While Microsoft tests the next two major revisions of Windows 10 simultaneously, you have to be thinking that the latest version of its most popular operating system is also the best version. It does, after all, support functionality for Mixed Reality headsets, like those from HP and Asus, while bringing that compatibility to a wave of ARM-based laptops and tablets for the first time ever.
In doing so, our rankings of the best Windows tablets have found unprecedented diversity. Because they can now be configured as hardier powerhouses, like the Surface Pro, or economical featherweight slates, such as the Lenovo Miix 630, deciding between models has become increasingly conflicting. You can either splurge on power and indulge your lavish sensibilities or save on money and battery life at the same time.
That’s why, 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.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro
The best all-around Windows tablet
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-7660U | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 512GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing | Weight: 1.73 pounds | Size: 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.33 inches (W x D x H)
Its naming convention might throw you off, but this is really the fifth iteration of the Surface Pro. Acting as a follow-up to the wonderful Surface Pro 4, it really deserves to have a number attached to it as well. That’s because this latest iteration of the Surface Pro not only sees massive battery improvements up to 32%, but, of course, it now rocks an updated Kaby Lake CPU as well. Plus, although it’s no longer included in the box, the Surface Pen now has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro
2. Acer Switch 3
Half the price, but not half the tablet, of the Surface Pro
CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Pentium N4200 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.2-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 WUXGA IPS LCD | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Connectivity: 802.11ac; Bluetooth | Camera: 5MP rear, 2MP front | Weight: 2.8 pounds | Dimensions: 11.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
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.
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
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
4. HP Spectre x2
Fighting fire with spiffier fire
CPU: Intel Core i7-7560U | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 WLED-backlit multi-touch-enabled edge-to-edge glass | Storage: 360GB PCIe SSD | Connectivity: Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2 | Camera: 5MP webcam and HP IR camera with integrated dual array digital microphone (front-facing); HP 13MP camera (rear-facing) | Weight: 2.49 pounds | Dimensions: 11.57 x 8.15 x 0.52 inches (W x D x H)
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
5. Lenovo Miix 510
A Surface Pro rival with the ports of the future
CPU: 2.71 Intel Core i5-7200U | Graphics: Intel HD 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.2-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS | Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 2MP front camera, 5MP rear camera | Weight: 2.76 pounds (1.25kg) | Size: 11.8 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches (W x D x H)
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