These are the best Windows tablets in 2022
When you want to buy a new Windows PC, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with options considering how many great laptops. To help out, we’ve already rounded up some of the best laptops you can buy this holiday, but what if you specifically want a tablet? Windows tablets aren’t all that common, and for a while, the experience with them wasn’t the best. But with Windows 11 out in the wild, some improvements have been made to make touchscreens more fun.
You can swipe in from the left to see widgets and news about your interests, swipe in from the right to see your notifications, and the context menus in many parts of Windows have been made more touch-friendly. The touch keyboard has been spruced up, too, and you can actually use themes on it now. It all adds up to a more pleasant experience than we had with Windows 10, and you can learn all about that in our Windows 11 review.
For now, though, we’re going to focus on the best Windows tablets you can buy this holiday to make use of all those improvements. There aren’t a ton of them, but the tablets we have right now are really great, especially after Microsoft refreshed its Surface lineup recently.
Navigate this article:
- Best overall: Surface Pro 8
- Best business tablet: Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable
- Best ARM tablet: Surface Pro X
- Best budget tablet: Surface Go 3
- Best foldable: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
Best overall: Surface Pro 8
If you’ve read our review of the Surface Pro 8, seeing it at the top of this list is really no surprise. Microsoft took a few years to rejuvenate the Surface Pro line, but when it did, it did so with a bang. This is a phenomenal Windows tablet, and it sets the bar high if any other Windows tablet wants to compete in the future.
First off, Microsoft is naturally using the latest hardware from Intel inside the Surface Pro 8, and for consumers, it starts with an Intel Core i5 now. That does help increase the starting price, but when you can choose between the Core i5-1135G7 and the Core i7-1185G7, you know you’re getting a great experience either way, which wouldn’t be the case as much if you bought the old Core i3 variants. Now, you get a CPU with 4 cores and 8 threads, with boost speeds up to 4.8GHz (in the Core i7-1185G7). Plus, both models include Intel Iris Xe graphics to enhance some GPU-focused workloads that might benefit from it.
On top of that, the tablet can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM, and the base configuration now includes 8GB instead of 4GB -another factor that contributes to a higher starting price, but one that ensures this premium tablet gives you a premium experience. You can also add up to 1TB of SSD storage, and that SSD is easily removable if you need to do that for whatever reason.
One of the things that make the Surface Pro 8 so great – not only compared to its predecessor, but also to every other tablet on this list – is its display. It’s now a 13-inch panel and the resolution has increased to 2880 x 1920. That means it’s incredibly sharp, and you’re certainly not going to be counting individual pixels on it. But the best thing about it is that it’s the first and – so far -only Windows tablet to have a 120Hz refresh rate.
High refresh rates on Windows devices have typically been reserved for gaming laptops and PCs, but the Surface Pro brings that to a whole new category. It’s a feature that’s good for everyone because all the animations and transitions look much smoother now. Out of the box, it’s still set to 60Hz, but you can change it manually, and in the future, there will be an update that enables dynamic refresh rates, so it uses a higher refresh rate when there’s motion, but saves energy when there’s no reason to crank up the refresh rate. Just like in the past, the Surface Pro 8 continues to include a 5MP camera with 1080p video and Windows Hello on the front, and the rear camera is 10MP with support for 4K video.
The design of the Surface Pro 8 has also been tweaked from its predecessor, and it’s slightly thicker and heavier now. It’s still very portable though – it weighs just 891 grams (1.96lbs), and it’s 9.3mm thin. Another big change with the Surface Pro 8 is that it finally adds Thunderbolt support, and it includes two whole Thunderbolt 4 ports. That means you can hook up and Thunderbolt dock, monitor, or even an external GPU if you want to use it for gaming. There’s still a Surface Connect port, though, if you have a Surface Dock already lying around.
The only potential downside with this tablet is that you still need to buy a keyboard and pen separately, which is a bummer for a premium device like this. It’s also important to note that the old Surface Pro Type Covers won’t work because the connector has changed. You’ll need the new Surface Pro Signature Keyboard now. But if you’re just looking for a Windows tablet, this is undoubtedly one of the very best.
Best business Windows tablet: Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable
If you’re interested in more of a business-oriented Windows tablet, the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable is one of your best options. It’s a lightweight tablet with some features that might be important to business users.
Starting with the internals, the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable uses Intel’s 11th-generation Core processors, up to an Intel Core i7-1180G7. The 0 in that name designates that this is a low-power processor compared to the 15W models you’ll find on something like the Surface Pro 8, but that helps it be even thinner. This processor still includes Intel Iris Xe graphics to accelerate some tasks that benefit from a more powerful GPU, and in addition to that, all the processor options for the Latitude 7320 Detachable include vPro technology, with additional security built-in to keep your data safe. You can also configure this tablet with up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, so day-to-day performance will be great if you need it to be.
