The tablet was invented by a scientist named Alan Kay, and it’s a useful gadget to have. Larger than a smartphone and (usually) smaller and often less powerful than a laptop, tablets are the best midway gadget.
Although a tablet is mostly used for entertainment, tablets with keyboards are great for work. Many tablets these days come with optional accessories that you can buy separately. Sometimes they’re designed to work best on their own and the accessories are just a bonus. However, some come with a detachable keyboard, functioning as both tablet and laptop. Several big brands have made such devices and here are our picks for the best tablet with keyboard.
Can Any Tablet Use a Keyboard?
Yes and no. Tablets were not exactly made to be used with keyboards. So, there are plenty of models these days that do not come with one. However, since keyboards have developed a lot as accessories, you can easily pair a third-party Bluetooth keyboard with your tablet. We have compiled the best tablets with keyboards in this article - they are often sold with the keyboard or at least come with a magnetic attachment port. Many of these tablets have a keyboard cover designed for them but are optional and need to purchased separately, such as the Samsung Galaxy tab S6 or Apple iPad Air.
Our Choices for the Top 8 Best Tablets with Keyboards
The reason you would want a physical keyboard with your tablet is if you tend to write for pleasure or office work. A keyboard can also make web browsing more convenient.
Here are our top picks for tablets with keyboards:
This ultra-slim Samsung Galaxy tab comes with an S-Pen and a keyboard in the box. It is a silver beauty that runs Windows 10 and turns into a laptop in seconds.
The S-Pen has a seamless design with over 4000 levels of pressure sensitivity. So this tablet is great for taking notes and drawing too.
This Samsung tablet with keyboard can be your best company for business and pleasure.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy tab S6, the screen size on this may be a bit too big for a tablet but it’s great for multi tasking. It has a high-resolution super AMOLED display, which makes images look as beautiful as the tablet itself. The colors are vibrant and the screen gets very bright.
The i5 processor and 4GB RAM in the Samsung Galaxy tab ensure fast and smooth performance. The keyboard comes in a folio case with a magnetic attachment. Around the edges you can also find your regular power button, volume keys and two USB C ports.
It is backlit and a great improvement on Samsung’s previous keyboards. It contains a trackpad, so you can use it exactly like a laptop. The internal memory is large enough to store a big load of multimedia - which is what we really need in tablets. It can be expanded further with a microSD card. The dual speakers and the high-resolution screen are great for watching movies.
There is a 13MP camera that is pretty good for a tablet and takes great pictures. The Samsung Galaxy tab is our favorite tablet-keyboard combo.
- Amazing screen resolution (great compared to other tablets)
- Great battery life, up to 11 hours (and it supports fast charging)
- Light and slim
- Folio case not very sturdy as a stand
- Camera positioned for landscape mode
Best for Work
In 2019, Microsoft launched one of its best in the Surface Pro range. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 looks exactly like its predecessor, Surface Pro 6, with the exception of a USB port.
It has a large 12.3” (312.42 mm) display and i7 10th Gen processor, which makes for a powerful tablet. The Surface Pro 7 is the Windows tablet with keyboard you need if you plan to merge office work and travel.
This tablet comes in three variations of RAM – 4GB, 8GB or 16GB. It is also available in processor variations of core i3, i5 or i7. Since they’re all 10th generation versions, you inevitably get a great performance. The new Windows Hello also allows you to unlock the tablet with Face ID.
The keyboard has soft fabric and does not feel like a laptop at all. However, the keys are very responsive and typing is quite enjoyable.
The resolution on this screen is beautiful – the images are bright, colorful and sharp. The speakers don’t get too loud, but you can always use headphones.
If you are familiar with the Surface Pro 6, you are sure to love this upgraded version. On top of that, the Surface Pro 7 has an internal memory of up to 1TB! Unlike in other tablets, you won’t even need to use cloud storage to clear space (although it is always wise to back up your data).
- The kickstand adjusts flawlessly, unlike most tablets with an attached kickstand
- Options for system capacity
- Battery life not as great as ones in higher processors
Acer has tried to make an effort to bring a Surface competitor to the market. The Switch 7 is a 13.5” (342.9 mm) convertible with a RAM of 16GB and Core i7 processor.
