iPads and Android tablets are fine, sure, but the length of their capabilities pales in comparison to that of Windows tablets. Ever since Microsoft’s line of Surface Pro devices entered the picture, there’s been renewed interest in these functionally competitive slates. With native keyboard and mouse support, it’s not hard to see why either.
- Find out which of these tablets also made our best laptops list
Full-on desktop software such as MS Paint and the Adobe Creative Suite, for instance, are out of the question entirely on an iPad or Android device, and users are instead limited to “lite” or “express” versions of these utilities. Fortunately, contrary to popular belief, even on the best Windows tablets.
The top Windows tablets range from convertible to detachable and they’re all graced with compelling features from Microsoft that give these devices the edge over competing machines from the likes of Apple and Google. As of Windows 10 preview build 16251, for instance, you can now to your Windows tablet.
Whatever you need, you can count on finding it here.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro
The best all-around Windows tablet
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-7660U | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 512GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing | Weight: 1.73 pounds | Size: 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.33 inches (W x D x H)
Despite the subdued naming convention, this is actually the fifth iteration of the Surface Pro. As a follow-up to the winning Surface Pro 4, it would have been every bit deserving of a number attached to it, too. That’s because the latest Surface Pro sees not only the battery life improve by as much as 32%, but the accessories have been revamped as well. Although it’s now sold separately, the Surface Pen has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. What’s more, the Alcantara Type Cover is markedly comfier than previous Surface Pro keyboards and, of course, the processor has been updated to Kaby Lake.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro
- This product is only available in the US and Australia as of this writing. UK readers: check out a fine alternative in the .
2. HP Spectre x2
Little extras make this remarkable Windows tablet even more exceptional
CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core m7-6Y75 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12-inch, 1,920 x 1,280 WUXGA+ IPS WLED-backlit touch screen | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: Intel 802.11ac (2x2), Bluetooth 4.0, LTE | Camera: 5MP HP TrueVision HD front-facing webcam, 8MP rear-facing camera, Intel RealSense 3D R200 camera | Weight: 1.87 pounds | Dimensions: 11.81 x 8.23 x 0.52 inches
HP's Spectre x2 bears a striking resemblance to the Surface Pro 4. Take a closer look and you’ll notice that it’s thinner and lighter than Microsoft’s slate. Although the Intel Core M processor might leave you tentative to adopt the HP Spectre x2, this isn’t the Core m3 we’re talking about – this is a 6th-generation, Skylake Intel Core m7, which bears almost the same performance as the full-blown Core i5 chip harbored by the Surface Pro 4. All the while, it’s cheaper and more power efficient as well.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x2
3. Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
The ultimate Windows 10 media tablet
CPU: 900MHz Intel Core M3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12-inch Super AMOLED Full HD+ (2,160 × 1,440 resolution) multi-touch | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, VHT80 MIMO, Bluetooth v4.1 | Camera: 5MP front-facing webcam; 5MP rear camera | Weight: 2.4 pounds | Dimensions: 11.43 x 7.83 x 0.64 inches
The Samsung Galaxy TabPro S is a knockout 12-inch tablet that's thinner and better built than most Windows 10 slates. It also offers a uniquely vibrant Super AMOLED screen you won't find on any Windows device either, plus a pair of punchy speakers that actually sound good. Its keyboard feels a bit lackluster but if you get over this short coming, it's the perfect Windows 10 tablet to use while streaming media and games.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
4. HP Pavilion x2
The most affordable Windows 10 convertible
CPU: 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3736F | Graphics: Intel HD graphics | RAM: 2GB | Screen: 10.1-inch, 1,280 x 800 WXGA WLED IPS touchscreen display | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Connectivity: 802.11b WLAN and Bluetooth | Camera: HP TrueVision HD webcam | Weight: 2.61 pounds | Dimensions: 0.39 x 6.81 x 0.78 inches
Getting into the world of Windows 10 convertibles isn't cheap unless we're talking about the Pavilion x2. This 10-inch hybrid comes packing a surprising amount of goods even if it’s a short stack. The frugal slate comes stacked with a HD screen and more than enough power to get you through a day of web browsing and basic image editing. And when you’re ready for leisure hour, you can pop off the hood for a sublime tablet experience. Just bear in mind that a lot of retailers are starting to drop the HP Pavilion x2, so if you want one soon, you better act fast.
Read the full review: HP Pavilion x2
5. Lenovo Miix 510
A Surface Pro rival with the ports of the future
CPU: 2.71 Intel Core i5-7200U | Graphics: Intel HD 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.2-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS | Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 2MP front camera, 5MP rear camera | Weight: 2.76 pounds (1.25kg) | Size: 11.8 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches (W x D x H)
In a sense, the Lenovo Miix 510 is the Surface Pro alternative that you buy when you’re fed up with Microsoft’s reluctance to move forward with its connectivity practices. USB-C is here, and it’s brought a friend with it; of course, we’re talking about USB 3.0. While the screen is limited to 1080p, the Lenovo Miix 510 comes with an active stylus (with pen loop), a detachable AccuType keyboard and an articulating kickstand for flexibility without limits. Unfortunately, it’s the battery that suffers most, but as long as you don’t mind it exhausting in just under 3 hours, the Lenovo Miix 510 is a surefire win.
Read the full review: Lenovo Miix 510
- This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the .
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article