The 9 Best Windows Tablets of 2019

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

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Courtesy of Amazon

The Surface Pro line has long led the way in the 2-in-1 detachable computer market, and it keeps up the quality with its latest model. Besides adding a “6” to the previous unnumbered version, the changes are slight but significant. The tablet still has a gorgeous, bright 12.3-inch screen with an unconventional 2736 x 1824-pixel resolution. It’s the processor that sees a key upgrade, bumping up to Intel’s 8th-generation CPU (with options for the Core i5 or i7) and making the Surface Pro 6 one of the first 2-in-1s with a quad-core processor. This gives it better speed and performance than ever before, along with excellent, travel-friendly battery life listed at 13.5 hours.

The other change is aesthetic, but potentially a game-changer for some—you can now get it in black in addition to the traditional platinum.

The Type Cover accessory is still a separate purchase, which is unfortunate since its backlit keyboard is one of the best and most comfortable around. It’s almost essential to the full Surface Pro experience. The tablet attaches and detaches from it with satisfying smoothness, while the often-imitated kickstand behind the device props it up at a 165-degree range of angles. With the very useful Surface Pen sold separately too, adding accessories to an already premium-priced tablet definitely adds up, especially if you spring for upgraded hardware options (up to 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage). If you don’t mind the cost, you can rest assured you’re paying for excellence.

For other options, head over to our guides on the best tablets and the best 2-in-1 laptop tablets

Best Bundle: Microsoft Surface Go with Type Cover, Pen, and Mouse Bundle

On its own, the Surface Go is an extremely portable 10-inch, 1.15-pound tablet with a fairly reasonable base price compared to its bigger Surface family members. It’s the adorable baby brother to the Surface Pro, sharing a similar attractive design and sharp PixelSense display, but with a slower Intel Pentium Gold processor. It can handle day-to-day Web browsing, video streaming, and casual gaming, but don’t expect to push it much more.

To make the most of the Surface Go as a 2-in-1 tablet–laptop, you’re best off with its top-end hardware configuration that’s included in this bundle: 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage. You’ll also find yourself missing out on a lot of productivity unless you have a Type Cover keyboard to attach the tablet to. The Surface Go’s reduced-size keyboard has some smaller keys and is a little harder to keep on your lap, but typing on it is still a very pleasant experience. This bundle includes the Signature Type Cover, sporting an “Alcantara” material in a color to match the other accessories. One of those other items is a Surface Pen for natural and responsive drawing and note-taking on the screen. The last accessory, a Surface Mobile Mouse, may be the least essential element given the stylus and touchscreen input options, but it rounds out a nice little bundle for anyone taking their first steps into the Surface world. 

Best for Business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet

Lenovo’s 3rd-generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet is a very powerful 2-in-1 detachable geared toward professional use but with a lot of overall versatility. The top-end configuration runs Windows 10 Pro on a 1.9-GHz 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM, with up to 1 TB of SSD storage space.

Those are fine specs for a laptop, and you can spend a lot of time typing on the large included keyboard with the tablet resting back on its kickstand. But detach the 2-pound tablet and you can carry around a vibrant 13-inch in-plane switching (IPS) display with “3K” resolution at 3000 x 2000 pixels. It’s designed and tested to be durable, built with Gorilla Glass in the screen and sturdy weather-resistant materials all around. The tablet also comes with a ThinkPad Pen Pro stylus that clips to the side. It’s perfect for artists, designers, architects, or any professions that call for drawing, signing, or note-taking. Battery life a bit on the short side, hurting its portability, but the inclusion of two USB-C ports supporting Thunderbolt 3 is a fairly rare and forward-thinking feature for a tablet.

You can find other 2-in-1s in our list of the best business laptops

Best for Gaming: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Gaming on a tablet can be very limited unless your device has the hardware to handle it. Microsoft’s premium Surface Book 2-in-1 detachable definitely packs enough power, but at the expense of being more of a heavy-duty laptop than an easily toted tablet. You can choose between a 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000-pixel screen or a 15-inch 3240 x 2160-pixel screen. The larger version weighs 4.2 pounds all together, with a 1.8-pound tablet if you detach it from the keyboard with a press of a button. Thanks to an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU with 16 GB of RAM, you’ll be holding a device capable of serious performance.

When detached, though, you won’t benefit from a key piece of gaming hardware the Surface Book 2 includes: a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete graphics card. This lets it take on HD gaming as smoothly as many gaming laptops. And, because it runs on Windows 10, you can play any full PC game rather than be limited to Android or iOS titles like you would with other mobile devices.

Even if you’re not playing games, the Surface Book 2 is a powerful tool for a variety of purposes. It serves as an excellent drawing table and can handle professional graphics work, including Photoshop and video editing. It just happens to also be a tablet with 17-hour battery life that you can pop out and carry around.

Check out more of our picks for the best gaming tablets.

Best Budget: Acer Switch 3

For many 2-in-1s, you’ll need to pay extra for upgrades and accessories to unlock their full laptop potential. If that doesn’t interest you, the Acer Switch 3 can be a versatile Windows tablet for an affordable price. Its lower-end hardware (a 1.1-GHz Intel Pentium N4200 CPU, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB hard drive) isn’t well suited for heavy multitasking, graphics, or gaming. Its 12.2-inch 1920 x 1080-resolution IPS screen, though, shines for everyday usage and media consumption. It’s brighter and richer in color than many in its class, though it gets a bit reflective out in the sun.

