Your buying guide for the best Windows tablets in 2017
We’ve reviewed and ranked the best Windows tablets you can buy today in the UK, but do read our buying advice before spending your money. Windows tablets have – over the last couple of years – been gaining in popularity, although they represent less than a quarter of the whole tablet market.
Because they run Windows most models come with a keyboard, although strangely not Microsoft’s Surface – you have to buy the keyboard separately. Whether you want to work or play, you’ll find something here to suit your budget.
If you don’t really need to get any work done on your tablet, an iPad or and Android tablet might suit you better, so check out our list of the best tablets, and also the best new tablets coming in 2017.
Unlike the alternatives tablets running Windows 10 offer true portable computing on the move. Microsoft’s own Surface Pro, for example, is as powerful as many desktop PCs, and it offers decent battery life. You can install proper Windows software on it, and perform any task for which you would normally rely on a desktop PC. All it will fit into any man bag.
The Surface Pro 3 offers the best of all worlds, with relatively little sacrifice. It’s cheaper now that the Surface Pro 4 has superseded it. If you can afford one and you really want one device for everything, it is a great purchase. But the new Surface Pro is now here and the Surface Pro 4 has dropped in price. Bearing in mind that the new version doesn’t include a stylus in the box, it could be that the older version works out better value for you.
However, if you don’t need one, the better battery life of the 2017 model is sure to make it the better buy.
Should I buy a tablets or a 2-in-1 hybrid?
You’ll note in our chart below that not all the devices look the same. That’s because Windows offers manufacturers flexibility of form. Some Windows tablets are tiny portable devices. Others are more like laptops which can also be used like tablets. These are often called 2-in-1s or hybrids.
Just remember that by its very nature a tablet should be a flexible and portable device. So ask yourself whether you need a keyboard (and if so whether an ultraportable laptop would be a better idea). How big a screen do you need, and how much weight are you prepared to carry? Hybrid devices can seem like the best of all worlds, but they tend to be equally imperfect as laptops and tablets – how often will you transform their functions in your daily life?
If anything in the list below grabs your attention, read the full review in detail, and the answers to these and other questions should become clear. If you specifically want a 2-in-1 device then check out our best convertible tablets chart.
The new Surface Pro is a superb 2-in-1. It’s beautifully built and performs well. The screen is excellent and even the speakers sound good.
However, it’s very expensive, especially when you add the cost of the Type Cover and – if you need one – the Surface Pen. Few will opt for the base model, and you’ll pay a heck of a lot more for a Core i7.
Ultimately, while a fantastic device, it’s hard to recommend the Surface Pro unless money is no object.
Read our Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) review.
There is a great deal to like and rave about the Surface Pro 4. The design is thinner and lighter for starters. The screen is awesome, there’s plenty of power available, the new Surface Pen is better and the Type Cover is a vast improvement on the last one. However, the design is inherently awkward at times, it’s more expensive that a lot of laptops and the Type Cover, which you’ll pretty much need, isn’t included lowering the value.
Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review.
The TabPro S is undeniably a beautiful and capable piece of hardware and it can be a joy to use. The problem is, it’s not a joy to use all the time. The 2-in-1 form factor can work, and we still think that the Surface Pro 4 is the best example of this, thanks to its build quality and integrated kickstand. The TabPro S is an excellent computer, but it remains frustrating that it doesn’t always excel in being one. Hopefully Samsung will consider improving simple things like the stand on the inevitable sequel if it is to continue to charge this much money for it.
Read our Samsung Galaxy TabPro S review.
A very decent laptop replacement, and an okay tablet, the Surface Pro 3 is undeniably impressive. If you need a single device to do everything we can’t think of any better device. And when you consider the cost of buying a discrete laptop, tablet and desktop PC the Surface Pro 3 is priced to shift. The question remains as to whether people want a single device rather than multiple gadgets that are better at their individual tasks. Microsoft’s latest results suggest that Surface Pro 3 is winning hearts and minds. Has it won yours?
Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review.
Objectively, the Surface 3 is the best compromise between a laptop and tablet. It’s a highly portable gadget which can run full Windows programs and it costs less than the Surface Pro 3.
It’s not exactly cheap by the time you’ve added the keyboard and stylus, though. It’s also only good for lightweight duties – it’s less powerful than laptops costing the same – and some people will find the screen is too small for ‘proper’ productivity.
It’s a better work tool than an iPad and Bluetooth keyboard, it has to be said, and if you only need to use office apps and a web browser, it could be exactly what you’re after.
Most people are better off spending more on the Surface Pro 3 or, if you don’t need a touchscreen, a Core M laptop such as the Asus UX305F.
Read our Microsoft Surface 3 review.
The Chuwi Hi10 Pro is an excellent value Windows 10 laptop-tablet hybrid with the addition of Android (albeit old Android) and a pleasing build for the money. We take issue with its fingerprint-prone screen and tinny, poorly placed speakers, but in all other respects this is a very decent device for the money. It’s not a fast device, and we wouldn’t recommend it to gamers, but it’s fast enough for most daily Windows tasks.
Read our Chuwi Hi10 Pro review.
Whether the Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA is a good buy or not depends entirely on your priorities. If you want to open up loads of browser windows and have plenty of apps open at once, this isn’t for you.
The Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA only really runs well with an app or two running, and no data-intensive background processes going on. In laptop terms it’s a whelp.
However, good stamina, a smart design and good, non-cramped keyboard make it a great low-cost choice if you want something to do some writing/emailing/browsing while you’re away from home.
Chuwi’s tablets are not the fastest Windows machines you can buy, but they make excellent portable computers if you’re on a budget. With its Quad-HD screen and fast USB-C charging, the HiBook Pro is a very good cheap option. We recommend you also buy the optional keyboard that turns this Windows/Android tablet into a laptop.
Read our Chuwi HiBook Pro review.
If you don’t mind what it looks like, the Venturer BravoWin 10KT is an ideal budget option for students. It costs just £150 and can be with you tomorrow, and that price includes a magnetic docking keyboard and a full copy of Windows 10. It’s easily portable and sufficiently capable, if not a speed demon.
Read our Venturer BravoWin 10KT review.