The display on the latitude 7320 Detachable is a 13-inch panel, and just like the Surface Pro 8, it comes in a 3:2 aspect ratio. That taller display is ideal for productivity, since the increased vertical space means you can see more text in documents or webpages, more rows in Excel, or more UI elements in complex apps. In this case, the resolution is Full HD+ (1920 x 1280), so it’s not as sharp as the Surface Pro 8, but it’ll be more than sharp enough for a panel of this size. It’s also just a 60Hz display, so there’s nothing too flashy about this one.
Above the display, there’s a 1080p webcam with Windows Hello support, and there’s another camera on the back, as you might expect from a tablet. The front-facing camera has an additional trick up its sleeve with human presence detection. That means if you have the tablet on a table and you walk away from it, it can automatically lock, and when you come back, it automatically wakes up and unlocks once it sees your face.
What makes this a proper business tablet is everything you can add to it that makes sense for businesses. The Latitude 7320 Detachable has an optional Smart Card reader (contacted or contactless), optional NFC, and optional LTE connectivity. Yes, you can add a cellular connection to this tablet with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 modem, which is going to get you up to 1Gbps download speeds and 150Mbps uploads. Aside from that, you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, which greatly expand your ability to connect extra accessories, plus a headphone jack.
The rest of the design is fairly standard. The chassis uses brushed aluminum, and the display is covered in Gorilla Glass 6 DX. The Latitude 7320 still manages to be very thin and light, though, measuring just 8.44mm in thickness and weighing a mere 789 grams (1.7lbs) without the keyboard. You will probably need to buy the keyboard separately, too, and when this is even more expensive than the Surface Pro 8, it would be nice if that was included. Still, if you need the business-specific features it offers, the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable is one of the best Windows tablets you can buy.
Runner up: Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable
If you’re interested in a business-focused laptop but you want something smaller or more affordable, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is another solid choice. It does some things better than the Dell Latitude 7320, but it’s also missing some things that might be important to you.
Performance-wise, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 isn’t far off from the Latitude 7320 Detachable. You can also get it with up to an Intel Core i7-1180G7, but in this case, you do have the option for some non-vPro processors if you don’t need the additional security. Again, this is one of Intel’s low-power processors, but performance on these CPUs is much better than it used to be, plus you still get Iris Xe graphics. You can also configure the ThinkPad X12 Detachable with up to 16GB of RAM, which is a step down from the Latitude 7320, but you’ll still get great multitasking performance out of it. Finally, you get up to 1TB of storage, too.
The display on the ThinkPad X12 Detachable is smaller, at 12.3 inches, and whether that’s a benefit or not is mostly a matter of preference. It’s still using the tall 3:2 aspect ratio that’s fantastic for productivity, and the resolution is also Full HD+ (1920 x 1280). Because of that, it’s actually a bit sharper than the Latitude 7320’s display, since it’s smaller and has the same number of pixels. However, it doesn’t get as bright.
Just like the other tablets we’ve looked at so far, the ThinkPad X12 Detachable has two cameras. The front-facing camera uses a 5MP sensor and it supports 1080p video and Windows Hello facial recognition. There’s also a privacy cover for the webcam, which is something Dell doesn’t offer in its tablet. On the back, the ThinkPad X12 Detachable has an 8MP camera that should take decent photos in a pinch.
Connectivity-wise, the ThinkPad X12 Detachable doesn’t give you as many options as the Latitude 7320, but it does include two USB Type-C ports, a headphone jack, a Pogo pin connector, and a nanoSIM card slot. That Pogo pin connector may be useful for connecting to certain devices and equipment in business environments, so this is an advantage over Dell’s offering. And yes, you do get the option for LTE cellular connectivity, though the included Fibocom modem is only going to get you Cat9 speeds, up to 450Mbps downloads and 50Mbps uploads.
A benefit of the ThinkPad X12 Detachable’s smaller size is that it’s one of the most portable tablets on this list. It weighs just 760 grams, and it’s 8.8mm thin, so it’s extremely portable. of course, it’s also not as wide or tall as the tablets with larger displays, so it’s definitely the way to go for portability.
What potentially makes the ThinkPad X12 much more worth it is its price point. For a significantly lower price, the Lenovo Thinkpad X12 Detachable offers similar specs, and it already includes a keyboard and the Lenovo Active Pen, so you’re ready to use it for drawing and as a laptop as soon as you get it out of the box. It’s definitely a more affordable package, and in some ways, more complete, too. All in all, these are two great Windows tablets for business, and which one is best is ultimately dependent on your needs.
