With the current trend of amazing smartphones and surprisingly portable laptops, tablets seem to have retreated into the shadows. But this is actually far from the truth.
Though we haven’t seen any fabulous innovations in the tablet market recently, this doesn’t mean the gadgets have seen their last glory days. If you are searching for the best tablet for traveling and working while you go, you have come to the right place on the internet.
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Why a tablet?
A smartphone — though very portable — is simply too small for completing creative tasks like creating and editing documents, editing photos or executing digital campaigns and promoting your work. Obviously, you don’t have to do any of these things from your smartphone because you definitely have a work laptop.
But as a writer or blogger, sometimes you’ll have to go places and leaving your work behind is never an option. this is were an ultra-portable work machine comes in. Of course, there are very portable laptops available but what if you want something more compact, much lighter and can easily disappear into your pocket but can still help you stay productive throughout your trip. And you have it, a tablet.
While in this post we will be showcasing the best options. If you are after a budget tablet fro traveling you will enjoy our other post where we share our favorite tablets that are less than $200.
So what features should you look for in a tablet for traveling?
If your sole reason for getting a tablet is to stay productive on your travels, then you need a tablet that will give you enough digital real estate to work on. Tablets come in different sizes and some are as small as 7 inches in size, this will probably be too small for completing any real work. A tablet with a screen size of about 10 inches will be more useful.
Next, you have to consider battery life. An ideal tablet for writing and blogging on-the-go should have a battery life of at least 10 hours on a single charge, so you can conduct that research, finish that piece of article and complete some reasonable amount of work before thinking of charging your device again.
If you’re completely sold to writing with your PC because you just prefer writing on a physical keyboard and don’t quite find the virtual keyboard in many touchscreen devices very convenient, then you sure need a tablet with a physical keyboard. Yes, some tablets come with physical keyboards and no, this doesn’t make them less portable.
Keyboards that come with tablets are usually very slim and fold back to attach to the body of the tablet. Not all tablets come with a keyboard, some simply give you the option of plugging in a keyboard.
As a writer, you’re probably also a reader which means your tablet will also act as your mobile library. This means that while choosing a tablet, be sure to remember that it has to be compatible with your favorite reading apps.
So let’s get right to it, the 10 best tablets for traveling to stay productive on-the-go.
#1. Apple iPad Pro
The Apple iPad Pro is an excellent travel companion for any writer and it checks all the boxes for a perfect on-the-go computing device. You have the option of choosing either the 11 inches or 12.9 inches iPad Pro and they both give you enough screen size for any form of research and writing.
In the iPad Pro, Apple brings together the aesthetics of modern technology with a large screen and a super-fast performance which equals that of laptops. This is the perfect device for anyone who wants an ultra-portable work machine. The iPad Pro is powered by an A12X Bionic chip and M12 co-processor and these components are responsible for its striking ultra-fast performance that will completely blow your mind.
And if you want to multitask, then bring it on because the iPad Pro is a beast at multitasking and getting things done pretty fast. No lagging. No stuttering. And no frustration for you. This is why the Apple iPad Pro is way ahead of its competition. It also comes with a Smart Keyboard which is a physical keyboard and doubles as a cover for the iPad.
The Smart Keyboard is a bit shallow but it’s comfortable for typing. The iPad Pro also has an Apple pencil which is great for taking quick notes. Though the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil come with extra costs, they are both very important writing material no writer should do without plus they greatly enhance your experience with the iPad Pro and help you stay productive.
- Superfast performance
- Long-lasting battery
- Very bright display
- Has a Smart Keyboard and an Apple Pencil
- The Smart Keyboard has no touchpad
- Keyboard and pencil cost extra
#2. Microsoft Surface Pro LTE
In the tablet world, the Microsoft Surface Pro LTE is the first of its kind. It’s simply the answer to a super portable computing device and it packs the Windows 10 you’ll find in your PC. It has a desktop browser and can run desktop applications which means there is absolutely no limit to what you can do with your Surface Pro LTE.
