The Best Windows Tablets

By Janelle Burke

February 18, 2021

In the market for a new tablet? Or maybe you’re looking to upgrade your existing one that just doesn’t perform well anymore. Whether you’re new to tablets or true to them, you still want to do your research before committing to one with your hard-earned dollars.

Good news! We went ahead and did some research for you, taking a look at the best windows tablets you can buy in 2021. From more compact models that make computing on the go that much easier, to the perfect tablet for bedtime Netflix binges, we’ve taken a range of categories and users into account.

Tablets from Microsoft’s Surface family feature heavily here. We’re not saying Microsoft is the best to ever do it, but they are certainly one of the best doing it right now. There’s a lot of trust attached to the Microsoft brand name, and their current offerings are as popular as they are reliable.

1. Editor's Pick: Microsoft Surface Pro 7

ProsCons
  • HD cameras
  • Good for gamers
  • Snappy performance
  • Long-lasting battery
  • USB-C included
  • Keyboard cover sold separately

Key Specs

RAM: 4GB
Storage:128GB
Ports: USB-A, USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack, MicroSDXC card reader
Screen Size: 12.3”
Dimensions:29.21 x 20.07 x 0.84 cm
Peripherals Included:None

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Our best overall Windows tablet pick offers a few improvements on previous Surface Pro models, including the addition of a USB-C port, snappier performance, and improved battery life for up to 10.5 hrs of moderate use.

We know the familiar adage of not fixing what ain’t broke, and this tablet is a perfect example. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is another iteration of the 2-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrid that’s been popular since its inception. This latest model features snappier performance, and a battery that lasts up to 10.5 hours with moderate use.

Transition fairly seamlessly between laptop and tablet modes with the well-executed kickstand that is sturdy and stable enough to support note-taking and hand-drawn projects. Want to add some personality to your tech gear? The detachable keyboard cover, pen, and mouse all come in a range of colours to suit your chosen aesthetic.

One thing to keep in mind is this tablet will not be a 2-in-1 right out of the box. The much-loved Signature Type Cover is sold separately, as are the mouse and pen. However this does enable you to choose the peripherals in your favourite colour or mix and match as you please. You’ll have the freedom to choose whether you just want a tablet or a complete laptop/desktop replacement.

2. Best Compact Tablet: Microsoft Surface Go 2

ProsCons
  • Silent operation
  • Thin and compact
  • Good build quality
  • 1080p camera with facial recognition
  • Expensive once peripherals are added

Key Specs

RAM: 8GB
Storage:128GB
Ports: USB-C, MicroSDXC card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
Screen Size: 10.5”
Dimensions:0.84 x 24.51 x 17.53 cm
Peripherals Included:None

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This is our best compact Windows Tablet. Offering up to 10 hours of battery life and perfect portability, users will also love the 1080p rear and front-facing cameras with facial recognition.

Microsoft’s smallest 2-in-1, the Surface Go 2, is perfect for post-secondary students and young learners who need something portable that won’t weigh down a school bag. At home, it’s easy to set up anywhere for homework and online classes. Parents will love the option for screen time limits and content filtering.

The 1080p camera is a stand-out feature, with the full-HD front-facing camera offering facial recognition for your Windows login. The rear camera can shoot video in 1080p as well. As with the Surface Pro 7, the Surface Go 2 does not come with a keyboard or other peripherals, and it could become expensive should you decide to add it to your purchase.

3. Best Luxury Tablet: Microsoft Surface Book 3

ProsCons
  • Crisp, lifelike display
  • Full HD 1080p cameras
  • One-of-a-kind design
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® Graphics
  • Full-size SDXC card reader
  • Expensive
  • Much heavier with keyboard

Key Specs

RAM: 32GB
Storage:512GB
Ports: USB-A x 2, USB-C, SDXC card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
Screen Size: 15”
Dimensions:34.3 x 2.3 x 25.1 cm
Peripherals Included:None

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This Windows tablet maximizes power and performance with up to 32GB of RAM, an NVIDIA graphics card, a crisp, 15-inch display, and a battery designed to last up to 15.5 hours with typical use.

How does a portable studio sound? Winner in the best luxury tablet category goes to the Microsoft Surface Book 3, a true 2-in-1 powerhouse. You’ll enjoy a crystal-clear lifelike display powered by an NVIDIA GeForce Graphics card. Designed with digital creators, developers and designers in mind, the Surface Book 3 is a powerful take-anywhere device with the RAM, storage, and memory you need.

The keyboard is not like the typical Surface Type Cover. Instead, it’s a full keyboard with a large trackpad that also houses all the included ports. When attached to the tablet, the whole machine becomes much heavier. However with all those extra bells and whistles the Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a worthwhile splurge and solid contender for a desktop or laptop replacement.

4. Best Budget Tablet: Avita Magus II

ProsCons
  • Compact
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good connectivity options
  • Keyboard and case included
  • Subpar screen resolution
  • Unimpressive CPU performance

Key Specs

RAM: 4GB
Storage:64GB
Ports: USB, miniHDMI, microSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
Screen Size: 10.1”
Dimensions:31 x 22.3 x 7.3 cm
Peripherals Included:Keyboard and case

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This is a great Windows tablet that offers great connectivity and compact portability. Just note that the slower CPU and lower resolution screen are reflected in the fantastic price.

