In an era where the tablet trend in the PC industry has seen some sales declines in the past couple of years, there are still a number of great Windows 10-based devices that are available for anyone who prefers a tablet over a bulky notebook or 2-in-1 device. Windows tablets tend to be higher priced than their iPad and Android counterparts, but they make up for that difference by being more powerful and more useful for school and business customers.
In the past few months a number of new Windows tablets have been released, including a new version of the Surface Pro tablet from Microsoft, about 18 months after the last version, the Surface Pro 4, was released. There are also a couple of promising Windows tablets that, as of this writing, are just a few weeks away from going on sale. We think that it’s about time to take a look at the best Windows tablets that you can currently buy, or about to be available, especially as we get closer to the back-to-school shopping season. As you will see, there are a number of options available that offer a wide variety of performance, features and prices. All of these devices use Intel’s current generation processors in their chip families so you don’t have to worry about getting last year’s CPUs inside these devices.
One small thing before we begin: This list only features Windows tablets that are designed to work mostly as stand along touch screen devices. Many of these products either come with a detachable keyboard out of the box, or the buyer can choose to get one as an optional accessory. However, these tablet keyboards are not considered to be full-fledged notebook keyboards. Thus, you will not see products on this list like Microsoft’s Surface Book, which is primarily used as a notebook, rather than as a tablet, even though its screen can detach from its full keyboard. It also does not include notebooks that have keyboard which flip around 360 degrees behind its display.
Microsoft Surface Pro
The “new” Surface Pro has been a long time coming. Released just a few weeks ago, it is the true successor to the 2015 released Surface Pro 4. Microsoft is ditching the number label for its latest Windows 10 tablet, but it still offers a ton of performance for anyone who wants to get a tablet and wants to do some work with it, especially if you happen to be an artist.
The new Surface Pro is a bit lighter and thinner than the older Surface Pro 4, but otherwise the design of the new tablet is close to that of the older model. It’s inside where things are much different as the new Surface Pro uses Intel processors based on the current seventh generation Core “Kaby Lake” architecture that is supposed to offer owners over twice the performance of the Surface Pro 4. The 2 pound tablet’s 12.3-inch LCD display has a solid resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 and its battery life has been extended to last up to 13.5 hours.
The trademark kickstand on the new Surface Pro has also been redesigned, so it can lower the tablet down even more for people who which to draw on its display. Speaking of which, the tablet also support the optional Surface Pen stylus, along with new versions of its Type Cover accessory. Technically, both of these products are add-ons for the Surface Pro, but Microsoft frequently has special offers where you can get the Pen or Type Cover for free when you purchase the tablet.
The entry level Surface Pro 4 is priced at $799, and that model comes with Intel’s lower end Core m3 processor, 128 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM. You can also upgrade to the faster Core i5 and i7 processors, but be prepare to pay a lot more for that privilege. The most expensive Surface Pro model, price at $2,699, comes with the i7 chip, along with 1 TB of SSD storage, and 16 GB of RAM. While the Surface Pro is pricy, you are still getting a lot of performance for that cost.
HP Spectre x2
Of all of the various “Surface Pro clones” that are available from the many PC makers, the HP Spectre x2 is the one that is perhaps the best of the lot,, at least at the moment. The tablet comes with a 12.3-inch 3,000 x 2,000 display and a detachable keyboard, but at the cost of its starting price going higher than the Surface Pro at $1,149. You can purchase the tablet with an seventh generation Intel i5 or i7 processor, and with either 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM. Storage options range from 128 GB to 1 TB.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the HP Spectre X2 and the Surface Pro is its audio hardware. HP has put in dual speakers made by well-known audio company Bang & Olufsen. which should offer a better sound and music experience than competing Windows tablets — or really any tablet out there, regardless of the platform. The Spectre X2’s kickstand is also of a different design. Instead of a solid look, it’s made of stainless steel with a U-shape that is supposed to be more stable to use than normal kickstand found on tablets.
There’s also an option to include cellular wireless hardware in the tablet so it can be used on Verizon’s network. in case you are not near a Wi-Fi hotspot. Unfortunately, the battery life for the Spectre x2 is a bit on the low side at about 8 hours. If you are looking for a Windows tablet that not only looks good, but can perform as well as the Surface Pro, the HP Spectre x2 is worth a look, if you can look over its relatively low battery life.
Samsung Galaxy Book
Many people might not be aware that Samsung has been selling some impressive Windows notebooks and Windows tablets for years, and they have received praised for their thin designs. The latest such product from the company. which went on sale just a few months ago, is the Galaxy Book. It’s a Windows 10 tablet that can also serve as a companion for people who also own the company’s Android-based Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones.
