Microsoft Surface Pro 7 in the test
The Microsoft Surface Pro is probably the best-known example of a 2-in-1 device with a Windows operating system. The flexible all-rounder is the perfect mix between mobility and performance. But other manufacturers also have good notebook-tablet hybrids on offer. We present our current test winner, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, in detail. We also show you alternatives if you need more performance or are looking for a price recommendation.
We have 16 Windows tablets tested in our test center and the test results last in January 2020 updated.
You can read that in our article: The top recommendations and the price tip We first present our leaderboard briefly in a table and then in detail. Then we explain how the CHIP test center checks the devices and what the advantage of a Windows tablet is. Finally, we tell you what you should generally consider when buying a Windows tablet and what alternatives there are.
These are the best Windows tablets 2020 in the test
The best Windows tablets in the CHIP leaderboard (as of January 2020)
|Model||overall evaluation||Price||To the shop|
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (top recommendation)
Very good (1.5)
around 1. 550 Euro
Microsoft Surface Book 2 (performance tip)
around 2. 300 Euro
Vaio A 12 (Equipment tip)
around 2. 100 Euro
Lenovo Ideapad D 330 – 10 IGM (price tip)
round 300 Euro
1st place: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (top recommendation)
- Super Performance
- Bright display
- Good equipment with USB-C
- Without keyboard unit
- Battery runtime not at top level
- USB-C without Thunderbolt 3
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 convinces with its super performance and good mobility. Even in the 7th generation, the Windows tablet is the standard by which other 2-in-1 devices have to measure themselves. However, the Surface Pro 7 itself becomes a real tablet-notebook hybrid at an additional cost, because Microsoft does not include a keyboard. The tablet unit brings top results: The Intel core processor of the 10. Generation delivers extremely strong results. You can choose between Core i3, i5 or i7. We had the expensive model with i7 – 1065 G7 processor in the test, which convinced all along the line. The powerful hybrid device is ideally suited for office and multimedia tasks. Gaming works only to a limited extent, the dedicated graphics chip is missing.
The display of the Windows tablet is also very good. With a resolution of 2. 736 times 1. 824 pixels you get a high pixel density of 267 ppi. The strong maximum brightness of 422 Candela per square meter enables outdoor use. The color spaces shown are satisfactory for multimedia. Only the checkerboard contrast of 101: 1 is a little disappointing. The interfaces include USB Type-C, USB Type-A and a Surface Connect connection. The headphone jack is also on board. Bluetooth 5.0 and the new WLAN-ax standard (Wifi 6) ensure connectivity. Our model came with 101 GByte SSD storage and 16 GByte RAM, but you have a large selection of hardware options – cheaper and more expensive. The installed operating system is Windows 10 Home.
The battery life of the Surface Pro 7 is not quite at the top level. The Windows tablet plays videos in our measurement 08: 36 hours, simulated web surfing works 07: 02 For hours. This is satisfactory for everyday life. The battery is also recharged in under two hours, which is very fast. Basically, the thin device can be transported easily. The workmanship is convincing, the aluminum housing is stable and looks classy. The cheapest variant of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with entry-level hardware you get for around 900 Euro. Our variant with Core i7, 16 GByte RAM and 256 GByte memory (VNX – 00003) currently costs around 1. 550 Euro. A larger memory is available. But you have to note: The keyboard unit costs around 150 Euro extra.
2nd place: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (performance tip)
- Top performance also for gaming
- Overall battery life good
- Equipment satisfactory
- Battery life of the tablet rather weak
- No USB ports on the tablet
- display values could be better
Not always able the Windows 2-in-1 devices keep up with notebooks, the tablet design sometimes comes at the expense of performance. The Microsoft Surface Book 2 definitely doesn't have this problem. The Windows tablet not only comes with a fast Intel processor, but also in the high-end versions with a dedicated Nvidia graphics chip. The Surface Book 2 measures itself with the superclass notebooks , but retains its flexibility as a 2-in-1 device. You get the hybrid in two sizes, with 13, 5- or 15 – inch display, as well as in a selection of hardware options. The cheapest variant is limited to an i5 processor with integrated graphics. The top model, however, comes with an Intel Core i7 – 8650 U and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. Office work and multimedia are no problem, and the Surface Book also packs gaming in Full HD with smooth refresh rates.
However, you have one major limitation: The Nvidia graphics chip is in the keyboard unit and when you disconnect the tablet, you are limited to the integrated Intel graphics. In this case, the Surface Book 2 is “only” as fast as a standard Windows tablet. The impact on runtime is more noticeable: the stronger of the two batteries is also located in the keyboard unit, and the separate tablet battery is rather weak. The 15 – Inch model with top hardware manages in the video test 14: 39 Hours and in the internet test 09: 28 hours of battery life. Unplug the tablet, you are on 04: 17 hours of video and 02: 41 Hours of internet runtime limited. You have to handle the Surface Book 2 differently than normal Windows tablets – but then you have fun.
