The 8 Best Windows Tablets of 2022

From gaming to drawing, there's a tablet for you

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Windows tablets pair a touchscreen with a detachable keyboard. You can use the tablet alone to browse the web or watch YouTube, then attach the keyboard to reply to emails or edit a document. 

The promise is portability when you want it and performance when you need it. However, Windows tablets tend to lean toward one end of this spectrum or the other. The smallest, most affordable options can replace Apple’s base iPad, while the largest devices are as heavy and powerful as a 15-inch laptop. 

This means there’s a ton of choice though, as you’ll see, Microsoft has a big lead over its competition. Here are the best Windows tablets you can buy right now.

Best Overall: Microsoft Surface Pro 7

4
Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

What We Like
  • Excellent design and quality

  • Long battery life

  • Great keyboard and stylus

What We Don't Like
  • Due for a hardware update

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 is the undisputed benchmark for Windows tablets. It’s so good, in fact, that it drove many alternatives out of the market. You can count its direct competitors on one hand.

Credit goes mostly to the Surface Pro 7’s design. It reaches just the right balance of size, weight, and quality. The Pro 7 is small enough to be a usable tablet, yet large enough to feel like a great laptop alternative (with an optional keyboard attached). The touchscreen is highly responsible and the optional Surface Pen is the most comfortable stylus available.

Released in October 2019, the Surface Pro 7 is due for a revision. It’s a speedy system in spite of its age and can deliver all-day battery life in most situations, but an update could arrive soon. If you don’t want to wait, though, now is a good time to buy. Recent sales have dropped the base model’s price below $600.

Display Size: 12.3 inches | Processor: Intel 10th-gen | Graphics: Intel UHD | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 1TB | Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

"The Surface Pro 7 still features the same sturdy, solid build quality that we’ve become used to seeing over the years." — Jonno Hill, Product Tester

Google Pixelbook Go

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

Best for Businesses: Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ Tablet

Surface Pro 7+ Tablet

Courtesy of Microsoft

What We Like
  • Same great design as Surface Pro 7

  • Strong battery life

  • Available cellular data

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Difficult to buy

The Surface Pro 7+ is a variant of the standard model that embraces all of its strengths and tacks on perks for businesses and professionals.

It receives a hardware upgrade in the form of 11th-gen Intel Core processors and a larger battery. The Plus model can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM (up from 16GB) and the SSD can be replaced or upgraded by the user. 

Perhaps the most important change, however, is an optional cellular modem that can support 4G LTE. This lets you connect to the Internet anywhere your mobile data provider offers service. It’s a must-have for anyone who frequently travels. 

These upgrades add to the price, however. Pricing starts just shy of $1,000 and often exceeds $1,500. The Plus model is available at fewer retailers than the standard Surface Pro 7, too, meaning you’re less likely to find a deal.

Display Size: 12.3 inches | Processor: Intel 11th-gen | Graphics: Intel Xe | RAM: Up to 32GB | Storage: Up to 1TB | Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE (optional)

It’s expensive, but the Surface Pro 7 Plus is a much-needed upgrade for frequent fliers and traveling professionals.” — Matthew S. Smith, Tech Writer

Best for Drawing: Microsoft Surface Book 3 15-Inch

Microsoft Surface Book 3 (15")

Courtesy of B&H

What We Like
  • Large 15-inch touchscreen

  • Responsive, comfortable Surface Pen

  • Excellent performance

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky and heavy

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 15-inch is the best Windows tablet for drawing because it has the largest display and the best stylus. It’s that simple. The Surface Book 3 15-inch had just one serious competitor, Wacom’s 16-inch MobileStudio Pro, but Wacom hasn’t released an update in two years.

However, the Surface Book 3 is no slouch in performance or endurance. It’s the quickest Windows tablet you can buy right now. The 15-inch model has Intel 10th-gen processors and can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. It also packs Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics. All-day battery life remains possible thanks to a sizable 90 watt-hour battery.

The large touchscreen does make for a bulky, heavy machine. The 15-inch model weighs in at over 4 pounds and is larger than many 15-inch laptops, like Dell’s XPS 15. This compromise is unfortunate, but inevitable, or at least until foldable OLED screens go mainstream.

Display Size: 15 inches | Processor: Intel 10th-gen | Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q | RAM: Up to 32GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

The Surface Book 3 15-inch has a large, beautiful display that’s perfect for creative professionals and unmatched by its rivals.” — Matthew S. Smith, Tech Writer

Best Always-Connected: Microsoft Surface Pro X

4.3
Microsoft Surface Pro X

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Thin, light design

  • Great battery life

  • 4G LTE is standard

What We Don't Like
  • Performance could be better

  • Limited configuration options

The Surface Pro X is an experiment. Instead of using a processor from Intel or AMD that was designed for a laptop, it uses a Qualcomm-based processor (called Microsoft SQ) specifically designed for the Surface Pro X.

