Should I buy a tablet 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.
Best Windows tablets 2018
1. Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)
- RRP: From $799 (model reviewed $2149)
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 should 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.
2. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
- RRP: From $799
- Buy from Microsoft
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.
3. Chuwi Hi10 Pro
- RRP: US$166.59
- Buy from Chuwi
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.
4. Samsung Galaxy Book 12in
- RRP: From $629.99
- Buy from Samsung
The plastic build is unforgivable at this price point and while performance is decent, it’s not a product that is all that compelling to use.
It lacks the Surface Pro’s effortless appeal to the business and causal user; who is the Galaxy Book really for? Samsung has yet to figure out how to make the rest of the Galaxy line as appealing as its superior S series of phones.
If you buy the Galaxy Book, you’re getting a solid 2-in-1. But if you don’t need stylus support, for the same price you could get a laptop with better build quality and battery life.
5. Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA
- RRP: $279
- Buy from Asus
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.
Read our Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA review.
6. Chuwi HiBook Pro
- RRP: US$219.89
- Buy from Chuwi
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.
7. Microsoft Surface 3
- RRP: £419 (64GB Wi-Fi)
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.