Surface Pro

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.

Our pick

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?

With CES on the horizon in the first week of 2019 there's a strong chance newer, faster, shinier devices will be announced. But at the current price, this is well worth picking up.

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 precise
  • 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.

Thunderbolt 3

Lenovo Miix 720

Lenovo successfully used the Surface blueprint to create its own range of 2-in-1s, and the Miix 720 is a solid all-rounder with hardware that can easily match what the Surface Pro has to offer.

With seventh-generation Intel Core i processors and HD 620 graphics, up to 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage, the Miix 720 is capable enough to be your everything PC, not just the one you take out and about with you. The Miix 720 also comes with Thunderbolt 3, something the Surface Pro does not.

Affordable

Samsung Galaxy Book

Replacing the older TabPro S, the Galaxy Book isn't actually a book in the same way most other manufacturers use the term. It's a 2-in-1 and not a tablet.

The backlit keyboard also comes in the box with the Galaxy Book, giving it an immediate leg up on the Surface Pro. You also get a digital pen, the chance for an optional LTE model, and some exclusive features if you happen to use one of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones.

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.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Richard Devine is a Reviews Editor at Windows Central. You'll usually find him deep in hardware, gaming, both or drinking root beer for which he openly has a mild addiction.

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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