What do you do when you leave your desk at work and need to stay connected and probably need to accomplish a few tasks on the go? You can’t rely on your bulky laptop or functionally limited smartphone so your best option is to carry a hybrid (2 in 1) business tablet along and continue managing your work from wherever you are.
The modern tablet has evolved to become a light portable notebook built on an operating system platform similar to a mobile phone but with more advanced features, functionalities, and convenience.
Why Do you need a Tablet for Business?
Compared to the traditional laptop, tablets provide more flexibility, convenience, and a few other benefits. In fact, companies such as Google with its Google Pixel Slate and Apple’s iPad Pro are now providing high-end laptop hybrid tablets that work better than most traditional laptops.
In terms of portability, the tablet is definitely the better option. While a majority of laptops come in 12 to 16-inch sizes, a majority of tablets are only 4 to 11 inches and easier to carry around.
Battery life is another area where tablets outperform most laptops. Thanks to their smaller sizes, tablets have a longer battery life. For example, Apple’s iPad Pro and iPad Air 2 have batteries with up to 10 hours of regular usage time. If you need a laptop with a similar battery life, be prepared to pay way much more.
The tablet is more versatile, flexible, and provides you with more screen space than the smartphone. You can even take photos, shoot videos, conduct video chat and conferencing, and do a lot more than you could with a laptop. It does most of the work done by a laptop and more.
However, given the numerous tablet options and brands on the market today, you are probably wondering which tablet best suits your business needs. In this review, we look at the top 10 business tablets for the money available today as well as the pros and cons of each option.
How Did We Choose These Products?
Before we get to the list of our best tablet for business products, let’s fast disclose the factors we considered in choosing these products. In our tests we used the following factors to narrow down our options and identify the best business tablet products:
- The type of operating system used by the tablet. We tested different tablet products that use different operating systems. This review includes at least one Android tablet, iOS tablet, and a Chrome OS tablet.
- The key specs of each tablet model or brand
- Battery life
- The tablet’s processing power
- Size of the tablet as well as screen size
- Overall design and display function
- Storage space and overall performance
Recommended Best Business Tablets for Work
Here are our top business tablet picks. The tablets are powerful enough to handle you day to day business operations and productivity. We also recommend the following tablets for students as well.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – Best Gift For Students
- Brand: Microsoft Surface Pro
- CPU: i5-8350U – i7-8650U
- RAM: 8 – 16 GB
- Storage: 128 GB – 1 TB
- Screen Size: 12.3 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 2736 x 1824 – 267 ppi
- Battery Life: 13 hours approx
If you are in the market for a fast and durable Windows tablet, then you may need to pay close attention to the new Surface Pro 6. Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 6 in October 2018 as an upgraded version of the previous models in the Surface Pro line. Overall, the Surface Pro 6 does not disappoint. It is a more refined solid business tablet with a gorgeous design, high-quality build, and sleek black color shell.
Compared to the previous models in the same line, the new Surface Pro 6 is faster and more durably designed. It has a longer-lasting battery, comes with quad-core processing, and a host of handy mobile apps to help you run your business on the go. However, the Windows tablet lacks the Type Cover you’d need to turn it into a laptop-like device and a Surface Pen Stylus, which in our opinion, is rather mean considering its price. Overall, it is a great upgrade from the Surface Pro 2017 and presently the best Windows tablet for business that you can buy.
Reasons to buy Microsoft Surface Pro 6
2. iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) – Best Battery Life
- Brand: Apple iPad Pro
- CPU: A12X Bionic
- RAM: 6 GB
- Storage: 64 GB – 1 TB
- Screen Size: 12.9 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 2732 x 2048 – 264 ppi
- Battery Life: 10 hours approx
Most people who have used this tablet will agree that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is one of the most powerful and versatile tablets to ever come from Apple so far. Available for around $1k or $1,327 with the Apple pen and keyboard, the 2020 version of iPad Pro 12.9 features a fast and powerful A12X Bionic processor unrivaled even by Core i7 powered laptops. It is also quite portable and weighs only 1.4 pounds.
Compared to its predecessors, Apple has given the new iPad Pro a makeover similar to the iPhone X in terms of performance and functionality. It features a full-screen design, gesture-based interface which means you no longer need the Home Button and a Face ID too. The new Apple Pencil feels more comfortable in your hand and, best of all, the tablet’s battery life is awesome. It gives you well over 13 hours of battery life.
