What Windows 8 Tablet to buy This Holiday? [2013]

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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Christmas and the Holiday shopping season is approaching and you are probably wondering what Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 tablet to buy, either for you or to gift it to someone. We go through the best offers in the market and bring you the best there is.
what windows 8 tablet
This holiday season is a very important one for Microsoft as the Redmond giant plans on selling 16 million Windows tablets, which is a very bold purpose and one that is obviously aimed at the new iPads and Android tablets. The overhaul that Windows 8.1 brought to Windows 8 hopes to help Microsoft make Windows 8 tablets mainstream and also improve the Windows retail experience.

We won’t put here all the Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets but only the best there is, of course, without making a hole in your budget. Prior to getting down to some of the best Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 tablets you could buy this holiday, what you need to know is how to choose your tablet. There are some important things we need to clear before proceeding, as you might find use in these advices when looking for the best Windows 8 tablet to get this Christmas.

What are you going to use it for?

This is the very first question you need to ask yourself. If you plan on buying a Windows 8 tablet this holiday to play games, watch move and entertain yourself, then you don’t need to buy accessories to stay productive. Instead, you’ll need to pay attention at its performance and display. If, on the other hand, you plan on doing a lot of work on it, software and accessories mater. Or, you could find one that makes a mix of these two.

What is your budget?

The cheaper, the better, one might say, but cheap many times means also poor quality. While hunting for a good offer make sure you don’t forget about quality. If you have a generous budget, then you could be looking at a hybrid device, not only a tablet. Of course, only if you need such a device. If you have more than $1000 to spend, then you’re probably looking at an awesome hybrid, convertible laptop. But there are even sub-$500 Windows 8 convertibles that you could rely on. Bottom line is this – decide how much you can spend and what is your definite budget for the acquisition.

What software?

Here, it all comes down to Windows 8 or Windows RT. If it weren’t for under-$500 tablets that come with Windows 8.1 preinstalled, maybe Windows RT would still have a chance. But other that Microsoft’s Surface tablets and Nokia’s 2520, there’s not too much to see here. Granted, the Nokia 2520 is one great looking device and if you’re attracted by its shine, then go for it, it deserves it. But don’t forget that Windows RT is a dumber version of Windows 8, lacking a lot of the important features.

Some of the best Windows 8 tablets for this holiday

Some of you might consider this list biased, but feel free to leave your comment at the end of the article letting us know what do you consider to be the best Windows 8 tablet to choose this 2013 season. What we have included in this list is a good mix of affordable and reliable tablets, but also gaming machines and super powerhouses. You decide what’s best for you.

Lenovo Miix 2 from $300

lenovo miix2 holiday windows 8 tablet

  • Processor – Intel Atom Processor Bay Trail T 1.8 GHz
  • Operating System – Windows 8.1
  • Display/Resolution – 8″ HD 1280 x 800 WXGA display with IPS technology
  • Graphics – Integrated graphics
  • Memory – 1GB, Up to 2 GB LPDDR3 memory
  • Hard Disk Drive – 16GB, Up to 128 GB eMMC storage
  • Integrated Communications – Bluetooth® 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G
  • Sound – Stereo speakers, integrated microphone
  • Battery – Up to 7 hours
  • Dimension – 5.2″ x 8.5″ x 0.3″
  • Weight (Net) – 0.77 lbs
  • Camera – 2MP front camera / 5MP rear camera
  • Connectors – Micro-USB, Micro SD, Micro SIM, Audio Combo Jack
  • Software Offering – Lenovo Companion App, McAfee Internet Security (30-day free trial), VeriFace Pro face recognition, Office Home and Student 2013, Lenovo Cloud Storage, Evernote, CyberLink YouCam, Skype, Zinio Online Newstand, Amazon Kindle for PC

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro from $929

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro best windows 8 tablet holiday