The display of the 13, we rate the 5-inch model better in terms of measured values than the display of the 15 – inch version. But the latter is still good: The checkerboard contrast of 104: 1 is quite low and the maximum brightness could be better than the existing ones 398 Candela per square meter, but overall the display is useful for multimedia. The equipment includes USB Type-C, USB Type-A and the Surface Connect connection. All interfaces can be found on the keyboard unit, only the headphone jack is in the tablet itself. Communication is via Bluetooth 4.1 and WLAN-ac, in 15 – Zöller is also a recipient for Microsoft's Xbox One controller integrated. Our model of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 With 15 – inch display, GTX 1060 and 512 GByte SSD you get for around 2. 300 Euro.
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15 inches in the review
3rd place: Vaio A 12 (equipment tip)
- Mobile LTE Internet
- First-class equipment with stylus
- Good performance
- Disappointing battery life
- display could be better
Windows tablets are armed for many purposes, but one feature usually distinguishes the devices from the mobile phone tablets: the lack of support for mobile LTE Internet. This functionality is rarely available among the 2-in-1 devices, for example the Samsung Galaxy Books, which are now out of stock, and some Lenovo devices. A high-end Windows tablet including LTE support is Vaio A 12 . Even beyond the SIM card slot, the equipment is the big plus of the hybrid: you can use a network cable in addition to Bluetooth 4.1 and WLAN-ac. In addition, HDMI, DisplayPort via USB-C and even a VGA connection are available. USB interfaces are available in type A and type C. The Vaio A 12 is optionally with 256 or 512 GByte SSD storage available. Windows is installed 10 Professional. A stylus is included.
We tested the variant of the A 12 with Intel Core i7 – 8500 Y processor and 16 GByte RAM. Alternatively, you can also get a model with a Core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM. We were satisfied with the performance of the i7 tablet, it copes perfectly with office and multimedia applications. There is hardly any graphics performance for gaming. The measured values of the display are rather mediocre. Basically you get on 12, 5 inch display diagonal with full HD Resolution a good picture, albeit with a little low pixel density. But above all the maximum brightness of 302 Candela per square meter disappointed and the checkerboard contrast convinces with 113: 1 not really either.
The big shortcoming of Vaio A 12 is its battery life. In Japan, the manufacturer sells a variant with a battery in the keyboard unit, which is not available in this country. Unfortunately, the battery in the tablet is rather weak: We measured the video runtime 04: 58 hours, with the internet runtime 04: 18 hours. This is puny for a flexible 2-in-1 device. After all, the battery is quickly charged in 02: 26 hours. The Vaio A 12 has mobility on the one hand with the support for mobile LTE Internet -Plus. On the other hand, you are significantly limited in battery life. In addition, the price for the Windows tablet is quite high: you get the Vaio A 12 for around 2. 100 Euro.
Vaio SX 14 and A 12 in review
Place 4: Lenovo Ideapad D 330 – 10 IGM (price tip)
- Strong price-performance ratio
- Very good battery life
- Good interface selection
- 64 – GByte memory right knapp
- No Full HD display
- Just for easier work
The price is Lenovo IdeaPad D 330 – 10 IGM hard to beat among the Windows tablets: You get the hybrid in several variants, but choose the cheapest model , pay only around 300 Euro for a perfectly usable 2-in-1 device. The battery life is particularly impressive: in video mode it is over 13 hours, in Internet operation via 11 hours. Loading takes solid 02: 45 hours. Since that 10, 1-inch device also extremely compact and is thin, it can be easily transported. The mobility rating of the Windows tablet is excellent.
With regard to the hardware, you obviously have to limit yourself a bit. We tested the IdeaPad with Intel Celeron N 4000 – processor and 4 GB of RAM. The performance is satisfactory for simple tasks and videos, but you shouldn't expect great arithmetic skills. Alternatively you get a model with Intel Pentium N 5000 – processor, but this is not a big bonus either. The small 10, 1-inch display has a resolution of 1 . 280 times 800 pixels and a sufficiently good pixel density. The maximum brightness of 389 Candela per square meter and the checkerboard contrast of 127: 1 are ok, at least for the price. The sRGB color space is too 98 percent covered.