Another great plus in this Apple tablet for business is the sheer versatility and performance of its touch and pencil functions. These two features alone make the new iPad Pro 12.9 a perfect option for those who like interacting via pencil and touch. It is a faster tablet with a slimmer, lighter, and full-screen design.
Reasons to buy iPad Pro 12.9″
3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 – Convertible Windows Tablet
- Brand: Lenovo ThinkPad X1
- CPU: i5-8250U – i7-8650U
- RAM: 8 GB – 16 GB
- Storage (SSD): 256 GB – 1 TB
- Screen Size: 13 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 3000 x 2000 – 277 ppi
- Battery Life: 8.5 hours approx
The ThinkPad X1 Tablet from Lenovo deserves a spot in our list of the best tablets for business primarily because it is a productivity-focused tablet with everything you need to keep in touch with your work wherever you go. It has a convertible design and efficiently engineered to handle all the business apps you regularly use at work. Despite its numerous features and functions, the ThinkPad 1X is a super-slim and easily portable tablet with all the hallmarks of Lenovo ThinkPad devices including the signature red color scheme, perfect finish, TrackPoint, Accu-Type keys shape, and everything else down to the ThinkPad logo at the back.
The Windows tablet is powered by Intel’s 7th generation Core i5-7Y57 processor capable of handling any task you throw at it with great ease. It also features a powerful 8GB LPDDR 3 RAM that does a great job in multitasking and a 12-inch IPS touchscreen display with 2160 x 1440 pixels resolution. The tablet also comes with a handy stylus that makes it easy to do everything. This includes signing documents and annotating images.
It also has full support for all Office apps that you regularly use on your laptop. The ThinkPad gives you all the connectivity options you may need such as dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and 4G LTE. It is a powerful 2-in-1 tablet that gives you better productivity and convenience than most of the laptops out there.
Reasons to buy Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
4. Google Pixel Slate – Best For Business Meetings
- Brand: Google Pixel
- CPU: 8th Gen Core m3 – i5 – i7
- RAM: 8 GB – 16 GB
- Storage (SSD): 64 GB – 256 GB
- Screen Size: 12.3 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 3000 x 2000 – 293 ppi
- Battery Life: 10 hours approx
If you are looking for a premium Chrome OS tablet then the Google Pixel Slate is just right for you. In this tablet, Google follows the legacy of the previous Pixelbook model to create a top-end product in the convertible tablet-laptop market presently dominated by Microsoft’s Surface Pro series and Apple’s iPad Pro. The key selling point of the Pixel Slate, which sets it apart from the rest, is its access to both Chrome OS and Google Play app stores. The tablet even allows you to side-load Linux applications, which makes it the best convertible tablet on the market so far with more desktop features and services than the rest.
The Pixel Slate does indeed deliver, thanks to its top-notch hardware and software. It is an excellent combination of tablet and laptop with access to Google’s entire suite of apps. Its Chrome OS has also been updated with more intelligent tricks such as natural writing recognition and nifty interface features similar to Android’s. It has a great looking and performing screen as well as high-quality sound output.
However, some of the tablet’s features borrowed from Android still look buggy but we hope they’ll be fixed soon. Otherwise, there’s so much you’ll love in the Pixel Slate including the beautiful screen, great sound, a comfy keyboard, and long battery life.
Reasons to buy Google Pixel Slate
5. Microsoft Surface Go – Best For Business Meetings
- Brand: Microsoft Surface Go
- CPU: Pentium Gold 4415Y
- RAM: 4 GB – 8 GB
- Storage (SSD): 64 GB – 128 GB
- Screen Size: 10.6 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 1800 x 1200 – 217 ppi
- Battery Life: 9.5 hours approx
The Microsoft Surface Go is a great choice for anyone looking for cheap tablets for business. It is the best budget tablet for business with all the key features you need to run your business on the go. It is a thin, lightweight, and portable great-looking tablet that you can count on to get the job done. Microsoft has really packed everything they could in this tablet and provided it at a low price. It is a perfect choice if you are always working while traveling. This is thanks to its thin slender design, reliable build, and the excellent performance that Microsoft products are known for.
Unlike other tablets that seem to focus more on productivity such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and the iPad Pro, the Surface Go comes with two major advantages. The first advantage lies in the fact that it runs on Windows OS which is more versatile than both Android and iOS. The second advantage is the Surface Go’s keyboard, which includes a touchpad that allows you to control the cursor more conveniently without using the pen or the touch screen. It is the best tablet with keyboard and pen.
Other cool features of this affordable business tablet include a neat vibrant display and a fast working Pentium processor. The Surface Go would definitely rank as our top budget tablet pick except for its comparatively shorter battery life.
