(Image credit: Future)
The best Windows tablets boast enough power in their svelte form for more than just casual gaming, social media and productivity. And, they’re only getting better each year, giving Apple’s popular iPads a serious run for their money.
If you’re looking for an affordable and even more portable laptop alternative that can handle creative work, the best Windows tablets are worth considering. True to their tablet form, these portables are perfect for media consumption, web surfing and staying in touch with loved ones. But, they are capable of more than just covering PUBG Mobile gaming and emailing needs – they’ll also let you do a bit of photo and video editing as well as graphics design.
We’ve reviewed quite a few of these tablets, including the most recent releases, so we know which ones are at the top of the pile when it comes to performance, design and features. Take a look at the best Windows tablets we’ve handpicked for 2020, if you’re considering investing in one.
Best Windows tablets at a glance
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
- Microsoft Surface Go 2
- Acer Switch 5
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Lenovo Yoga Book C930
1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
A versatile Windows 10 tablet that moonlights as a powerful laptop
CPU: Up to 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8650U | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Screen: 13-inch QHD+ 3k (3,000 x 2,000) IPS multi-touch | Storage: Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD | Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 8265 (2 x 2), Up to Bluetooth 4.1 with vPro | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 2MP front-facing | Weight: 1.69 pounds (890g), 2.79 pounds (1.27kg) with keyboard | Size: 11.96 x 8.88 x 0.59 inches with keyboard
Great design and build quality
ThinkPad Pen Pro included
Vivid 13-inch 3K touchscreen
Battery life is still limiting
Bulkier than the Surface Pro
Touted by Lenovo as ‘an IT admin’s dream,’ the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet indeed offers many of the makings of such a device. That includes dual Thunderbolt ports for faster data transfers, Windows Hello login via fingerprint reader, and the optional IR camera for a more secure login and Microsoft AutoPilot readiness. And, that’s without mentioning the SSD and battery that are field serviceable so that you can get a certified technician to come to you if you need parts replaced. But that’s not all; it’s also got a light and sleek chassis, and it comes with the ThinkPad Pen Pro, which means it’s great value all around.
Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
2. Microsoft Surface Go 2
Premium design, more affordable price
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 10.5” 1920 x 1280 (220 PPI) PixelSense Display | Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD | Connectivity: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.0, Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem | Cameras: Windows Hello face authentication front-facing camera, 5MP front-facing with 1080p Skype HD video, 8MP rear-facing with 1080p HD video | Weight: 1.22 lb (553 grams) | Size: 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches (245 x 175 x 8.3 mm; W x D x H)
Can run full Windows 10
No Touch Cover or stylus included
Base model’s specs are weak
Microsoft’s devices are known for their higher price tags, which is why the Surface Go line proves popular with the more budget-conscious crowd. It’s Microsoft’s best affordable premium tablet, and the follow up, Surface Go 2, continues that tradition with its reasonable price and premium design. It even runs the full Windows 10 operating system, so it’s even more capable than other tablets out there as far as what applications it can run. Unfortunately, as with the original, it suffers from the same curse of being underpowered, especially at the base configuration. However, it does offer a slight bump in performance over its predecessor, giving Surface Go users a sensible reason to upgrade if they’ve got the money.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go 2
3. Acer Switch 5
A great Surface Pro alternative
CPU: 7th-generation Intel Core i3 – i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 12-inch, 2,160 x 1,440 IPS touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac; Bluetooth | Camera: 3MP rear, 1MP front | Weight: 2.8 pounds | Dimensions: 11.49 x 7.94 x 0.62 inches
The Acer Switch used to be a more affordable alternative to the Surface Pro. These days, the Acer Switch 5 will cost you just as much, but that’s also for comparable specs except perhaps an older processor. Price increase aside, this tablet is still one of the best Windows tablets – not to mention, best performing – out there, and it’s the perfect solution for students and professionals who don’t want to buy into the Surface trend.
Read the full review: Acer Switch 5
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
For upgraders or folks just getting into Microsoft’s tablet
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics – Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3” PixelSense Display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB | Connectivity: 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 (2 x 2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, auto-focus camera (1080p HD); 5MP front-facing, 1080p HD camera | Weight: 1.7 pounds (771g) | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292 x 201 x 8.5mm; W x D x H)
Now with Wi-Fi 6
Overall loss in battery life
USB-C isn’t Thunderbolt 3
The seventh iteration of Microsoft’s award-winning product may not be the generational leap many Microsoft tablets have been waiting for, but it offers some improvements from its predecessor. This 2-in-1 tablet aimed at pros has received impressive gains in power, making it more capable than ever as a laptop alternative. Also, it now boasts a USB-C port and Wifi 6 connectivity. And, of course, it offers that same level of portability that many Windows tablet users crave. The best part is that it has a few configurations, which means you can choose how much power and storage space to get depending on how much you need.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
5. Lenovo Yoga Book C930
Lenovo Yoga Book C930
CPU: Intel Core i5-7Y54 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 10.8” QHD (2560 x 1600) IPS touchscreen – 10.8” FHD (1920 x 1080) Flexible E Ink Mobius touchscreen | Storage: 256 GB SSD
Very thin and light
Gorgeous main display
E Ink screen works well
Low on RAM
The Lenovo Yoga Book C930 is a truly innovative 2-in-1 laptop, with a second E Ink display that moonlights as a keyboard, a pad for making notes and drawing and a traditional E Ink reader for viewing documents. It’s perhaps this second stunning screen that’s the biggest selling point of the Lenovo Yoga Book C930. That fact that it’s thin and light makes it an excellent tablet as well. If you’re looking for a laptop that doubles as a tablet and a drawing pad, this one’s an ace in our book.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Book C930
Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article
Images credit: TechRadar
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptops 2020