Your buying guide for the best Windows tablets in 2018
We've reviewed and ranked the best Windows tablets you can buy today in the UK, but check out this buying advice before spending your money.
Windows tablets have - over the last few 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 Pro - you usually 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 2018.
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 line offers the best of all worlds, with relatively little sacrifice. If you can afford one and you really want one device for everything, it is a great purchase now that the new Surface Pro is available, 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.
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. If you specifically want a 2-in-1 device then check out our best convertible tablets chart.
- Reviewed on: 28 March 2018
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.
Read our Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) review.
- Reviewed on: 5 October 2018
If you want a new Windows laptop you should seriously consider the Surface Go. It's more portable and lightweight than the Surface Pro and thanks to its size you can actually use it on your lap.
We recommend the more expensive version with 8GB RAM but if you are a light user than the base model is fine for email, word processing and Netflix. The build quality is excellent but you will have to pay for the not-included Type Cover.
Overall the Surface Go is a triumph and a genuine option over similarly priced, cumbersome laptops.
Read our Microsoft Surface Go review.
- Reviewed on: 30 June 2016
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.
- Reviewed on: 3 October 2016
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.
- Reviewed on: 4 September 2017
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.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Book 12in review.
- Reviewed on: 13 January 2016
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.
- Reviewed on: 14 October 2016
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.
8. Chuwi Hi13
- Reviewed on: 27 April 2018
It's usefully large with a fantastic screen, and it allows you to get your hands on a cheap Windows tablet (potentially 2-in-1 laptop) at an excellent price. But the Chuwi Hi13 is underpowered and heavy, a burden for your bag. The keyboard (sold separately) also makes us want to cry.
Read our Chuwi Hi13 review.
- Reviewed on: 19 September 2018
The Miix 630 is basically budget performance in a premium body, with 4G and a big battery to help sweeten the deal, thanks to running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor rather than an Intel chip.
With an almost 20-hour battery life and the option to install a data SIM, it could be a great option for users who want a 2-in-1 laptop that’s easy to use on the go, without worrying about battery life or Wi-Fi connections, but only if you’re happy to stick to word processing and web browsing - made worse by the choice between the stripped back Windows 10 S operating system, or a free upgrade to Pro that leaves you facing compatibility issues with programs not optimised for the Snapdragon 835.
If you need anything much more intensive than that you’re probably better off looking elsewhere - which would be easier to swallow from a cheaper device, but for something nearing a grand it’s a harder sell.
Read our Lenovo Miix 630 review.
10. HP Envy x2
- Reviewed on: 9 May 2018
The HP Envy x2 is a sleek tablet and one of the first devices to run Windows on a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. Starting at £999 it's more expensive than we expected but you get the keyboard case, stylus and 4G connectivity all included.
It has an excellent screen and the best battery life we've seen on anything at over 20 hours. However, performance isn't great even on the more expensive model with 8GB of RAM. You'll also need to upgrade from Windows 10 S to install software not found on the official store.
If you're looking for a Windows tablet with amazing battery life to do basic things, this will be an expensive luxury purchase. If you're looking for a balance of battery life and productivity, the Surface Pro is a much better option.
Read our HP Envy x2 review.
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