These specs are enough to give you an idea of just how far Acer went with this tablet.
The tablet has a memory of 512GB, which is appropriate considering the system it runs on. There is also a MicroSD slot if you need more. The screen resolution could have been better for a 13.5” (342.9 mm) screen but it is still pretty good. It does not get too bright, so it’s not fit to be used outdoors.
There is a Wacom pen that fits right into a top corner slot in the tab. The keyboard is backlit and is comfortable to type on. It connects magnetically and stays on very strong. The keys are tactile and there is a trackpad which makes usage all the more relaxed.
There is a retractable kickstand on the back of the tab, which pops out if you press the button on the bottom. You can vary the angle, but resistance isn’t all the great on the stand, so the screen will tilt easily if you’re drawing on it. So if you do plan on drawing, we suggest you either lay it flat on a desk or look at graphic tablets.
On the right-hand side, it contains an optical fingerprint scanner – that was a nice surprise. Acer’s LiquidLoop cooling is an amazing technology. It keeps the tablet cool even when used for a long time without the noise of a cooling fan.
It has several features, but they come at a cost. This tablet is quite pricey, probably because the processor and memory are higher than most other tablets or even laptops. But they have made some compromises so the price may not be entirely justified.
- Powerful system, great performance
- LiquidLoop cooling technology, silent and efficient
- Keyboard and pen come in the box
- Somewhat weighty compared to average weight of tablets
- The screen does not get very bright
Microsoft has done a pretty good job with the Surface range, and the Microsoft Surface Go is one of the best 10-inch tablets with a keyboard.
The tablet comes in a variation of 4GB or 8GB RAM with a 64GB or 128GB built-in storage. Loaded with Windows 10 and Intel Pentium Gold processor, this tablet is fit for both work and play (but not a lot of it).
The screen size and slim body of 0.3" (8.3mm) thickness make the Microsoft Surface Go tablet sleek and easy to carry around. The kickstand adjusts very smoothly and stays surprisingly stiff.
The processor is not exactly suited for a lot of multitasking and its 3411 mAh battery is not the best out there. But for a limited amount of usage, they work fine. (For heavier usage, the Surface Pro 7 might be a better option.)
The LTE version has a Nano-SIM tray which the WiFi version does not. The tablet also has an 8 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front camera with HD video feature.
The removable type cover is pretty much the same on all Surface tablets, but no complaints on the quality. The keys are soft and comfortable, and long hours of typing is not tiring.
Although similar tablets like the Surface Pro 6 have been very popular, for the given price, this Microsoft Surface Go tablet has a lot of great features and performs well overall. Since its release in 2018, it has been a fan favorite for Windows users.
- Slim and light, great for travel
- Smooth user interface
- Type cover keyboard sold separately
- Battery life average
It is impossible to exclude Apple from a list like this. Apple products, including iPad Air and iPad Pro, always have some of the best available features. Specifically for use with a keyboard, the Apple iPad Pro 3rd generation beats the rest.
It comes in two color options – silver and space gray – and both look very elegant. The 3rd generations have a 12.9” (327.66 mm) fully laminated display that makes images look super clear and life-like. You will love its color and resolution and enjoy watching movies and videos. You can also use an Apple Pencil to write and draw on this beautiful screen.
The average battery life of this iPad is about 9 to 10 hours with heavy usage. Although Apple products are not known to have long battery life. The size of the battery is pretty big so you might get an even longer period with limited usage.
It has dual cameras of 10 MP and 12 MP with an ultra-wide lens and 4K video recording. This is probably the best camera you will get on a tablet and the resulting pictures are incredible. There is a 7 MP TrueDepth front camera as well and five microphones – great for video calls. To make more use of it, this iPad also supports facial recognition to lock/unlock the tablet.
The keyboard Apple made for this is compact and does not have a trackpad. It is not backlit either, like some of its competitors. There is no armrest, so it takes some getting used to.
But the keys are responsive and despite the small overall area, the keys individually are the standard size and typing does not feel cumbersome. Apple did a great job with this. The overall performance is super-fast despite what the system specs are on paper.
