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10 good Windows 8 tablets

The Windows tablet segment is heating up with good offerings from the major OEMs. These 10 are a good place to start for those looking for a tablet.

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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

10 good Windows 8 tablets

Windows tablets are getting better all the time, both the hardware and software with Windows 8.1. There are tablets of all sizes, and some with keyboard docks that turn them into laptops.

The ten tablets in this collection are good options to consider for those looking to get a Windows tablet. Only slates and hybrids with detachable tablets were considered for inclusion. While there are quite a few convertible notebooks, those laptops with screens that fold over the keyboard for tablet use, those are usually very heavy for such use and thus not part of this collection.

There are tablets covered that vary from 8-inch models to 11+ inches. Some of them have pen support for those who are looking for inputting by writing on the screen.

Where possible, newer tablets with Haswell technology have been clearly indicated. This is especially significant for tablets as Haswell from Intel provides good performance with better battery life than previous processors by Intel.

No ARM-based tablets are included in this collection to make it easier to compare the different tablets.

With the exception of the last model in the gallery, these tablets have all been used by the author or recommended by those whose input is highly regarded. If you have a tablet not included here, leave a comment below and share what you use and why it's so good.

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2 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

Overview

The latest tablet from Microsoft is a powerhouse that can give many laptops a run for the money. It doesn't come with a keyboard but you'll want to pick up one of the two available covers to take full advantage of Windows 8.1. It has pen support and comes with a pen.

Size: 10.6-inch

Price: Starting at $899

Specs

Processor  Intel Core i5 (Haswell)
Memory  4 — 8GB
Display  10.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080
OS version  Windows 8.1 Pro
Camera  Front and rear, 720p
Storage  64 — 512GB
Ports  USB 3.0, microSDXC card reader, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port
Connectivity  Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0
Battery  8 — 9 hours
Dimensions  10.81" x 6.81" x 0.53"
Weight  2lbs

Microsoft product page

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3 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Asus VivoTab Smart

Overview

The VivoTab Smart is a good tablet that has an optional keyboard cover that makes it a decent laptop replacement while on the run. 

Size: 10.1-inch

Price: $450

Specs

Processor Intel® Atom™ Z2760 Dual-Core (non-Haswell)
Memory 2GB
Display 10.1-inch, 1,366x768
OS version Windows 8
Camera Front: 2MP; Rear: 8MP
Storage 64GB
Ports Audio, microHDMI, microUSB, microSD
Connectivity Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0
Battery 9.5 hours; 25Wh
Dimensions 10.31" x 6.73" x 0.38"
Weight 1.28lbs

Asus product page

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4 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Asus Transformer Book T100

Overview

The T100 comes with a laptop dock that turns the tablet into a full laptop. The Bay Trail processor gives good performance with long battery life. There is no pen support.

Size: 10.1-inch

Price: $350

Specs

Processor 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Quad-core (Bay Trail)
Memory 2GB
Display 10.1-inch, 1,366x768
OS version Windows 8.1
Camera Front: 1.2MP
Storage 32GB
Ports 1-USB 3.0 (dock), audio combo, microHDMI, microSD card reader, microUSB
Connectivity Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0
Battery 11 hours, 31Whr
Dimensions Notebook: 10.4" x 6.7" x 0.93"; Tablet only: 10.4" x 6.7" x 0.41"
Weight Notebook: 2.4lbs; Tablet only: 1.2lbs

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5 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Dell Venue 8 Pro

Overview

This small tablet from Dell gets good reviews as it is highly portable with full Windows inside.

Size: 8-inch

Price: $300

Specs

Processor  Intel® Atom™ processor Z3740D (Bay Trail)
Memory  2GB
Display  8-inch, 1,280x800
OS version  Windows 8.1
Camera  Front: 1.2MP; Rear: 5MP
Storage  32GB
Ports  microUSB 2.0 , audio, micro-SIM
Connectivity  Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0
Battery  9.9 hours
Dimensions  8.5" x 5.12" x 0.35"
Weight  0.87lbs

Dell product page

See hands-on impressions by Ed Bott of ZDNet.

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6 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

Overview

This tablet has ThinkPad build quality and is a very good portable computer. It comes with a pen to take advantage of the pen support in Windows 8.1. There is an optional keyboard accessory that works well with the Tablet 2.

