Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet

Picking up a Windows 8 device can be complicated considering the wide array of devices, the OS works on.

Here’s a brief guide to clue you in on what features to look out for when you got shopping this holiday season.

Since Windows 8 runs on a wide choice of hardware that includes desktop computers, laptops, tablets and hybrid devices, the first thing to decide is what type of device you are looking for. For this guide, we’ll skip the desktop category and dive right into laptops, tablets and hybrids.

Laptops – When looking to purchase a Windows 8 laptop, consider a touchscreen notebook. Touch displays are perfect for the touch-focused Windows 8 OS. Remember though, a touch display will cost you more and also eat up battery life.

Laptops tend to have more powerful hardware better suited for Microsoft office or work-focused apps.

Tablets – Looking for something lighter? A Windows tablet might fit the bill. Keep in mind though that Windows tablet devices tend to be more expensive than their Android counterparts.

Acer, Dell and Lenovo offer 8-inch Windows tablets but most tablets running the OS have 10-inch or larger dispalys.

Windows Store is still a bit thin in its offering of apps compared to its rivals, but Windows tablets have killer features that help them excel in the productivity space:

SkydDrive sync – Makes it easy to move work from PC to tablet to laptop and back again

Internet explorer 11 – A desktop class browser, which unlike mobile versions Chrome and Safari, works with Flash and Silverlight sites

Snap multitaking feature – Enables users to keep multiple apps open at the same time, unlike iOS or Android which only allows one app at a time

Full access to traditional Windows desktop and software

More tips on buying Windows tablets and hybrid devices, here