Eight years on from its initial release, lo and behold, the iPad isn’t quite what it was cracked up to be. As the public interest has veered towards tablets that aren’t restricted to mobile applications, Microsoft itself seems to be steering in another direction altogether. Though the best Windows tablet today comes running Windows 10, as expected, the ecosystem could appear vastly different soon enough.
As Windows 10 S begins to spread its wings, now bolstered by the lot of Qualcomm Snapdragon 835-based laptops, the best Windows tablet of today may not even resemble the best Windows tablet tomorrow. That’s because, right now, you can use a slate to access x86 and x64 Windows apps, including full-fledged Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro, you’ll want to shell out for one sooner rather than later. A year from now, a Windows-based tablet could be as limited as an iOS one.
Henceforth, after careful thought and consideration, we’ve rounded up the best Windows tablets, reviewed them and then narrowed them down to a modest selection of only five. Among these are not only the obvious choice of the Surface Pro, but the USB Type-C-equipped Lenovo Miix 510, the astonishingly powerful HP Spectre x2 and the gorgeously illuminated Samsung Galaxy TabPro S.
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, of course, the processor has been updated to Kaby Lake as well. Plus, although it’s now sold separately, the Surface Pen has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro
The Acer Switch 3 arrives at a time when most of the best Windows tablets are premium 2-in-1 devices designed to oust both your PC and your tablet. But for anyone who doesn’t need the horsepower of a Surface Pro, the Acer Switch 3 is a wallet-friendly alternative. Even without cutting-edge specs, this tablet is highly competent in other ways. Its impeccable build quality, for example, is complemented by a top-notch active digitizer and pressure-sensitive pen.
Read the full review: Acer Switch 3
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
- This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Microsoft Surface Pro
Originally positioned as a budget alternative to the Surface Pro, the HP Spectre x2 has effectively been rebranded to take Microsoft’s throne. In some ways, it succeeds. You can get an i7 processor, albeit a slower one, for a lower price. And, we believe most people won’t object to our contention that it looks better than the Surface Pro. What’s more, the Active Pen stylus and keyboard come with the HP Spectre x2, making it hard to resist despite its trackpad woes.
Read our full review: HP Spectre x2
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 USB 3.0 with it. While the screen is limited to 1080p, the Lenovo Miix 510 comes with an active stylus, a detachable AccuType keyboard and an articulating kickstand for flexibility without limits. While the battery suffers, the Lenovo Miix 510 is still a surefire win.
Read the full review: Lenovo Miix 510
- This product is only available in the US and Australia as of this writing. UK readers: check out a fine alternative in the Acer Switch 3.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article