In 2001, Microsoft revealed its tablet PC specification to the world. It was a futuristic, pen-enabled idea contrived to encourage laptop makers to start building touchscreen devices, replete with detachable keyboards and Windows XP licenses. While the Microsoft Tablet PC wasn’t a remarkable success, it did influence devices down the line, such as – you guessed it – the Apple iPad.
It took nine years after that for tablets to take off with general consumers, but once they did, there was no going back. It even appears as though tablets have returned to their roots, with Microsoft at the helm of the successful, yet worryingly deflating, Surface Pro 4. As such, Windows tablets have garnered quite the following in recent years. Though most of these could be more suitably classified as 2-in-1 notebooks, the best Windows tablets continue to thrive through portability and finesse.
1. Surface Pro 4
The best all-around Windows tablet
Larger, sharper screen
Vastly improved Type Cover
While it may soon be outdone by its successor, plainly called Surface Pro, for now at least the Surface Pro 4 reigns supreme as the all-round best Windows tablet. Albeit for a pretty penny, it’s well worth the expense knowing you’ll get a premium build quality, perfect screen and ample power for the price. Microsoft’s latest tablet introduces a larger and sharper screen, bettered only by a redesigned keyboard that makes it truly, as Microsoft’s marketing buzz would suggest, the tablet that can replace your laptop.
2. HP Spectre x2
Little extras make this remarkable Windows tablet even more exceptional
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.
3. Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
The ultimate Windows 10 media tablet
Vibrant Super AMOLED display
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.
4. HP Pavilion x2
The most affordable Windows 10 convertible
Long battery life
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.
5. Teclast X5 Pro
More than just a Chinese Surface Pro 4 knock-off
In a world where everyone wants to be the Surface Pro 4, it’s not a shock to see that a handful of knock-offs are actually pretty impressive (gasp) and for a fraction of the price of Microsoft’s lauded slate. The Teclast X5 Pro is one of those tablets. Armed with a Core m3 processor based on Intel’s 7th-generation Kaby Lake design and a gorgeous 1,920 x 1,200 display, the Teclast X5 Pro poses a serious challenge to the entry-level SP4. It’s not nearly as stacked as some of the higher tier configurations of the Surface, but the Teclast X5 Pro is relatively cheap, even if its value is outweighed by that of HP and Lenovo’s comparable offerings.