The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the best tablet you can buy.

Updated December 2016: Added new category for creativity. The Surface Pro 4 is still the best overall tablet you can buy right now.

Best overall

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

See at Microsoft

If you're in the market for a new tablet but aren't sure what to buy, then you can't go wrong with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, a true 2-in-1 hybrid tablet that feels like a tablet most of the time, with the added bonus of becoming a laptop when/if you need it. Featuring a premium magnesium body, and a gorgeous 12.1-inch screen, you definitely won't regret getting one of these.

Bottom-line: For the best Windows 10 tablet out there, check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

One more thing: If you're looking for a tablet that's purely a tablet, the Surface Pro 4 is still a great choice. The type cover is an optional extra, so buying the Surface Pro 4 standalone means you'll be getting a full-on tablet.

Why the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the best

Ah, the Surface Pro 4. Microsoft's latest attempt at the tablet that can replace your laptop, and in our opinion the one that gets it right. There's a lot that's similar to the Surface Pro 3, but it's more refined, perfected even.

It runs cooler, has a Core M version for fanless, silent running, and is slightly slimmer and lighter than its predecessor. It has a truly stunning display and a digital pen is included for all the handwriting and drawing you might want to do.

For the best Windows 10 tablet, check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

At the high end you can have a Surface Pro 4 with a 1TB SSD and a Skylake Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. Impressive by any stretch.

But with that comes a price to pay. Literally. The Surface Pro 4 is expensive, starting at $799, and can go way above $2,000 at the top. But it isn't just a tablet. It's a tablet, a laptop, with the optional docking station it can even become your desktop. One device for all.

Best on a budget

CHUWI Hi8

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If you're prepared to take a risk on a product from a brand you've probably never heard of and with no support, you might actually be surprised. And not just because the Hi8 Pro boots into both Android and Windows. It's packing a 1920x1200 resolution display, USB-C and an Intel x5 processor for little more than $100 — that is a crazy value. You can get an official, optional keyboard case, but you can also do better by finding your own. But if you're chasing a bang-for-your-buck tablet, the Hi8 Pro should feature high up on that list.

Bottom-line: If you're willing to risk buying a product from a lesser-known manufacturer on the cheap, makes sure you check out the CHUWI Hi8.

One more thing: The CHUWI Hi8 Pro also supports additional accessories such as a keyboard case, making this a great productivity tablet too.

Best for gaming

Linx Vision 8

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When is comes to good gaming on a tablet, there really aren't many options. The best gaming tablets are ones that can stream full games from a more powerful system, like the Xbox One. Standing out from a crowd of samey-looking black rectangles is the Linx Vision 8 and its big handlebars. Those house a fully featured and fully licensed Xbox controller for Windows 10, so you can use it to play your streamed Xbox games with ease. It should also be good for any Windows Store games that support controllers. The tablet hardware is pretty good for the price, too, with an Intel x5 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot to boot. The biggest pain point is its availability — Linx is only really available in the UK, as much as you might want one. But if you can pick one up you'll probably enjoy it a whole lot.

Bottom-line: If you're looking for a tablet that can play games, make sure you check out the Linx Vision 8 for a unique gaming experience on a tablet.

One more thing: You'll need an Xbox One with games to be able to stream to the Linx Vision 8, as it uses the built-in Xbox app to do so. You might want to consider another form of device (not a tablet) if you're looking to run games natively.

Best for business

Dell Venue 8 Pro

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Dell's Venue 8 Pro has long been one of the best tablets you can buy and the latest iteration kicks things up another couple of notches. The size and overall appearance remains on par with what's come before, but it's somewhat beefier on the spec sheet. The latest Venue 8 Pro has a full HD 1080p 8-inch IPS display, 4GB of RAM and an Intel Atom processor. You get 64GB of eMMC storage, NFC, cellular capabilities and the brand new USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port for display output and super-fast data transfer. The Venue 8 Pro can also be had, if you wish, with Windows 10 Pro — which is crazy for a tablet this small (though most users will probably be fine — and save a few dollars — with Windows 10 Home). The one slight drawback is the rather high list price, though you can often snag one on sale for around $400. It's still a lot for a small tablet, but you're not going to find a better 8-incher.

Bottom-line: For a great, small business tablet with pen support from dell, make sure you check out the Venue 8 Pro.

One more thing: Dell offers a wide variety of models and options for its Venue 8 Pro, ranging from all different prices. Make sure you choose the best one that fits you.

Best for students

Microsoft Surface 3

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If you like what the Surface Pro 4 offers but you want something a little smaller and less expensive, then the Surface 3 is the one for you. It basically looks like someone shrunk the Surface Pro, which isn't a bad thing at all. Previous non-Pro versions of the Surface ran Windows RT, but with the Surface 3 Microsoft shifted to full Windows. You get Intel Atom x7 processors, 2GB or 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of SSD storage. There's also a nifty LTE model for folks who want to connect on the go. And, like its big brother there's an optional keyboard and digital pen. And while the Surface 3 cheaper than the Surface Pro, it's still expensive. The base model is around $400, and for the best experience with a Surface you at least need to spring for the keyboard. But, the Surface 3 is still an amazing tablet. If your workload is less demanding or you just want more portability, it's a great buy.

Bottom-line: For the best tablet for students, make sure you check out the Microsoft Surface 3.

One more thing: You'll need to buy the type cover separately if you're looking to take advantage of the 2-in-1 experience.

Best for creativity

Lenovo Yoga Book

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If you're looking for a device that makes drawing and creating super easy, then look no further than with the Lenovo Yoga Book. With it's 2-in-1 premium, lightweight design, and its unique Create Pad touch surface where a normal physical keyboard would be, the Yoga Book makes drawing so much easier on Windows 10 (or Android, if that's your thing). It comes with a Lenovo Real Pen, which can be used on the Wacom-enabled drawing surface. That touch slate area is also a virtual keyboard, flipping between a full touch surface and typing pad with the tap of a button.

Bottom-line: For the best tablet that makes drawing and creating super easy, look no further than the Lenovo Yoga Book.

One more thing: The Real Pen also comes with real ink tips, as the Yoga Book is able to detect drawing on actual paper when placed on the Create Pad. Neat!

Conclusion

If you're on the market for a new tablet but aren't sure what you want, make sure you consider these recommendations listed here. Overall, we think the Surface Pro 4 is the best tablet you can buy, but that's down to you to decide.

Best overall

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

See at Microsoft

If you're in the market for a new tablet but aren't sure what to buy, then you can't go wrong with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, a true 2-in-1 hybrid tablet that feels like a tablet most of the time, with the added bonus of becoming a laptop when/if you need it. Featuring a premium magnesium body, and a gorgeous 12.1-inch screen, you definitely won't regret getting one of these.

Bottom-line: For the best Windows 10 tablet out there, check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

One more thing: If you're looking for a tablet that's purely a tablet, the Surface Pro 4 is still a great choice. The type cover is an optional extra, so buying the Surface Pro 4 standalone means you'll be getting a full-on tablet.