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This $300 Surface Pro clone might be better than the real thing

Updated May 25th, 2017 3:30PM EDT
Surface Pro 2017 Cheap Alternatives
Image: Chuwi

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Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro earlier this week, its fifth-generation tablet that’s no longer sold as a tablet or identified by a number. The Surface Pro is a compelling Windows 10 device though it does have at least one flaw you should be aware of, other than the price structure. Microsoft says that $799 will get you the most versatile laptop out there, but that’s the price you pay for the tablet part only. So if you’re looking for a more affordable Surface Pro alternative, there’s a clone from China that might meet your needs.

The Chuwi SurBook currently sells on Indiegogo for as low as $299. $50 extra gets you a keyboard cover and stylus, while $399 pays for the Surface Pro clone you’d probably want, a model that comes with more storage and all the accessories you need to use it as a laptop.

The SurBook does have a 12-inch high-resolution screen just like the Surface Pro. However, it packs an Intel’s Apollo Lake processors, rather than the Intel Kaby Lake CPUs that power the new Surface Pro. That processor choice seems to affect battery life, as the SurBook will only get you eight hours of usage compared to the Surface Pro’s 13.5 hours.

But Chuwi’s laptop does have some interesting advantages over the Surface Pro, aside from price. The device ships with 6GB of RAM even at entry-level, and features a full-fledged USB-C port, something the Surface Pro strangely lacks.

The SurBook should be shipped in July, assuming everything goes well. We’ll remind you that we’re looking at a crowdfunding campaign here, which means certain risks are involved. Even if it raised more than five times its $30,000 initial goal, with more than a month left in the campaign, things could always take a turn for the worse.

The Surface Pro, meanwhile, is a sure thing from this point of view. You won’t be taking any risks by ordering one. Microsoft is already taking preorders, and the laptop should ship next month.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.