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The Surface Pro 4 and 5 are excellent devices. And while the Apple MacBook Pro 2016 is great, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 offers better performance Which Should You Buy: Apple Macbook Pro 2016 or Microsoft Surface Pro 4? Which Should You Buy: Apple Macbook Pro 2016 or Microsoft Surface Pro 4? Don't know whether to go with the MacBook Pro 2016 or the Surface Pro 4? We've covered all the reasons why you might -- or might not want -- one of the two laptops. Read More  per dollar.

Even so, the Surface Pro 4 starts at $899. While the Surface Pro emerged to a lukewarm critical reception, it’s still a competent tablet with a growing fan base The Microsoft Surface Isn't Such a Joke After All The Microsoft Surface Isn't Such a Joke After All When Microsoft first unveiled the Surface, people laughed at this iPad-wannabe. And yet four years on, business is booming. No, seriously, stop laughing! Read More . Here’s what you can buy for the price of a Surface Pro 4.

From Desktops to Laptops and Notebooks

What you select ultimately depends on your specific needs. If you value gaming, you’ll want a desktop. A notebook or laptop, however, could serve as a portable alternative to a Microsoft Surface 4 Pro. These options ranging from desktops to notebooks show you what you can snag for the same price of a Surface Pro 5 (or even the 4).

1. CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2 Desktop Gaming PC (Intel i5-7400 3.0GHz, AMD RX 480 4GB, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB 7200RPM SATA III HDD, 802.11AC WIFI USB Adapter, Win 10 Home), Black CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2 Desktop Gaming PC (Intel i5-7400 3.0GHz, AMD RX 480 4GB, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB 7200RPM SATA III HDD, 802.11AC WIFI USB Adapter, Win 10 Home), Black Amazon's Choice for a gaming desktop Buy Now At Amazon $950.00

Cyberpower-VR-GXiVR

Admittedly, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2 is a desktop, not a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 alternative. The CyberPower rig comes in a different form factor than the Surface Pro 4. But the value arguably outweighs the Surface Pro. Although the Surface Pro 4 isn’t really intended for gaming, the Core i5 model should be sufficient for some mobile gaming Surface Pro 4 Review Surface Pro 4 Review If you’re looking for a flexible portable hybrid computer, one that is capable of replacing your notebook and iPad or Android tablet, the Surface Pro 4 Core M3 device is a perfectly adequate replacement. Read More .

For $720, the CyberPowerPC includes an Intel i5-7400 processor, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, and an AMD RX 480 4 GB GPU. The AMD is more than capable of handling VR gaming. However, the Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2 is not a direct competitor to the Surface Pro 4. But if you’re considering a Surface Pro 4, a desktop like the Gamer Xtreme VR offers an incredible value. There’s not only the VR-capable hardware and beefy specs. In addition, the CyperPowerPC GXiVR802A2 allows for future upgrades. The GXiVR8060A2 is slightly more expensive but adds a 128 GB NVMe M.2 SSD and swaps out the RX 480 for a GTX 1060 which remains VR-compatible.

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Why it’s better than the Surface Pro: VR gaming under $1K.

2. Dell Inspiron 15 7000

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Image Credit: Dell

Though desktops such as the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR deliver more horsepower and expandability, gaming notebooks What's the Ultimate Gaming Notebook? 5 of the Best Notebooks Ever Made What's the Ultimate Gaming Notebook? 5 of the Best Notebooks Ever Made Looking for the ultimate gaming notebook? Moe Long rounds up five of the most ridiculously overpowered lightweight notebooks for playing games on-the-go. Read More present a viable option. This choice is a sort of fusion between a gaming desktop and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. OK, a gaming notebook isn’t quite as ultra-portable as the Surface Pro — but the Inspiron 15 7000 weighs in at a mere 5.8 lbs. For a notebook, defined as lighter than 6 lbs, that’s pretty light. But compared to the Surface Pro 4, which is under 2 lbs, that’s fairly hefty.

Although the Surface Pro 4 does offer a Core i5 model, it’s a dual core. The i5 found in the Dell Inspiron 7000 sports quad cores. Moreover, the GTX 1050 Ti GPU far outstrips the Surface Pro 4 and its integrated GPU.

Why it’s better than the Surface Pro: Balances portability and power.