When equipping the IdeaPad D 330 – 10 IGM there are no big surprises: The tablet unit offers a USB-C interface, which also works with adapters can act as a display connector. The tablet also houses the cameras, the volume rockers, a headphone jack and a microSD card slot. The keyboard unit scores with two USB Type A interfaces. The mass storage is a bit puny: 64 Gigabytes in the form of slow flash memory are enough for a few videos and documents, whereby the operating system already takes up a lot of space. For a surcharge you get a 128 – GB variant of the Windows tablet. Windows is installed 10 Home in the slim S variant you but can upgrade to the normal version for free.
The Lenovo IdeaPad D 330 – 10 IGM comes in many forms: The model 81H300 B8GE is the variant we tested with Celeron N 4000 and 64 GByte SSD, you get it for a cheap price Price of around 300 Euro. The model number 81H300 BAGE designates the model with Pentium N 5000 and 128 GByte SSD, you pay around 400 Euro. You can also get both hardware variants with an LTE module ( 81H30077 GE and 81H 3001 TGE ), you pay around 60 Euro surcharge.
Lenovo Ideapad D 330 – 10 IGM in Review
How much do I have to spend on a good Windows tablet?
For Windows tablets similar to notebooks, you will find both entry-level and high-end devices. Microsoft's Surface devices set the bar in the luxury class. With the Surface Pro models, the main focus is on the tablet – so you now have to buy the keyboard unit of the 2-in-1 device separately. For the current Surface Pro flagship you pay between depending on the hardware selection and 2. 400 Euro. In the Surface Book, the keyboard unit is an integral part of the Windows tablet and the devices are designed for performance, some with a dedicated graphics chip. Depending on the size and hardware, you pay between 1. 400 and 2. 600 Euro.
Microsoft offers high quality, so we see the prices for the Surface Pro devices as quite acceptable. If you resort to a previous model, you can even get away comparatively cheaply. We tend to rate the Surface Book performance monsters as expensive, but you address a specific target group. Manufacturers such as Acer and Vaio also offer high-end models of Windows tablets, some of which are even more expensive than surface devices and cannot convince with their price-performance ratio. Manufacturers like Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei tend to focus on mid-range and entry-level models of 300 to 1. 000 Euro. In this area you can find bargains.
Windows tablets in the test: how were the 2-in-1 devices rated?
Since in the Windows Tablets notebook hardware, the CHIP test center evaluates the devices similar to notebooks. Here the sub-ratings in the categories performance, display, equipment and mobility flow equally into the overall grade. Our testers evaluate the performance of the processor and graphics chip based on benchmark results and practical tests. The display is also measured precisely: how bright can it shine, how good are its contrast values and what proportion of the common color spaces does it represent? Resolution and sharpness also play a role.
In the equipment test, the technical details are checked and the presence or absence of features is assessed. In contrast to notebooks, our testers place different demands on the tablet unit and keyboard unit. The processing of the 2-in-1 device and its ergonomics also flow into the equipment grade. The battery life is decisive for mobility. A special feature of the hybrid devices is the partially existing double battery. The measured time when playing a video in a continuous loop results in one of the runtime values, and web surfing is also simulated. Together with the battery charging time and the size and weight of the Windows tablet, the mobility rating is created. The overall assessment takes the form of a school grade.
What is special about a Windows tablet?
A tablet is mobile, flexible and versatile. With Android and iOS tablets with cellular hardware, however, you are limited, because the devices usually only offer the performance of a smartphone. You can use a notebook for both work and leisure, but it is less handy. Windows tablets connect tablets and notebooks and are therefore known as 2-in-1 hybrid devices. They consist of a tablet and a full-fledged keyboard unit, and there is also powerful notebook hardware inside, usually an Intel processor with a graphics core.
When combined, you can put the Windows tablet on your desk and use it as a work or gaming notebook – including all desktop apps. If, on the other hand, you want to read an eBook on the sofa, surf the Internet or watch a video, simply disconnect the tablet unit. However, this versatility has its price: The notebook hardware in the tablet body is usually significantly more expensive than tablets or notebooks, with the same performance the price is sometimes twice as high. In case of doubt you only need one device for everything.
What should I look out for when buying a Windows tablet?
- Service: Multimedia, Office & Gaming
Depending on the intended use, the requirements for the hardware of the Windows tablet increase. If you just want to surf the Internet, listen to music and watch videos, you don't need top performance. A small processor, such as an Intel Core i3, and 4 GB of RAM do it here. Pure word processing is also not too demanding, but you should look a little more at the performance to work properly with office applications. The middle-class processor, for example an Intel Core i5, and at least 8 GB of RAM make sense. Tasks such as video and image processing place even greater demands on the hardware, so you should choose the best available processor class, i.e. an Intel Core i7 processor of the latest generation. Liquid 3D gaming also requires a dedicated graphics solution, i.e. an Nvidia graphics chip. This brings you to the most expensive version of Windows tablets.
