Surface Pro

Best Surface Pro (2017) Alternatives Windows Central 2021

Microsoft's Surface Pro (2017) is a benchmark for the 2-in-1 PC. That much isn't really in doubt. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best, or that it's appealing to everyone. What if you want something else? Try the HP Spectre x2, which offers a lot of the same features but at a much lower price.

Best overall

HP Spectre x2 (2017)

The Spectre x2's real strength is in value. HP is not shy about boasting how much more affordable the Spectre x2 is compared to the Surface Pro – and it is significant, while also offering USB-C connectivity and an included keyboard and pen.

Who should buy the HP Spectre x2

The Spectre x2 is perfect for those seeking the full Surface-style experience without having to spend extra on a keyboard since everything comes included.

Is it a good time to buy?

Prices have fell quite a bit from launch, and as this, like the Surface Pro (2017) is an older device now, it's a great time to grab one at a discount.

Reasons to buy

  • Detachable keyboard included
  • 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM
  • Full HD IPS display
  • Superb price
  • Beautiful design and excellent build quality

Reasons not to buy

  • Trackpad is not precision
  • Battery life less than expected
  • Audio is just OK

A more affordable Surface Pro

The HP Spectre lineup has been delivering sublime premium hardware for a while now, and the x2 is the company's attempt to out-Surface the Surface Pro. And in some regards, it certainly did that.

The Spectre x2 is a more viable proposition for many thanks to its price.

Its lower price makes it a more viable and attractive proposition, while the included pen and keyboard mean you're getting the full experience out of the box without an additional expenditure.

You also get USB-C ports on the Spectre x2, no dongle required, something that can't be said of the Surface Pro. But like the Surface, you also get a gorgeous display, excellent design and build quality, and something that oozes premium every step of the way.

Alternatives to the HP Spectre x2

While the Spectre x2 certainly stands out, there are a number of other good Surface Pro alternatives out there that fit more specific criteria.

Great for business

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 tablet (2018)

Great for business and home users alike

Lenovo's Thinkpad tablet is a different take on a 2-in-1, but packs exceptional hardware and design into this highly portable Windows machine.

The Thinkpad X1 line is one of Lenovo's flagship products, and even though technically this is a tablet, you still get the company's legendary keyboard included, complete with infamous red pointer. It has a 12-inch 2160 x 1440 resolution display, Intel Core m7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

Add in a fingerprint reader suitable for Windows Hello, USB-C and up to 10-hours of battery life and you find yourself with an excellent package all round.

Always connected

Lenovo Miix 630

Always stay connected with all-day battery life and LTE connectivity

If you always need to be connected and work remotely a lot, the Miix 630 is a solid alternative to a Surface Pro thanks to its Qualcomm processor and built-in LTE connectivity.

With ARM-based machines like this, you do lose out in some areas, such as if you need to run apps from outside the Microsoft Store, but the benefits are clear to see.

You get a true all-day (and beyond in some cases) battery life, instant boot and onboard cellular connectivity. Throw in a great design, compact size and a nice looking display for an attractive price, and you have yourself a winner.

Bottom line

The Surface Pro (2017) is still a great device even at a year old, but you could also save a decent amount of money and get the excellent HP Spectre x2 instead, with a keyboard included and no dongles for your new USB-C gadgets.

Alternatively, you have some great options from Lenovo, including the always-connected Miix 630 which, thanks to its ARM-based internals, provides true all-day battery life and built-in LTE, so you're never away from your important connections.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide


Richard Devine Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming.


Daniel Rubino is executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.

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