Best business tablets: 9 great slates for work

Techradar's first picks for business tablet users

Top 10 tablets for business

Implementing a tablet into your workflow could allow you to stay productive, while reducing the weight in of your gear bag. Many of today's best tablets come with processing power that rivals standalone laptops. And when you add in a keyboard, getting work done on a smaller, slimmer form factor device will be easy.

While some tablets feature manageable price tags, the market is still dense, and the consumer market winners are still not exactly the best option for small business users.

In the interest of giving an overview of the market at the moment, here is a roundup of our tablet recommendations for the business world as it stands today. The requirements for consideration were either a 4-star rating from techradar or a hands on review experience that left our editors wowed.

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No matter if you rely on Windows, Android, or even iOS, there's something worth recommending. It's only a matter of figuring out what your priorities are.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

1. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The tablet that can replace your laptop

CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 3GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense 3:2 aspect ratio display | Storage: 256GB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2 x 2 MIMO), Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy) | Camera: 8MP rear-facing (1080p HD); 5MP front-facing (1080p) HD camera | Weight: 1.73 pounds | Dimensions: 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36 inches (W X H X D)

High screen
Vastly improved Type Cover
Type Cover still sold separately
Intel Core m3 at entry level

A higher resolution screen, a thinner design and a move to Intel's more powerful Skylake processors all help to make this portable tablet a capable replacement for your laptop. Sadly, the Type Cover keyboard is still an optional necessity for this laptop replacement.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4

iPad Pro

2. Apple iPad Pro

The biggest tablet Apple's ever made

CPU: Apple A9X | Graphics: Integrated | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.9-inch, 2,048 x 2,732 | Storage: 32GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.2 (Low Energy) | Camera: 8MP iSight (1080p HD); 5MP FaceTime (720p) HD | Weight: 1.57 pounds | Dimensions: 8.68 x 12 x 0.27 inches (W X H X D)

Expansive, usable screen
Hugely powerful
Large footprint
Battery life could be longer

Apple takes the iPad into uncharted territory. The iPad Pro's optional accessories add to the cost of the tablet, but the keyboard cover and Apple Pencil stylus make the iPad even more suited for business and creative users. The iPad Pro also debuts Apple's new split-screen multitasking.

Read the full review: Apple iPad Pro

Dell XPS 12

3. Dell XPS 12

Dell has a clever new take on the 2-in-1

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m5 (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 | Screen: 12.5" 4K Ultra HD, 3,840 x 2,160 | Storage: 256GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.1 (Low Energy) | Camera: 8MP rear (1080p HD); 5MP front (1080p HD) | Weight: 1.75 pounds | Dimensions: 11.46 x 7.6 x 0.31 inches (W X H X D)

Inventive hinge-less keyboard base
Sharp, rich and accurate 4K display
Soft touch plastic coating all over

Even though the new XPS 12 takes its inspiration from the Surface Pro line, Dell's keyboard dock is highly usable and is included in the cost of the slate. This laptop replacement also supports Dell's Active Stylus for digital inking.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 12

ToughPad FZ M1

4. Panasonic ToughPad FZ-M1

Built rugged for business

CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.3GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB SDRAM | Screen: 7-inch WXGA, 1,280 x 800 | Storage: 128GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy) | Camera: 8MP rear (1080p HD); 720p webcam | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Dimensions: 7.98 x 5.20 x 0.71 inches (W X H X D)

Rugged design
Bright touchscreen
Battery life

Panasonic's ToughPad FZ-M1 dares to go where no other tablet can thanks to its rugged design and bright screen. If your work takes you into the field, you'll be thankful that Panasonic equipped this slate with a screen that's readable even under direct sunlight.

