The 10 Coolest Tablets Of 2017

Top Tablets

Though the tablet market overall has continued to decline in 2017, according to market tracker IDC, vendors have continued to innovate, releasing a number of notable tablets during the year. Many new tablet offerings focused on 2-in-1 concepts, with major debuts including a new version of Microsoft's pioneering Surface Pro. But Apple proved there's still interest out there in slate tablets, too, with the company reporting strong demand for its updated 9.7-inch iPad this year.

What follows are the 10 coolest tablets we've come across in 2017.

Get more of CRN's 2017 tech year in review.

Apple iPad

What it is: 9.7-inch iOS slate tablet

Starting price: $329 (Wi-Fi-only), $459 (Wi-Fi + Cellular)

What's cool about it: Thanks to Apple's introduction of this more affordably priced iPad in the spring, sales of the tablet are having a resurgence right now. The latest version of the iPad gets a boost to speed (with the inclusion of Apple's A9 processor); offers up to 10 hours of battery life; and features Apple's much-loved Retina technology for the display. The iPad also now measures just 0.29 of an inch thick and weighs just a pound.

Apple iPad Pro

What it is: 10.5-inch iOS tablet, optional detachable keyboard (sold separately)

Starting price: $649 (Wi-Fi-only), $779 (Wi-Fi + Cellular); price for tablet only

What's cool about it: In June, Apple unveiled this new 10.5-inch model of the iPad Pro to replace the previous 9.7-inch model. Notably, Apple minimized the bezels around the display on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, so the overall size is actually on par with the size of the 9.7-inch version (and the tablet still weighs just a pound). The company also released an update to the 12.9-inch edition, and both iPad Pro models now come with a speedier processor — the A10X — touted as 40 percent faster than the A9X. Graphics performance has gotten a 40 percent boost as well, according to Apple.

Asus ZenPad 3S 10

What it is: 9.7-inch Android slate tablet

Starting price: $299

What's cool about it: In the realm of affordable Android tablets to compete with Apple's latest iPad, Asus is offering the ZenPad 3S 10. Along with having the same display size as the latest iPad, the tablet weighs just a pound -- also identical to the iPad -- and is a bit thinner at 0.23 of an inch thick. The ZenPad 3S 10 includes wide viewing angles and enhanced visuals (using Asus' VisualMaster and Tru2Life technology) for its display -- which features strong resolution at 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. In addition, the tablet includes five speakers for solid volumes and audio quality, as well as a promised 10 hours of battery life.

HP Pro x2 612 G2

What it is: 12-inch Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard

Starting price: $1,059 (tablet and keyboard)

What's cool about it: HP is looking to differentiate the second-generation model of the Pro x2 from other 2-in-1s with features such as a magnetically attached Collaboration Keyboard (containing dedicated keys for launching voice and video calls) and advanced security (smart card reader, removable SSD, HP Client Security Suite Gen3, optional fingerprint sensor). The tablet also features military-standard durability, up to 11 hours of battery life, seventh-gen Intel Core processors, and both USB-A and USB-C ports.

Lenovo Miix 720

What it is: 12-inch Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard

Starting price: $1,030 (tablet and keyboard)

What's cool about it: Lenovo's Miix 720 is geared for use by creative professionals -- it's designed to work with the new Lenovo Active Pen 2, a smart pen with high sensitivity to pressure for drawing and writing on the display. The Miix 720 features a high-res display (2,880 x 1,920), a touchpad-enabled keyboard, and seventh-generation Intel processors. It also gets eight hours of battery life and has an infrared camera for facial recognition (via Windows Hello).

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet

What it is: 12-inch Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard

Starting price: $1,500 (tablet and keyboard)

What's cool about it: Lenovo's second-generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet retains the most unique feature of the first generation -- the ability to attach external modules for additional functionality. One of them is the Presenter Module, which lets you use your tablet as a projector, while the Productivity Module adds five hours of battery life. It also comes with a sturdy detachable keyboard, a variety of port options (including USB-C and USB-A), a fingerprint reader, and a bright 2,160 x 1,440 display.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

What it is: 2-in-1 Windows notebook/tablet; consists of a 13.5-inch or 15-inch display that detaches from a keyboard

Starting price: $1,499 (13.5-inch), $2,499 (15-inch)

What's cool about it: While not a tablet in the same sense as the others on this list, Microsoft's Surface Book 2 nonetheless features a display that fully detaches from the keyboard for use as a Windows 10 tablet. Both sizes of the Surface Book 2 feature high-resolution touch displays -- 3,240 x 2,160 for the 15-inch version and 3,000 x 2,000 for the 13.5-inch model. The Surface Book 2 also features major horsepower with an available eighth-gen Core i7 processor (up to 4.2GHz), an option for discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics, and up to 16 GB of RAM. In addition, the Surface Book offers up to 17 hours of battery life and several ports, including both USB-C and USB-A.

Microsoft Surface Pro

What it is: 12.3-inch Windows tablet, optional detachable keyboard (sold separately)

Starting price: $799 (tablet only)

What's cool about it: The successor to the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Pro tablet retains the same form factor but offers a number of improvements. Most notable may be the battery life; Microsoft is promising 13.5 hours of battery life on a charge for the device, a big leap over the nine hours that the Surface Pro 4 had promised. The new Surface Pro also features Intel's seventh-generation Core i5/i7/m3 processors, and Microsoft has redesigned the Type Cover to contain deeper key travel and Alcantara fabric around the keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy Book

What it is: 12-inch Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard

Starting price: $1,150 (tablet and keyboard)

What's cool about it: The biggest upgrade for the Galaxy Book over past Samsung 2-in-1s (such as the Tab Pro S) is the keyboard cover. The company has redesigned the keyboard cover so that the keystrokes are deeper, the key pitch is wider, and the keyboard is now backlit. Samsung also stays true to its reputation for excellent displays with the bright and colorful Super AMOLED, 2,160 x 1,440 screen on the Galaxy Book. In addition, the tablet comes with a digital pen, and features plenty of horsepower with a seventh-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM. Along with the 12-inch Galaxy Book, Samsung also released a lower-end, 10.6-inch model this year.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

What it is: 9.7-inch Android tablet, optional detachable keyboard (sold separately)

Starting price: $600 (tablet only)

What's cool about it: The Galaxy Tab S3 retains the strong resolution (2,048 x 1,536) of the Tab S2 for its Super AMOLED display, but adds an upgraded S Pen. The Tab S3 also gets a 13-megapixel rear camera, quad-stereo speakers, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. The tablet weighs about a pound and measures just 0.23 of an inch thick.