Tablets with Sim Card Slot – The Perfect Hybrid? [2020 Update]

Tablets gained traction rapidly due to their compact nature and portability. Many of us use convertible tablets to replace bulky laptops.

When you’re on the go but constantly need to be connected, we rely on our smartphones and their tiny screens or go through the hassle of using a hotspot to connect our laptops to the internet.

Tablets with sim card slots solve this problem by combining the best of both worlds.

Product Roundup

Product

Weight

Display Size

Resolution

OS

Processor

Battery 

Storage

Memory

Microsoft Surface Pro X

1.7lbs (0.7kg)

13”

2800 x 1920

Windows 10

Microsoft SQ1

13hrs

128/256/512GB

8/16GB

Apple iPad Pro 12.9”

1.4lbs (0.63kg)

12.9”

2048 x 2732

iPadOS 13.4

Apple A12Z Bionic

10hrs

128/256/512GB or 1TB

6GB

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

0.92lbs (0.42kg)

10.5”

1600 x 2560

Android 9.0 (Pie)

Snapdragon 855

11hrs

128/256GB

6/8GB

Microsoft Surface Go 2

1.22lbs (0.55kg)

10.5”

1920 x 1280

Windows 10

Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y/8th Gen Intel m3 processor

12hrs

64GB eMMC/128GB SSD

6/8GB

The surface Pro X is the sleekest and slimmest device in the Microsoft Pro line up. When you consider the Pro 1 to 7 the block design hasn’t changed much but it terms of performance it’s a whole other story.


The 13-inch tablet has its dimensions set at 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.28-inches (287.02 x 208.28 x 7.11mm) with a weight of 1.7lbs (0.7kg). On paper, the 0.28”(7.11mm) depth of the Pro X doesn’t seem like a big difference when compared to the 0.33”(8.50mm) of the Pro 7 but at first glance, you’ll notice a big change.


The device has an aluminum casing that only comes in black.

Microsoft has included the PixelSense technology in the wide 13” display of the Pro X with a resolution set at 2800 x 1920 and a 450 nits max brightness. The display has a high pixel density and is a major competitor to the Apple Liquid Retina Display.


At the core, the device operates on the efficient Microsoft SQ1 processor instead of the usual Intel processors used in the Surface lineup. You can opt for an 8 or 16GB RAM paired with either a 128, 256, or 512GB SSD.


In terms of battery life, you can expect around 13hours with typical usage. 


The device has one of the fastest LTE modems in the market right now; Snapdragon X24.


PROS

  • Looks sleek and slim
  • Crisp display
  • LTE with nano or eSIM
  • Built-in kickstand

CONS

  • Hefty price tag
  • Keyboard and pen sold separately

Our list wouldn’t be complete without the extremely pricey flagship device from Apple.


The iPad has been one of the first few devices to have a Wi-Fi and a Wi-Fi + cellular device separately. The latter costs around 150 dollars more than the model with just the wireless connectivity.


 Price aside, the iPad is one of the most beautiful and modern tablets to grace the tablet market. The device looks immaculate with the dimensions set at 11 x 8.5 x 0.2-inches (279.4 x 215.9 x 5.08mm) and a weight of 1.4lbs (0.63kg).

All of this holds a crisp 12.9” display that is easily among the 3 best tablet displays in the market right now. Apple has always had the best colors and display even in its smartphone lineup. The iPad Pro has a resolution of 2732 x 2048 with a max brightness of 600nits which is one of the highest for a tablet display.


At the core, you’ll find the super fast Apple A12Z Bionic Processor, which in some tests outperformed laptop processers.


In my personal experience, I’ve never noticed a single lag while multitasking to the max.


Battery life has never been Apple’s strong forte with many users complaining about the poor battery of the iPhone line up. However, the iPad Pro can provide around 10hrs of typical usage on a good day.


The RAM capacity is fixed at 6GB, but you can pick between 4 storage options.


The device supports a wide range of cellular bandwidths and also support an eSIM.


PROS

  • Super-fast processor
  • Top-notch camera
  • Elegant display

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Accessories sold separately  
New Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Space Gray (4th Generation)
12.9-inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color; A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine

While the Surface Pro series is probably the best Windows Tab series and the flagship iPad Pro is the best Apple tablet, the Galaxy Tab S6 is currently the best Android tablet in the market.


This might not be true for long, because the Tab S7 is right around the corner.


In terms of design, the device does have the typical Samsung Galaxy feel to it with dimensions set at 9.63 x 6.28 x 0.22inches (244.60 x 159.51 x 5.59mm) and only weighs 0.92lbs (0.42kg). This android masterpiece is lighter than both the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro X.

In terms of depth, it is only 0.02inches (0.508mm) thicker than the iPad Pro.


The device has quite loud dual speakers which are tuned by AKG fitted to the top and bottom ends with a USB- C port right at the bottom. It’s quite hard nowadays with the whole slim feature to find tablets with USB ports, so the best you can do is invest in an adapter that allows you to plug in USB-A devices, thumb drives, or cables. 


Samsung has also very recently improved their display game and the Tab S6 has a 10.5” display with Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology. The display is deep with its vivid colors and has a resolution of 2560 x 1660 and max brightness of around 500nits.


At the core, you’ll find a Snapdragon 855 processor paired with either a 6GB RAM/ 128GB internal storage or 8GB RAM/256GB storage.


In terms of connectivity, the device supports all LTE carriers except AT&T.