This let Microsoft engineer a wonderfully thin tablet that has standard 4G LTE support. It’s less than three-tenths of an inch thick and weighs 1.7 pounds. That makes it easy to take wherever you go and, because it supports cellular data, you’ll have quick access to the Internet from anywhere your cellular data offers service. 

The trade-off for this always-connected experience is performance. The Surface Pro X is not remarkably slow in day-to-day use but it's certainly not as quick as most Intel and AMD-powered devices. It also maxes out at 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

Still, it’s worth remembering the Surface Pro X is among the most affordable Windows devices to support 4G LTE. It’s a great option if you want an always-connected Windows tablet at a reasonable price.

Display Size: 12.3 inches | Processor: Microsoft SQ1 | Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 512GB | Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE

The Surface Pro X is an affordable way to snag a solid Windows tablet that supports mobile data.” — Matthew S. Smith, Tech Writer

Best Compact: Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable

3.8
ThinkPad X12 Detachable Tablet

Lifewire / Matthew S. Smith

What We Like
  • Small, light form factor

  • Excellent keyboard

  • Rugged build quality

What We Don't Like
  • Not a great value

The ThinkPad X12 Detachable is Lenovo’s latest entry into the world of Windows tablets, and is indisputably the company’s best effort yet. The X12 is similar in size and weight to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 yet delivers several advantages.

The most important is right beneath your fingertips: the detachable keyboard. Nearly all detachable keyboards have to sacrifice typing feel for portability, but the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 doesn’t. The result is a compact Windows tablet that’s every bit as pleasant to use at a desk as a standard laptop. 

There’s other perks to the X12, too. It has both a USB-C and Thunderbolt 4 port, offers optional 4G LTE connectivity, and includes the latest 11th-gen Intel Core processors. Unfortunately, great performance and functionality in a compact size doesn’t come cheap: The X12’s base price is above $1,000.

Display Size: 12.3 inches | Processor: Intel 11th-gen | Graphics: Intel Xe | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 512GB | Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE (optional)

I love the ThinkPad X12 Detachable’s magnetic keyboard cover.” — Matthew S. Smith, Product Tester

Lenovo Thinkpad X12 Detachable

Lifewire / Matthew S. Smith

Best Portability: Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable Tablet

Dell 13" Latitude 7320 Detachable Tablet

Courtesy of Dell

What We Like
  • Large display for its size

  • Future-proof connectivity

  • Great performance, battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Low display resolution

  • Very expensive

Dell’s Latitude 7320 is the company’s latest attempt to defeat Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7, and it just might have a chance. The Latitude 7320 includes a large 13-inch display but shaves down the bezels to keep the tablet’s footprint and weight nearly identical to the Surface Pro 7. 

The Latitude 7320 also packs cutting-edge hardware. It offers Intel’s 11th-gen processors, 1080p front and rear cameras, two Thunderbolt-4/USB-C ports, optional 4G LTE, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage. The only disappointment is the display’s mediocre 1080p resolution. 

You’ll have to pay at least $1,500 for the Latitude 7320, but that’s no great surprise. This model targets professionals and businesses and competes with Microsoft's Surface Pro 7+.

It’s worth noting Microsoft’s tablet can be configured with more RAM and storage. If you want a larger display without compromising portability, though, the Latitude 7320 could be for you.

Display Size: 13 inches | Processor: Intel 11th-gen | Graphics: Intel Xe | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 512GB | Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE (optional)

Dell’s Latitude 7320 somehow manages to enlarge the display by nearly an without any increase in size or weight.” — Matthew S. Smith, Tech Writer

Best Budget: Microsoft Surface Go 2

Microsoft Surface Go 2

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Small, portable display size

  • Attractive design

What We Don't Like
  • Lackluster performance

  • Display can feel cramped

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 attempts to shrink all the benefits of the Surface Pro series into a tiny 10.5-inch tablet with a price that starts under $400, and it’s successful. The Surface Go 2 serves up a solid detachable keyboard, attractive design, good battery life, and supports the excellent Surface Pen stylus.

All of this comes at the expense of performance. The Surface Go 2’s small size and low price means it can offer only the slowest Intel Pentium and Core M3 processors. It can be configured with no more than 8GB of RAM and a slim 128GB of storage. The 10.5-inch screen is great for tablet use but can feel cramped when the keyboard is attached.