Read the full review: Panasonic ToughPad FZ-M1

Galaxy Tab S2

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

This ultra-light Android tablet is the latest iPad challenger

CPU: Samsung Exynos 5433 octa-core (quad-core 1.9 GHz & quad-core 1.3 GHz) | Graphics: Integrated | RAM: 3GB | Screen: 9.7-inch, 1,536 x 2,048 | Storage: 32GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.1 (Low Energy) | Camera: 8MP rear (1080p HD); 5MP front (1080p HD) | Weight: 0.85 pounds | Dimensions: 9.34 x 6.65 x 0.22 inches (W X H X D)

Thinner, lighter design
New 4:3 display
So-so battery life
Bloatware is still there

Samsung has created a capable Android alternative with a screen size, resolution and aspect ratio to match Apple's class-leading iPad Air 2. Best of all, the microSD card reader makes expansion a breeze.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

HP Pavlion x2

6. HP Pavilion x2

The best and most affordable Windows 10 convertible

CPU: 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3736F (quad-core, 2MB cache, 2.16GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB DDR3L SDRAM | Screen: 10.1-inch, 1,280 x 800 | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Connectivity: 802.11b Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy) | Camera: HP TrueVision HD webcam | Weight: 2.61 pounds | Dimensions: 10.39 x 6.81 x 0.78 inches (W X H X D)

Long battery life
Roaring speakers
Creaky hinge
Limited storage and memory

HP has created an extremely affordable and portable Windows tablet that can double as a netbook for when you need to get serious about productivity. This affordable slate redefines what a netbook should be, with a detachable touchscreen.

Read the full review: HP Pavilion x2

Xperia Z4 Tablet

7. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Beautifully designed to handle accidental spills

CPU: 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 64-bit Octa Core | Graphics: Adreno 430 | RAM: 2GB DDR3L SDRAM | Screen: 10.1-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 | Storage: 32GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.1 (Low Energy) | Camera: 8MP rear (1080p), 5MP front (1080p) | Weight: 0.86 pounds | Dimensions: 10.0 x 6.57 x 0.24 inches (W X H X D)

Gorgeous display
New improved design
Problematic UI
Only 32GB option

Sony's Xperia Z4 Tablet retains the water- and dust-resistant capabilities of the line's previous models, making it a good slate for business users who may not need a fully rugged device. Add in the keyboard dock, and this tablet becomes a versatile machine for composing emails and writing documents on the go.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

iPad Air 2

8. Apple iPad Air 2

Apple perfects its tablet

CPU: Apple A8X processor with M8 motion co-processor | Graphics: PowerVR GXA6850 (octa-core graphics) | RAM: 2GB | Screen: 9.7-inch 1,536 x 2,048 | Storage: 16GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE optional | Camera: 8MP iSight, 1.2MP FaceTime HD | Weight: 0.96 pound (437g) | Dimensions: 6.6 x 9.4 x 0.24 inches (W X H X D)

Superbly powerful
Lovely screen
Volume silencer gone
16GB is too little storage

The iPad Air 2 balances performance with size. Buying into Apple's ecosystem, you'll have access to a robust selection of apps, plenty of third-party accessories and a gorgeous Retina display to showcase photos and videos. The 9.7-inch size is still compact enough for travel, but big enough to get some work done.

Read the full review: Apple iPad Air 2

Galaxy Tab Active

9. Samsung Galaxy Tab Active

Samsung's Android answer to rugged slates

CPU: 1.2 GHz, Quad-Core Qualcomm APQ | Graphics: Integrated | RAM: 1.5GB | Screen: 8-inch, 1,280 x 800 | Storage: 16GB | Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy) | Camera: 3.1MP rear (1080p), 1.2MP front | Weight: 0.84 pounds | Dimensions: 4.97 x 8.39 x 0.38 inches (W X H X D)

Survives natural elements
Great battery life
Limited storage
Not rugged enough for drops

If your business needs a rugged tablet that runs Android, there are few, if any, that can match the Galaxy Tab Active's rugged design. Like the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, this one is also water- and dust-resistant, but the Galaxy Tab Active sacrifices a sleek design for a rubbery bumper that helps shield the tablet on impact.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active