The Cheapest Intel Core M Tablets And 2-In-1’s

Intel’s 14nm “Broadwell” Intel Core M processors were designed specifically for thin devices like tablets and 2-in-1’s, with the qualities of Intel Core i3 and i5 processors, but with less power consumption and better performance at certain tasks, like regular web use e.g. Javascript performance in particular.

When they were first released in September 2014, the processors started at $281, so it’s easy to see how it contributed to the prices of the first tablets, but things have changed now that the cheapest Intel Core M tablets can be had for under $400. And that means that it’s time for a quick overview of all the Windows tablets and 2-in-1’s with Intel Core M processor on the market today.

There are 7 different Intel Core M processors. They are all dual-core processors with a Intel HD Graphics 5300 graphics processor. But as we see in our charts below, there are some differences in frequency, or speed if you will.

Processor Frequency (Speed) Turbo Speed GPU Speed
Intel Core M 5Y10 800 MHz 2 GHz 100-800 MHz
Intel Core M 5Y10a 800 MHz 2 GHz 100-800 MHz
Intel Core M 5Y10c 800 MHz 2 GHz 300-800 MHz
Intel Core M 5Y31 900 MHz 2.4 GHz 300-850 MHz
Intel Core M 5Y51 1.1 GHz 2.6 GHz 300-900 MHz
Intel Core M 5Y70 1.1 GHz 2.6 GHz 100-850 MHz
Intel Core M 5Y71 1.2 GHz 2.9 GHz 300-900 MHz

Most of the tablet brands have several different processor options for each of their Intel Core M powered tablets, but we’ll start by listing the cheapest ones.

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi ($599) Now $475!
The newest but also the cheapest Windows 8.1 tablet / 2-ini-1 with Intel Core M processor. It was launched for $699 just weeks ago, but the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi is on sale for $475 now.

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi 007

This is for the Intel Core M-5Y10c version, with a 12.5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution display, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, 64-bit Windows, and USB 3.0.

(UPDATED: The top-end version of the two Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi with 2560 x 1440 resolution, Intel Core M 5Y10 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage is now on sale too at record low prices and with Windows 10 if you like.)

Acer Aspire Switch 12 ($599)
http://www.microsoftstore.com/Acer-Aspire-Switch-12-SW5/

This is the tablet that isn’t really a pure tablet, due to the desktop-like stand of it, but it’s pretty close.
It too has a Intel Core M-5Y10c processor, and a 12.5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution screen, with 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, and of course a keyboard, like all the tablets here do.

It’s sold with the same $100 discount as the Chi, and you’ll find the sales coupon code underneath the “Add to cart” button.

HP Envy x2 15

HP Envy x2 15 ($824)
http://www.amazon.com/Envy-15-6-Touchscreen
So this is interesting. Despite being one of the largest tablets on the market, at 15.6-inches, and despite running the most powerful Intel Core M 5Y71 processor, it’s also one of the cheapest tablets.

Specifications are high, with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution display, 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM, 500GB storage, and even two USB 3.0 ports.

Asus Transformer Book T300FA ($866)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SU4HT20/
This was expected to be the first Intel Core M-5Y10 powered tablet on the market, but ended up being launching quite late instead, which meant that the novelty of it had passed when it was finally available. Especially when it only had a low resolution 1366 x 768 resolution display.

It’s a 12.5-inch screen 2-in-1 with 4GB of RAM and storage anywhere from 64GB to 1TB, and the hard drive in the keyboard is swappable.

HP Envy x2 13 ($874)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RAEI1IW/
A smaller version of the 15-inch model, but with a Intel Core M 5Y70 processor.
Features a 13.3-inch screen with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, 8GB of DDR3L RAM, 256GB storage and a backlit keyboard. The rest of the specs are equally good.

Dell Latitude 13 7000 ($987)
http://www.amazon.com/Latitude-13-7350-Ultrabook-Tablet–plane/dp/B00PC69VJ8/
This 2-in-1 from Dell runs the Intel Core 5Y10c processor despite being near the $1000 mark.
It has a 13.3-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution, it has 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
It also has two USB 3.0 ports, like some of the other tablets here.

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 2


Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 2
($1,035)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QJ2IVPE/
This 2nd generation Lenovo ThinkPad Helix is powered by the Intel Core M-5Y10c processor and for that price, you even get a portable DVD-RW bundled in.

It’s a 11.6-inch tablet, which makes it one of the two smallest ones here, and it has a FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080. Other specs include 4GB DDR3 RAM and 128GB SSD storage, though 512GB storage can be upgraded to for $150 more. One of the particular qualities it has includes digitizer support.

HP Elite x2 ($1,090)
http://www.amazon.com/HP-Elite-1011
This tablet is overpriced compared to it’s rivals, even if it may be a enterprise tablet. It runs a Intel Core M 5Y10c processor. Other than that, it’s a 11.6-inch tablet with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage, and extra security options for enterprises. It may be suited to enterprises who can afford it and make use of those security features, but it doesn’t make sense for consumers to buy this. At least not at this price.

There are other Intel Core M powered tablets on the worldwide market too, but they are not available in the North American market. So the models listed above are the only models that are available in the US as of May 2015, or that will be in the near future.

UPDATE, September:
The cheapest Intel Core M 2-in-1 tablet with Windows 10 we know about by now that is available for delivery to the US via free international shipping, is the Cube i7 for $329: http://www.gearbest.com/tablet-pcs/pp_232112.html

This is a 10.6-inch Windows 10 tablet with Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The drawback in exchange for such a low price is the 4500 mAh battery capacity which only gives it an average 5 hours battery life. But it otherwise has USB 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 2MP front camera, and a 5MP rear camera.

Intel Core M

– Jim Miller

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