Tablets are useful devices, but some are limited by their operating system. That isn’t the case with Windows however as today’s slates can hang with laptops. If you’re looking for the best Windows tablet, you’ve come to the right place.
After careful consideration, our experts picked through dozens of tablets to find the top options that run Windows. We’ve included a price point for everyone along with a buying guide to help you find the perfect choice.
How to Choose The Best Windows Tablet
The Display and Durability
Most tablets in this range sport QHD or FHD displays although the former will give you more battery life – something to keep in mind. If you game or plan to use your tablet for modeling or artwork, you may want to learn a bit more about resolution. All our choices are convertible as well, which means you need to consider the build quality, color depth and sensitivity of the display if you plan on using a stylus.
If you’re looking for the best 2-in-1 laptops, it’s always a wise idea to check out the keyboard beforehand. The same rule applies here as many machines have similar specifications so little things can make a huge difference. Aluminum is obviously your best option if you want durability, but plastic tablets are cheaper and can still take a beating if built well. With the display, Gorilla Glass will be your best friend but is no substitute for a good screen protector.
Most tablets stick to two standard sizes with slates around 8-inches and ones that clock in around 10. That rule applies to devices running Android, iOS, and Windows, and there are 12-inch slates available as well. While iOS and Android tablets stick to that formula for the most part, the best Windows tablet may buck that trend.
It’s not uncommon to find a Windows tablet in the 10 or 12-inch class, but you can go larger. There are a handful of 15-inch slates which blur the lines between portable PC and tablet, just like phablets did with smartphones years ago. If you do go big, keep the battery life in mind as more pixels require more power.
As we’re dealing with tech that runs Windows, every tablet on our list will have a processor from AMD or Intel. To keep things simple, if you want the fastest processor, look for an 8th generation chip from Intel. AMD does have comparable options, but they aren’t as prevalent in this range.
A laptop with an Intel Core i7 will absolutely fly, especially if you’ve got an ample amount of RAM under the hood. We recommend at least 4GB of memory at a minimum although you can get by with less if you only plan to browse the web or use light-duty applications.
The other type of power you need to think about is battery life. A large QHD panel will draw more juice than an 8-inch display, but so will games and certain applications. How you use your tablet plays a large part with battery life although 8-hours is around the average in most cases.
Other things to consider
Hard drives usually get their own section in a tablet buying guide, but Windows-based slates use solid-state drives which are speedy and efficient. They usually have microSD card slots and at least one USB port, which allows you to expand when things get tight. That said, 256GB is the minimum amount of storage we would recommend. You can get by with 128GB but will need a USB stick or memory card sooner than later.
On that note, the type of port matters and USB Type-C or 3.1 ports are the best option for speed. You’ll find many of the top Windows tablets have one, but you could be limited to a single port instead of two. 3.5mm jacks are still common, and you won’t find any slate that lacks dual-band Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Want an iris or fingerprint scanner? Well, that’s a different story…
The last thing we want to touch on is accessories. Convertible tablets are still considered 2-in-1’s if they have a stand built-in, but a keyboard is what you’ll want for true productivity. Some models will include one out of the box, and the same goes for an active stylus.
Both of these items can set you back a considerable amount of coin when purchased separately, so the “extras” are a bit more important in the tablet world than with other mobile gadgets.
5 Best Windows Tablets You Can Buy in 2018
The Best Windows Tablet Overall
The best Windows 10 tablet comes from the company that makes the operating system it runs – Microsoft. The Surface Pro is the company’s fastest tablet to date and one that comes with a configuration and price point for everyone.
This beautiful slate is sleek and fast. This particular model has a 7th gen Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. The battery life is excellent at around 13-hours depending on your usage despite the 12.3-inch panel. You’ll be pleased to know this one is in the 2K range as well at 2,736 x 1,824.
An 8MP snapper on the rear of the Surface Pro takes respectable photos, and you’ll get a USB 3.0 port along with Windows 10 Pro. While this model doesn’t come with an active stylus, the PixelSense display is ideal for drawing when you kick the slate into Studio or Laptop mode.
If you like the style of the Surface Pro but need more power, there is a Core i7 variant and you can up the RAM to 16GB as well. You can also go for a more affordable option with a Core M5 or choose a bundle with the LTE or covers.
- Excellent power for the price
- Great battery life
- Plenty of configurations
- 2K display
- Windows Hello
- Cameras aren’t the best
- 4GB variants can bog down multitasking
Another Stunner from Samsung
Samsung was producing tablets long before our top option became popular, but they recently expanded their lineup to include slates geared towards Pros. The Galaxy Book is one of them, and it has several flagship features to go along with an outstanding display.
