HotHardware 2016 Back-to-School Tech Shopping Guide
Tablets And 2-in-1 PCs
If you are looking for a mobile device that takes a "tablet first" approach, a convertible device or straight-up tablet may be right for you. Tablets and 2-in-1s travel well, are easy-to-use, and work well for everything from note taking to presentations. They can also be great for movies and casual games. If you are looking for a smaller device that is perfect for both work and play, you should definitely consider one of these tablets or 2-in-1s.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet: $1,200 USD
The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 is ideal for the student who wants a relatively powerful, customizable tablet. If you want killer battery life, the available Productivity Module adds additional capacity. Or, if you need to present a project to a small crowd of peers, you can add a pico projector through the Projector Module. Features like like vPro certification and TPM support may be of interest to business or IT majors that want first hand experience with these enterprise-targeted features. If you or your student need a tablet that can easily adapt to different academic situations, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 may be the one.
Dell XPS 12 2-in-1 Convertible: Starts at $799
Dell's XPS 12 is just as capable as a laptop as it is a tablet. That's no small feat, and it's multifaceted abilities are largely due to Dell's top-shelf keyboard cases, low power Intel Skylake Core m processor and snappy solid state drive. Though it's engineered as a tablet first, its 12.5-inch display means that it's probably a little large to be used full-time as a slate for most people. However, having the ability to maintain a super low profile when needed is a plus when its time to kick back or in tight spaces. It also sports up to 8GB of RAM, 802.11ac 2x2 wireless and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for high speed file transfers of beefy stuff like HD media.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Starting at $789 USD
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the epitome of Microsoft's vision for a Windows 10-based 2-in-1 device. The Surface Pro 4 is built of quality materials and offers a host of innovative features. They keyboard is magnetically attached to the base and can be easily removed if the user wants to use the device solely as a tablet. The Surface Pro 4 also features Intel’s latest Skylake-based mobile processors, NVMe solid state storage, and various memory configuration options.
HP Spectre X2: Starting at $429.99 USD
The HP Spectre X2 is similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, but is a more affordable option for students or parents with a tight budget. The HP Spectre X2 starts at $429 for a Core m3 based model, with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Its screen is not as high-res and its processor is not as powerful as the Surface Pro 4. The HP Spectre X2, however, has a better keyboard experience in our opinion and battery life is very good.
Is power more important to you than portability? Let's take a look next at some of the best desktops for students next...