Reasons to buy Microsoft Surface Go
6. iPad Air 3
- Brand: Apple iPad Air
- CPU: A12 Bionic
- RAM: 3 GB
- Storage: 64 – 256 GB
- Screen Size: 10.5 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 2224 x 1668 – 264 ppi
- Battery Life: 6 hours approx
The 2019 version of iPad Air fits the huge gap between Apple’s low-end $329 iPad and the pricier iPad Pro. The iPad Air is a huge leap from the cheaper iPad, which can still run basic computing tasks and Apple’s apps, but cannot match the $799 iPad Pro, which comes with a crazy-fast processor and bigger, more beautiful screen.
Available at a reasonable price point, the iPad Air (2019) comes with a bigger and better screen, more storage, and better performance than the original iPad tablet. It even supports Apple’s Smart keyboard case. It is a great upgrade to users of the iPad. The tablet’s entry-level version gives you 32GB of storage while the latest version has a whopping 256GB of storage, which is enough to handle all the business stuff and data you need to carry with you everywhere you go. In terms of design, the tablet is available in silver and gold options, each featuring a white or space grey front and a glossy black face.
It also comes with 4G connectivity built-in and Apple’s eSIM tech, which allows you to simply buy a 4G SIM card and choose the right data plan to start enjoying fast 4G-internet. If you are in the market for a reasonably priced Apple tablet for business with most of the features and functions of a normal laptop, then the new iPad Air is a great option to consider.
Reasons to buy iPad Air 3
7. Galaxy Tab S4
- Brand: Samsung Galaxy Tab
- CPU: Qualcomm MSM8998
- RAM: 4 GB
- Storage: 64 GB – 256 GB
- Screen Size: 10.5 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 2560 x 1600 – 287 ppi
- Battery Life: 8.3 hours approx
This list would be incomplete without mentioning Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4, one the best budget tablet. Samsung is an industry leader in mobile technology and their Galaxy Tab S4 is a good example of Samsung’s excellent Android tablet tech. The Galaxy Tab S4 is a bit pricey but for your money you’ll still get an awesome screen for web browsing, watching videos and business presentations, a nice keyboard, mouse, pen, and much more. The screen is colorful and sharp, which is one thing Samsung is well known for.
The Android tablet comes in a 10.5-inch size and is lighter than the Ultrabook even with the keyboard and pen. Samsung has really gone to great lengths to transform the Galaxy Tab S4 into a real portable computer although the tablet still runs on Android 8.1 OS. It has a desktop-style design with improved multitasking abilities thanks to the new Samsung DeX technology.
This is a high-end tablet by all means with a fast processor, perfect HDR OLED screen, and the S-Pen too. It is a great option for Android diehards interested in a tablet for work with a better interface.
Reasons to buy Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
8. Lenovo Ideapad Miix 520
- Brand: Lenovo Ideapad Miix
- CPU: Intel i5-8250U
- RAM: 4 – 8 GB
- Storage: 128 – 256 GB
- Screen Size: 12.2 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 1920 x 1200 – 186 ppi
- Battery Life: 7.5 hours approx
The Miix 520 is so far the best hybrid tablet from Lenovo. It is a Windows tablet that features 8th Gen Intel CPU, better connectivity, a keyboard cover and much more. If you are looking for a solid Windows convertible tablet for business, the Miix 520 is one of the best options on the market today.
Powered by 8GB RAM and a 2.3GHz Core i5-6200 CPU, the Lenovo Miix 520 delivers unrivaled speed and performance for the productivity-minded business person. It gives you great streaming experience even for 1080p videos and YouTube. You’ll also love the fact that this Lenovo tablet has an ample 12.2-inch display which makes watching videos just as easy as sending business emails. You can open multiple Excel files or even split the screen to make your work easier and faster.
As a Windows tablet, the Miix 520 supports all the native software applications you regularly use on your laptop or desktop. It has a great webcam and camera although Lenovo could have done a little better in capturing videos. However, if you want a fast-performing tablet with stylus and a detachable screen, the Miix 520 will not disappoint.
