Best Surface Pro Alternatives

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Best Surface Pro Alternatives

Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 is our favorite detachable 2-in-1 right now, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the perfect choice for everyone. Despite having the best display and detachable keyboard around, the Surface Pro still has a few weaknesses, such as limited lapability, no USB Type-C port and pricey SSD storage upgrades.

And although its $899 starting price is pretty attractive, you'll want to spend a bit more to get the $1,199 midrange model with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. And that price doesn't include the $100 Surface Pen or the $160 Alcantara Type Cover. That puts the true cost of a Surface Pro closer to $1,459 —  and that ain't cheap.

So to help in your search for your ideal machine, we've compiled a list of our favorite alternatives to Microsoft's Surface Pro.

News and Updates (March 2019)

  • Save $113 on the Core i5 Surface Pro 6, marked down to $786 on Amazon.
  • Right now you can save $50 on the Surface Go (Pentium Gold/4GB/64GB), as Amazon's lowered its price to $349.
  • Amazon's deal on the Core m3 5th Gen Surface Pro with Signature Surface Type Cover, just got better, down to $603, marked down by 25 percent!

Lenovo Yoga C930

The Lenovo Yoga C930 — our favorite 2-in-1 notebook — may not detach, but it's got so much to love that you won't care. With over 10 hours of battery life and speedy 8th Gen Intel CPUs, the C930 is both long-lasting and plenty powerful. It's also quote the looker, with an aluminum chassis that feels sturdy. Oh, and it trades its predecessor's watchband hinge (which looked nice, but didn't do anything) for a soundbar that keeps your music sounding great, even in tablet mode. Oh, and a built-in pen slot means no losing your stylus.

Pros: Stylish, premium design; Thin and lightweight; Strong performance; Long battery life; Versatile speakers; Webcam cover; Integrated pen slot

Cons: Shallow keyboard; Display could be brighter, more vibrant

Key SpecsDisplay: 13.9 inches 1080p / 4K;  CPU: 8th Gen Core i7-8550U; RAM: 12GB / 16GB; SSD: 256GB; Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.0, headphone jack; Battery Life: 10:10;  Weight: 3.1 pounds

LG Gram 14 2-in-1

LG's consistently delivered exceptionally light laptops, and the Gram 14 2-in-1 is probably its best stab yet. Combining terrific endurance (over 11 hours of battery life!) with speedy performance and a light-but-durable design, this convertible might just convert you to believing in LG. But while we like its colorful, crisp display, that panel could stand to be brighter. 

Pros: Durable, extremely lightweight design; Great battery life; Strong performance; Vivid display with sharp detail

Cons: No Thunderbolt 3; Screen could be brighter; Weak audio

Key Specs - Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen; CPU: 8th Gen Core i7; RAM: 16GB; SSD: 512GB; Ports: 2x USB 3.1, 1x USB Type-C, HDMI, headphone jack; microSD memory reader; Battery Life: 11:28; Weight: 2.5 pounds

HP Spectre Folio

One of our favorite hybrids, the HP Spectre Folio innovates with its new design. Detaching the display from the rest of the body is as simple as pushing the top of its display back and sliding the bottom until it lies flat against the deck. And unlike the weird secondary modes you get from other 2-in-1s, the Spectre Folio's presentation mode is actually useful, as it still lets you use the touchpad. Sure, this may require a little learning, but much like the Folio's leather surface, it's worth it. 

Pros: Stylish, premium leather design; Extremely versatile; Excellent battery life; Surprisingly comfortable keyboard

Cons: Tinny audio; Middling performance

Key Specs - Display: 13.3 inches 1080p;  CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8200Y / 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8500Y; RAM: 8GB / 16GB; SSD: 256GB; Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB Type-C, headphone jack; Battery Life: 10:18;  Weight: 3.4 pounds

HP Envy x2 (Qualcomm)

The Qualcomm CPU and LTE modem in the HP Envy x2 give it the gifts of ubiquitous internet and astonishing battery life. And not only does it last longer on cellular than it does on Wi-Fi, this detachable comes with a great keyboard and a gorgeous display. The only hiccups, though, are that its performance is slower than we expect at this price, and its 32-bit system doesn't run some apps. 

