Generation Y is here, and so are the sleek Windows laptops and tablets. The Acer Aspire P3, Lenovo Yoga 11s and Toshiba WT310 are all equipped with Intel Core CPUs from the new Y series. The new processors are more energy-efficient, which is great for battery life, but not so good for performance. While the fast SSDs can compensate for some of it, the difference in performance compared to the Microsoft Surface Pro is pretty stark.
The Acer Aspire P3 has a starting price of around £550/ €599, but we would advise against getting the entry-level model as it contains only 2 GB RAM and a 60 GB SSD (of which only 26.5 GB is left, and there's no card reader for adding storage). It only has a resolution of 1366x768, but the Aspire P3 is a good option if you want a relatively fast Windows tablet, plus the keyboard dock is part of the deal.
The Lenovo is more expensive at £ 700/ 999 euros, but it also made a very good impression. It's a convertible laptop that provides a good workspace, and it's easy to turn into a tablet. The permanently-attached keyboard is very practical to have and simplifies matters, but of course it adds to the weight (1.35 kg). The mediocre WiFi chip is a blemish on an otherwise nice product.
The Toshiba WT310 (about € 1,000 euros or £ 619 (excl VAT) also is also interesting, even if it's aimed more at the professional looking for a pure Windows tablet. It's a nice combination of Full HD screen, Core i5 processor, Windows 8 Pro and relatively low weight. It's main competition comes from the Toshiba Portégé z10t, that will likely be the more interesting of the two due to the keyboard. The entry-level version of the WT310 is too weak with the Celeron 847 processor.
That's some serious competition for Microsoft's Surface Pro, but it holds its own well. It's Full HD, somewhat smaller with the 10.6-inch screen, but significantly more powerful with the Core i5-3317U processor. The drawback of the power is that the tablet is thicker and won't last as long on a single battery charge. The type cover keeps it from being a fully-fledged alternative for a laptop. .
Each of the four convertible tablet laptops are good products in their own way, but none of them is flawless. The Lenovo Yoga 11s needs a Full HD screen and better WiFi to make it a complete package, but it still walks away with the Silver Award. The Acer Aspire P3 version with 4 GB and 128 GB SSD earns the Bronze Award, and is primarily interesting if you want an affordable Windows 8 tablet but will use another computer for the serious work. The Toshiba WT310 is a good teaser for the upcoming Portégé z10t, which looks like it has lots of potential.
Lenovo Yoga 11s
Acer Aspire P3-771-3322Y4G12AS (4 GB / 128 GB)