After pushing for tablet computers for the better part of a decade, you can imagine how thrilled Microsoft was to see companies like Apple and Samsung overtake the market first, namely with the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab series, respectively.
Windows 8 was an oversight, but it budded Microsoft’s renewed interest in producing the operating system for only the best Windows tablets. Amidst all the conflict encountered along the way, Microsoft has finally become a contender in the tablet space with Windows 10.
Windows tablets come in various shapes and sizes. Because Microsoft licenses Windows 10 to third-party manufacturers, you’ll find tablets not only from Redmond itself but from numerous other companies as well, like HP and Samsung. Some are simple slates while other Windows tablets go the route of the 2-in-1 laptops, fusing the display style of a tablet with the keyboard of a traditional notebook PC.
Ask yourself, “What am I looking for in a Windows tablet?” Whether you want a device used exclusively for surfing the web or a tool that brings your creative ambitions to life, we’ve got you covered. The following is a rundown of only the best Windows tablets from our review catalog, no mouse and keyboard required.
1. Surface Pro 4
The best all-around Windows tablet
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing; 5MP front-facing | Weight: 1.73 pounds | Dimensions: 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36 inches
Larger, sharper screen
Vastly improved Type Cover
Type Cover still sold separately
Battery life hasn’t improved much
The Surface Pro 4 is by far the best Windows 10 tablet. Though it comes at a pretty penny, it’s well worth the expense for the nearly premium built quality, perfect screen and ample power. Microsoft’s latest tablet introduces a larger and sharper screen, bettered only by a redesigned island that makes typing feel almost as good as a real laptop. The Surface Pro 4 truly is the tablet that can replace your traditional laptop, which is why it deserves the top spot as our Windows 10 tablet king.
Read the full review: Surface Pro 4
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 (2×2), Bluetooth 4.0, LTE | Camera: 5MP HP TrueVision HD front-facing webcam, 8MP rear-facing camera, Intel RealSense 3D R200 camera | Weight: 1.87 pound | Dimensions: 11.81 x 8.23 x 0.52 inches
HP’s Spectre x2 bears a striking resemblance to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4. However, it’s thinner and lighter thanks to being powered by a fanless Intel Core M processor. It also comes at a more affordable price tag than Microsoft’s premium slate and with an included keyboard to boot. Equipped with an Intel Core m7 processor offers nearly the same performance as the Core i5 chip on the Surface Pro 4, while being more economical and efficient with battery life.
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
Vibrant Super AMOLED display
Flimsy keyboard base
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
Long battery life
32-bit Windows 10
Limited storage and memory
Getting into the world of Windows 10 convertible’s isn’t cheap unless we’re talking about the Pavilion x2. This 10-inch hybrid comes packing a surprising amount of goods considering its small size. 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. When you’re ready to kick back with some streaming media, you can pop off the 10-inch works as a portable tablet.
Read the full review: HP Pavilion x2
5. Surface 3
A solid micro-sized Windows 10 tablet
CPU: 1.6GHz Quad Core Intel Atom x7-78700 processor | Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 10.8-inch (1,920 x 1,200) ClearType Full HD Plus Display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac); Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 3.5 megapixel front-facing camera; 8.0 megapixel rear-facing | Weight: 1.37 pounds | Dimensions: 10.52 x 7.36 x 0.34 inches
Alluring magnesium-alloy build,
Bright, clear display
Skimpy storage and RAM
Limited kickstand articulation
If you’re interested in a Surface Pro 4 but you’re worried about the 12-inch form factor being too unwieldy, the Surface 3 might be perfect for you. Sporting a more timid 10.8-inch screen and Intel Atom processor, the Surface 3 is meant to be less of a laptop replacement and more of a solid Windows 10 tablet. Though the kickstand is limited to a smaller range of motion, it’s nearly as versatile and works well with Microsoft’s nearly perfected type cover.
Read the full review: Surface 3
6. Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000
This 2-in-1 laptop takes thinness to a new level
CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core M-5Y71 vPro | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 10.8-inch (1,920 x 1,080) IPS display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: Intel 7265 dual-band 2X2 802.11 ac WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 2-megapixel webcam; 8-megapixel rear camera | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Dimensions: 11.01 x 6.95 x 0.42 inches
Vibrant display made for media
Flexible use cases
Colors a touch too saturated
Unimpressive battery life
Whereas the original Dell Venue 11 Pro maxed out at a Core i5 processor, the Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000-series opts for something a little more compact (albeit controversial), namely a Core M. Despite the notably less-than-spacious 11-inch display, the revamped Dell Venue 11 Pro runs laps around the original, especially around the Atom-wielding base model. Moreover, Dell’s optional keyboard dock add-on more than doubles the runtime of the Venue 11 Pro without it, effectively making the Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 one of the longest lasting Windows tablets on the market.
Read the full review: Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000
7. Lenovo Yoga Book
The future of Windows tablets, right now
CPU: Quad-core Intel Atom x5 | Graphics: Intel HD 400 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 10.1-inch (1,920 x 1,200) LED | Storage: 64GB flash
Insanely thin and light
Halo keyboard surprisingly accurate
Dated microUSB port
Whether it’s a tablet or a laptop, the Lenovo Yoga Book is a distinct piece of tech that takes some getting used to. Its unconventional – and completely digital – removable keyboard effectively doubles as a Wacom drawing tablet (the Yoga Book even ships with a stylus for good measure). However, while an Intel Atom processor might be acceptable in the Android version of the Lenovo Yoga Book, it’s dismally slow when paired with Windows 10. Luckily, the price tag is so affordable, it more than makes up for the limitations of the Lenovo Yoga Book. Moreover, it scored a battery life of 8 hours and 32 minutes in our tests, which only serves as icing on this experimental tablet’s cake.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Book
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article