Pros: Amazing battery life; 4G built in; Comfortable keyboard; Beautiful display; Runs cool
Cons: Sluggish performance; Doesn't run some Windows apps

Key Specs - Display: 12.3 inches, 1920 x 1280;  CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835; RAM: 4GB; SSD: 128GB; Ports: 1x USB Type-C, headphone jack, Nano SIM, microSD reader; Battery Life: 15:05 (LTE), 14:22 (Wi-Fi);  Weight: 2.7 pounds

Eve V

Not all competitors come from big-name brands. The upstart Eve V matches the Surface Pro's $799 starting price, but includes the detachable keyboard and stylus that Microsoft makes you pay (up to $260) extra for. We love its slick aluminum design and beautiful screen, which is nearly as colorful as the Surface Pro's, while offering even more brightness than that detachable. The Eve V does come with some caveats. Its battery life is about a half hour shorter than the Surface Pro's 7:30 time, and its Y-Series Intel CPUs aren't as capable as those in other machines. Still, if you can find it on sale, the Eve V is definitely worth a look.

Pros: Gorgeous display; Sleek design; RGB backlit keyboard; Thunderbolt 3 port
Cons: Short battery life; Sporadic availability

Key Specs - Display: 12.3-inch 2880 x 1920; CPU: 7th Gen Core m3 / 7th Gen Core i7; RAM: 4GB / 16GB; SSD: 128GB / 1TB; Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, headphone jack, SD memory reader; Battery Life: 6:59; Weight: 3 pounds

HP Spectre x360

If you like the flexibility of the Surface Pro but want something that feels a bit more substantial, check out the stylish HP Spectre x360, one of our top Surface Pro alternatives. One of its major advantages over the Surface Pro is its stiff, stable hinge, which allows it to sit in your lap a lot more easily than the kickstand-based Surface Pro. And if you feel like splurging, you can even opt for a super-high-res 4K display or HP's SureView privacy screen, which activates with a single click. The Spectre x360 also offers a fingerprint scanner, which the Surface Pro doesn't (though it does have a IR webcam for Windows Hello). The main downside of the Spectre x360 is that at 2.9 pounds, it's heavier than the 2.5-pound Surface Pro.

Pros: Stylish, lap-friendly design; Comfortable keyboard; Safe View screen privacy; Convenient fingerprint scanner
Cons: Heavier, thicker than Surface Pro

Key Specs - Display: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 / 4K; CPU: 8th Gen Core i5, / 8th Gen Core i7; RAM: 8GB / 16GB; SSD: 256GB / 512GB; Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.1, headphone jack, SD memory reader; Battery Life: 8:26; Weight: 2.9 pounds

Surface Book 2 (13 inch)

If you really want a laptop from Microsoft, but one that's simply easier to use in your lap, the Surface Book 2 is right for you. When it's time to switch from laptop to tablet mode, you just click a button on its keyboard and get the option to detach its screen. Not only does it beat the Surface Pro on ports (with USB Type-C and USB 3.0), but its screen is sharper and almost as colorful and bright. The best part about the latest Surface Book 2 is its 13-plus hours of battery life, which means it lasts more than 5 hours longer than the Surface Pro (7:30). On the downside, it's 0.9 inches thick (the Surface Pro is a thinner 0.5 inches), and its $1,499 starting price may put it out of your reach.

