If you go to eBay (gigabyte s1081 | eBay), you can still get brand new Gigabyte S1081 tablets (GIGABYTE - Slate & Tablet - Slate & Tablet - S series - S1081) that will run Windows 8 perfectly. You can optimise these fully to suit your needs ie memory, hard drive, mini-PCIE etc. I have an S1080 and it's excellent.
You can do the registry/resolution hack and the apps will work fine.
if you're going to spend $600 on a Win8 tablet, you shouldn't get one that has a resolution of only 1024x600 like that Gigabyte. Its brightness is only about 148 nits. Its viewing angle is pretty narrow. it has a hard drive instead of eMMC or SSD. Its battery life is only 4 hours with an Atom. a modern Atom (Clover Trail) tablet should at least get 8 hours and often go up to 14 hours. it weighs 2 pounds. The Atom in the Gigabyte is not Clover Trail and is last gen in terms of performance and battery.
The Gigabyte's feature set was clearly made in the Windows 7 era.
Firstly, the resolution can be increased so that Windows 8 apps work correctly, the screen brightness is excellent and horizontal viewing angle is around 170 deg. You can replace the HDD with an SSD of whatever capacity you like and it has a mini-PCIE slot that allows you to install an adapter that will take an SD card or two micro-SD cards to increase internal storage by at least 64GB. It also has an external SD slot for even more storage.
Yes, battery life without the extended battery is four hours at full screen brightness, but how long is the battery life with a Surface Pro? Does the Surface Pro have an external battery or docking station? It weighs the same as a Surface Pro and has the same physical dimensions as the Surface Pro. It can run any program that runs on Windows 8.
It also has two USB ports, Ethernet port, SIM card, HDMI and D-sub. It's actually built like a fully functional desktop, PC in a tablet format, no larger or heavier than a Surface Pro and at almost half the price.
the Surface Pro has the same battery life from a Core processor which absolutely kills that old Atom processor. Not only more powerful performance, but more battery states for better overall battery life. Why would I want an old slow CPU with bad battery life when I can get a faster one that has a much better battery life (comparing current Atom to old Atom or heck, even modern Core to old Atom)?
and to get that 1024x600 even work (and we're not talking about usefulness but rather just getting it to work), you have to do a registry edit???? people, it's 1024x600! no desktop on any platform should ever be 1024x600. our PCs had 1024x768 15 years ago. And its screen quality pales in comparison to a modern era device. the Gigabyte is about 150 nits. it would barely be an outlier compared to what's out there.
Firstly, when it comes to screen resolution, lower can sometimes be better, as it is far easier on the eyes, than trying to squint at very small fonts etc that high resolution screens produce. I often use mine as an off-road navigation device and that 1024 x 600 resolution is a joy to read. That is in fact why the Surface Pro enlarges some programs up to 150%, because it is difficult to read at full resolution. High resolution may be well and good when viewing videos, photos etc, but for tasks that require reading, typing etc, it can be a right pain.
Secondly, the Atom processor is more than adequate to run all the programs that I have installed, without any frustration regarding speed. The tablet is an adjunct to my desktop, I can never envisage having to use it for seriously processor intensive tasks. Anyone that has such expectations should really consider a powerful laptop/ultra-book.
As for battery life, there are few devices that run Windows 8 Pro that have a battery life of more than around five hours. The Gigabyte has a 29.6Wh battery and gets around four hours of usage, the Surface Pro has a 42Wh battery and gets no more than five hours of usage. So with a battery that has a 30% greater capacity, it can barely get 20% extra time. I can also replace my battery or buy an extended battery that will double the working time, you can't do that with the Surface.