What Is The Best Tablet For Travel – Top 2 Windows 8 Tablets For Travelling

What is the best tablet for travel?

What is the best tablet for travel?  There are two Windows 8 tablets in the  market today that I personally think are useful for traveling.  You should not have to compromise on usability or price when choosing the best windows 8 tablet.  When shopping for a tablet, you should choose a model that fits your needs and allows you to carry it everywhere without worrying about weight and functionality (or lack thereof). Whatever the platform a tablet that meets your productivity needs for all of your projects is a must have.

So, what is the best tablet for travel?  I personally think that the Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8 and the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 are the best tablets for travel because they offer a functionality of a laptop with the portability of a tablet.

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Both tablets are easy to carry around and both have the perfect size and can easily be placed it inside a handbag.  No matter what type of Windows 8 tablet you are looking for, picking through the features and finding the one that offers quality, strong functionality and compatibility should be the base of any your decision.  Below are the descriptions and my personal reviews with pros and cons for each tablet.  Hopefully this helps you decide on the right tablet for your travels.

1.Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8

Description

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Yes, you have seen the commercials and you’ve been convinced that this windows 8 tablet might be better than the iPad. Considering that it offers built-in quality, a great display, stylish design and Ultrabook power with 3rd generation Intel Core i5 Processor, it should be the best tech thing being sold!  This is a touchscreen tablet with great 10.6 inch 1080p display, with excellent fast and smooth performance. It comes with 68GB or 128GB storage and 4GB Ram Dual Channel Memory.  It has built-in WiFi, full size USB 3.0, micro SD card reader, headset jack and mini display port.  It also comes with a stylus pen and a detachable keyboard in a variety of colours.

Why I think Microsoft Surface Pro tablet is perfect for travelling?

Pros

The biggest advantage of the Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8 is that it has desktop computing power.

  1. Supports the full Microsoft Office Suite and other software that you would normal use on a PC or Laptop, which runs the Windows operating system. With this tablet you have the functionality of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, SharePoint Designer, Excel, Photoshop and other Products. In other words it’s your mobile solution away from home. Yes you can use other iOS or Android tablets to achieve the same goals but that would mean having to manage multiple operating systems and software licenses. Additionally, I think the other tablets are harder to use while travelling as they don’t offer the full blown functionality of a laptop or PC. This tablet is perfect for travelling as you would need lots of features to allow you to edit your photos and documents easily wherever you go.
  2. It comes with a clickable keyboard, which you can also purchase. Once the keyboard is attached to the Microsoft Surface Pro it allows you to type and gives you the ability to work on things such as editing photos from your travels, transfer photos from your camera, typing emails and blogging immediately whilst on the go.  When the keyboard is attached to the tablet it’s bendable all the way to the back of the tablet allowing you to work by touching the screen if you prefer to work with touchscreen.   I cannot stress enough that this is perfect for someone who blogs and simply likes to type notes every day in order to document his or her travels.    If you like browsing the internet and typing a document at night after a long day of sightseeing, this is definitely the right option for you.
  3. It comes with a stylus pen that you can use to write on the screen to take notes.  The stylus pen comes in handy when I’m on the bus, train and airport or at a cafe as it gives me the ability to write my notes, so it can be retrieved later.  I also find that the stylus is perfect for note taking on a list of things to do while I’m traveling, so I don’t forget anything.  I don’t even need to carry my notebook anymore because this is so handy.  If you also like to draw, for instance if you’re sitting in the park while relaxing you can definitely use the stylus pen to draw the surrounding and the scenery and save it on the tablet to share it with your friends later.
  4. I also like the fact that it has a built in WiFi.  It definitely allows me to connect to public internet connection including hotels, airports, train station, restaurants and cafes.  I’m definitely able to maximize my work anywhere I go while waiting around.

Cons

  1. However, there is definitely a downside to this tablet that many people are finding a bit irritating including myself.  Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8 battery life only last for 5 hours.  This does not make it all that great of a tablet laptop for travel despite of its powerful functionality.  In this case, I usually carry the charger with me whenever I go when I’m travelling.
  2. Microsoft surface pro is slightly heavy in weight in comparison to other normal light weight 10.1 tablets.  This tablet weighs 907 grams.  It doesn’t really bother me as really like the functionality of this tablet, which is what matters the most.
  3. Microsoft Surface Pro does not have a 3g connectivity, which I think is a disadvantage.  Unlike other tablets which have a built-in 3g that allows you to insert a sim card to be able to use your own internet data.  Therefore, you can still access the internet without relying on WiFi internet connection.  When I was in Italy at this place where there was no internet connection, I could not find a WiFi connection so obviously I could not check my email or go on the internet.  I also didn’t have my USB adapter and dongle with me then.  I personally like to use 3g when I am accessing my personal stuff online while travelling to avoid getting viruses.  I also find that it’s more secure rather than using the public WiFi internet connection. For this reason I usually use a USB dongle with a prepay data plan for my internet connection when I’m travelling.

