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.
HP Spectre x2 (2017)
Who should buy the HP Spectre x2
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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.
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.
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.
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 tablet (2018)
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
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.
Lenovo Miix 630
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.
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.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. 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 steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine