If you need a decent Windows tablet/laptop hybrid, you don’t have to pay full whack for a Surface Pro. Cheap Windows 10 tablets such as the Chuwi Hi12 are available with a keyboard and similar specifications at around £200. Here’s how to buy a cheap Windows 10 tablet.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is a brilliant Windows tablet/laptop, but it’ll hit your pocket hard. At launch prices started at £639 for the base 64GB Core i3 model with 4GB of RAM, and went as high as £1,649 for the 512GB Core i7 model with 8GB of RAM. The Surface Pro 3 is no longer officially sold by Microsoft, having been superceded by the Surface Pro 4, but where it’s available you’ll still pay a fair whack for it. Also see: Surface Pro 3 review and Surface Pro 4 review.

Chinese brand Chuwi is now offering a much cheaper alternative at under £200. The new Chuwi Hi12 is a Windows 10 tablet that has the same 12in (2160x1440, 3:2) screen as the Surface Pro 3, plus an extra USB port and a larger battery. You can also buy a keyboard for it.

Chuwi Hi12

The Chuwi is roughly the same size as the Surface Pro 3, slightly thinner but a touch wider and heavier, and matches the entry-level model’s 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. In place of the Surface Pro 3’s fourth-generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 chip is a fifth generation Intel Atom x5-Z8300. Also see: Best Windows tablets 2016.

The Chuwi Hi12 is available from a number of Chinese importers, including GearBest, Geekbuying, TinyDeal and Everbuying. The best price we found was £179.11 from Everbuying with free shipping, but having dealt with GearBest many times in the past we’d happily pay a little extra for peace of mind. GearBest sells the tablet at £193.91, and the keyboard at £22.42.

You can get free shipping, but remember that if you are importing a device from China into the UK you may be requested to pay import duty - read our advice on buying grey-market tech.

We can't comment on real-world usage just yet, of course. But if the Chuwi Hi12 appeals, keep an eye out for our Chuwi Hi12 review in the next few weeks.

Chuwi Hi12 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 3: Specifications

 

Chuwi Hi12

Surface Pro 3

Operating system

Windows 10

Windows 10

Screen

12in, 2160x1440, 3:2

12in, 2160x1440, 3:2

Processor

5th-gen Intel Atom x5-Z8300

4th-gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7

RAM

4GB

4/8GB

Storage

64GB

64/128/256/512GB

USB

1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0

1x USB 3.0

Cameras

5Mp rear, 2Mp front

5Mp rear, 5Mp front

Battery

11,000mAh

5,547mAh

Keyboard

Sold separately

Sold separately

Dimensions

296.7x202.8x8.9mm

292.1x201.4x9.1mm

Weight

852g

800g

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