Reasons to buy Lenovo Miix 520
9. Acer Switch 5
- Brand: Acer Switch
- CPU: i3-7130U – i5-7200U
- RAM: 4 – 8 GB
- Storage: 128 – 256 GB
- Screen Size: 12 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 2160 x 1440 – 216 ppi
- Battery Life: 8.5 hours approx
The Acer Switch 5 is the perfect option for users who want the versatility of high-end tablets such as the Microsoft Surface Pro without paying exorbitant prices. However, if you want the same functionality of a Surface Pro at a cheaper price in the Acer Switch, you’ll have to make a compromise in sound quality and resolution. Otherwise, the Switch 5 from Acer is a great business tablet for any business person who wants to save some money yet still have a high-end tablet.
The Acer Switch 5 is basically an upgraded version of the previous Acer Switch Alpha 12 tablet. It comes with a tweaked hinge, an active stylus, and upgraded components to improve performance and overall build. It is a convertible workhorse but without the sleek looks of the Surface Pro. The Acer Switch 5 is a Windows tablet running on powerful Intel Core i5-7200U CPU and 8GB of RAM. For storage, the tablet comes with 256GB PCIe SSD.
It is designed to handle both light and demanding tasks with much ease. Another great feature of the Acer Switch 5 is its liquid-cooling system which ensures that the tablet runs near-silently. It is the perfect Windows convertible tablet available at a bargain price.
Reasons to buy Acer Switch 5
10. Asus Transformer 3 Pro
- Brand: ASUS Transformer
- CPU: i5 6200U – i7 6500U
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 128 GB – 1 TB
- Screen Size: 12.6 Inches
- Resolution – Pixel: 2880 x 1920 – 275 ppi
- Battery Life: 9.5 hours approx
The Asus Transformer 3 Pro comes with impressive specs including an Intel Core i7-6500U CPU, a whopping 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD storage. It is unrivaled in terms of speed, power, and storage in the tablets market. It is a versatile tablet that can convert into a laptop via its keyboard dock. Its 39Wh battery works great but not as well as that of the other convertible tablets in its size range.
As the best tablet with keyboard and stylus, the Transformer 3 Pro also features an impressive build besides its powerful specs. Its chassis is magnesium alloy which is one of the major characteristics of pricier higher-end laptops. In comparison with the wildly popular Microsoft Surface Pro 4, the Transformer 3 Pro is a clear winner with a faster processor, larger SSD, and plenty of RAM in a convertible tablet.
It is a high-end 2-in-1 ultraportable tablet with a robust kickstand, keyboard, superior design, and top-of-range components in a competitively priced tablet. If you want a powerful tablet with the right specs and laptop-like build at a more reasonable price, you wouldn’t go wrong with the Transformer 3 Pro. The only downside is its battery life which is comparatively shorter but nevertheless charges quite fast. It reaches 60% in less than an hour. The tablet’s power adapter is also smaller than that of other tablets and will not take much space in your bag.
Reasons to buy Asus Transformer 3 Pro
Business Tablet Buying Guide
Before we dive into the conclusion of the topic, we recommend you to go through the buying guide for business tablet. Our buying guide puts the knowledge in your hand, so you choose the best tablet that suits your needs.
First and foremost, you must identify your need for a business tablet. It will help you lookout for the ideal features that you require for your business or employees.
A tablet can serve almost all the needs of a business, not just helping you with those convoluted excel graphs. You might require it for one of the following reasons:
- Media consumption: watching online videos and audios, surfing the internet, and using cloud business applications.
- Financial Operations: accessing banking operations and making payments using a credit card on the go.
- Handling Daily Business Operations: work from anywhere; sitting in the back seat of a car, during flights, cross-over at the airport or uninvited flight delays.
- Meetings: Skype, sending emails, and business appointment management.
Features to look on a Tablet for Business needs
Hybrid or 2-in-1 tablet is powerful enough to replace your primary laptop or PC. Always look for features that you need for your daily business operations, like computing power, wireless connectivity, and longer battery life. Given below is a list of features that you should take note of, and keep in mind while going through the review section of this article.
The storage is an essential feature that you ought to consider when buying a tablet. Work documents, presentations, memos, proposals, client files – all of these are too much data. You must ideally be looking for a tablet that offers enough built-in storage, something with 64 GB or higher. Watch out for processors, since they provide the much-needed horsepower to stack all of this data up in the system.
The whole point of a tablet is its portability. If your tablet needs charging now and then, settle for a laptop! It would be best if you were on the lookout for battery size between 6000mAh to 8000mAh. As for the smaller size tablets, you want something in the range of 3000-4000mAh. Your tablet should come equipped with long battery life if you intend to spend most of your daily shift at a field or on-the-go!
