Best Windows 8 kit

We whittle down the forest of Windows 8 devices to the five finest machines ripe for installing Microsoft's new OS

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT


A first hardware tablet outing for Microsoft, the 10.6in Surface tablet-come-laptop is already a hit, with pre-orders selling out before it’s even been released. The 32GB base model will cost you £400 (plus £100 if you want the Touch Cover keyboard) which gets you Windows RT powered by an Nvidia T30 CPU and 2GB RAM, two 720p HD cameras, and a 10.6in HD display. Now to decide – join the rush when it goes on sale at midnight on October 25th, or wait for the Intel version with full Windows 8 Professional OS in January?

Sony Vaio Tap 20


Surprisingly it's Sony who's making one of the most affordable desktop all-in-one Windows 8 PCs, with its Tap 20. Its simple, retractable stand makes it mobile, while the slim styling keeps the giant tablet attractive without sacrificing power. Inside the 20in LED touchscreen you’ll get full Windows 8 with 6GB RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a 1.7 GHz Core i5.

Acer Aspire S7


Simply one of the most attractive laptops we’ve seen since the MacBook Air. Despite its minimalist metallic shell, the 13.3in Aspire S7 crams in a Core i3 processor, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM, and Dolby speakers – all while eking a massive 12 hours out of the battery.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

From US$700 (£435)

One of the few non–convertible tablets to launch with Windows 8. Lenovo throws 4G, full-sized USB and its usual corporate level security at this ThinkPad Tablet 2. And what it lacks in keyboard (Bluetooth keyboard optional) it makes up for with a Digitizer Pen add-on, Dolby speakers, 8MP snapper, and 720p screen.

Dell XPS Duo 12

US$1200 (£745)

The Dell XPS Duo 12 has a laptop style case for the fully flipable and removable 12.5in Full HD tablet. This is a true hybrid tablet-laptop that should do Windows 8 OS proud. With up to 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM to back up to a Core i7 processor, it's also a powerhouse to be reckoned with.

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