The 10 Best Tablets Of 2018 (So Far)

Top Tablets

While some slate tablets continue to reach the market, such as Apple's latest 9.7-inch iPad, tablet manufacturers are continuing to increasingly shift the focus to 2-in-1 devices. For our roundup of leading tablet releases in 2018 so far, seven of the 10 tablets work with a keyboard, in fact. In some instances, the keyboard is optional and sold separately, such as with Microsoft's Surface Go and Dell's Latitude 5290 2-in-1. In other cases, a keyboard comes packaged with the tablet, such as with Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Tablet and HP's Chromebook x2. All in all, the releases from the year so far prove that PC makers are committed to evolving, rather than abandoning, the tablet form factor.

What follows are the 10 coolest tablets we've come across so far in 2018.

(For more on the biggest news of 2018, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.").

Acer Chromebook Tab 10

What it is: 9.7-inch Chrome OS slate tablet

Starting price: $329

What's cool about it: Acer and Google have teamed up on the Chromebook Tab 10, which was the first launch of a tablet powered by Chrome OS. The tablet targets the K-12 education market, and includes a textured design to make for easy handling in educational environments. The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 also features a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution display, and comes with a Wacom EMR stylus. Notably, the stylus doesn't require a battery and can be inserted into its own slot on the tablet for storage.

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: The latest version of Apple's entry-level iPad is probably the most useful version of the slate tablet yet. That's thanks to Apple's introduction of support for using the Apple Pencil digital stylus with the iPad (Apple Pencil sold separately). The new iPad also features a 9.7-inch Retina display, up to 10 hours of battery life and better performance through the inclusion of the A10 Fusion processor.

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1

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

Starting price: $899 (tablet only) $1,028.99 (tablet and keyboard)

What's cool about it: The Latitude 5290 2-in-1 tablet weighs just 2.64 pounds with its keyboard, offers up to quad-core eighth-gen Intel Core i7 processors, and has both USB-C and USB-A ports. The tablet also includes a highly adjustable kickstand. For the display, the Latitude 5290 2-in-1 features 1,920 x 1,280 resolution and Gorilla Glass 4 for durability.

HP Chromebook x2

What it is: 12.3-inch Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard

Starting price: $599

What's cool about it: HP describes the Chromebook x2 as the first-ever detachable Chromebook, with a hinge on the base of the keyboard for attaching to the tablet. The Chromebook x2 runs Google's Chrome OS as well as Android apps from the Google Play Store, and the device stands out from most other Chromebooks by offering both front- and rear-facing cameras. The tablet features QHD (2,400 x 1,600) resolution for the display, and includes the HP Active Pen. Design-wise, the Chromebook x2 features a metal unibody design that's covered with a scratch-resistant, ceramic white matte finish.

HP Envy x2

What it is: 12.3-inch Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard

Starting price: $1,149.99

What's cool about it: Following the debut of a new Envy x2 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor last year, HP has debuted an Envy x2 model featuring seventh-gen Intel Core Y-series processors. The Intel version of the 2-in-1 tablet offers stronger performance than the Snapdragon version, along with the ability to run full Windows applications. As a trade-off, the Intel version of the new Envy x2 doesn't last as long on battery life -- up to 15 hours compared with 20 hours for the Snapdragon version. The tablet includes Gorilla Glass 4 for durability, fast-charging capabilities and optional LTE connectivity. The device also comes with a digital pen and a backlit keyboard featuring 1.3mm key travel.

Lenovo Miix 630

What it is: 12.3-inch Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard

Starting price: $899.99

What's cool about it: One big advantage of the Miix 630 is the ability to stay connected at all times over LTE, just like on a smartphone. The cellular connectivity is enabled by the use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which is a new option for Windows devices thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm. Using the Snapdragon chip also brings advantages around extending battery life, with the tablet capable of getting up to 20 hours on a charge. The Miix 630 comes with the Lenovo Pen and runs Windows 10 in S mode out of the box, though free upgrades to Windows 10 Pro are being offered.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet

What it is: 13-inch Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard

Starting price: $1,269

What's cool about it: Lenovo has unveiled a new form factor for the ThinkPad X1 Tablet with its third generation. The latest X1 Tablet has been redesigned to have a 13-inch display, compared with the 12-inch display of the previous version. The IPS display offers 3,000 x 2,000 resolution and includes Gorilla Glass for durability. The latest X1 Tablet also features eighth-gen Intel Core processors, optional LTE connectivity, support for the optional Lenovo Pen Pro, and up to 9.5 hours of battery life -- as well as a detachable thin keyboard. One other notable change with the latest X1 Tablet: Lenovo has phased out the option to attach modules for additional functionality, such as a projector or battery life extender.

Microsoft Surface Go

What it is:

Starting price: $399 (tablet only), $529 (tablet and Signature Type Cover keyboard); currently in pre-orders, devices ship Aug. 2

What's cool about it: Microsoft is continuing to expand its Surface lineup, with the company now introducing a smaller and affordably priced 2-in-1 Surface tablet -- the Surface Go. The display resolution on the Surface Go is 1,800 x 1,200 pixels, while the tablet includes the Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor. The Surface Go keyboard comes with keys that are the same size as the Surface Pro keys -- and have some design tweaks that should also improve the feel of the keys, according to Microsoft.

The Surface Go tablet measures 0.31 of an inch thick and weighs 1.15 pounds, which makes it a fair amount lighter than the 1.7-pound Surface Pro. On battery life, Microsoft is promising up to nine hours of usage for the Surface Go.

The tablet also offers HD webcams on both the front and back -- an 8-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera -- and supports facial recognition log-in via Windows Hello.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2

What it is: 8-inch Android slate tablet

Starting price: $419.99 (Wi-Fi only), $519.99 (Wi-Fi + Cellular)

What's cool about it: The rugged Galaxy Tab Active2 is the first LTE-enabled tablet from Samsung that's being sold exclusively by the channel. The tablet's display features 1,280 x 800 resolution with high brightness of 480 nits, and the tablet is powered by Samsung's eight-core Exynos 7870 processor. The Tab Active2 includes up to 11 hours of usage on a charge and has a removable battery for extending the battery life.

The Galaxy Tab Active2 meets military ruggedness standards (MIL-STD-810G) for drops, vibration, pressure, altitude, extreme temperatures and other potential impacts. The tablet also has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning that it should be able to survive after being submerged in water for a half-hour, at depths of as much as five feet. Meanwhile, the tablet features an S Pen that is IP68 rated, suggesting that users should be able to write on the tablet "even in the pouring rain," according to Samsung.

Additionally, Samsung said it has developed the Galaxy Tab Active2 to include an "enhanced touch" mode -- which enables the use of the tablet with many types of gloves.

Xplore XBOOK L10

What it is: 10.1-inch Windows tablet

Starting price: $2,399

What's cool about it: The rugged XBOOK L10 tablet features drop protection (up to six feet) and waterproofing/dustproofing, as well as the ability to view the display in bright conditions thanks to having 500 or 1,000 nits of brightness. LTE connectivity is included, and the tablet also offers a range of ports including Ethernet, USB-C and USB-A. The XBOOK L10 also offers strong performance via eighth-gen Intel Core i5/i7 processors.