PROS

  • Solid build
  • Sharp display
  • Loudspeakers
  • Relatively affordable
  • S-pen included

CONS

  • Flimsy fingerprint sensor

Windows tablets with Sim cards slots are quite limited, unlike the two other operating systems. So since I featured the best Apple and Android tablets with sim card slots, I wanted to include the latest Microsoft Surface Go 2.


In terms of design, the surface Go 2 looks l a lot like the Pro lineup but with rounded edges. The tablet has its dimensions set at 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches (246.38 x 175.26 x 8.38mm). The depth of the Go 2 is exactly similar to that of the Surface Pro 7.


This is quite baffling because the Pro 7 has a USB-A port while the Go 2 only has a slim USB-C port.

The 10.5” display tablet weighs 1.22lbs (0.55kg) and has a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels and a max brightness of 408nits. If you analyze the Go 2 and iPad Pro side by side you can notice the subtle differences in the display with the latter being more sharp and crisp.


One of the biggest differences from the Surface Pro line up is the lack of storage options available. Usually, you get at least 4 storage options but with the Surface Go 2 is has been reduced to either a 6 or 8GB RAM paired with a 64GB eMMC or a 128GB SSD.


You also get two processor options, either an Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y or an 8th Gen Intel m3 processor.


PROS

  • Premium Microsoft build
  • Built-in kickstand
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Accessories are sold separately
NEW Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Core m3 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Wifi + LTE - Platinum (Latest Model)
Starting at just 1.2 pounds (not including Type Cover*), with new 10.5” touchscreen.; Battery life up to 10 hours[1]. Perfect for browsing, shopping, emails, and homework

Guide and FAQ

Now that we’ve covered the best LTE tablets, you probably know what to expect and what specs to look for when getting a tablet in general.

One thing you might not be sure of is which Operating System you should invest in because our roundup has a collection of tablets running on either Android, iOS, or Microsoft Windows.

Since you’ll be using your laptop for work or entertainment, we’ll cover a bit about each operating system in terms of both aspects.

Apple Tablets (iOS)

Apple only has one tablet product, the iPad, and multiple variations of it.

In my personal experience, the only issue with iPads is the price. You are mostly paying for the prestige of the brand and in my opinion, it’s justifiable with the experience and years of use that comes along with it.

In terms of work, iOS has come a long way and made their interface business-friendly. The app store has multiple apps to help you plan your schedule, organize your meetings, process word documents, and so on. Surfing the web and checking your emails are also made as user-friendly as possible.

Security is a big concern for us today, with cyber attacks on the rise daily. One of the main advantages of using an iOS device is that the entire ecosystem from the hardware to the software is centrally controlled by Apple. Even though there is a 3rd party application in the App store, all these applications have strict guidelines that prevent malicious applications.

In terms of entertainment, the App Store has a vast amount of applications. The Liquid Retina display helps this cause with the crisp colors and quality, which make gaming, watching your favorite videos, or even doodling an enjoyable experience.

apple tablet

Android Tablets

The Android vs iOS debate has been going on for quite a while. It’s almost like the PC vs MAC debate.

Unlike Apple, there are a wide variety of android tablets in the market.

You can get an Android tablet to fit any budget and this has diluted the market with many cheap tablets that penetrate with their budget prices.

Due to this reason, your Android experience depends a lot on the hardware, unlike Apple devices which are made to a certain standard. You know you won’t be majorly disappointed.

In terms of applications for work and entertainment, there was a time when the Android Market was behind the Apple App Store, but now Google has solved this problem by upping their game and introducing the Google Play Store. This almost has the same apps as the App Store.

When Google Play Store was first introduced it was like the Wild West, where anyone could just upload their application without any thorough checking. Security was a pressing issue.

However, Google has repeatedly upgraded their security protocols and addressed this issue but when compared to the App Store, there are more malicious apps in the former.

Another main reason for this security issue on the Android OS is the first point I was talking about. Too many devices running different versions and the entire ecosystem is segmented.

What do I mean by this?

Unlike iPads where the entire ecosystem is managed by Apple centrally, the android platform doesn’t have this luxury.

Even a security patch is released, developers have to release multiple patches to suit a wide range of hardware models.

Android has some of the cheapest tablets with sim card slots, but you might want to consider the latest tablets running newer android versions for better security.

android tablet

Windows Tablets

Not many Windows tablets have a sim slot option because Windows has predominantly been a PC operating system and relatively new to the tablet scene.

The Windows Store is behind the Google Play Store and App store in terms of entertainment applications, but Windows has always been ahead of Apple and Android when it comes to the business aspect.

Security on Windows tablets isn’t an issue right now because the market isn’t as diluted.

On the other hand, the two Windows devices featured on our list are from Microsoft, therefore security patches shouldn’t be an issue.

windows tablet

FAQ

Can I replace my smartphone with a tablet?

You technically can. You could use an LTE sim and send messages and make VOIP calls, but the question you should be asking is whether it’s practical.

Tablet displays start from around 7” and if you are okay with the display size, why not?

What the fastest tablet for LTE connections?

The speed of your LTE connection depends on your network provider and not the tablet you choose.

How do I set up a 4G connection on a tablet?

You can’t do this on any tablet. You need to buy a tablet with a sim card slot that LTE compatible.

Next, you need to purchase a mobile broadband plan from a network provider. Simply insert your new LTE sim and start browsing the web.

If you’re reading this question because you already have a tablet without sim card slot, then you can use your smartphone as a hotspot and connect to the 4G network. Or, invest in a portable LTE router that will require you to purchase a sim card and a mobile internet plan.


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