A tablet is often the ideal productivity tool for business professionals and students. Tablets provide a nice blend of lightweight design and generous screen size, making them perfect for writing reports on the go. Windows tablets are a popular choice among students and professionals alike, since they complement many desktop apps. If you’re looking to buy a Windows tablet, check out our top five picks for the best Windows tablets money can buy.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Microsoft has been positioning the Surface Pro 3 as a MacBook killer, and this tablet-laptop hybrid definitely has the edge over the iPad Air 2 in terms of inputs, specs, and connectivity. If you know that you’ll predominantly need a tablet, but you plan on needing a laptop on occasion, this is a solid choice. There are a ton of different storage options to choose from, which is a nice perk for those who need more (or less) onboard storage.
Need to save some money? Opt for the Surface 3 over the Surface Pro 3. The Surface 3 is significantly less expensive than the Surface Pro 3, with the Surface 3 starting at just $499 for the 64GB version.
Price: $747.95 and up, depending on options selected
- Comes with Surface Pen (but not keyboard)
- Runs full Microsoft Office Suite
- Up to nine hours of battery life
- Many compatible accessories
- Type Cover is expensive
- Processors run the gamut from Intel Core i3 to Core i5 and i7
- Somewhat heavy, especially with cover attached
- Some users find customer support is lackluster
2. Nokia Lumia 2520 WiFi + 4G/LTE Tablet (32 GB Model)
If you love your Nokia phone, a Nokia tab is probably pretty appealing to you. This Windows tab can connect to the web over Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE. The 10.1 inch screen offers a nice balance between weight and readability. Battery life is respectable, with a whopping non-removable 8000 mAh battery providing at least eight hours of power for all your personal and business needs.
Price: $189.99 for the unlocked version
- 5MP rear webcam
- Available unlocked
- Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 processor
- Some may prefer a smaller or larger screen for their tablet
- Limited color options
- System files/bloatware take up a lot of space
- Some have experienced “sleep bug” where tablet won’t wake up from sleep mode
3. HP Stream 8 Tablet (32GB Version) With 4G Connectivity Windows 8.1 Signature Edition
If 4G connectivity is an important feature for your needs, this HP Stream 8 tablet is a great option to consider. Weighing just 12.3 ounces, this is a great tablet to take on business trips, or stick into your backpack before heading to class. The tablet comes with 200MB of free 4G data each month, with no annual contract, for the life of your device. You can expect at least six hours of battery life, up to six and a half hours in some cases.
Price: $149 (17 percent off MSRP)
- Includes Office 365 Personal
- 4G Connectivity
- Small size makes this highly portable and lightweight
- 1TB of cloud storage
- Some may want a higher-res screen
- Limited RAM/processing power
- Low rear webcam resolution
4. Toshiba Encore 2 WT10 Signature Edition Tablet, 10.1 Inch, With TruPen
If you’re looking for a tablet that will get a lot of use as a note-taking device, this is a model that should definitely be on your shortlist. The included TruPen stylus can detect 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which mimics a natural “pen and paper” writing experience. Students will appreciate the ability to use the tablet’s high-resolution built-in camera to capture notes from textbooks or blackboards. The tablet can then take these images and automatically straighten and sharpen the text for improved readability.
Business types and students will both appreciate the TruRecorder app, which is ideal for recording important lectures or meetings. In addition to making an audio recording that you can play back, this app lets you annotate with visual markers to playback conversations with enhanced notes.
Price: $388.99 (3 percent off MSRP)
- One-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, plus unlimited OneDrive storage
- Great features for taking notes for business or students
- TruPen is great for taking notes and making annotations
- TruPen adds a little bit to price tag (but is optional)
- Screen may cause glare in direct sun
- Some find the TruNote software hard to use
- Resolution could be more crisp, battery life could be better
Find more Toshiba Encore 2 WT10 Signature Edition Tablet, 10.1 Inch, With TruPen information and reviews here.
5. Asus VivoTab Note 8.8-Inch Tablet (32 GB Model)
This little tab runs Windows 8.1, and comes pre-installed with MS Office Home & Student. The front camera is capable of 720p video recording, while the rear camera clocks in at a healthy 5MP. The biggest plus here is arguably the integrated Wacom stylus, which can determine 1,024 different pressure levels. A 64GB model is also available for those who need to save money, or those who simply don’t need a lot of storage because they store items in the cloud.
Price: $299 (9 percent off)
- Wacom stylus
- Expandable storage
- Bundled with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013
- One-Year Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) program
- Other stylii on the market have better pressure sensors
- Doesn’t record 1080p video on front camera
- Only 7GB of storage with Microsoft OneDrive