- Super light and slim
- Great camera
- Great battery life
- No trackpad on the keyboard
This is definitely one of Lenovo’s best works to date. The Yoga Book looks like a book and has a beautiful slim body that opens and folds like one.
Unlike most tablets, this one is available in both Android and Windows versions. It comes in three beautiful color variations of Carbon Black, Pearl White, and Ruby Red.
The tab is light and easy to carry around. The hinge allows the tablet to be angled 360 degrees. The resolution on this tablet is great for the screen size, so you will find yourself watching a lot of videos on it.
The memory can be expanded with a microSD. It has an 8500 mAh battery to let you go on for long hours without interruption.
Although this list includes the best tablets with keyboards, this one is a little unique – it has no real keyboard. Instead, there is a full touch screen that lights up to work as a keyboard and doubles as a digitizer. The keyboard also has vibration feedback, which was great thinking since you are not typing on actual keys.
There is also a dedicated portion (pseudo trackpad) for scrolling and using a cursor. Lenovo includes an actual pen and notepad in the box. The notepad attaches to the bottom. In digitizer mode, you can use the pen to write on paper and it works like a digital notepad.
- Flawless body and design
- Super light, easy to carry
- Full touch keyboard
- Balancing issues since both sides are very light
- Some apps do not support landscape mode
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tab is made for business. The 3rd gen was released in 2018 and comes in a variation of 8GB and 16GB RAM, i5 and i7 processor. So you can take your pick. The screen size is on the larger side but it’s comfortable to work on. It supports both Windows Home and Windows Pro.
It has a 64GB RAM, that’s about four times what we got on the 2nd generation. To match that and the i7 processor, there is 512GB memory. The performance of this tablet is just as high as a full-fledged laptop.
The speakers and camera on this tab are average. But the resolution is top-notch and the screen gets very bright. You will love watching movies on this.
It comes with a detachable keyboard with cover and a ThinkPad Pen pro in the box. This is the classic Lenovo ThinkPad keyboard, in a slimmer version.
All the buttons are tactile and it gives you that familiar feel, including the power button at the top. It includes the trackpad with buttons that you can find on most Lenovo laptops. It is backlit and has a fingerprint sensor to lock/unlock the tablet.
The user interface and overall performance of this tablet are great. It is priced high compared to the others, but the body is designed to be durable, so it will last you a long time. The ThinkPad series gave us great laptops and the this tab is one of the best tablets with keyboards that you will find.
- Power-packed performance
- Display bright and sharp
- Somewhat bulky and weighty
Best in a Budget
Google has joined the tablet industry fairly recently. The Google Pixel Slate is a 12.3” (312.42 mm) tablet running Chrome OS. It has a seamless metal body in a beautiful Midnight Blue color.
The edges are well rounded, the body is slim and light enough to carry around despite the large screen size.
Chrome OS lets you use the Google Play Store so you have access to all the apps available on Android tablets. You can also sync it with your Pixel phone and easily transfer data.
The round keys on the keyboard constantly remind you that this is a Google product. They are backlit, look great and are easy to use. The trackpad is larger than any other tablet keyboard and is very responsive.
The keyboard cover works as a kickstand and attaches nicely at the back. It’s fully magnetic, so you can angle it any way you like. The power button at the top has a built-in fingerprint sensor (Pixel Imprint).
The front-firing speakers are not that great but work fine for general multimedia use. The camera is pretty good and both the rear and front cameras record 1080p video. The tablet has a great resolution and is particularly great for reading.
Despite some complaints about the software, Google did manage to provide a great laptop experience in a tablet. Even when you buy it with the keyboard and pen, it currently costs much less than the other flagship devices. So we’re calling this the best budget tablet with keyboard.
- Seamless design, slim and light
- Great resolution
- Comfortable typing and scrolling on the keyboard
- Software glitch
- Keyboard case slips when closed
A tablet is designed to be a secondary device or devices to use when travelling. However, the best tablets with keyboards in 2020 are quite multi-purpose whether it is a Samsung Galaxy tab or Apple iPad Air. While you can get a lot of work done on them, for long hours or heavy usage, you may still need a laptop. But for a portable work-and-play device, these tablets with keyboards are definitely worth considering.