Microsoft’s Surface line is in a sea of troubles as it is, so the ever growing competition inside the tablet/ultrabook hybrid niche can only cause it deeper headaches. The latest Surface rival to go official comes from Acer and is dubbed Travelmate X313.
Though it looks awfully similar to the Surface Pro 2 from a distance, the newest member of the Travelmate family has both the upper hand in certain departments and clear disadvantages in others. And all in all, you’ll struggle to find similarities between the two.
First key distinction, size. Whereas the Surface Pro 2 intends to be the perfect on-the-go computing machine with a compact 10.6-inch form factor, the X313 takes things up a notch an inch, to 11.6. Extra screen real estate is more often than not a good thing, only here it comes at the expense of resolution, as the Travelmate boast a sub-par 1,366 x 768 pixel count.
Even worse, the 11.6-incher packs Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge power (translation: last year’s Core i5 generation), so don’t expect stellar battery life or impressive raw speed.
But it can’t all be bad and Acer’s 2-in-1 device is actually a 3-in-1, as it can also swiftly convert into a desktop PC by adding a physical keyboard, plus a neat and snazzy desktop cradle to the ensemble.
Also on the plus side, the Travelmate X313 is smooth and elegant, weighing in at 1.74 pounds and measuring 0.39 inches thick. Oh, yeah, and you get 4 GB RAM and a 128 GB SSD in its “entry-level” configuration, as well as a 5 MP rear-facing camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a full-sized USB 3.0 port.
On the software side of things, Windows 8.1 Pro is of course what comes out the box, while in terms of pricing Acer is reportedly to ask $950 for the hybrid starting later this month.
A bit on the expensive side? Well, the 128 GB Surface Pro 2 costs 50 bucks more, so I’ll let you decide for yourselves if the Travelmate’s strong points overwhelm its very obvious flaws. Once you make up your minds, you’re more than welcome to share your opinions in the comments section below. We’re all ears.