This tablet is simply amazing and since it has LTE, it’s able to connect to the internet without the need for a WiFi connection or a hotspot device. The cellular connectivity allows you to work anywhere without relying on public Wi-Fi or even the hotspot on your phone. It has a built-in eSIM and a tray for a nano-SIM, and you can set up service on both and switch between them through the Windows 10 settings app. The settings app also provides a data usage monitor so you can see how much cellular data you are using and set limits on it.
The Microsoft Surface Pro LTE has a 12.3 inches touchscreen display, weighs less than 2 pounds, and it’s powered by the seventh generation Intel’s Core processor. According to Microsoft, the battery of the Surface Pro LTE can last for about 12.5 hours on a single charge, this is very impressive and can allow you to complete a day’s work before taking a break to charge your device.
- Battery lasts for an entire workday
- Built-in LTE connectivity
- Has a detachable keyboard and a responsive touchpad
- Keyboard costs extra
#3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Another excellent ultra-portable computing device to help you stay productive while on the move is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. The S4 is an Android tablet designed for a busy life both at home, in your office or on the go, it gives you the productivity of a PC and the mobility of a tablet. With a display of 10.5 inches, it gives you enough space to get some work done and it packs 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage plus a MicroSD slot which supports up to 400GB.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has an awesome display that is crisp and colorful with apps aligned to the left like in Windows. And it comes with a keyboard which doubles as a tablet cover and if you like to work with a mouse, the S4 has you covered as it comes with a mouse, though this will cost you some extra bucks. This Samsung tablet also has an S Pen which is great for navigating the tablet, making sketches and jotting down quick notes. The S pen doesn’t need any charging and has a storage space in the tablet which makes it easy to replace after use.
Another exciting feature of the S4 is its long-lasting battery life. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has a battery built to last for up to 16 hours, this is super impressive. Unlike most tablets, the S4 has a mouse to help you navigate through it, this tablet is built to be an assistant to any hard worker and it also very suitable for entertaining yourself.
- Crisp and colorful display
- Comes with an S pen
- PC desktop-like DeX interface
- The keyboard has no touchpad
- Keyboard and mouse cost extra
#4. Microsoft Surface Book 2
For tablets and portable laptops, Microsoft is always a good choice. Their hybrid 2 in 1s give you the portability and mobility of a tablet and the processing power of a Windows PC. As you may already know, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a powerful hybrid notebook with a detachable keyboard which makes it a convertible and it can exist in different modes. In laptop mode, the keyboard is attached and it becomes a portable notebook, in the absence of the keyboard, it becomes a powerful Windows tablet. And attaching and detaching the keyboard is actually much easier than you would expect.
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 gives you 13.5 inches (it’s also available in 15 inches) of digital real estate to work on and this is an amazing touchscreen size so if you appreciate large screens you have have to compromise so much or put up with a miniature screen. This tablet packs a high-speed Intel’s processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD and can multitask alright, it’s performance beats the crap out of most of its competitors and it comes up to compete directly with the Apple Macbook Pro.
Though detachable, the keyboard is very comfortable and allows for 10 fingers fast typing. The Surface Book 2 also has a very responsive touchpad which allows you to control the cursor and easily navigate through the device. Another impressive feature of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is its long-lasting battery. On a single charge the Surface Book 2 can stand about 17 hours of video playback. This is an excellent work machine which is perfect for working at home, in the office or while you’re on the move.
- Very powerful device
- Long-lasting battery
- The surface pen is purchased separately
#5. HP Elite X2
The HP Elite X2 is a 12 inches convertible tablet designed in the style and sleekness of a notebook. This device is no joke and it packs the Windows 10 operating system coming up to compete directly with the sleek and beautiful Microsoft Surface convertible tablets — and it does a good job of that. With a thickness of 0.35 inches, the HP Elite X2 is an ultra-slim and very compact device and it weighs 1.83 pounds but this slightly increases to 2.6 pounds with the keyboard attached. Even at the new weight, it’s still a portable 2-in-1 convertible tablet.
For a tablet of its class, the HP Elite X2 is an excellent device to work with as it has the 1.1GHz Core m5-6Y54 chip inside (with Core m3 and Core m7 options) which makes it more than powerful enough for everyday office work plus internet tasks. Its battery will also stay with you long after your workday is over since it lasts for 10 hours on a single charge, this is an impressive feature.