- Mobility: battery & size
A good battery life is of course important. Technically, the Windows tablets solve this differently: Often there is only a battery in the tablet itself, sometimes the tablet unit has a second one. So the battery life 16 hours and more. Usually, however, it is about 8 hours of operation. This means you are flexible and can use the 2-in-1 device on the go. As with notebooks, the size and weight of Windows tablets also play a role in mobility. You can choose from particularly compact 10 – inch devices, but also bulky 15 – inch models and everything in between. The weight of the tablet unit is on average around 800) grams, which is significantly heavier than an Android or iOS tablet , In addition, there is the keyboard unit: If it actually consists of only one keyboard, it weighs 300 to 400 grams. However, if there is additional hardware in it and possibly even a battery, it can also weigh a good kilo.
- Furnishing: Interfaces & connectivity
Notebooks usually have many interfaces, from USB to DisplayPort to network connections. This is less relevant for tablets, here you usually get a USB-C interface and nothing else. Windows tablets want to cover both profiles: Often the tablet unit is sparsely equipped, for this you will find all the necessary connections in the keyboard unit. This is not always the case, with the newer Surface Pro models everything is in turn on the tablet. If you want to connect a mouse or an external hard drive, you should pay attention to the connections. Connectivity via the current WLAN and Bluetooth standards is usually given. The situation is different with mobile LTE Internet: a SIM card slot is quite rare. You can usually choose the size of the SSD storage, 256 GBytes are common, you get more for an additional charge. An expansion option via a microSD card makes sense. Integrated cameras play a subordinate role in Windows tablets. Likewise, Bluetooth boxes are preferable to the integrated speakers.
- Display: work surface & film enjoyment
A good display makes working with the Windows tablet easier and provides eye candy when watching films. As a rule, the tablet displays offer a Full HD Plus resolution, sometimes also a WQHD resolution (from 2. 560 times 1. 440 pixels). This plays a role for video streaming, but you will hardly find a 2-in-1 device with 4K resolution. Usually the display is not on the 16: 10 – cinema format, but cut to the 4: 3 format. A maximum brightness of 400 Candela per square meter ensures that you can still see everything even when the sun is shining on the display outdoors. The LC displays of the Windows tablets are generally not designed for bright HDR colors, but both a high brightness and the extended color space coverage are missing. The screen size (10, 13 or 15 inches) has an impact on the pixel density and sharpness of the image, but it does not decide on the general display quality.
What are the alternatives to the Windows tablet?
- tablet with keyboard
For most Android and iOS tablets, you can buy attachable keyboards. You can use this tablet class as a kind of notebook replacement. This is sufficient for word processing, but of course you are still limited to the mobile radio hardware and the available applications from the corresponding app stores. In addition, the additional USB and peripheral interfaces of a 2-in-1 device are usually missing. However, if you are only looking for a compact device that can be operated like a notebook, this combination is usually cheaper.
- Convertible Notebook
The alternative to “Detachable”, ie the 2-in-1 device with a detachable tablet unit, is the “Convertible” notebook. Here you get a touchscreen display that can be folded down completely. The display cannot be disconnected, but you can use the convertible as a large and somewhat heavy tablet. The advantage of this design is that the devices are as powerful as Windows tablets, but significantly cheaper. Compared to a normal notebook, you have more flexibility with a convertible, but it is more bulky than a Windows tablet.
2-in-1 tablets in the test
Samsung Galaxy Book 12 (SM-W 728 NZKA)
Offer by BestCheck
- Performance (1.6)
- Mobility (1.7)
- Facilities (1.6)
- Display (1,2)
Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 520 – 12 IKB (20 M 3000 DGE)
Offer from BestCheck
- Performance (1.4)
- Mobility (2.3)
- Facilities (2.5)
- Display (1.8)
The most important questions about Windows tablets at a glance
Which is the best Windows tablet?
The best Windows tablet in the test is the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 for around 1. 550 Euro. You also get good performance for a slightly cheaper price with the previous models. The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is also suitable for gaming. Price tip is the Lenovo Ideapad D 330 –
What is a Windows tablet?
Windows tablets are 2-in-1 devices that can be used both as a notebook and as a tab let are usable. You can detach the tablet unit from the keyboard unit and use it separately. The notebook hardware is also powerful and the hybrid device offers many interfaces and extras.
What is the alternative to the Windows tablet?
If the performance of an Android or iOS tablet is sufficient for your purposes, you can also equip it with a suitable keyboard unit. With the convertible notebook, on the other hand, you can not remove the display, but you can fold it completely and use it as a thick tablet.