  • Processor – 4th Generation Intel Core i3-4010U Processor (1.70GHz 1600MHz 3MB)
  • Operating System – Windows 8.1 64
  • Display/Resolution – 13.3″ QHD+ LED Glossy Multi-touch 3200×1800
  • Graphics – Intel® HD Graphics 4400
  • Memory – 4.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz, up to 8 GB
  • Hard Disk Drive – 128GB SSD, up to 256
  • Integrated Communications – Bluetooth® 4.0, Intel® Wireless-N 7260 (802.11bgn)
  • Sound – Stereo speakers Dolby® Home Theater®, integrated microphone
  • Battery – Up to 9 hours with standard battery
  • Weight (Net) – Starting at 3.1 lbs
  • Camera – 2MP front camera / 5MP rear camera
  • Connectors – 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, micro-HDMI, 2-in-1 card reader, combo jack

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S from $800

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S christmas

  • Processor – 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i3-3229Y (1.40GHz 1600MHz 3MB)
  • Operating System – Windows 8.1 64
  • Display/Resolution – 11.6″ multimode high-definition (1366 x 768) display, 16:9 widescreen with IPS technology
  • Graphics – Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000
  • Memory – 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz SODIMM, up to 8GB
  • Hard Disk Drive – 128/256/512GB DDR (double data rate) SSD (solid state drive); HDD Interface: m-SATA II (SATA300); DMA Mode: Transfer Multiword DMA mode-2, Ultra-DMA Mode 6; User Upgradable: No
  • Integrated Communications – Bluetooth® 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G
  • Sound – Stereo speakers, integrated microphone
  • Battery – Up to 7 hours
  • Weight (Net) – Starting at 3.1 lbs
  • Camera – Integrated 720p HD webcam
  • Connectors – Micro-USB, Micro SD, Micro SIM, Audio Combo Jack

Toshiba Encore from $330

toshiba encore windows 8 holiday season

  • Screen Size – 8 inches
  • Max Screen Resolution – 1280×800 pixels
  • Processor – 1.8 GHz Atom Z3740
  • RAM – 2 GB DDR3
  • Internal storage – 32 GB
  • Thickness – 0.43 inches
  • Cameras – high-resolution 8MP camera, plus 2MP HD webcam for video calls and chats
  • Graphics Coprocessor – Intel HD Graphics
  • Wireless Type – 802.11bgn and also Micro USB 2.0 and Micro HDMI ports
  • Weight – 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg)
  • Flash Memory Size – up to 32 GB
  • Sensors – gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS
  • Other offers – 30 days of free unlimited world calling to landlines in Skype; full version of Office Home Student 2013

ASUS Transformer Book T100 from $350

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asus transformers book t100 best windows 8 tablet

  • Size and type – 10.1” HD IPS display with multi-touch capabilities, 2 in 1 tablet with a detachable keyboard, transforming the device from a 10-inch tablet to a laptop
  • Weight – thin and light design weighing in at only 1.2 lbs. in tablet mode
  • Ports – the detachable keyboard dock includes a USB 3.0 SuperSpeed port for quick file transfers
  • Battery – estimated 11 hours of battery life
  • OS – Windows 8.1
  • Processor – Intel® Atom™ Bay Trail-T Z3740 Quad Core processor

Dell Venue 11 Pro from $500

Dell Venue 11 Pro windows 8 holiday

  • Thickness – .4 inches
  • Weight – 1.57 pounds
  • Screen size – 10.8 inches
  • Operating system- Windows 8.1
  • CPU – Intel Bay Trail
  • RAM size – 2 GB, 8 GB, 4 GB

Dell XPS 11 from $500

Dell XPS 11 windows 8 christmas

  • Dimension – 0.6 inches Thickness, 1.20 Kg (2.5 Pounds)
  • Display – 11.6 inches, 2560 x 1440 Pixels resolutions, Gorilla Glass, Wireless Display
  • Connectivity – USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Software – Windows 8 OS
  • Performance –  Intel HD Graphics, Intel Core i3 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB Internal Memory