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2.Lenovo Thinkpad tablet 2

The Lenovo thinkpad tablet 2 is definitely a tablet that has a solid build. And unlike the Surface, it offers users a better battery life. The bluetooth keyboard is exceptional and for many, it is the hot spot feature for this windows 8 tablet.  Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 runs on Windows 8 with a slower Intel Atom Z2760 Processor (1.80 GHz 1MB) and 10.1 inch LED Multitouch 1366×768 display.  It has a total memory of 2.0GB LPDDR2 800 MHz and a hard drive capacity of 64 GB.  It comes with WiFi, Blutooth 4.0 and 3G (that allows you to insert a Sim card for data plan).

Why I think Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 is perfect for travelling?

Pros

  1. Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 is thin as well as light-weight when compared to the Microsoft Surface Pro.  This tablet also appears solid with high quality components.  The fact that it’s light weight and it’s pleasant to hold makes it easy to carry around anywhere.  It has a rubbery material that’s built within the exterior of the tablet with high quality.
  2. It also comes with a stylus pen which allows you to write your notes wherever you go.  Especially if you are travelling and waiting around the airport, train station or bus station.  You can also draw on this tablet by using the stylus digitizer pen.
  3. This tablet also comes with a keyboard allowing you to type your documents and functions exactly like a laptop that you would normally use at home.
  4. It comes with a 3G version, which is fantastic because you don’t need to carry a USB adapter and dongle to connect to the internet.
  5. It also comes with a WiFi connection, which you can take advantage of while travelling (for example, just using your hotel’s internet connection).
  6. It has full Windows 8 functionality, which means you can work on this tablet.  You can type your documents, edit your travel photos, blog immediately at your convenience, you can check emails, browse the internet and use skype and other social media.

Cons

  1. Unfortunately, every product has a downside and the Lenovo thinkpad tablet 2 is no exception. Considering that it’s a Lenovo, it’s a bit more expensive than other tablets on the market.


  2. The Atom Processor is unable to handle powerful apps, making it less practical for power hungry users.  If you enjoy having applications on your tablet, you might want to think again when considering the Lenovo.
  3. The Atom Processor is also unable to handle lots of opened windows at the same.  For example, if you are the type of person who likes to multitask, editing photos, videos and writing documents at the same time, this tablet might not be the best option (I’d still choose the Microsoft Surface Pro).  It still offers the convenience of desktop computing in a tablet form and is still a good tablet for travelling.

Comparison

 

Star Rating Camera Display

Microsoft Surface Pro

4.5 out of 5 stars 1.2MP – Two 720p HD LifeCams, front- and rear-facing with True Colour 10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display1920x1080 pixels16:9 (widescreen)10-point multi-touch

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2

3.7 out of 5 stars 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and 30 fps video recording.  2MP front-facing webcam 10.1″ HD LED Multitouch 1366×768

 

Processor OS 3G

Microsoft Surface Pro

3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000 4GB Ram Dual Channel Memory Microsoft Windows 8 No

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2

Intel Atom Processor Z2760.  Dual Core™ 4-thread, up to 1.80 GHZ processor Microsoft Windows 8 Yes

 

WiFi/Blutooth GB Battery Life

Microsoft Surface Pro

Yes 64GB and 128 GB 4-5 hours

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2

Yes 64 GB 10 hours

 

Weight Port Pen

Microsoft Surface Pro

907 grams Full-size USB 3.0 micro SDXC card slot, Headset Jack, Mini Display Port, Cover Port Yes

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2

1.25 lbs / WiFi only. 1.29 lbs/WiFi + Pen Digitizer. 1.3 lbs/ WiFi + Pen/Digitizer +4G 1 USB 2.0, 1 Mini HDMI, 1 MicroSD Slot, 1 Docking Connector, 13.5mm Mic/headphone combo Yes

 

Conclusion

I definitely like the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 because it’s much lighter; it comes with 3G and a stylus pen.  However this tablet is less powerful due to the Atom Processor.  When I am travelling, I transfer photos, edit photos and upload photos from my camera when I get to my hotel or apartment and in those scenarios this would be an ideal tablet for me.  The Microsoft Surface Pro suits my needs when it comes to functionality; however the greatest disadvantage is the lack of 3G.  I totally hate relying on public WiFi internet connection, which in most cases is insecure.  The Microsoft Surface Pro is definitely heavier but it does not really bother me.  So, until a better tablet comes out, I chose the Microsoft Surface Pro for travelling.  Overall, they both function like a laptop allowing me to use the Microsoft Office and the full functionality of Windows 8.

What about you?  What do you prefer?



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