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More and more professionals are using tablets for work rather than traditional laptops or desktops, and with good reason. Their lightweight and compact design make them great for traveling, and most tablets are equipped with the latest processors, high-capacity solid-state drives and hard drives, and improved security.
Some tablets not only have Wi-Fi capabilities but also offer LTE cellular data connections, too. Improved OLED displays and high-resolution screens give you better color ranges and detailing for precise artwork.
Whether you're a creative professional or a loyal Apple user, here are the best business tablets available today.
Best Overall: Microsoft Surface Pro X
The Microsoft Surface Pro X is an excellent 2-in-1 tablet. Powered by an updated SQ1 processor and Windows 10 Home, you'll get quick access to files and apps you need for work. There's also 8 or 16GB of RAM and the choice between 128, 256, and 512GB of memory storage. Even more, the tablet features LTE cellular data connections so you can work without an internet connection. With a 13-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth capabilities, you can connect the Surface Signature Keyboard and Surface Pen to the device.
This tablet, which has a folding kickstand on the back, measures just 7.3 millimeters thin and weighs under 2 pounds—making it slim and lightweight for travel. The rechargeable battery gives you up to 13 hours of use on a single charge.
Best for Creative Professionals: Wacom Cintiq 16
Ideal for digital artists, animators, and 3D modelers, the Wacom Cintiq 16 is a 15.6-inch display with 1080p full HD resolution and over 16.7 million colors. It also comes with a battery-free pen that draws power from the tablet. The pen features two programmable side buttons for quick access to frequently used brushes or settings in art programs like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Paintshop Pro.
The tablet has folding feet that give you 19 degrees of incline for a more comfortable drawing. The screen also features a scratch-resistant and anti-glare coating for protection and increased visibility. To charge the device, connect it to your Windows PC or Mac with a 3-in-1 HDMI cable.
Best for Travel: Google Pixel Slate
For anyone who often travels for work, the Google Pixel Slate is the perfect tablet. It runs on ChromeOS for a streamlined experience and is powered by an 8th generation Intel Core m3 processor for plenty of power. The tablet has 8GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD for blazing-fast boot times and access to your files and programs. It weighs 1.6 pounds and measures 7 millimeters thin, so you can slip it into a laptop or carry-on bag. With a 12.3-inch screen, the tablet supports split-screen and multi-window browsing for seamless multitasking.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you to connect wireless keyboards and stylus pens to the tablet. It also has two USB-C inputs for connection to wired peripherals, headsets, and an external 4K display. The battery gives you up to 10 hours on a single charge.
Related: The Best Note-Taking Tablets
Best Budget: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a great, budget-friendly option. It runs on ChromeOS for a streamlined work experience and access to apps like Google Docs and Google Sheets right out of the box. Powered by an 8-core MediaTek Helio P60T processor, the tablet has 4GB of RAM and a 128GB hard drive for storage. With Bluetooth, you can wirelessly connect the included keyboard and other peripherals.
There are also USB-C ports for hardwired connections and to charge the battery. Along with a 3.50-millimeter audio jack, the tablet has both front- and rear-facing cameras. Plus, it has a battery life of up to 10 hours.
Related: The Best Lenovo Laptops
Best for Apple Users: Apple iPad Pro
Perfect for loyal Apple users, this 11-inch iPad Pro boasts edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display technology for true-to-life color. It's powered by an A12X chip and can perform up to 5 trillion processes a second, giving you unparalleled speed and power over previous iPad models. With iOS 12, you'll get access to new features like Group FaceTime for virtual meetings, as well as split-screen windows for multitasking.
The tablet's front-facing camera uses Face ID for password-free protection, while the rear-facing camera can shoot video in 4K at both 30 and 60fps. You can choose Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi/LTE models for internet access without a network. There are also memory storage options available from as low as 64GB to 1TB. The battery gives you up to 10 hours of use.
Related: The Best Desktop Computers
Best HD Display: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
With a high resolution of 2560 x 1600, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 wins points for superior detailing. The tablet is powered by an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and runs on the Android 9.0 operating system. Although it has 128GB of memory storage, there is a microSD card slot if you need more space. It also comes with an S-Pen as well as Samsung's Bixby virtual assistant built-in.
You can control other smart devices in your home and even make calls with this tablet. A fingerprint reader ensures your work and personal data are protected. With both Bluetooth and USB-C connections, you can use wired and wireless peripherals like keyboards and headsets. Better yet, the battery gives you up to 15 hours of use.