The Switch 3 is sturdily built, with an included cover/keyboard that’s full-sized and feels good to type on. The tablet attaches to it via a metal hinge, and a U-shaped kickstand folds out in the back up to 165 degrees. An Acer Active Stylus is included as well, and it works smoothly with Windows Ink. It would be nice to get more than about eight hours of use from the battery, but it’s hard to complain about much from such a strong overall value.

Best 12-Inch: Samsung Galaxy Book2

Samsung Galaxy Book2

Courtesy of Samsung

Since they often serve laptop functions at least part-time, Windows tablets can run fairly large, with 12 inches being a common screen size. Samsung uses that size for its latest Galaxy Book detachable 2-in-1, coming close to the same dimensions as the Surface Pro. It also looks similar to it design-wise, including the folding kickstand behind the tablet. But the Galaxy Book2’s screen gets the benefit of Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, which provides a boost to colors, contrast, and brightness. Along with the generous 2160 x 1440-pixel resolution, it’s a nice use of the 12-inch display size, even if the bezels framing the panel may be too thick for some tastes.

Another priority for the Galaxy Book2 is battery life, with a 6120-mAh capacity that can power the tablet for up to a whopping 20 hours. This is due in large part to the battery-friendly Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor, providing an instant-start, always-on, and—combined with the device’s speedy gigabit-class LTE connection—always-connected experience. The trade-off is in performance. You may run into some app compatibility issues and sluggishness if you try to push beyond what the CPU and paltry 4-GB memory can handle. But you can still do a lot for long stretches of time with this portable, fine-looking machine, and it helps that it comes with a full-size keyboard, S Pen stylus, and two USB-C ports.

For more of the company’s offering with any operating system, see our article on the best Samsung tablets.

Best 8-Inch: NuVision 8-Inch Touchscreen Tablet

While eight-inch screens can be common for smaller Android tablets, you won’t find as many Windows tablets at the size today. Filling that space between tablet and smartphone size is NuVision’s very affordable Windows 10 device. It may surprise with the quality of its design and components, including an IPS screen that supports full HD 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution with 10 points of touch. Further emphasizing the Windows integration is a dedicated Windows button below the display that takes you straight to the Start screen or wakes the device up if it’s in sleep mode.

The small size puts some restraints on performance, though, and the NuVision tablet uses Intel’s lower-end 1.33-GHz Atom processor and 2 GB of RAM. It can handle your e-mail, Web browsing, movie viewing, and basic apps just fine, as long as you’re not trying to do too much at once. Using Microsoft Office may not be worthwhile given the size and hardware, but it’s at least nice to have Windows flexibility on a lost-cost tablet.

Best for Drawing: Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16

Digital tablets for drawing have been around a long time, and Wacom is no stranger to the field. The MobileStudio Pro is the company’s mobile pen computer for professional artists and designers, a Windows 10 tablet with serious performance and a serious price tag. It comes in 13-inch and 16-inch versions, with 3840 x 2160-pixel 4K resolution on the 16-inch screen. Any variety will cover all your on-the-go graphics needs, but the top-end model boasts an impressive 3.3-GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. That model also includes a Nvidia Quadro graphics chip to handles both 2D and 3D work, along with a RealSense 3D-scanning camera.

Of course, a drawing tablet is nothing without the drawing instrument itself, and the MobileStudio Pro comes with Wacom’s deluxe Pro Pen 2. It supports tilt, multitouch, and an astronomical 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. As you’d expect, it’s accurate, responsive, and feels great against the tablet’s screen. There is also a customizable touch ring and eight shortcut buttons to the side of the display, and the whole thing is flippable for the convenience of right- or left-handed users. A fully adjustable stand is sold separately, but it may be worthwhile for anyone already investing in the tablet as their professional creative studio.

For more, explore our guide to the best drawing tablets.

Best Durability: Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet

Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet

Courtesy of Walmart

Sure, there are plenty of tablets designed with business use in mind. But what if you’re in the business of going out in the wild world, in the heat or snow or rain? Dell’s Latitude 7212 is made for your line of work, as you might guess from the “Rugged Extreme” part of the name. It looks like a serious piece of industrial equipment, too, with a beefy 2.8-pound starting weight and heavy-duty rubber corners. Drop it on the ground and it takes a little bounce, no worse for the wear. It’s been through extensive military-grade ruggedness testing, coming out rated for extreme temperatures and conditions. Covers on all the ports keep out dust and debris, as well as rain to some extent, but submerging it in water wouldn’t be advised.

The 11.6-inch full-HD touchscreen is built for toughness, too, with Gorilla Glass for durability and extra brightness for visibility in harsh sunlight. You can turn it into a 2-in-1 laptop with a detachable and also very heavy-duty keyboard, but it’s a pretty significant additional cost. There are a number of other rugged and extreme accessories available to suit your work’s demands, from a desktop dock to a shoulder strap to a chest harness. The Latitude 7212 may be more machine than most professionals need, but you’ll be ready for anything nature might throw your way.

Our Process

Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular windows tablets on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different windows tablets overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers, read over 55 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the windows tablets themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.