Send in the Microsoft Surface clones

10 tablets that copy the design of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 and 4.

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Copy cats

Several new Windows 10 tablet computers have either been released, or announced to be released soon, that copy the industrial design of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 and Pro 4. Like the Surface tablets, most of these clones have a kickstand that you flip out to prop them up on a flat surface; and they use a keyboard which can fold over onto the tablet’s display to protect it. While the Surface Pro 4 starts at $899 and can cost as much as $2,699, these clones are generally less expensive.

Aspire Switch Alpha 12 S
Aspire Switch Alpha 12 S

The Aspire Switch Alpha’s kickstand is a frame, not a flap. The keyboard for this tablet is a clone of the Surface line’s Type Cover, attaching to the tablet with magnets that raise its elevation to make it more comfortable for typing. This Surface copy has a 12-inch display, though at press time we didn’t know what its pixel resolution and other details such as pricing will be. (Acer plans to officially make an announcement of its new product lineup on April 21.) It runs a 6th generation Intel Core Skylake processor, and includes USB 3.0 and USB Type-C ports.

Elite x2 1012
Elite x2 1012

HP’s Elite x2 1012 has a frame design kickstand with a keyboard that is a copy of the Surface line’s Type Cover in form and function. The unfortunate thing about this Surface lookalike is that its 12-inch display has a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels. The Surface Pro 3 also has a 12-inch display, but its resolution is slightly higher at 2160 x 1440. On the plus side, the display works with Wacom-compatible digital pens. The Elite x2 1012 is marketed as a business-class device: Starting at $900, it uses enterprise-level security measures, Windows 10 Pro, and is designed to be easy to service. You can choose an Intel Core m3, m5 or m7 processor, and 4GB RAM or 8GB RAM. See it on Amazon

Galaxy TabPro S
Galaxy TabPro S

Samsung’s entry in this category actually looks more like it was modeled after the iPad Pro than the Surface – except that it runs Windows 10. It boasts being really thin at 6.3 mm. Its 12-inch display (which has a 2160 x 1440 resolution) uses Super AMOLED technology. The TabPro S runs an Intel Core M processor and uses 4GB RAM at a starting price of $899. It comes with keyboard included. See it on Amazon.

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IdeaPad Miix 700

Like the Surface Type Cover, the keyboard for the Miix 700 sticks to its respective tablet with magnets in such a way that it is angled upward. With a 12-inch screen that has 2160 x 1440 pixels, and starting at $750 for the lowest spec model (which runs an Intel Core m3 with 4GB RAM), the Miix 700 falls somewhere between the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 4. The Miix 700 could serve as a replacement for the Surface Pro 3, since the two share the same display size and pixel resolution. See it on Amazon.

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Latitude 11 5000 2-in-1

With a starting price at $749, this “for business use” tablet has a 10.8-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. It comes with an Intel Core m3 processor and 4GB RAM. For more money, you can configure a model to have a Core m5 processor and 8GB RAM. Dell sells two kinds of keyboards to use with this tablet. The Slim Keyboard props the tablet up with a kickstand (the tablet itself doesn’t have a built-in kickstand); the other keyboard option is heavier, and so it can prop the tablet without a kickstand.

Latitude 12 7000 2-in-1
Latitude 12 7000 2-in-1

This isn’t just the larger-screen cousin of the Latitude 11, sporting a 12.5-inch display, but it has a sleeker design. The display resolution of this tablet’s starting price model ($1,049) is 1920 x 1080, but it can be 3840 x 2160 if you’re willing to pay more for more pixels, a resolution that’s far higher than the Surface Pro 4’s (2736 x 1824). You can choose for this tablet to run an Intel Core m3 or up to an m7 processor. Like the Latitude 11, there are two kinds of keyboards for the Latitude 12: a slim model that props the tablet up with a kickstand, and a heavier one that can prop the tablet on its own.

MateBook
MateBook

Like Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S, the MateBook looks more like it’s “borrowing” from the design of the iPad Pro than the Surface 3 or 4. In fact, the MateBook also shares many of the same specs as the TabPro S: a 12-inch display with 2160 x 1440 resolution, an Intel Core M processor, and 4GB RAM. It’s slightly thicker than the TabPro S at 6.9 mm, and its protective keyboard cover is sold separately. Introduced at Mobile World Congress, a specific release date in the U.S., as well as pricing details, have not been announced.

Spectre x2
Spectre x2

This second Surface clone by HP looks similar to the Elite x2 1012 -- it also has a 12-inch display with a 1920 x 1280 pixel resolution, and is compatible with Wacom digital pens -- but is geared for the non-business user. So it doesn’t include enterprise security, isn’t as easy to take apart to fix, and uses a slower Intel processor. But it comes with Intel RealSense 3D camera technology, which can scan objects in three dimensions. Compared to the Elite x2, the Spectre 2 starts at a lower price of $800 with the same configuration options of an Intel Core m3, m5, or m7 processor and 4GB RAM or 8GB RAM. See it on Amazon.

Thinkpad X1 Tablet
Thinkpad X1 Tablet

The gimmick with Lenovo’s second Surface clone is that you can attach one of three modules to give it more hardware features: A 3D-scanning camera, a Pico projector, or a “productivity” module that adds more battery power and ports (HDMI and USB 3.0). The tablet itself runs an Intel Core M processor and can come with up to 16GB RAM. Its 12-inch IPS display has a 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution. Its keyboard can be propped up into two raised angles, and this tablet uses USB Type-C for charging. Launched officially at a press event in Dubai earlier this month, pricing and release date in the U.S. hasn’t been announced yet.

Arrows Tab
Arrows Tab

This Windows 10 tablet features a frame design kickstand. The Arrows Tab has a 12.5-inch display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, an Intel Core i5 processor, and comes with a keyboard and digital pen. Released in Japan in March, it remains to be seen whether it will show up in other countries.