"Cheaper" alternative to Surface Pro
May 8, 2014 1:02 PM   Subscribe

I need a Windows 8 tablet with a high-density screen, for testing purposes. The Surface Pro is more than I was hoping to spend. Any alternatives?

So these are the things it has to have:
  • Windows 8
  • High-density touch screen (ie, retina-esque)
  • Wifi
Don't need or want cell data, don't really care too much about storage or ram as all it needs to do is run IE for testing purposes. Surface Pro is $600, I was hoping to spend less as this is not going to be used all that often. (If, at the end of the day, the pro is the only way to get this, or the only sane way to get what I need, I will bite the bullet.)

What alternatives do you suggest, if any?
posted by maxwelton to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
do you definitely need windows 8? / Can Windows RT work if you are testing IE. If so microsoft is supposedly releasing a surface mini version soon and should be half that price.
posted by radsqd at 1:30 PM on May 8, 2014

Define retina-esque.

The current model of Surface Pro 2 is only 1920 x 1080, much less than the 2048 x 1536 of the latest ipad. If you can swing 1280 x 800, the Dell Venue Pro 8 might be a good fit. It starts at 220 bucks at some stores.
posted by zabuni at 1:35 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: "Retina-esque" is a high-density screen where the device is redefining css pixels to not be a 1:1 mapping, preferably fairly dense, but it doesn't have to be as sharp as the ipad.
posted by maxwelton at 1:51 PM on May 8, 2014

Response by poster: Also, should add I would prefer "full size" rather than a smaller form-factor. At least 1024 pixel display, though the physical dimensions aren't super-critical, so if that was (say) 9" or that was 12" wouldn't matter too much.

Windows 8 vs. RT...hm. Need to check, but open to RT suggestions.
posted by maxwelton at 1:54 PM on May 8, 2014

You don't need a high-dpi screen to simulate the display scaling on the Surface Pro; anything with a 1080p screen (does it need to be touch?) will do. Right-click the desktop, choose "Screen resolution", then click "Make text and other items bigger or smaller", then move the slider into the middle position (Windows 8.1) or choose "Medium - 125%" (Windows 8).
posted by Aleyn at 3:31 PM on May 8, 2014

Asus T100 transformer seems to meet your specs, cept for the resolution, its LCD Native Resolution: 1366 x 768, but other than that, its an amazing value, goes for about 400 bucks, detachable tablet, touch screen , full windows 8.1, Home Student Office 2013.. etc.

review http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/01/asus-transformer-book-t100-review/
posted by edman at 6:44 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Lenovo Miix 2 10 and HP omni 10 both have 1,920x1,200 resolution 10" touch screens. They have the same Intel atom as the Asus transformer which is much improved from earlier atom chips. The lenovo comes with a keyboard and the hp does not.
posted by Harpocrates at 8:39 PM on May 8, 2014

What content do you require the HD display for? (Trying to figure out if there is a way for you to abstract the results of the test without buying a new machine).
posted by travellingincognito at 5:21 AM on May 9, 2014

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