Best ARM tablet: Surface Pro X
Tablets are meant to be very portable, and when it comes to mobility, ARM processors are often the way to go. We haven’t seen a ton of ARM-based Windows tablets in the past, but the Surface Pro X has been at the forefront of that segment, offering a premium experience and solid all-around performance.
Unlike all the other tablets on this list, the Surface Pro X isn’t powered by an Intel processor. Instead, it’s powered by Microsoft’s SQ1 and SQ2 chipsets, which are slightly tuned-up versions of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx and 8cx Gen 2, respectively. As we’ve mentioned, these are ARM processors, and they have 8 cores – four are high-performance cores for more demanding and active tasks, and four are more power-efficient cores that handle background tasks to save battery. This setup allows batteries to last longer than you’d get out of an Intel-based PC, or, in this case, they make way for an extremely thin design, which we’ll get to in a bit. You can also get the Surface Pro X with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, the latter of which you can remove and replace easily.
One thing that’s worth pointing out is that this is already a somewhat old processor. The Microsoft SQ2 is a slight revision of the Microsoft SQ1, which is two years old at this point, and they’re both sold next to each other. There’s no successor to the processor on the market, though, so this is still the best ARM-based Windows tablet you can find. Another thing to keep in mind is that many apps are still designed for Intel and AMD processors, so to run them on ARM devices, it uses emulation. This can take a hit on performance, but with Windows 11 the vast majority of apps should still work, and more apps are being adapted to the ARM architecture over time.
The display on the Surface Pro X – and in fact, the overall design – is very similar to the Surface Pro 8. It’s a 13-inch panel with a 3:2 aspect ratio, and the resolution is 2880 x 1920. All of this is exactly the same as the Surface Pro 8. The difference is, the Surface Pro X has a 60Hz refresh rate, so it’s not as impressive in that regard. Still, this is an incredibly sharp display, and everything will look fantastic on it. The cameras are pretty much identical, too, with a 5MP/1080p webcam with Windows Hello above the display, and a 10MP/4K camera on the back.
Design-wise, the Surface Pro X is essentially a thinner and lighter Surface Pro 8. That ARM processor allows the tablet to slim down that much more, and it’s the thinnest tablet on this list at a mere 7.3mm. It’s also one of the lightest tablets on this list, weighing just 774 grams without the keyboard (which, by the way, is the same measurement we’ve used for other tablets so far).
It’s also similar to the Surface Pro 8 in terms of ports, but there are two key differences: first, the USB Type-C ports don’t support Thunderbolt, as that’s Intel technology; and second, there’s no headphone jack on this model. That makes the Surface Pro X significantly more limited, and being unable to plug in a headphone jack can certainly be inconvenient, but it was likely unavoidable to get the tablet to be this thin.
The Surface Pro X can also be had with LTE connectivity and in fact, LTE-enabled models were the only option available until recently. Now, you can get it with just Wi-Fi, too. The Surface Pro 8 will also offer LTE versions in the future, but the modem used in those has slightly lower theoretical speeds.
If you need an ARM-based Windows tablet right now, the Surface Pro X is probably the best one you can get. But if you can, it might also make sense to wait and see if we get a new Qualcomm chipset for Windows PCs anytime soon.
Best budget Windows tablet: Surface Go 3
If you can’t be bothered to spend over $1,000 on a Windows tablet but you still want a great experience, the Surface Go 3 is probably for you. This is Microsoft’s entry-level tablet, and while it makes some compromises, it’s a fantastic device for its price.
First off, in terms of performance, the Surface Go 3 naturally doesn’t live up to the other tablets on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. You can get it with either an Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y or an Intel Core i3-10100Y, both of which are dual-core processors. These may not be as powerful as a premium laptop, but they’re still going to handle web browsing and some document writing just fine. The Surface Go 3 has some significant performance improvements over the Surface Go 2, so you’re going to have a solid experience, at the very least.
You can also choose between 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and we’d definitely recommend the upgrade if you can afford it. While 4GB of RAM is enough to run Windows 11, you’ll want 8GB if you plan on using multiple apps at the same time. For storage, you get either 64GB of eMMC memory, or a 128GB SSD, and again, the upgrade is definitely recommended. The RAM and storage upgrades are tied to each other, and getting both makes this a much better device.