The HP Elite X2 also comes with a detachable physical keyboard that is very comfortable and supports fast typing plus a responsive touchpad which is a bit too narrow — though it works just fine. It also has an active pen stylus which is rechargeable and it’s attached to the tablet via a user-installable string loop. This tablet isn’t just stylish and beautiful, it’s also sturdy and robust and will remain unscathed if dropped from 32 inches above ground onto a wooden floor.
- Durable and sturdy build
- Good performance
- Long-lasting battery
- Keyboard magnets to the tablet and comes off too easily
- It’s a bit heavy compared to its competition
#6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 may not be the latest or fastest tablet out there and it also may not be as powerful as the Galaxy Tab S4 but it very impressive in its own unique way. This tablet has a 9.7-inch display and weighs about 15.13 ounces which is very light and portable so you will have no problem taking it with you to places.
This tablet is sleek and attractive and like every other Samsung device, the Galaxy Tab S3 doesn’t disappoint in productivity and performance. Its processor is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and it comes with a RAM of 4GB, and together these components are responsible for the sleek performance of this computing device. The S3 also does a great job of simultaneously completing different tasks at once and it’s strong enough to enable get more work done in a shorter time.
The Galaxy Tab S3 comes with an S pen stylus which is a great writing tool for any writer or creative and a detachable keyboard but this comes with additional costs. It also has great battery life. The 6000mAh built-in battery can handle 8.5 hours of continuous web surfing, 12 hours of video playback and up to 102 of continuous music playback. This impressive battery life means you can get some real work done before the need to connect your device to a power source. With all these great features, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 can easily be described as the best travel-friendly tablet to help you stay productive while you’re on the move.
- Good performance
- Long-lasting battery
- Beautiful display
- Free S pen
- The keyboard costs extra
- The glass back is a fingerprint magnet
#7. Asus ZenPad 3S
Another very impressive tablet is the Asus ZenPad 3S. This tablet is built for those who do not want to compromise on performance and design. With the Zenpad 3S, Asus is actually taking steps to match Apple and bite a chunk of the iPad market — yes the ZenPad is very beautiful with anti-fingerprint finish and it looks a lot like an iPad. It has a brilliant 9.7 inches display and performs amazingly fast.
The Asus ZenPad is powered by MediaTek MT8176 Turbo CPU which packs both a dual-core 2.1-GHz processor and a quad-core 1.7-GHz processor and paired with 4GB of RAM, this tablet delivers amazing speed and it has been rightly described as a beast at multitasking. It weighs 15.2 ounces and has a thickness of 0.2 inches which is ultra-slim and super portable and it’s an excellent device for completing work assignments on a trip.
Unlike some tablets we’ve seen, the Asus ZenPad 3S has neither a detachable physical keyboard or a pen but the absence of these accessories in no way affects its performance or usability. The ZenPad is obviously a tablet designed to maximize productivity but it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to entertainment and fun. It has very strong speakers for high-res audio and it delivers enough sound to fill a large conference room. The ZenPad also has a 5900mAh battery which is strong enough to last for a full workday (about 8 hours of continuous web surfing) on a single charge.
- Fast performance
- A bright and colorful display
- Sleek and beautiful design
- The front and rear cameras aren’t great
#8. Microsoft Surface Go
Another Windows tablet that’s an excellent choice for writers and bloggers is the Microsoft Surface Go. This device has the speed and performance of a Windows 10 laptop and the flexibility and portability of a tablet. The 10 inches Surface Go is currently one of the best writing tablets in the market, it weighs only 1.15 pounds and it is just about 0.33 inches thick which makes it a superbly portable computing device.
The Microsoft Surface Go is powered by Intel Pentium Gold Processor and has a RAM of 4GB which gives it an excellent performance speed and allows it to smoothly juggle several tasks without stuttering or lagging. And it has a battery life of 9 hours which is enough for a full workday.
As a writer, if you’ve become accustomed to the tapping sound of your keyboard while writing (which is to be expected) and this helps the flow of your inspiration then you’d surely prefer a writing tablet with a physical keyboard. The Microsoft Surface Go wouldn’t disappoint you in this regard, it comes with a keyboard dock which is very comfortable for typing and a responsive touchpad which makes it feel like you’re actually working with a PC.