As for the evaluation of overall performance, you will have to consider features such as processor speed, and RAM. The processor has to be an informed choice as it is essentially the brain of your tablet. You will mainly concern yourself with its speed and number of cores. Higher the speed, better it is, and a higher number of cores will spread the load onto each one for the various tasks at hand. Same as, a higher the RAM, the more efficient your tablet will be when it comes to multi-tasking!
A stylus or a digital pen can be handy for business. It is not just designed for graphics tablets or designers and artists. It can also be used for your day to day operations like to sign digital documents and to take hand-written notes. With the help of an active digitizer, you can draw or write directly onto the screen without intervening with the pen’s input. Almost all the top-rated brands now support the stylus with their tablets.
A tablet, especially one dedicated to your business needs to have a WiFi, LTE, Bluetooth, and modern USB Ports. Features like WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB ports are essential for everyday use. Without the internet, can you even breathe these days? No, right! As for Bluetooth, it allows you to connect your wireless keyboards, and mouse to your tablet. A USB port is also required, for using RF technology-powered wireless peripherals.
The operating system determines your choice of applications. The OS like Windows 10, iOS and Android will provide you with a range of business applications, but these may be limited to each one’s vast portfolio. Each OS will feature a few remote applications, while others may require a download or use of cloud technology.
Screen and Display
A smaller screen will suffice If portability is your preference. However, if you wish to avoid feeling cramped while performing heavy tasks, then you must go for bigger screen tablets. Don’t forget to look up aspect ratios, pixels, and graphics when choosing a tablet. Portability matters but so does screen size.
Best Operating System for a Business Tablet
Operating system choice takes precedence when you are deciding on business hardware. Here’s what each operating system in the market has to offer, to fulfill all of your business needs:
Android will bring you variable features from each tablet manufacturer. Samsung modifies it and brings you tablets that ensure gilt-edge performance, speed, and storage. Amazon uses another modified version called the Fire OS that offers an easy-to-use interface and features from the likes of Mayday.
The Chromium OS has become quite popular in recent times. Tablets like Google Pixel Slate comes with Chrome OS. However, you can only use Chrome OS based tablets as a secondary device. Since there are not much of business application available in the store.
Apple recently announced the iPadOS 13 for tablets, which renamed version of Apple’s iOS. It is one of the popular OS due to its phenomenal easy-to-use and clean interface. Moreover, it offers you a myriad of business applications to choose and install. Furthermore, iOS is also excellent for business-sensitive data, which needs high-end security and encryption.
Windows 10 is a popular choice of OS if you already own a Windows computer. A hybrid tablet like Surface Pro 6 can run all of the desktop applications and allow you to share documents seamlessly in between Windows devices. It’s integrative, and a leading choice when it comes to business tablets.
More Hybrid Laptops with Tablet Mode features for Business Use
Devices like Microsoft Surface Book are the known as the best companion for business and office employees. Here we have few 2-in-1 Laptops recommendations that you might be looking for:
Surface Book 2 (Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Business)
The Microsoft Surface Book is consider as one of the best hybrid laptops category. You can easily convert this laptop to tablet mode by detaching the screen from keyboard. However, this is one of the expensive device, and most people can’t afford it.
Dell XPS 15 – 2-in-1 Laptop
Another convertible 2-in-1 Laptop with 360 rotation screen. Unlike, Microsoft Surface Book it’s not a detachable screen, but to use it in tablet mode you need to rotate it’s screen to the back of the keyboard.
HP Spectre x360
With sleek look and ultraportable design the HP Spectre X360 is a popular business laptop. Overall look of the design is professional and lighter in weight as well.
ASUS ZENBOOK FLIP 13
The ZenBook’s are popular in both business and student laptop category. If you are looking for something under-budget that can cover your daily business operation, this might be something that you should go with.
Conclusion – Which is the Best Business Tablet?
Business tablets come in different styles, designs, and strengths. Finding the right hybrid tablet that meets your business needs and budget may also be an uphill task given the huge number of brands and models on the market today. However, to help you narrow down your choices, you will need to look at some important factors such as your personal needs and expectations, the gadget’s battery life, key performance specs including the processor, connectivity, screen resolution, storage, wireless keyboard, and stylus just to mention a few.
The Best Tablets covered in this review come with different features and functionalities to suit every business person’s needs and budgets. We have covered both high-end and affordable options with pros and cons for each product to give you more realistic expectations when shopping for the best tablet for business owners.
However, given the proliferation of top brand clones in today’s tablet market, the products discussed will help you separate real tablets from the clones. We nevertheless recommend that you do due diligence as you go through the products to find the one with all the features you need in your business.