The display on the Surface Go 3 is the smallest out of all the tablets on this list, at 10.5 inches, and it uses the same 3:2 aspect ratio as other Surface devices. It’s also packing Full HD+ resolution (1920 x 1280), which is fantastic for a tablet at this price. That’s as sharp as some of the premium laptops we’ve mentioned above – in fact, thanks to the smaller screen, it’s even sharper than those. Plus, you still get a 5MP/1080p webcam on the front with Windows Hello support, and an 8MP camera on the back. Those are all very rare to see in a Windows tablet at this price, and it’s fantastic to get them here.
Thanks to the small form factor, the Surface Go 3 is also the most portable tablet on this list – at least among traditional tablets. It weighs just 544 grams without the keyboard, and it’s just 8.3mm thin. Unlike other Surface tablets, it still uses magnesium, which allows it to be as light and thin as it is. You can easily slip this into almost any bag. For ports, you get USB Type-C, a headphone jack, a microSD card reader, and a Surface Connect port. You don’t get Thunderbolt or anything like USB Type-A, but for a device this small and affordable, that’s much more acceptable than with others.
You do still need to add the price of a keyboard and pen if you want them, but this is a very affordable Windows tablet and it still feels premium in many ways. It has a great display, great cameras, a premium design, and decent performance all-around.
Best foldable Windows tablet: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
We may be cheating a bit with this one because the ThinkPad X1 Fold isn’t just the best foldable Windows tablet, it’s the only one. But if you truly want to be one of the first to own a folding Windows tablet, the X1 Fold may just be worth it, and it actually does a lot right, even if it’s not perfect.
We’ll start with the design and display for this one, since those are the most interesting aspects of it. The ThinkPad X1 Fold is a foldable tablet, and it has a 13.3-inch display that folds in half. This means you can use the entire display as a single screen, but you can fold it for a split-screen experience. You can use a touch keyboard on the bottom half, basically using the tablet as a (roughly) 9-inch laptop, or you can hold it like a book with two apps side by side. If you want to use the entire 13-inch display, you can use the built-in kickstand to prop up the screen and connect a Bluetooth keyboard to use it like a larger laptop.
This may sound clunky in some ways, but the entire device is designed around this. The keyboard is included with the tablet, and it’s the exact size of half of the screen. You can simply fold the tablet with the keyboard inside so it’s always available, and you can type on the keyboard over half of the screen, or remove it to use the full panel. The tablet is designed to keep the screen safe from debris when it’s closed, too, and in fact, it meets Lenovos’ typical durability standard for ThinkPad laptops, so it’s not going to break as easily as you might think. As a bonus, the shell of the tablet is wrapped in leather, so when it’s folded, it feels like a premium notebook in your hand.
The display itself comes in a “2K” resolution (2048 x 1536), and that means it uses the rarely seen 4:3 aspect ratio. For its size, this is going to be a very sharp screen, and when folded in half, you get two 3:2 panels. It’s also an OLED panel, as any foldable display tends to be, but that also includes the benefits of displaying true blacks, vivid colors, and high contrast ratios.
Performance is where this tablet got most of its criticism, however. It’s powered by an Intel Core i5-L16G7, and if that name doesn’t look familiar, that’s only natural. This was a short-lived family of processors Intel called Lakefield. This CPU has 5 cores – one is a performance core that handles the more demanding tasks, and four are more efficient cores meant to handle background tasks and provide better battery life and a smaller package overall. This resulted in below-average performance, especially considering the price of this device. The tablet also only has 8GB of RAM, which isn’t exceptional for a premium tablet. However, you can configure it with up to 1TB of storage, so it was still capable in that regard.
In terms of ports, you get two USB Type-C connections, and that’s about it. You can add 5G cellular support if you want to connect to the internet on the road. In fact, this is the only tablet on the list that supports 5G, so in that regard, it’s the most advanced of the bunch.
It’s hard to say that the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is worth the money if you just want a good tablet. But if you want an extremely unique piece of hardware that’s very thoughtfully designed, the ThinkPad X1 Fold is exactly that.
And those are the best Windows tablets you can buy today. Indeed, it’s not the longest list, because there aren’t a ton of Windows tablets to choose from. But that doesn’t mean that the ones that do exist aren’t great, and the Surface Pro 8 is an absolutely fantastic tablet in almost every way. It has a sharp display with a high refresh rate, high-quality cameras, a modern design, and high-end performance. For the vast majority of people, it’s hard to go wrong with this tablet, though the other options on this list are great too.
Personally speaking, the Surface Go 3 is one of the more interesting devices on the list, thanks to the affordable price tag and the fact that I’m not necessarily interested in a high-performance tablet. But you’re bound to be interested in something else, and they’re all good choices.