Most people won’t, but there are reasons you might.
One is that you’re frustrated by the challenge of creating and editing complex documents on a general-use touchscreen tablet—you can’t use an instrument more precise than your fingertip to manipulate things on the screen, and the screen may be too small.
Pro tablets do, however, require different trade-offs.
Windows-based pro tablets such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro allow you to run almost any traditional desktop app, but the desktop-class operating system isn’t yet optimized for tablet use—it carries a higher risk of malware and sometimes stumbles at touchscreen or stylus input.
” TV ad reminds us, these don’t feature touchscreens or the capability to fold the keyboard out of sight.
With Android tablets, you could instead get a touchscreen Chromebook that can now run Android apps of its own, but it will be bulkier and have shorter battery life.
Instead, we looked for the best representatives of each of the major platforms.
What we found is that a tablet based on a smartphone-descended operating system, like the i Pad Pro (i OS) or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 or Google’s Pixel C (Android), imposes limits on how you can work with multiple programs and get data on or off the device; and though tablets running a touch-optimized version of a desktop operating system—like Microsoft’s Windows 10-based Surface Pro—don’t have those multitasking or input/output challenges, they struggle to match the battery life and simplicity of a mobile-first operating system.
For example, if you’re heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem of hardware, software, and services, a Windows 10 tablet will be an awkward fit.
So we didn’t set out to find the absolute “best” models and then rank them, as we do in most of our guides.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind the alternatives for each pro tablet.
With the i Pad Pro, your more powerful (and more expensive) alternative is a member of Apple’s line of laptops—though, as the company’s own “What’s a Computer?