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Best tablet with keyboard 2021: top tablets you can type on

Best tablet with keyboard 2021
You’ll find something to suit in the following roundup of the best tablets with keyboards. (Image credit: Future)

Get the best of both worlds with the best tablet with a keyboard. It’s the perfect way to get that laptop and tablet functionalities without having to shell out quite a bit of cash or carry two devices all the time. There, of course, an argument to be made about best 2-in-1 laptops, which essentially offer the same functionalities. However, tablets with a keyboard are generally much thinner and more lightweight, which makes them ideal for those who want to travel light.

And, because these days, tablets have evolved into such capable devices, touting capabilities to rival some of the best laptops, the best tablets with a keyboard allow you to not only get some productivity tasks done, but also tick creative ones off your list. In fact, we have relied on these devices ourselves when we need to squeeze in a bit of work while traveling.

These are our picks of the best tablets with a keyboard, from Android tablets and the best Windows tablets to a few iPadOS options. Take your pick.

The best tablets with keyboards at a glance

  1. Galaxy Tab S7 Plus
  2. iPad Air 4 (2020)
  3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  4. iPad Pro 12.9
  5. Surface Book 3
  6. Panasonic Toughbook CF-33

The best tablets with keyboards of 2021

Galaxy Tab S7 Plus tablet

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

Samsung's finest tablet yet

Specifications
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM: 6GB+128GB, 8GB+256GB, 8GB+512GB
Screen: 12.4" Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Storage: Up to 1TB microSD card
OS: Android OS
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous OLED screen+Premium design
Reasons to avoid
-Android lacks quality tablet apps-High price

The first Android tablet on our list is the best tablet that Samsung has ever made, and it's a serious rival to the iPad Pro. In fact, its screen arguably has those slates beat, as it’s a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED one with a 2800 x 1752 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The iPad Pro range can match much of that, but those slates have LCD screens that aren't as good. It also has a smart connector at the bottom where the Samsung Keyboard cover magnetically attaches. 

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

iPad Air 4 (2020) tablet with keyboard

(Image credit: Apple)

2. iPad Air 4 (2020)

Why go Pro when the Air is this good?

Specifications
CPU: A14 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display
Storage: 64GB/256GB
OS: iPadOS 14
Reasons to buy
+All-screen design+Lots of power
Reasons to avoid
-64GB storage is limited-Higher price than last-gen

The iPad Air 4 (2020) is a great tablet for anyone who can’t justify splurging on the very best, as it has many of the things that make the iPad Pro range great, but costs less. It even has a newer A14 Bionic chipset. That’s what you’ll find in the iPhone 12 range, and it’s exceptionally powerful. The iPad Air 4 (2020) also supports both the Magic Keyboard, the best tablet keyboard hands-down, and Apple Pencil, so it’s almost as good as a laptop replacement or general productivity device as an iPad Pro. With good all-round specs too and a wide range of colors that you can buy it in, the iPad Air 4 (2020) is a great choice for a lot of people.

Read the full review: iPad Air 4 (2020)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 tablet with keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Best Android tablet with keyboard

Specifications
CPU: Snapdragon 855
Graphics: Adreno 640
RAM: 6GB - 8GB
Screen: 10.5-inch 1,600 x 2,560 resolution
Storage: 128GB - 256GB
OS: Android 9
Reasons to buy
+Performance level+Top quality screen
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Our favorite Android tablet plus keyboard option is the S6 for several reasons. This is a premium slate which boasts excellent performance levels thanks to its Snapdragon 855 chip, and has a gorgeous Super AMOLED display. As a result, it’s fantastic for media playback in particular, and an added bonus is the inclusion of high quality AKG-tuned speakers.

Note, however, that the keyboard must be purchased separately, and is an optional accessory (although some retailers sell it in bundles with the tablet, so you might want to look for one of these). The Book Cover, as Samsung calls it, is built in much the same vein as the Surface Pro’s detachable keyboard, using a sturdy magnetic connection, and even providing a kickstand via a cover that attaches to the rear of the Galaxy Tab S6.

