5 alternatives to the Microsoft Surface Book

Microsoft Surface Book

The Surface Book looks to be grabbing headlines as Microsoft’s flagship next generation laptop/tablet hybrid machines. In its history, the Surface line has both been unifying in aligning vendors with Microsoft’s vision and also been divisive in that it competes directly with the software giant’s hardware partners. We take a look at what devices the channel has to potentially capitalize on Microsoft’s momentum.

Read more: Microsoft’s device announcements include HoloLens’ release date and hefty price tag

Lenovo yoga 900

Lenovo Yoga 900

According to Lenovo, the newly announced 900 is the world’s thinnest sixth generation Intel Core i convertible laptop, up to i7, and features the watchband hinge the line is known for.

While not detachable, at 0.59 in thick and 2.8 lbs, it also comes with laptop, stand, tent and tablet modes using Windows 10 Continuum, a 13.3-inch QHD+ (3200×1800) display, and up to 16 GB of storage, starting at U.S. $1,199.99.

Read more: Lenovo’s latest Yoga all-in-one desktop is “portable”

Dell XPS 12

Dell XPS 12

Dell, along with HP may be two hardware partners willing to help Microsoft sell the Surface tablet line, but that doesn’t mean the two hardware vendors won’t compete in this area.

Dell announced an updated XPS 12, a 2-in-1, replacing the company’s previous flipping model. The new model improves on the keyboard to make it more laptop-like, and features a 12.5-inch FHD display with 4K option, 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, stylus support, has two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

HP Spectre x2HP Spectre x2

HP’s entry in this space is admittedly more affordable. Starting at US $799.99, it has many of the same features as Microsoft’s tablet, albeit with slightly lower specs. The new 12-inch x2 features an adjustable kickstand and comes with a keyboard.  It’s compatible with the Wacom active pen, sold separately, and measures at 8mm thick.

In other areas, the Spectre x2 features a 1920×1280 Full HD display, an Intel Core M processor, up to 512GB of storage, and up to 8 GB of RAM.

Google Pixel C

Google Pixel C

Announced late September, Google finally has a Pixel-branded Android hybrid on its hands.  While previous iterations of the Pixel line ran on the steadfast but niche Chrome OS, the Pixel C finally brings it home to Google’s mainstream audiences.

It offers a 10.2-inch tablet with a 2560×1800 screen, an NVIDIA X1 quad-core processor with an integrated Maxwell GPU, and 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM, USB Type C for charging, and has a colorful light bar in the back to indicate battery life.  As for accessories, the Pixel C also has leather and aluminum keyboards that attach magnetically.

The 32GB and 64GB models cost US $499 and $599 respectively, while the keyboard is $149.

iPad Pro with smart keyboard

iPad Pro

Lastly, if neither Windows nor Android satisfy, Apple may be the way to go.  The largest mobile device released by the company comes in at 12.9-inches – that’s almost 80 per cent more space than the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2.

The Pro uses a 64-bit A9X chip with an M9 motion coprocessor, 2732 x 2048 resolution screen, featuring Retina technology, and even has a variable refresh rate for battery savings.


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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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