Tablets have come a far way from when they were first introduced. You can do so much more than just use them to scroll social media sites and watch YouTube. Paired with a keyboard, tablets can be used for work purposes as well. So we decided to compile the list of the best tablets with keyboards to help you decide one easier.
So tablets or tablet computers have been in idea way before modern smartphones were invented. It is just that shrinking micro transistors in computers and the innovation of smartphones just pushed the idea into reality. Today tablets are capable of so much, you can work on them as you work on a laptop.
And the best part about it? They are super light, super portable, and convenient. When paired with keyboards, they become work machines. And honestly, most companies prefer using tablets. Whether it is to take notes, find information quickly, tablets are just more convenient.
They are way lighter than laptops, they can be used without their keyboards as well. You are saving a lot of paper when taking notes on these tablets instead of a notebook. Saving paper is detrimental these days if you want to save the environment.
So using a tablet is also environment friendly. You are connected with the internet all the time, so searching for things is easy. Working becomes so much more convenient as well. I think it is safe to say that it can help improve productivity in work environments.
While we are at it, let us go over a quick buyer’s guide to understand the differences between tablets.
What to consider when buying a tablet with keyboard?
These days with CPUs shrinking to very small sizes, you can fit them in tablets with ease. There are many tablet computers being used by professional content creators for their work. For instance, the Microsoft Surface series has some of the best tablets with keyboards.
The basic differences in most tablets are based on their OS and CPU. There are also differences in build qualities and of course, there is also the difference in specifications.
Computers, in general, have a few operating systems that can be installed on them. These operating systems are very different from each other. For instance, if you took something like Linux or Windows, or macOS or ChromeOS. These are very different operating systems.
The exact same case is with the tablets, Apple has iPadOS in their iPad Pro. Microsoft Surface Go has Windows installed in it so that is different than Apple. Samsung has Android, so that is totally different than both Apple and Microsoft.
Each and every one of these operating systems is very different from each other. So if you want to choose from one of the tablets with keyboards from our list, do pick the one which you are more comfortable with. An operating system’s UI can make a huge difference as otherwise, you might end up wasting time learning the basics all over again.
Unless you have time, we would suggest you pick something you are familiar with.
CPU or Processor
Right now there are a few companies making their own CPUs for tablets with keyboards. If we were to pick up some very common ones, there is, of course, Intel processors, Apple has its own as well. There is also Qualcomm Snapdragon processors which are used in smartphones.
Choosing a different processor over the other will give you different performance. Something like a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU will give different performance scores than something with an Intel CPU.
So most tablets and smartphones have keyboard support. Some tablets already include their proprietory keyboards with the device. The keyboards are attached to the tablets in different ways.
But most of these have a design where when you attach the tablet with the keyboard, they look like a laptop. This kind of design is very popular these days and has been adopted by most tablet computers.
However, each tablet has a different design that can either make them look distinct or similar to laptops. You can go with whatever you prefer, or whichever is more convenient for you.
Battery life is something that is important in any mobile device. Whether you are talking about a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. The invention of lithium-ion batteries has truly been a game-changer. Before that batteries were not as portable neither could be charged and power things with such a frequency.
When the lithium-ion batteries came out, it truly changed how we see mobile devices today. It was truly the invention of the decade, and we have Sony and Asahi Kasei to thank for its conception and invention.
Having such a powerful and portable power source has given a boost to technology that was truly needed. Without this invention, we might have not advanced as much as we have in portable and mobile technology.
You can see lithium-ion batteries on laptops, mobile devices, and even electric cars. So Sony and Asahi Kasei’s work truly pushes us to the future.
The Best Tablets with Keyboards in 2021 Reviewed
The Microsoft Surface Pro X is far from perfect but, for a 2-in-1 tablet, has all the tools. It’s great for office or personal use due to its accessibility, convertibility, and portability.
Microsoft Surface Pro X is one of the best 2-in-1 tablets available in the market right now. Although a bit on the premium side, the Surface Pro X features some impressive specs. It does have some additional accessories that are sold separately.
