Windows on a touchscreen
The iPad may be the most popular tablet, but its mobile operating system only lets you run approved apps. Microsoft’s Surface Pro laptop-tablet hybrid runs full Windows 10, so you can use desktop PC programs on a lightweight touchscreen.
Its sharp screen can’t make up for poor battery life and slow performance
The PrimePro is a Windows 10 tablet for the price of an iPad. Its 12.2in screen is the same size as the Surface, giving you enough room to fit work in comfortably, and it comes with a detachable keyboard and touchpad as standard, so you can use it as either a tablet or a laptop.
Turning it on, we were pleasantly surprised by the screen. Its Full HD resolution looks pretty sharp, and although it’s not very bright it covers a reasonable 88 per cent of the sRGB color range. It’s not in the same league as current full-price tablets, but better than most budget laptops. Elsewhere, you can see where savings have been made. The plastic case is nearly 12mm thick even without the keyboard, which at least leaves room for a proper USB 3.0 port and a mini HDMI monitor port. A microSD card can be inserted to expand the 64GB of storage. The keyboard attaches with a physical data connection, which is better than relying on Bluetooth, but its fold-up stand holds the screen at a fixed angle, while typing and moving the mouse is hard work using the mushy keys and unresponsive trackpad.
Inside, an Intel Atom processor offers worse performance than a low-power m3 chip in the cheapest Surface Pro 4, and with 4GB of memory we couldn’t even carry out all of our usual tests. Only the least demanding 3D games will run. It did cope with basic Windows tasks, keeping up with the Asus Transformer Mini.
Where the PrimePro differed markedly from the Transformer was in battery life: it gave up on our video-playback test after a pathetic five hours 23 minutes, less than half of what we got from Asus’ smaller, slimmer and lighter tablet.
Whatever Venturer has filled the case with, it’s not lithium ions. At 1.5kg with the keyboard, our best guess is concrete.
This is a better buy than Venturer’s earlier BravoWin 10K, even at twice the price. But it’s more like a cut-down laptop than a proper tablet.
1.44GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor • 4GB memory • 64GB flash storage • 12.2in 1920×1080- pixel screen • 2-megapixel front and rear cameras • 802.11n Wi-Fi • Bluetooth 4.0 • Windows 10 • MicroSD card slot • USB 3.0 port • Mini HDMI port • 300x213x25mm (HxWxD) with keyboard • 907g (tablet only) • One-year warranty
Worth considering if you want a cheaper Windows laptop-tablet and rarely need to type, but battery life is disappointing ★★★☆☆
Asus Transformer Mini
This has a smaller, coarser screen and lacks the rear camera, but comes with a stylus and keeps going all day