Related: The Best Business Laptops
Runner-Up, Best HD Display: Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha
The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha tablet uses a QLED screen, giving you 1440p HD resolution and an exceptional color range. It's available with either a 13.3-inch or 15.6-inch touchscreen, and the 360-degree hinge lets you quickly switch from laptop to tablet mode. You can choose between 10th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, 8 or 12GB of RAM, and 256 or 512GB SSD.
With an HDMI port, you can connect your tablet to an external display for presentations or working across different monitors. Along with an HD webcam, there's a dual-microphone array and Alexa built-in with this device. The fingerprint reader also allows you to protect your data and personal information from unauthorized access. Plus, the battery gives you over 18 hours of use on a single charge.
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Best for Travel: Microsoft Surface GO
This compact tablet is just over 1 pound, making it perfect for portability. The full HD front- and rear-facing cameras can keep you connected to client meetings (and take great photos), while the Surface Go Signature Type Cover offers a backlit keyboard and trackpad for getting reports done after a day of travel. You won’t get as much memory and storage in this model as you can with other business tablets, but it’s a good backup tablet to bring with you to a conference or meeting.
Best Lower Cost Apple: iPad Air
People who do multimedia work will enjoy working on the second Apple tablet to make the list. The 10.9-inch iPad Air offers enhanced graphics, advanced video editing, and machine learning capabilities, powered by its A14 Bionic chip. It pairs well with the Apple Pencil for note-taking or illustrations, too. Choose between 64 and 256 GB models.
The mighty Microsoft Surface Pro X (view at Amazon) is tough to beat as it allows people the best of both worlds—part laptop, part tablet. It’s slim and lightweight but has a higher price point and is on the larger side with a 13-inch screen. Of course, if you’re an Apple enthusiast, then the iPad Pro would be the better pick for you (view at Apple). The top-notch speed and crisp display make it a powerful tool in your business arsenal, especially if you use it for video meetings. If you don’t want to spend a ton, budget shoppers will be well-served by the Lenovo Chromebook Duet (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Shopping for a Business Tablet
For business on the go, you want to make sure that you can always stay connected. Think about if you prefer to have LTE connectivity or if you can get by on WiFi. That will help narrow down your choices.
Most business tablets should get you through the 9-to-5 work day, but if you need to power through for some overtime, you’ll want to check out the battery life.
If you’re going to be using multiple programs and apps at once or advanced graphic design or multimedia software, you’ll want to pay attention to RAM. Keep in mind that the operating system of your table will use up a bit of RAM as well. The other spec to check is memory storage, especially if you plan to download and store large files.
Business tablets can either use a hybrid design, in which there is a detachable keyboard so you can use it as either a laptop or a tablet, or it can be a regular tablet that can be connected to a separate keyboard using Bluetooth or plugged in that is bought separately. Depending on your work style, you might rarely need a keyboard (such as if you’re an illustrator), or you may spend the day typing away.
What are the advantages of business tablets?
Business tablets are lightweight, portable, but powerful pieces of technology. They allow people to work from anywhere using the same sophisticated software that you’d find on a desktop or laptop, but without the bulk. Usually, if there’s a keyboard, it’s detachable, making it easy to tap and swipe using a stylus or fingertip. They also travel well and can get you through the workday when fully charged.
What’s the difference between a tablet and a laptop?
Choosing between a tablet and laptop really comes down to preference and how you plan to use the device. Although there is a lot of overlap between the two, especially for hybrid 2-in-1 styles that can work as a laptop or a tablet, there are a couple of key differences. The first is size. Tablets are usually smaller and lighter and have a longer battery life, making them ideal for travel or on-the-go business presentations or processing sales. Although tablets can often handle common business software suites, people who used very specialized software will likely need a laptop. People who do a ton of typing might also opt for a laptop, which has a larger keyboard and screen size. But keep in mind that tablets can be paired with an external keyboard as well. Price-wise, you can find both laptops and tablets to fit every budget.
Are there any disadvantages of tablets?
Tablets can do an awful lot, but there are a few drawbacks to consider. For starters, they may not be best for people doing long typing sessions when it comes to ergonomics such as typing comfort or screen size. There’s also no keyboard and mouse (although some have keyboards that attach, or you can connect to one wirelessly).