Sammy is known for their AMOLED panels, and this one certainly pops. This particular variant has a 12-inch Super AMOLED display with HDR capabilities and a resolution of 2,160 x 1,440. Beneath that slab of glass, you’ll find an Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive.
You’ll be thankful for that panel once you pull out the S Pen. It’s the perfect accessory for this 2-in-1 and comes included along with a keyboard cover. Other features of interest include a USB Type-C port, a 13MP rear camera, adaptive fast charging, and a microSD slot.
While we think the Samsung Galaxy Book SM-W7220NZKBXAR offers up the best value, there are 10.6-inch variants available as well. You can also go with a larger SSD or bundle which includes the Staedtler Pencil, an excellent accessory for artists.
- Stellar display
- Included S Pen and Keyboard
- 13MP rear camera
- USB Type-C
- Fast charging
- Only 4GB of RAM
- The keyboard isn’t the best
The Best Windows Gaming Tablet
Microsoft has more than one type of Surface Book, and this one is more akin to a laptop than a traditional tablet. The Surface Book 2 is still portable although you may need a larger bag to lug this one around.
Whether you go with the 15 or 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 2, you’ll have plenty of horsepower. Our top option has a whopping 16GB of RAM and the 8th generation Core i7. It also has more storage than most with a 512GB SSD, and you can bump that up to a full terabyte if you need more space and don’t dig portable storage solutions.
Microsoft used the same PixelSense tech on this machine, so that panel is sharp, vivid and words with an active stylus. The display clocks in at 3,000 x 2,000 which makes it an ideal gaming tablet when you factor in the GTX 1050 under the hood. The cameras are sufficient, but not anything to write home about an on par with other tablets in this range.
Whether you choose the Core i7 with a 1TB hard drive or the 15-inch beast, the Surface Book 2 is a great slate for games. We also like the fact its Windows Hello ready thanks to the IR camera system in the front.
- Most powerful tablet around
- 3,000 x 2,000 display
- GTX 1050
- x3 USB ports
- Windows Hello
- The price tag
- Cameras could be better
An Affordable Option from Acer
The Acer Switch Alpha is another solid 2-in-1 built to run Windows 10. While it may not be the sleekest machine to make the grade, it will provide you with a considerable amount of bang for your buck and comes with a stylus to boot.
Acer went with a 12-inch panel for the Switch, and it’s in the QHD class with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,440. The 6th gen Core i5 is clocked at 2.3GHz, and while it’s dated, it will get the job done as you’ll have 8GB of RAM to work with. There is a standard microSD slot, but it’s something you shouldn’t have to use for a while with a 256GB solid-state drive at the ready.
A built-in kickstand allows you to use this slate in several different ways, and you can convert it into a mini laptop with a snap. The magnetic keyboard is backlit and well-built although not on par with others we’ve tested over the years. Other features of interest include a 5MP/2MP camera combo, Bluetooth 4.0, and USB Type-C port.
This tablet that gives you an option of upgrading or downgrading depending on your needs. A Core i3 variant with 4GB is available along with an i7 sporting a 512GB SSD. You can save a few bucks if you want to skip the stylus, but it’s not something we recommend as it provides a lot of value.
- Vivid 12-inch QHD display
- 256GB SSD
- Keyboard and Stylus included
- Affordable price tag
- Average battery life
- Build quality
The Best Cheap Windows Tablet
Lenovo has always been a popular choice when it comes to Android slates, and their Window-based tablets are nothing to scoff at. The Lenovo Miix 510 is a media machine with a unique hinge system and enough power to satisfy most consumers’ needs.
The Miix 510 can convert from tablet to PC in seconds. It has a “watchband” style hinge that adjusts up to 150-degrees which allows you to find the perfect angle with or without the included keyboard. While it only has a Full HD display, it’s vibrant and works with an active stylus or your digits.
When it comes to power, this one is middle of the pack with a 7th generation i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. That’s enough to tackle most tasks, just don’t expect hardcore gaming performance from this one. While budget-friendly tablets tend to cut a few corners, Lenovo didn’t go down that road, so there is a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.0 port to go along a usual array of connectivity options.
While you won’t have to shell out extras for accessories with the Miix 510, you will want to have a USB stick ready. This one doesn’t take SD cards and only has a 128GB SSD which will fill up faster than you think. The Miix 520 gives you a bit more storage, however, and the 720 throws in an IR camera and a QHD panel.
- Sturdy stainless steel hinge
- Keyboard and stylus included
- The price tag
- USB 3.0 and USB-C
- Not much storage
- Battery life could be better
- No microSD slot