It also comes with a Surface Pen which is great for taking quick notes and it has a rubber eraser at the top which makes it feel like you’re using a pencil. And you can write in any Windows 10 apps that accept pen input like Microsoft Word, OneNote, etc. With all these exciting features, it’s clear that this device is obviously designed with hard workers (including writers and creatives) in mind.
- Speedy performance
- Comfortable backlit keyboard and touchpad
- Windows Hello for facial recognition login
- Thick bezel
- Keyboard and pen come with extra costs
#9. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity has been described as the new Android King and it was no exaggeration. If you prefer Android to iOS and Windows on a tablet, then the Asus Transformer Pad infinity will give you a thrill. This device is packed full with very exciting features and it’s the only Android tablet with a full HD screen which is amazingly crisp, bright and colorful.
One of the most impressive features of the Transformer Pad Infinity is it’s speedy performance and very fast load times, thanks to the new quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 T33 processor. Completing everyday tasks provides no challenge for this tablet and if your favorite recreation is playing video games, then prepare to be completely entertained with the Transformer Pad Infinity as it was built with gaming in mind, plus you can’t help but admire the crisp clear image quality and beautiful display.
This Asus tablet is 0.37 inches thick and it weighs 1.4 pounds which is very portable for anyone, and it has a battery life of about 7.5 hours. The virtual keyboard is also very responsive and has the Swype-style trace feature which allows you to spell words by tracing lines between letters. For a physical keyboard, the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity is compatible with the Asus keyboard dock which houses a full-sized USB 2.0 port, a microSD card slot and a 19.5Wh battery that significantly extends the battery life of the Transformer Pad Infinity. This android tablet is obviously an amazing computing device designed not only to help you stay productive but to also help you relax and de-stress.
- High-res display
- Fast performance
- Long-lasting battery
- Finger pressure distorts the display
#10. Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus
Another great Android tablet for working on-the-go is the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus. It’s a gorgeous 10.1 inches tablet with a comfortable design and beautiful display. The Tab 4 10 Plus isn’t exactly the most powerful or most beautiful android tablet but it has its place in the market and certainly delivers within the price expectations. If you want a simple android tablet for performing everyday computing tasks on-the-go then you’ve got that because it’s exactly what the Lenovo Tab 4 Plus has to offer.
The Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus comes with the 2.0-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8953 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage and a Qualcomm Adreno 506 graphics card, these specs aren’t exactly exciting but the Tab works just fine and allows you to work without any glitches — or maybe just a few lags when you have over 10 tabs open. With a thickness of 0.28 inches, this tablet is ultra-slim and compact and it weighs just 1.09 pounds which is very light.
One very exciting feature of the Tab 4 10 Plus is the amazing battery life which lasts for over 13 hours of continuous web surfing on a single charge — this is very impressive. Very unlike some other tablets we’ve seen, this Lenovo tablet neither comes with a stylus nor does it support a keyboard dock, which isn’t very great for writers who want flexibility in a portable computing device. If you’re a die-hard android and don’t care for iOS devices, then the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus will serve you well.
- Good performance
- Great battery life
- Good display (great for movies) and solid speakers
- Sharp cameras
- Old Android version (Android 7.1 Nougat)
Final Thoughts on finding the best tablet for traveling
The perfect tablet for traveling depends on several great features but mostly it depends on personal preferences, and of course budget. There is a reason Apple and Microsoft have high prices, they are pure class.
However, that doesn’t mean you cannot find some great value options. Just be careful of falling into the cheap tablet trap, many of the unbranded clones quickly become sluggish and have a dull display, it can never be great for anyone.
So, a tablet should have a decent performance and should multitask really well so that you can easily glide between apps, conducting research without getting frustrated and barely withholding the urge to smash the damn tablet on a wall. It should also have a battery that is strong enough to see you through a full working day before it requires another charge.
And, if you’re a writer committed to writing with a physical keyboard, then it should have a keyboard dock or at least support one.
With your must-have tablet features laid out, you’ll find out that choosing the best tablet for traveling becomes super easy and less confusing. And if you want our opinion, we strongly recommend our top pick which is the Apple iPad Pro, it really is the current market leader.