4 productivity-boosting tablet alternatives to the iPad Air

If you want to get real work done, try these tablets instead of the iPad Air

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The iPad Air may be thin and light, but if you're looking to boost your productivity with a tablet, it may not be the best choice for you. Here are four productivity-boosting alternatives.

Surface Pro 2

Not, it's not cheap, but Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a tablet that does double-duty as a business machine, especially if you buy one of the excellent keyboard/cover combos, the Touch Type 2. Buy them together and you essentially get an ultraportable and a tablet wrapped in one. And if your business is a Microsoft shop, you'll be able to run all of your in-house apps.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

This is a tablet built for business as well as pleasure. Its stylus lets you jot down notes, phone numbers, contact information, and built-in software turns it into text. The built-in Polaris Office is an Office suite for working with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. And the device's Group Play feature lets you collaborate with others on the same WiFi network.

Asus Transformer Pad

This Android does double-duty as an Android ultraportable, so you can get real work done. It comes with a detachable keyboard so that it transforms instantly from a tablet to a true productivity machine. Like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, it also comes with Polaris Office. The Transformer Pad has been available for a while, with a new one on the way.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Want an Android tablet? A Windows 8 ultraportable? A Windows 8 desktop machine? Buy this one device, and you get all three. The 11.6-inch tablet by itself runs Android, but dock it to the laptop dock, and voila --- it becomes a Windows 8 tablet. That's because it has two processors, an Intel Atom processor for running Android, and a Haswell processor for running Windows 8. You can also take the laptop dock by itself and use it with a monitor so it runs like a desktop. Two operating systems, three form factors...that's a productivity booster for anyone. Note that this tablet isn't available for sale yet, so you'll have to wait for it.

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