DellVenue 8 Pro

dell venue 8 pro

  • Processor – Intel® Atom™ processor Z3740D with 32GB storage (2MB Cache, up to 1.8GHz Quad-Core)
  • OS – Windows 8.1 (32Bit) English
  • Memory – 2GB Single Channel DDR3L-RS 1600MHz
  • Video Card – Intel® HD Graphics
  • Display – 8.0 inch IPS Display with HD (WXGA 1280 x 800) resolution with 10-pt capacitive touch
  • Dimensions – Thickness: 0.35” (9mm), Width: 5.12” (130mm), Length: 8.50” (216mm); Weight – Starting at 395g / 0.87lb
  • Wireless – Dell Wireless 1538 Dual-Band 2×2 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth® 4.0
  • Camera – Integrated 1.2MP HD Webcam (front) / 5MP (back)
  • Ports – 1 x Micro-AB USB2.0 (for trickle charging and data transfer), 1 x Headphone and microphone combojack, 1 x 3FF micro-SIM slot (optional)

Sony Vaio Tap 11 from $800

sony vaio tap 11

  • World’s thinnest (0.39”) Windows 8 Tablet PC
  • Features an aluminum magnetic full pitch keyboard/cover with a touch pad
  • SD card reader, USB 3.0, micro HDMI and Intel® Wireless Display (WiDi) which easily streams the computer screen directly to compatible HDTV
  • Estimated 6 hours of battery life
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Powered by the Intel® Pentium® 3560Y or 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors

Sony Vaio Tap 21 from $1000

sony vaio tap 21

  • Battery life – Up to 4 hours
  • Weight – 4.4 lbs
  • Dimensions – 20.61″ x 12.63″ x 1.39″ All-in-One PC
  • Screen size and resolution – 21.5″, 1920 x 1080
  • Hard drive size –   1000 GB HDD
  • RAM – 4 GB
  • Processor – Intel Haswell ULT i5
  • Graphics -Internal
  • Ports – Wireless keyboard & mouse, HDMI® out, USB 3.0, NFC

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 from $900

microsoft surface pro 2 holiday

  • Software –  Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Dimensions – 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 in
  • Weight – 2 lbs
  • Casing – VaporMg
  • Color – Dark Titanium
  • Storage & Memory – 64/128GB, 256/512GB; 4GB RAM/GB RAM
  • Display – Screen: 10.6 inch ClearType Full HD Display, 10-point multi-touch
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080, Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (widescreen)
  • CPU & Wireless -4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology
  • Battery Life – 7-15 days idle life, Charges in 2-4 hours with included power supply
  • Camera,Video & Audio – Two 720p HD cameras, front and rear-facing, Microphone, Stereo speakers with Dolby® sound
  • Ports – Full-size USB 3.0, microSDXC card reader, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 from $566

lenovo thinkpad tablet 2 christmas

  • Processor – Intel® Atom™ Processor Z2760 (DC/4T, 1.8Ghz Burst, 1.5Ghz HFM, 600Mhz LFM)
  • Operating System – Windows 8 32
  • Display – 10.1″ (16:9) HD WXGA (1366×768), Multitouch IPS
  • System – Intel HD GMA
  • Base – 64GB, WiFi, Digitizer & Pen
  • Memory – 2GB LPDDR2
  • Battery – 2-cell Li-Polymer Battery, 30 Wh

These are, in my humble opinion the best Windows 8 tablets and convertibles you could buy for the 2013 holiday season. We will be updating this story with new entries, if needs be. Albeit we did include some ultrabooks, powerful convertibles and even all in ones, we tried to stay below the $1000 mark.

Feel free to leave your comment below if you think another device should make the cut. You can also feel free to let us know which is your favorite Windows 8 tablet and why. Happy Christmas and have a wonderful holiday season ahead of you!

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