The Lenovo is more expensive at £ 700/ 999 euros and the Toshiba costs a little over a 1,000 euros or £ 619 (exc VAT).