Microsoft Surface Pro X comes in matte black color giving it a crisp look. It is extremely thin at just 7.3 mm. It stands at about 1.7 lbs in the weight department making it lightweight and portable.
It features a 13-inch touchscreen that can be operated either by hand or Slim Pen. The two cameras (front and rear) are included; These are perfect for video calls. An additional feature has been added to make the video calls more direct, thanks to the onboard neural engine. It comes with Windows 10 Home operating system.
The Surface Pro X packs some decent computing capability. The 2 processors (SQ1 and SQ2) provide amazing processing power to get your tasks done quickly. RAM and storage options aren’t bad either; The Surface Pro X offers variable RAM and storage options as per your requirements.
Perhaps its best selling point; Microsoft Surface Pro X has a battery time of up to 15 hours AND features fast charging. Now, you can focus more on your tasks without worrying about charging for long periods. The tablet also features a ‘Studio Mode’ for easy graphics or writing work.
We really love how Apple has started to take big steps these days. From ditching Intel to making its own in-house silicon, and at the center is the Apple iPad Pros performance.
Apple was making headlines lately after it had announced to bid Intel farewell. Although support for Intel CPUs in the older MacBooks is not going to be over anytime soon, it is still huge news. The second thing that brought tech enthusiasts attention to Apple was the introduction of the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro.
It was announced earlier this year, but everyone was anticipating it hugely. The new Magic Keyboard by Apple is the perfect companion for an iPad Pro to make it a replacement for your laptop.
The iPad Pro needs no introductions, it has been a favorite for designers and artists for quite a while now. It is one of the best tablets out there, and it is remarkably well-performing.
Artists and designers usually pair it with the Apple Pen to create intricate and detailed art. In fact, most artists these days prefer using the Apple iPad Pro for their artwork. Instagram is full of such artists.
But with the announcement of the Magic Keyboard, you can expect people to do professional work using it as well. You can edit 4K videos on the Apply iPad Pro on the supported software. If the iPad had support for more intricate software it would be hugely popular.
But with the amount of software already offered on the iPadOS, you can still edit photos, videos, and designs. And whenever you want to, just take out the iPad from the Magic keyboard and carry it around like a tablet.
We believe the Magic Keyboard will be a game-changer and soon enough people will prefer the iPad Pro over MacBook Air. The keyboard has the perfect amount of travel and feels to it. In fact, we found it better to be some of the laptops we have reviewed in the past.
Again though, the magic keyboard and the pen must be bought separately. Which significantly raises the price of the already expensive iPad Pro.
Is the price at the end worth it? That is something you must decide. But for us, we really appreciated the whole experience.
So Microsoft Surface Book 3 is more like a notebook than a tablet. Since the keyboard can be detached it can be considered to be a tablet computer.
Finding something like a discrete GPU in a tablet computer is very rare these days. But a discrete GPU does feel unnecessary for a tablet computer in the first place. But with the Windows operating system, you can do a lot with a discrete GPU.
There are many apps, including Adobe Photoshop that require discrete graphics to use some of its functions. If you are someone who uses something like Blender and Photoshop, then you will need the discrete GPU.
Luckily, the Surface Book 2 and 3 both are equipped with a discrete GPU. The Surface Book 2, the previous model, has an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU. While the newer Surface Book 3 has a GTX 1660, which was the latest addition to the GTX series of GPUs.
We had the Surface Book 3 for review, but we had priorly checked the Surface Book 2 as well. Both of them are superb and they can even run games at decent frame rates. However, running games on the Surface Book will drain a decent chunk of power.
The CPU is a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7, a 4-core, and an 8-thread processor with Integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics. The CPU clocks at 1.3GHz while it boosts up to 3.90GHz.
Surface Book 3 has a powerful battery, it is to support the powerful components inside it. While using it casually the battery can run up to 17-hours. But under normal loads, it can last for about 8-10 hours.