Pros: Best-of-both-worlds design, Impressive battery life; Comfortable keyboard; Safe View screen privacy; Convenient fingerprint scanner
Cons: Expensive; Much heftier, thicker than Surface Pro

Key Specs - Display: 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000; CPU: 7th Gen Core i5 / 8th Gen Core i7; RAM: 8GB / 16GB; SSD: 256GB / 1TB; Ports: 1x USB Type-C, 2x USB 3.1, headphone jack; SD memory reader; Surface Connect; GPU: Optional Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB of VRAM; Battery Life: 13:07; Weight: 3.6 pounds

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Another solid option in the bend-back, non-detachable 2-in-1 field, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 packs a lot to love. Its nearly bezel-free InfinityEdge display continues a strong tradition from the company, with good color output and brightness ratings (though the Surface Pro goes a bit above and beyond). At $999, the entry-level XPS 2-in-1 costs $60 less than the Surface Pro with its keyboard and stylus ($1,060). And with a time of 8 hours and 27 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery test, the Dell lasted nearly an hour longer than the Surface Pro (7:30). On the downside, that model packs a 1920 x 1080-pixel screen that's less sharp than the 2736 x 1824-pixel panel in the Surface Pro.

Pros: Compact design; Comfortable keyboard; Vibrant InfinityEdge display; Impressive audio;
Cons: Camera is placed under the display

Key Specs - Display: 13-inch, 1920 x 1080 / 3200 x 1800; CPU: 7th Gen Core i5 / 7th Gen Core i7; RAM: 4GB / 16GB; SSD: 128GB / 512GB; Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB Type-C, headphone jack; microSD memory reader ; Battery Life: 8:27; Weight: 2.7 pounds

HP EliteBook x360 G2

If you're looking for a 2-in-1 that's great for business, the HP EliteBook x360 G2 is a solid option. It's got all the security options your IT department could ask for (fingerprint reader, facial recognition, smart-Card reader, vPro and TPM), as well as HP's SureStart technology for a self-healing BIOS. The x360 G2’s solid 9-plus hours of battery life mean it lasts more than 1.5 hours longer than the Surface Pro (7:30), and its comfy keyboard will help you get a lot of writing done during that time. Its biggest downside is its display, which is much dimmer than the Surface Pro's.

Pros: Beautiful design; Long battery life; Variety of security options; Great keyboard
Cons: Comparatively dim display

Key Specs - Display: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen; CPU: 7th Gen Core i5 / 7th Gen Core i7; RAM: 8GB / 16GB; SSD: 128GB / 256GB; Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB 3.0, smart-card reader, headphone jack, microSD memory reader, HDMI; Battery Life: 9:17; Weight: 2.8 pounds


Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.
Henry T. Casey, on
Add a comment
  • Eduardo Says:

    Run away from Eve. They are not a reliable company. I have an 1500$ brick at home by a simple disk failure. Waiting support and replacement for more than 8 months.... Avoid at all cost

  • Joe shmo Says:

    Surface Pro 6 has 8th gen processors... this artical was likely written for the 2017 or pro 5 model and was updated by changing just the name, no one bothered to edit the content...

  • annonymous comment Says:

    wow, this site should hire someone for this. definitely not the best list of surface pro 6 alternatives. People seeking for advise for what to get should not read this article.

  • David Says:

    Surface pro doesn't weigh 2.5 pounds, it's less than 2 pounds. I just weighed and X360 and it was less than 3 pounds.

  • samo Dubai Says:

    1 thing I've learned over 10 years. Lenovo sucks (just attractive specs on paper) after 1 months of usage be ready to infinite problems and bugs and battery problems.

  • Vaibhav Yawalkar Says:

    "Many of these are cheaper than surface pro".
    Really ? Are u kidding me..? almost all are of same or costlier than surface pro.

  • Max Mejia Says:

    I noticed that the Acer Aspire Switch Alpha was not mentioned. Is there a reason for this?

  • Alex Hamilton Says:

    Wait, what about that HP Spectre x2? That's pretty good.

  • Christine Says:

    The Samsung Chromebook Plus is for sale at Best Buy for $387.99, not the Pro.

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