Size: 10.1-inch

Price: $566

Specs

Processor  Intel Atom Z2760, 1.8 GHz, non-Haswell
Memory  2GB
Display  10.1-inch, 1,366x768
OS version  Windows 8 Pro
Camera  Front: 2MP; Rear: 8MP
Storage  64GB
Ports  USB 2.0; miniHDMI; microSD; dock connector; 3.5mm audio
Connectivity  Wi-fi a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS
Battery  11 hours, 30 Whr
Dimensions  10.34" x 6.48" x 0.39"
Weight  1.3lbs

Lenovo product page

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7 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

HP Envy x2

Overview

This tablet comes with a laptop dock as good as any available. With the tablet docked it is a full laptop. There is no pen support.

Size: 11.6-inch

Price: $614

Specs

Processor  Intel Atom 1.8 GHz, non-Haswell
Memory  2GB
Display  11.6 inches, 1,366x768
OS version  Windows 8
Camera  Front: 1,080p; Rear: 8MP
Storage  64GB
Ports  2x USB 2.0; HDMI; SD slot (laptop dock); microSD (tablet)
Connectivity  Wi-fi; Bluetooth 4.0
Battery  8+ hours tablet; 14+ hours with keyboard dock (has second battery)
Dimensions  Docked (closed) — 0.76" x11.93" x8.12"; tablet — same, but 0.3-inches thick
Weight  1.5 lbs tablet, 3.1 lbs with keyboard dock

Not appearing on HP site but available on Amazon and other online retailers.

See the review by James Kendrick of ZDNet.

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8 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 8

Overview

This is similar to the ThinkPad Tablet 2 but in a smaller form, and since it's a newer product it has Bay Trail technology. There is no pen support nor is there a keyboard accessory available at the time of this publication.

Size: 8.3-inch

Price: $399

Specs

Processor  Intel Z3770 Quad Core (2MB Cache, up to 2.39GHz)
Memory  2GB
Display  8.3-inch, 1,920x1,200
OS version  Windows 8.1 Pro
Camera  Front: 2MP; Rear: 8MP
Storage  64 — 128GB
Ports  USB 3.0, microHDMI,MicroSD Slot
Connectivity  Wi-fi 802.11a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0
Battery  8 hours
Dimensions  5.19" x 8.83" x 0.35"
Weight  0.95lbs

Lenovo product page

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9 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Samsung Ativ Smart PC

Overview

This tablet is a full PC with a laptop dock and pen support. Both the dock and the pen are included with the tablet.

Size: 11.6-inch

Price: $580

Specs

Processor  Intel® Atom™ Processor Z2760, 1.8GHz (non-Haswell)
Memory  2GB
Display  11.6-inch, 1,366x768
OS version  Windows 8
Camera  Front: 2MP
Storage  64GB
Ports  USB 2.0; microSD; microHDMI
Connectivity  Wi-fi 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0
Battery  9.7 hours
Dimensions  11.6" x 0.38" x 7.2"
Weight  1.65lbs

Samsung product page

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10 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Lenovo Miix 2 8

Overview

This economical small tablet is built well and fits nicely in the hand. It does not have pen support nor is there a keyboard accessory available.

Size: 8-inch

Price: $299

Specs

Processor  1.3 GHz Intel Atom Quad-core (Bay Trail)
Memory  2GB
Display  8-inch, 1,280x800
OS version  Windows 8.1
Camera  Front: 2MP; Rear: 5MP
Storage  32GB
Ports  audio, microSD, microUSB
Connectivity  Wi-fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0
Battery  7+ hours
Dimensions  5.2" x 8.5" x 0.3"
Weight  0.77lbs

See the review by James Kendrick of ZDNet.

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11 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Vizio Windows 8 Tablet

Overview

This tablet is included in this collection for AMD fans. It is the only tablet that uses an AMD processor. It is heavier than most tablets and has relatively short battery life.

Size: 11.6-inch

Price: $600

Specs

Processor  AMD Z-60 APU, AMD Radeon™ HD 6250
Memory  2GB
Display  11.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080
OS version  Windows 8
Camera  Front: 2MP
Storage  64GB
Ports  Audio, microUSB, microHDMI
Connectivity  Wi-fi 802.11n
Battery  Up to 5 hours
Dimensions  11.66” x 7.53” x 0.39”
Weight  1.8lbs

Vizio product page

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