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The recently released Microsoft Surface Pro is a popular tablet, but many people aren’t willing to spend $1000 on a simple tablet. Of course, the Surface Pro is no simple tablet, and calling it an iPad or Android competitor would just be rude.
But what can $1000 buy you these days? Here are some competing laptops and tablets that cost the same price (or slightly less) than the Surface Pro:
-Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13: The Yoga 13 is the same price as the Surface Pro with similar specs. The main difference is that the Yoga 13 is a laptop that can become a tablet as opposed to the Surface Pro which is a tablet that can become a laptop (does that make sense?).
Alienware M14x: This is a laptop that has similar specs to the Surface Pro at the same price. It’s built for gamers but seems expensive for the hardware you’re getting (6GB of RAM and a 1366×768 display). And at 6.45 pounds, the Alienware M14x is going to seriously weigh down your backpack.
MacBook Air: Many are surprised to learn that you can buy an Apple MacBook for less than $1000. Well, a dollar under the limit still counts. The 11.6 inch Apple MacBook Air is equipped with nearly identical specs to the Surface Pro, although the Air has a resolution of 1366×768 and a comparatively small screen as far as laptops go. To help you decide, check out this fantastic comparison between Mac OS X and Windows 8.
Lenovo IdeaPad U410: The U410 actually costs a little less than $1000, with some tech websites selling it for as long as $879 in February 2013. The U410 is a good laptop for gamers and businesses users alike, and it’s tough to find a laptop with better specs at this price range. Really, the only disadvantage is the 1366×768 resolution – but it’s very rare to fund HD resolutions on a laptop below $1000.
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist: Lenovo is well-represented on this list of sub-$1000 laptops and tablets. And for good reason – the Chinese manufacturer is devoted to creating low-cost PCs that pack a serious punch in the hardware department. For the past few years, Lenovo has been quietly capturing market share while impressing budget-minded consumers and power users alike. The ThinkPad Twist seems like a good option at first glance – particularly for business-minded users who need to carry tablets around. But the paltry battery life and 1366×768 display are weak compared to the Surface Pro. Still, the ‘Twist’ comes from the fact that the ThinkPad Twist can easily spin around to go from laptop to tablet form in seconds.
Conclusion – What’s the right option for you?
All of the laptops and tablets listed here in the $1000 range have one major shortcoming when compared to the Surface Pro – they don’t have HD resolution. At a resolution of 1366×768, computer users have significantly less real estate than they would with 1920×1080.
A full HD screen makes everything more enjoyable – from watching movies to comparing multiple spreadsheets for work. If you’re going to spend $1000 on a laptop or tablet, the Surface Pro looks like a smart bet. And since it can run all of the software you run on your desktop, it’s good for business, school, and even basic PC gaming.