On the whole, it’s a pretty decent keyboard, but the downside is the accessory is pricey. Indeed, the tablet is on the expensive side itself, so the complete setup is far from a budget option.

And indeed, Samsung’s interface still isn’t the best and holds the S6 back a little, but despite that quibble – and those pricing issues – this remains hands-down the top pick for those who want an Android slate with a keyboard.

Read our full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

iPad Pro 12.9 tablet with keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

4. iPad Pro 12.9

Best tablet with keyboard for creatives

Specifications
CPU: A12X Bionic
Graphics: A12X Custom GPU
RAM: 4GB - 6GB
Screen: 12.9-inch 2,732 x 2,048 resolution
Storage: 64GB - 1TB
OS: iPadOS
Reasons to buy
+Amazing color-accurate display +Superb for stylus use+Plenty powerful
Reasons to avoid
-Unpleasantly wallet-damaging

If you’re a creative professional, there’s an obvious choice of tablet to go for, and that’s the iPad Pro. It’s not cheap, but the iPad Pro 12.9 is a fantastic device on the creative front for many reasons, and it can be combined with the detachable keyboard – which Apple calls the Smart Keyboard Folio – as you check out when buying your iPad (so make sure you add this, and the correct language for the keyboard).

The detachable keyboard is solid enough effort, but what really sets the iPad Pro apart from the competition for creative types is the fantastic display which is impressively bright, and boasts support for the P3 wide color gamut (meaning it’s great for professional design work or the likes of photo editing). The Apple Pencil stylus is also a dream to use on this display, and highly responsive.

The downsides are that you don’t get a full desktop experience, compared to say Windows, although Apple is trying to provide that with iPadOS to move the tablet away from its mobile (and iOS) roots. The iPad Pro 12.9 is also eye-wateringly expensive if you want a decent amount of storage, with the detachable keyboard and stylus adding a considerable dollop of extra cost. This isn’t a hybrid combo for the financially faint of heart.

Read our full review: iPad Pro 12.9

Microsoft Surface Book 3 tablet with keyboard

(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. Surface Book 3

Premium piece of kit

Specifications
CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design
RAM: 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB
Screen: 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 PixelSense – 15-inch 3240 x 2160 PixelSense display display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
OS: Windows 10 Home
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful design+Comfortable keyboard+Gorgeous screen
Reasons to avoid
-Weak U-series processor-Tiny trackpad

If you’re looking for a beautifully designed laptop that moonlights as a tablet, look no further than the Microsoft Surface Book 3. It comes with an immaculate screen and keyboard and will scratch that itch if you want a premium looking and feeling device as your portable. And, with its discrete graphics and ample amount of RAM, it’s great for content creators as well. It’s unfortunate that it comes with a weaker CPU and tiny trackpad, though the trackpad works as intended, keeping it from being a perfect device. It also comes with lackluster speakers. Outside of those issues though, this is one heck of a tablet with a keyboard.

Read the full review: Surface Book 3

Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 tablet with keyboard

6. Panasonic Toughbook CF-33

Best rugged tablet with keyboard

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Screen: 12-inch 2,160 x 1,440 resolution
Storage: 256GB - 512GB
OS: Windows 10
Reasons to buy
+Fully rugged hybrid+Meets MIL-STD-810G standard+Good keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Really expensive

A rugged 2-in-1 is another niche area, but for those who need a tablet with keyboard which can take some punishment, this Panasonic product is king of the rough-and-tough hill.

Panasonic’s Toughbook CF-33 is sold standalone as a tablet or can be bundled with the keyboard – be sure to add it upon purchasing. The keyboard is well worth the extra outlay, because this is an excellent accessory, giving you a nice typing experience with a good level of travel (for a detachable unit).

Battery life is superb, which is obviously great for those using the CF-33 in the field, plus you get a high quality display, and a 2-in-1 capable of surviving drops and shocks, rain, extreme temperatures and humidity. The CF-33 meets the military-grade MIL-STD-810G standard for toughness, and perhaps the biggest downside for those wanting a truly rugged hybrid is that it won’t save your wallet from a pretty severe beating.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).