Are you a fan of the Microsoft Surface but not a fan of its price? The Avita Magus II is our pick for best budget tablet, and a good, value-priced comparable for the Surface. The Avita Magus II has got several ports including a microSD card reader slot for expanded storage. Light and compact with its 10.1-inch screen, this tablet is easy to take on the go with the included keyboard and case.

While this 2-in-1 tablet is kitted our with an intel processor, the CPU performance is not on the same level as a Surface or other comparable tablet. The screen resolution is also a bit low. If you are budget-conscious and the CPU performance and screen resolution aren’t deal breakers for you, then the Avita Magus II offers a compact tablet ready to go out of the box at a great price.

5. Best Work Tablet: Chuwi UBook X

ProsCons
  • Compact
  • Great connectivity
  • Poor battery performance
  • No compatible cases

Key Specs

RAM: 8GB
Storage:256GB
Ports: USB-C, USB-A, microHDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack
Screen Size: 12”
Dimensions:39.9 x 33.1 x 7.8 cm
Peripherals Included:Stylus pen

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This Windows tablet is a great tablet for creatives and business types. It offers USB, USB-C, and microHDMI ports, and a gorgeous ultra-HD display.

Boasting better specs than the basic model Surface Go 2, winner in the best work tablet category goes to the Chuwi UBook X. Featuring and ultra-HD display, images are rendered in lifelike crispness. Whether you’re a creative or more business-minded worker, you’ll appreciate the included stylus pen for drawing, note-taking, and quick sketches. The built-in kickstand will take you through laptop, tablet, and drawing mode easily.

As with previous tablets to make our list, the keyboard for the Chuwi UBook X is sold separately. Another drawback is the lackluster performance of this machine’s CPU, despite being powered by an Intel processor. For moderate professional use, this 2-in-1 tablet offers a lot of RAM, storage, and connectivity options for agile professionals.

6. Best Entertainment Tablet: Fusion5

ProsCons
  • Ultra-HD display
  • Built-in kickstand
  • Great connectivity options
  • Keyboard sold separately
  • Unimpressive CPU performance

Key Specs

RAM: 4GB
Storage:64GB
Ports: USB, microSD, HDMI
Screen Size: 10.1”
Dimensions:26 x 1.7 x 1
Peripherals Included:None

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Offering a range of convenient ports including USB, microSD, and HDMI, this Windows tablet is purpose-built to play all your favourite movies and TV shows.

If you enjoy curling up on the sofa or in bed to watch your favourite new Netflix obsession, this might be the tablet for you. We’ve chosen the Fusion5 as the best entertainment tablet. It offers a range of connectivity options like microSD and standard-size USB ports, so you can watch media from your thumb drive.

With an average battery life of six hours, the Fusion5 is not really a tablet for long work sessions or all-day school, unless you plan to be near an outlet every so often. If you’re planning on getting a form-hugging case for your Fusion5, currently there aren’t any that match all the ports on the chassis. While the Fusion5 isn’t the most powerful tablet, for the price it is a great option for a compact entertainment device.

How to Choose Your Windows Tablet

So, wondering how to choose the right windows tablet for you? There is a wide range of options out there, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. If you’re not steeped in tech knowledge, you can still arm yourself with some insights that will make your decision easier. Check these specs against your needs to find your perfect tablet:

Memory & Storage: Want a tablet with snappy performance? In that case, the more memory (RAM) the better. Generally, 4GB is the average amount of memory you can expect, and that will work for light use. However 8GB is better, and it’s a wise choice if you want to keep your tablet for a while. If your budget can handle it, you can even get a tablet offering 16GB of RAM.

The amount of storage in your ideal laptop will depend on your usage. If you prefer to keep your photos, documents, and other files off the cloud as much as possible, then you’ll want generous storage. Some premium models like the Microsoft Surface Book 3 offer up to 512GB of storage, so if that’s a must-have for you, it would be worth spending the extra coins.

Screen Size & Resolution: As far as screen size is concerned, the thing to keep top of mind is portability. If you won’t be doing much travelling with your tablet, feel free to get the biggest screen your budget will allow. On the other hand, if you’re looking to fit your tablet into a backpack or purse, you may want a smaller screen.

Simply put, the higher the screen resolution, the better and more lifelike image quality will be. If crystal clear ultra-HD is important to you, then your budget will need to reflect that. If not, HD is standard in modern tablets and perfectly adequate for general use.

Connectivity: Being ultra-compact and generally less powerful, your typical tablet won’t have as many connectivity options as a desktop computer. The whole point of a tablet is portability so wireless connectivity like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will be standard.

You’ll likely want at least one USB port as well to connect a thumb drive, mouse, or other peripheral device, and a 3.5mm jack for headphones or earbuds. Anything else, like an SD card slot, is a bonus that could impact your budget, but one you might appreciate in the long run.

Peripherals: One drawback with some 2-in-1 tablets is that although they are designed to work with a detachable keyboard, said keyboard is not included. With the exception of the Surface Book 3, the Microsoft Surface models on this list have keyboards that are sold separately.

When you’re shopping for your new tablet, keep in mind what peripherals you might like (keyboard, mouse, pen, etc.), and choose accordingly so you can get all your extras and essentials at once.

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