Designers are slowly shifting from their work laptops to Surface Book 3 for their work. The convenience of having a laptop
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 also comes in a 13″ version that does not have a discrete GPU. But it does have the Iris Plus Integrated graphics which can also run games at low graphics settings and supports graphics-intensive tasks.
You will be saving almost a $1000 if you downgrade to the 13″ version which has a 10th Generation Core-i5. The Surface Book 3 15-inch version costs around $2100.
The Surface Go 2 is what you would buy if you want something really light and portable. It is a different experience from other Surface devices since it is a tad bit slower.
Surface Go 2 is only affordable if you stick with the base model. If you bump up to the faster-performing processors like the Core m3 for instance, you will significantly increase the price. It will no longer be an affordable option, and we believe the iPad Pro might be a better buy then.
The base model has an Intel Pentium Gold, which is a little bit better than a Celeron. But it lags behind the performance of the Core series processors. It operates at single clock speed, there is no boost clock on it.
But the Pentium Gold 4425Y is a dual-core and quad threaded CPU. It clocks at 1.70GHz and uses LPDDR3 memory which is one of the factors behind its good battery life. Since LPDDR3 stands for Lower Power Dual Data Rate 3 memory.
When you purchase the Surface Go 2 it retails at $400 almost, but it does not include the Surface Pen or the keyboard. You have to purchase them separately, which costs around the neighborhood of $200 to $220 for both of them.
That is why upgrading this feels like a waste, instead just go for an iPad Pro. If you want the Surface Go 2 as a budget option, its best to keep it at the base model. That is how, regardless of the extra price of the pen and keyboard, it feels more budget.
One big downside of the Apple iPad Pro is that the Magic Keyboard is pretty expensive. It is a premium device and does require you to cough up a premium price.
It has a 10.5″ screen, a half an inch more than the Surface Go itself. The extra half an inch does not make that much of a difference though, but to some, it might. The thick bezels make a comeback, Microsoft needs to work on the Bezels though.
The starting operating system is Windows 10s, which you can change to the normal Windows 10. For people who do not know, Windows 10s does not allow you to install apps from third parties and requires you to use Microsoft Store. The Microsoft app store is not the best app store on the market, so its best to switch.
But after switching you might see a dip in the performance of the device. It might be negligible to some, might not be. But if you are fine with the Windows 10s and Microsoft app store, you can just keep Windows 10s.
For those who like their AndroidOS, Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the Tablet for you. It is a budget option, priced $100 more than the Surface Go 2. It uses the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, which is a mobile processor mostly used in smartphones.
Now people often compare iOS and Android with each other, despite having many differences, they are both for smartphones. Android is widely adopted in many phones, meanwhile, the iOS is only available on Apple’s line of smartphones.
Again, just like the Apple Macbook Pro and Microsoft Surface Go 2, you need to purchase the keyboard separately. However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 does include the S Pen stylus with the tablet, which is a good deal. As neither Apple nor Microsoft ship their tablet with their stylus.
The S Pen attached to the back of the Tab S6 in an indent specifically designed for it. When attached to the Tab S6 magnetically, the S Pen charges itself.
The S Pen has a significant lag when you use it compared to the Apple Pen used on the iPad Pro. So the iPad Pro does win points there, also the iPad Pro with its Magic Keyboard can be used to edit 4K videos, which is pretty amazing.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, however, does have the price point advantage. The iPad Pro itself costs significantly more, but when you purchase it as a package with the keyboard and pen, it is very expensive.
Meanwhile, even if you do purchase the Galaxy Tab S6, it is not that expensive. The keyboard on the Tab S6 does include a trackpad, which is a great feature.
Also for those who want to have a more laptop-like experience after attaching the keyboard, you can switch to the Samsung Dex feature. It gives you a proper OS experience, which makes it feel quite different from the typical Android devices.
The Tab S6 has a great battery life, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 works really well. The optimization for apps, however, might need work. Once the new tablets from Samsung are more popularized, chances are developers will start to optimize apps for the Tab S6 better.