3. Acer Switch Alpha 12

Acer Switch Alpha 12 2-in-1, 12" QHD Touch, Intel Core i7, 8GB Memory, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, SA5-271-71NX Acer Switch Alpha 12 2-in-1, 12" QHD Touch, Intel Core i7, 8GB Memory, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, SA5-271-71NX Intel Core i7-6500U Processor 2.5GHz (Up to 3.1GHz) Buy Now At Amazon $889.86

Acer-Alpha-Switch

The Acer Switch Alpha Acer Switch Alpha 12 Hybrid Tablet Review Acer Switch Alpha 12 Hybrid Tablet Review Looking for a better priced Surface Pro 4? The $600 Acer Switch Alpha 12 offers 90% of a Surface Pro, at almost half the cost. Read More 12 is a 2-in-1 notebook. Because they straddle the line between laptop and tablet What Are 2-In-1 Laptops and How to Pick the Best One? What Are 2-In-1 Laptops and How to Pick the Best One? 2-in-1 laptops combine the portability of tablets with the ergonomics of a laptop, but are they any good? Is it better to get a tablet and a laptop separately? We explore. Read More , 2-in-1 notebooks compete closely with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. With its Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, and a keyboard, it’s more cost-effective than the Surface Pro 4. A Core i5 Microsoft Surface Pro retails for $700-$800. Stepping up to the i7 jumps the price to over $1,000. Adding a keyboard costs even more.

Overall, the higher tier Acer Switch Alpha 12 compares favorably to the Surface Pro. While a Surface Pro 4 is available with an Intel Core M for around $600, that’s without a keyboard. As CNET explains, the Acer Switch Alpha boasts spectacular value and performance despite its adequate display. You don’t get an OLED, but the default LCD panel is perfectly fine for most users. Its layout is great for both laptop ant tablet use. Plus, there’s a fanless liquid cooling system.

Why it’s better than the Surface Pro: Fanless and similar form factor with much better specs for your money. Includes a keyboard.

4. Lenovo ThinkPad T470

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Lenovo ThinkPad devices are renowned for their utility. All throughout university I used a ThinkPad T60p which ran the likes of Doom 3 and Half-Life 2, which, for its time, was impressive. Moreover, the T60p lasted over five years. The Lenovo ThinkPad T470 is a superb option which you can get for the same price of a Surface Pro 4.

The T470 yields amazing battery life and a keyboard which Laptop Mag praises as best-in-class. There’s also a super fast PCIe SSD and you’ll even get a Thunderbolt 3 port. But Laptop Mag does admit the ThinkPad T470 audio profile is noticeably tinny. Additionally, its screen is fairly dim. Nevertheless, its excellent keyboard, light weight, and whopping 17-hour battery life make this 14-inch laptop a wonderful pick instead of the Surface Pro 4. Bonus points for its form factor, weight, and battery life which position it as an ultra-portable, like the Surface Pro 4.

Why it’s better than the Surface Pro: Long-lasting battery and great keyboard — a keyboard that’s included and built-in, no less.

5. Samsung Galaxy S8

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OK, hear me out. Since it’s a phone, the Galaxy S8 is insanely portable — more portable, in fact, than the Surface Pro. Sure, it has a much smaller screen. Yet the inclusion of DeX means the Galaxy S8 doubles as a desktop. It’s Samsung’s current flagship which is one of the hottest handsets on the market The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The $800 Samsung Galaxy S8 is, without question, the best smartphone ever made. But you probably shouldn't buy one. Read More . In our review, we deemed the Galaxy S8 the best smartphone ever made. Thankfully, it’s not literally hot, unlike the Samsung Note 7.

It’s the Desktop Express feature that positions the S8 as a solid buy over the Surface Pro. Unfortunately, the DeX dock is sold separately and rather on the pricey side. Still, the S8 and its DeX feature is a killer feature for those seeking the best smartphone available — albeit a fairly expensive handset. If you’re purely seeking a phone, you may consider these Samsung Galaxy S8 alternatives Should You Buy a Samsung? 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 Alternatives Should You Buy a Samsung? 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 Alternatives Looking for Samsung Galaxy S8 alternatives? We've covered five of the best smartphone options in 2017, ranging in price from the budget to the premium. Read More .

Why it’s better than the Surface Pro: Incredibly portable and doubles as a desktop.

What You Can Get for the Price of a Surface Pro

The Surface Pro is an awesome device. Despite initial impressions, the Microsoft Surface Pro continues to shine — more so with each iteration. Yet depending on your needs, you can snag a more capable or versatile device for the same price.

Gamers might consider a VR-ready desktop like the CyberPower GXiVR8020A2 or a gaming notebook such as the Inspiron 15 7000. The Acer Switch Alpha 12 takes a step down on its display but more than compensates in its power and default detachable keyboard. An honorable mention goes out to the Razer Blade which competes with higher-end Surface Pro models.

What would you suggest buying instead of the Surface Pro 4?

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  1. David Martchouk
    June 21, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    I also agree Galaxy S8 + DEX is a great idea as replacement, but the battery won't last 4-5 years like the next person's laptop should last.

  2. David Martchouk
    June 21, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I suggest buying something with 8 GB DDR4 RAM, the 8 GB Surface Pros are way too expensive. 4 GB is not enough for Windows 10! I noticed some of the alternatives you listed have at the lowest end a 4 GB RAM version, and I feel sorry for the suckers that thought your alternatives 4 GB version is actually a good buy.