Which Windows Tablet is the Best?
Desktops and laptops are great, but sometimes a tablet is the most useful way to consume media or complete work and school tasks. In these cases, it’s not always easy to switch from a versatile Windows PC to a limited iPad or Android tablet.
If you need maximum portability and convenience but don’t want to sacrifice functionality, consider a Windows tablet. The best of them right now is the Lenovo ThinkPad X12. It features powerful hardware and better battery life than most competitors.
What to know before buying a Windows tablet
Why use a Windows tablet
Windows is the world’s leading desktop and laptop operating system by a large margin, and for good reason. Not only is it versatile and suitable for a variety of enthusiasts’ needs, it’s also easier than ever for beginners to use. With the current HD version of Windows 10 and the 11th generation of the iconic operating system, there are more straightforward and convenient apps, tools, and integration tools than ever before.
There are some limitations
It takes some compromise to pack enough hardware into a half-inch-thick package to run Windows quickly and reliably. At the most basic level, there is not enough space for most high-end chipsets and components. There is also the problem of heat buildup, which is one of the biggest hurdles for computers in general.
Tablets also tend to compromise on battery life. Batteries – especially those with a high capacity – take up the most space and generate the most heat of any component in an ultraportable laptop.
Convertible vs Detachable 2-in-1s
The 2-in-1 laptop is both a laptop and a tablet. Windows tablets necessarily fall into this category, as it would be very difficult to use a Windows tablet for a very long time without a keyboard attached.
As its name suggests, the detachable 2-in-1s allow you to remove the keyboard and use the device as a real tablet. By contrast, the 2-in-1 convertible hinge sports an extended range so you can fold the keyboard under the screen, creating a physical tablet.
There are plenty of Windows 2-in-1 convertible laptops out there from the major manufacturers. They are generally similar to standard laptops in terms of size and weight, which means that they are usually difficult to use with one hand. However, detachable 2-in-1s offer the same portability, convenience, and performance as Android tablets and iPads (although Windows tablets are almost always heavier).
What to look for in a Windows tablet
To keep costs and battery life low, a decent number of manufacturers are making major compromises when it comes to performance. The problem is that Windows is a resource hog that can easily bring an old processor or small hard drive to its knees. Avoid Windows tablets from generic or questionable manufacturers, as you are not likely to have a good user experience.
None of them can compete with full-size laptops, but some detachable Windows devices offer nearly all-day battery life. Most commonly, though, you’ll see roughly six hours of real-world run time from a Windows tablet. To get more out of your device without plugging it into the wall, consider a USB-C Power Delivery power bank that can put out at least 45 watts.
Microsoft claims you can install Windows on a 32GB drive, but don’t believe it. You’ll need at least 64GB to have an acceptable experience, and 128GB is a much better target. If you choose a tablet with only 64GB of storage, you may have a better time keeping Windows installed in highly efficient S mode.
Once again, Microsoft claims that 4GB provides plenty of RAM for Windows. Sure, it’s only possible to get the bare minimum, but you’ll have a significantly better experience with 8GB of RAM or more.
How much can you expect to spend on a Windows tablet
The most budget-friendly options are around $350, although you’ll have to spend more on accessories like a keyboard and stylus. In the end, you can invest up to $2000 in a Windows tablet that works in addition to a regular laptop.
Windows Tablet FAQ
Can you play games on Windows tablets?
a. You can definitely play casual games on your Windows tablet. Some even work better on tablets than on laptops because of the touchscreen controls. You won’t have any luck playing graphic-intensive games, though, due to inherently poor heat dissipation and relatively below-average performance for Windows tablets.
How to improve battery life?
a. Some changes to the way you work can slightly increase battery life. Keep screen brightness as low as is comfortable. Reduce multitasking, because background programs consume valuable memory and processor power. Keep the Windows Battery Saver option turned on whenever possible. Make sure to disconnect and turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you are not using them.
Then there is the default. Unlike overclocking, it involves reducing the amount of electricity used by the CPU and GPU. You can do this without reducing processor clock speeds, and you may see a noticeable increase in battery life. If you reduce clock speeds or disable turbo boost for your CPU, you will see better results.
You’ll want to find a guide on minimizing the impact. There are many such evidences. Unlike overclocking, undervolting works with a wide variety of everyday laptops and isn’t dangerous, especially if you’re being careful.
What is the best Windows tablet to buy?
Top Windows Tablet
Lenovo ThinkPad X12 2-in-1
What you need to know: It’s packed with premium hardware, and surprisingly, it doesn’t cost an absolute fortune.
What you will like: Move on, Microsoft, because there’s a new mayor in town when it comes to ultraportable Windows devices. Part of the most popular family of laptops in history, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X12 delivers the kind of performance you’d expect from a full-size laptop. While most competitors cost an arm and a leg and come in limited configurations, you can get a surprisingly good deal on the X12, especially if you order the perfect model for your needs directly from Lenovo.
What you should consider: It does not have any USB-A, HDMI, or Ethernet ports, and the keyboard is sold separately.
Where do I buy: Sold by Lenovo and Amazon
The best Windows tablet for the money
Microsoft Surface Go 3
What you need to know: This ultra-compact option really fills the role of the tablet, as the smaller, more expensive model that actually works well.
What you will like: It’s so small compared to almost all of its competitors, it’s actually the smallest device we’ve ever seen that can run Windows without any major issues. It’s also reasonably priced, which you can’t say for most of Microsoft’s in-house laptops. It’s also available with optional 4G LTE connectivity for maximum portability.
What you should consider: Although it is easy to use, its performance is somewhat limited due to the highly efficient CPU. To mitigate the performance issue, Surface Go comes with a special Windows S mode that limits what programs you can install and how fast they can run. You can disable S mode and run the standard Windows 11 installation at any time.
Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon
worth checking out
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
What you need to know: For a long time, the Surface Pro lineup was the only high-performance Windows tablet.
What you will like: It runs as smoothly as any traditional clamshell laptop and comes in several configurations to meet your specific needs. The screen, though, is where it really shines. It’s bright and colorful, with high contrast and a 120Hz refresh rate, something most standard laptops can’t claim.
What you should consider: This kind of feat of engineering and feature set doesn’t come cheap. In fact, you still have to purchase the keyboard separately.
Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon
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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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