Sep 27, 2016
Four market-leading tablets that are light, stylish, portable – yet powerful. By Adam Turner.
With enough grunt to run all your apps, these lightweight tablets aim to replace your notebook as that portable productivity device you reach for as you walk out the door – plus you can add a keyboard or stylus for those times when an onscreen keyboard doesn’t cut it.
Then, when the workday’s done, these ultra-sharp screens are great for watching movies, playing games or just browsing the web. Along with wi-fi, the Samsung and Apple tablets have the option of 4G mobile broadband so you can stay online and in touch while you’re out and about.
Asus Transformer Book T100HA
This 10.1-inch two-in-one device looks like a touchscreen notebook but you can detach the keyboard and stick with the Windows 10 desktop or switch to tablet-style menus. Unlike the others in this round-up, it has a wide 16:10 aspect ratio that’s ideal for watching movies. While the inclusion of a keyboard makes the Transformer Book great value, it doesn’t pack as much power as the Surface Pro 4. The availability of apps for Windows tablets is improving.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
￼The Galaxy Tab S2 will appeal to those who like to travel light. Coming in at 5.6 millimetres and less than 400 grams, it’s a tad thinner and lighter than the iPad Pro but still has a super-sharp screen and plenty of power. Driven by Google’s Android platform, this 9.7-inch tablet offers Multi-Window mode (running two apps on the screen) and, for $150, an optional keyboard cover. You can draw on the touch screen with a standard stylus but the Tab S2 doesn’t support Samsung’s S Pen.
From $699; samsung.com
Microsoft Surface Pro 4￼
It looks like a tablet but the 12.3-inch Surface Pro 4 runs Windows 10 Pro like a desktop. There’s lots of grunt for people who need to run demanding desktop software on the road; the trade-off is a high price tag. Included in the box is the pressure-sensitive Surface Pen, which works well with productivity apps, such as OneNote, that support handwriting recognition. The kickstand and optional Type Cover keyboard ($200) let you use the Pro 4 like a laptop.
From $1349; microsoft.com
Apple iPad Pro
While the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro may be too big for some, this compact version (9.7 inches) offers the perfect balance between portability and productivity. The Pro’s extra power comes in handy for work when you’re using two apps side by side in Split View mode. On the downside, the detachable Smart Keyboard is an added extra (from $229). The tablet’s killer feature is the optional pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil ($165), which is far more versatile than a standard stylus. ￼
From $899; apple.com