The company is hyping up the fact that the Samsung Flow app on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus can allow owners to connect the phones to the Galaxy Book tablet, so they can share file between those devices without the need for a Wi-Fi connection Samsung is selling the Galaxy Book in 10.6-inch and 12-inch models. The smaller tablet comes with Intel’s Core m3 processor, while the 12-inch version has the Core i5 chip, along with a 2,160 x 1,440 display. Both models come with 4 GB of RAM, with the 10.6-inch model available with 64 GB and 128 GB of storage. The larger 12-inch version comes with either 128 GB or 256 GB of storage.
The Samsung Galaxy Book comes with a keyboard cover and an S Pen, so the good news you won’t have to pay extra to get those useful accessories. You can purchase the 10.6-inch version for as low as $617.99 on Amazon, while the most expensive 12-inch model will set you back $1,327.99.
Huawei MateBook E
China-based Huawei recently announced some new Windows-based Matebook products, including some notebook models and a new tablet, the MateBook E. The successor to the first MateBook Windows 10 tablet has some solid specs, and will come with both a pen and keyboard cover (the original MateBook was released with the keyboard cover as an extra option).
The 2.4 pound 12-inch MateBook has a display resolution of 2,160 x 1,440. It can be bought with either an seventh generation Intel Core m3 or i5 processor, and with either 4 GB or 8 GB of memory. You will also be able to purchase the tablet with storage options of 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. The tablet is supposed to start shipping in mid-July, but you can pre-order it now at NewEgg for the starting price of $799.
A successor to the previous Chuwi Hi10 Pro tablet, the new Chuwi SurBook is, as of this writing, close to completing its already successful crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo, with the first tablet units set for shipping in July. It will have a a 12.3-inch display with a very high 2,736 x 1,824 resolution, which is certainly pretty impressive for a tablet that will be priced starting at $473 (it will come with a pen and detachable keyboard as well).
Inside, the Chuwi SurBook will have a lower powered Intel Celeron N3450 processor, and 6 GB of RAM, with 64 GB and 128 GB storage options available. The battery life is supposed to last up to eight hours. The tablet itself also comes with a built in kickstand that can make the display go down 125 degrees, which is great for anyone who wants to draw on the screen.
Overall, the Chuwi SurBook sounds like it will be a perfect choice for people on a budget, especially for fans of Microsoft’s cheaper standard Surface tablet models. Microsoft has not launched such a budget tablet since the release of the Surface 3 over two years ago and it looks like it won’t be doing so anytime soon, so the SurBook could serve as its spiritual successor. We will update this post when standard sales of the Chuwi SurBook tablet go live. Still, if it can deliver, this will certainly be one of the best cheap Windows tablets you can buy.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
Lenovo already makes some of the best high-end Windows laptops for business and enterprise customers with the ThinkPad lineup, and they have brought that experience over to their Windows tablet business with the ThinkPad X1 Tablet. The company recently released the second generation version of the Windows tablet, and it has a lot of features not found in other Windows 10 products.
One of the big additions is that the tablet is able to connect to more than just a thin keyboard cover. Owners can also attach a Productivity Module to extend the tablet’s battery life up to an impressive 15 hours, along with adding extra ports. There’s also the Presenter Module that includes a built-in projector so you can show off your Windows 10 desktop on a wall, up to 60 inches in size. The tablet also has the Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A chips for quick access to cellular networks.
By itself, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet weighs 2.35 pounds and comes with a 12-inch 2,160 x 1,440 display. It comes with an Intel seventh generation Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of onboard storage. You can get the tablet now from Lenovo’s website for $1,304.10.
Lenovo Yoga Book
This is a slight exception to our list, as technically the Lenovo Yoga Book is more of a flip 2-in-1 notebook than a Windows tablet, with an attached second display that can be used as a keyboard. However, the keys on the keyboard can be turned off to make them disappear, so that the second screen can serve as a drawing pad for a stylus. So we are including this rather unique tablet-notebook combo on this list because its “keyboard” does not have real physical keys.
The 10.1-inch Lenovo Yoga Book is also the smallest Windows tablet on this list, for those folks who would prefer one that is more portable than the 12-inch models that are available. The total package weighs about 1.5 pounds, even with the attached second screen. It has an Intel Atom processor running at 2.4 GHz, along with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. Its battery life is supposed to last up to 13 hours, which is an impressive amount for any tablet.
While the Lenovo Yoga Book won’t win any performance awards, it should be a good choice for people who want to surf the internet and consume content, or who might want to make some artwork with a digital stylus working on its second screen. The tablet is current available on Amazon for $391.90. Be aware this is for the Windows 10 version of the tablet. Lenovo is also selling the Yoga Book with the same hardware, but running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, for a bit less.
While there are not quite as many Windows tablets out on the market compared to Windows laptops and 2-in-1 notebooks, there are still plenty of current, and upcoming, choices for people who prefer the tablet form factor, and they are available for a wide variety of price points. However, there may be a Windows 10 tablet not on this list that you may believe belongs here.
What do you think are the best Windows tablets currently available? Let us know down in the comments. 3