Windows 8 tablet PCs will shortly be hitting the shelves. So, which is model is going to blow the market away? The prices are out, so let the game commence! Here are our top 5. Keep an eye out for a desktop touting as a tablet.
1. Microsoft Surface. A beautiful piece of kit, the Surface is Microsoft’s best attempt at revolutionizing the tablet so far. With a magnesium chassis, a ClearType HD display and an awesome fold-out reimagining of that most archaic of peripherals, the keyboard, Microsoft may have played a blinder. Reviews are positive, and pricing seems competitive, starting at $599 for the basic 32GB model. Unlike Apple’s iPad, the Surface has upgradeable memory —you can whack an SD card in the back and boost your memory straight out. Brilliant.
2. HP Envy x2. The first hybrid tablet-cum-ultrabook device on our list, the HP Envy x2 is clearly designed to provoke a deadly sin in all who behold it. With a massive 64GB starting SSD, HP’s sleek new machine has been accused of copying the Apple MacBook Air, with its brushed aluminium shell and rounded corners. The Envy x2 looks like a strong competitor: boasting Beats Audio speakers, NFC support and a gorgeous IPS display. There’s always the fear, though, that HP may fall foul of the Cupertino patent machine. One for a wait-and-see approach.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. Showcasing Intel’s signature tablet PC processor, the Atom Clover Trail, Lenovo’s ThinkPad has met with critical acclaim. It’s solidly built, spec-ed up to the rim, and includes a full version of Office 2013 at launch. Though the price tag puts it at the upper end of the category, it would not be paying over the odds for this extremely powerful tablet
4. Asus Vivo Tab RT. We’ve not yet mentioned a Windows RT tablet PC in this run-down, but here’s one worth the mention. The little brother to the Asus Vivo Tab, the Vivo Tab RT features a fairly standard hybrid ultrabook detachable keyboard, an Nvidia Tegra 3 graphics chip and a Super IPS+ panel with a resolution of 1366×768, just tipping it into the ‘HD Ready’ category. And, because, it’s ARM-powered and running RT, the Vivo Tab RT comes bundled with Office 2013. Priced to sell at $599.99
This is one of the most interesting Windows RT machines to watch. Its success or failure may well be depend on Microsoft’s ability to acquire a mobile ecosystem full of customers.
5. Sony VAIO Tap 20. Perhaps unimpressed with the competition’s attempts to combine tablet and laptop into hybrid ultrabooks, Sony have instead tried to create and all-in-one desktop computer in a single touch-screen device. It’s got a cool stand – there’s something you don’t hear often in computer reviews – and it is a big old piece of kit that could easily serve as a family media hub. The 1TB hard drive it packs is, therefore, to be expected. But, is its lack of mobility stuck just a little too far in the past?
This article is written by Louise Miller. Louise graduated from LSE in 2011 with an MA in engineering and is now working as a freelance web designer. She loves blogging about tech and social media in her free time, especially all things Android.