Those limitations are significant. Still, it’s quick enough to handle web browsing, document editing, Netflix streaming, and most 2D games. That makes it a great pick for people who want an inexpensive, portable Windows tablet and don’t care too much about the specifics.

Display Size: 10.5 inches | Processor: Intel Pentium, Core M3 | Graphics: Intel UHD | RAM: Up to 8GB | Storage: Up to 128GB | Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Best Splurge: HP Elite x2 G8 Tablet PC

HP Elite x2 G8 Tablet PC

Amazon

What We Like
  • Attractive, professional design

  • A buffet of configuration options

  • Optional 4G LTE

What We Don't Like
  • Extremely expensive in any configuration

Have a lot of spend and want a Windows tablet that’s specifically configured for your needs? Look no further than HP’s Elite x2 G8. This slick, modern tablet combines robust design with options that let you splurge to your heart’s content. 

You can configure the HP Elite x2 G8 with one of nine different Intel 11th-gen processors, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage. The tablet’s base 13-inch 1080p touchscreen might not seem outstanding, but it can be upgraded to 3000 x 2000 resolution. You can pair the x2 G8 with numerous other options including 4G LTE, a Wacom stylus, and a fingerprint reader. 

All of this adds to the price, however. The Elite x2 G8 starts at over $1,800. Tick all the options and you can easily spend over $3,200. That’s a ton of money for a 13-inch Windows tablet—but the heart wants what the heart wants, right?

Display Size: 13 inches | Processor: Intel 11th-gen | Graphics: Intel Xe | RAM: Up to 32GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE (optional)

Final Verdict

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (view at Amazon) sets the standard for all Windows tablets. It’s fast, attractive, portable, and has great battery life. The Pro 7 is not inexpensive, but sales frequently slash its price below most competitors. The Surface Pro 7+ (view at Office Depot) upgrades the standard Pro 7 with faster processors, more RAM, more storage, and optional 4G LTE connectivity. It also inflates the price, but demanding users will find it worth the added cost.

About Our Trusted Experts

Matthew S. Smith is a technology journalist and product reviewer with nearly 15 years of experience. He’s tested over 300 laptops over the past decade and previously led the product reviews team at Digital Trends. 

Jonno Hill has written for Lifewire since 2019. His byline can also be found on PCMag.com and AskMen. He reviewed the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 on our list.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

What to Look For in the Best Windows Tablets

Display

The most crucial component of any tablet is the screen, and a number of factors come into play when determining a display's quality. Probably the most important is resolution, the number of pixels that make up an image, with a higher density meaning crisper, sharper images. But bear in mind that higher resolutions won't matter as much on smaller tablets, so 1080p may look as sharp on an 8-inch model as "3K" does on a 15-inch tablet.

Lenovo Thinkpad X12 Detachable

Lifewire / Matthew S. Smith

Performance

There are few things more irritating when you're using a tablet on the go than an interminable wait for web pages to load or applications to start. Like laptops, Windows tablets are dependent largely on CPU in most use cases, though if you intend to game a lot on your tablet, GPU is also critical. In terms of load and boot times, getting and SSD rather than a traditional hardware can be crucial.

Size

The advantages of a larger display are obvious, but you should bear in mind that one of the best features of a tablet (as compared to a full size laptop) is how portable and easy to carry around it is. If you're looking for a full-fledged productivity machine, maybe you do need a 15-inch screen, but for the hybrid role tablets were initially designed to fill, an 8-inch screen can actually be a boon.

FAQ
  • How is a Windows tablet different from a laptop?

    A Windows tablet is a 2-in-1 device with a detachable keyboard. Removing the keyboard shaves significant weight and thickness from a device and provides a better touchscreen experience. Windows tablets otherwise offer the same hardware as other Windows laptops and can run the same apps. 

  • Do you need to buy accessories like a keyboard and stylus?

    Yes, in most cases. Windows tablets almost universally offer a detachable keyboard and a stylus, but these features are rarely included by default. You can expect to spend around $200 for the keyboard and stylus. These accessories aren’t technically required to use the tablet, but going without will limit how you can use the device. 

  • Is 4G LTE connectivity important?

    That depends on your needs. 4G LTE can provide Internet access anywhere your mobile carrier provides service. You can open your Windows tablet and get to work without checking to see if public Wi-Fi is available. It’s often an optional extra, however, and your mobile carrier will charge you monthly for adding service to your Windows tablet. You’ll have to balance the benefits against the costs.

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