What is the best tablet with a keyboard?

Man using a tablet with a keyboard on his lap on a train.
(Image credit: Getty)

The best tablet with a keyboard can not only be a useful way to take notes – it can effectively function as a laptop. With tablets getting more powerful with every generation, many casual tech users no longer have the need for a desktop or laptop computer that they once did. If you were thinking of buying a cheap computer for word processing, document editing and similar tasks, a potential alternative solution could be just getting a keyboard for your tablet.

For this guide, we’ve made one top pick of what we reckon is the best tablet with a keyboard right now – one that synergises well with its keyboard and offers plenty of useful features for those who want to do their typing on their table. If that one isn’t right for you, we’ve also included four other picks, at varying price points and using different operating systems. So no matter what type of user you are, there should be a great tablet with a keyboard here for you.

Given that the keyboards aren’t bundled in with tablets, and you’re going to have to fork out the extra cost, we’ve made an effort to pick sensibly priced tablets that are going to appeal to the majority of users. You can take it as a given that an iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra is going to top pretty much any list that starts with ‘best tablet’, but these are ultra-powerful machines with big price tags to match. So for this list, we’ve picked out tablets that are going to best suit those who want a reasonably priced tablet to use with a keyboard for general productivity tasks. 

Also, for each pick we’ve recommended the best keyboard to pair with it, but in most cases, a generic bluetooth keyboard will work just fine, so don’t be put off if the extra cost seems too high. 

The best tablet with a keyboard

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 with Surface Pro Signature Keyboard

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 with Surface Pro Signature Keyboard

Microsoft’s flagship 2-in-1 pairs beautifully with its signature keyboard


Screen size: 13-inch, 2,880 x 1,920 resolution
RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB
Keyboard price: $179.99
Weight: 883g
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB

Reasons to buy

Excellent, tactile keyboard
Fast operation
Crisp, high-quality 120Hz screen

Reasons to avoid

Loss of headphone jack
No 5G (only on SQ3 version)

Right now, if we were to pick the best tablet to pair with a keyboard, we’d pick the Microsoft Surface Pro 9, and specifically the flagship Surface Pro Signature Keyboard. Running WIndows 11, this is a highly capable 2-in-1 tablet/laptop, which can be outfitted with a good deal of RAM and storage, and sports a gorgeous 13-inch display with super-fast 120 Hz refresh rate. Ticking a lot of boxes already.

The Surface Pro Signature Keyboard is Microsoft’s best and most expensive keyboard, which will add to the already considerable cost of the tablet – but if you have the budget, it's sublime. Magnetically snapping to the bottom of the tablet, the keyboard delivers a tactile and comfortable typing experience – it isn’t too cramped the way some tablet keyboards can be. The keys are chiclet-style square, and there’s three stages of backlighting available. The rigidity of the keyboard is quite impressive considering how slim it is, and we appreciate the inclusion of a touchpad, which again, a lot of tablet keyboards omit.

We can gripe yet again about the loss of the 3.5mm physical headphone jack that was still present on previous Surface models, but at this point we might as well be yelling at the clouds – it’s just the way tech is going. Battery life on the Surface Pro 9 is generally pretty decent, with most reviewers finding it lasts long enough to manage a day’s use, as long as you don’t hammer the brightness too hard.

The Surface Pro 9 isn’t a cheap tablet, and while there are more affordable configurations for those with smaller budgets, you may find yourself chafing against limits like 128GB storage before too long. Still, it’s powerful enough to function as a replacement for a standard laptop, and that’s nothing to be sniffed at.

More of the best tablets with keyboards

Not sure if the Surface Pro 9 ticks all the boxes for you? We’ve picked out four great alternative tablet/keyboard pairings, available at a range of prices and using a variety of operating systems. 

What to look for in a tablet with a keyboard

When finding a good tablet with a keyboard, it’s best to drill down into exactly what you want to figure out what’s best for you. One of the key questions to think about first and foremost is what exactly you’re going to be using it for, as this will tell you how much power you’re likely to need – and therefore how much you’re likely to need to spend. If you’re just going to be typing in Google Docs or the Notes app, you won’t need much in the way of computing power, and can definitely stand to choose a cheaper tablet.

However, if you’re planning on using a tablet to multi-task – say, type in documents while also watching videos on YouTube – or you want the keyboard to be able to use keyboard shortcuts in creative software like Photoshop or Premiere, then you’re going to need something that packs a bit more punch. At this point, it’s also worth thinking about whether a tablet with a keyboard is truly what you want. 

Something like an iPad Pro, for instance, offers the kind of processing power you’d expect to find on a laptop. And if you don’t think you’ll use the tablet functionality of it – if you don’t think you’ll want to draw with a stylus, or don’t think you’ll benefit much from the slimmer dimensions – then you might be better off with one of the best laptops. 

Also, it’s worth remembering that in pretty much all cases, you have a fair amount of freedom of choice when it comes to keyboards. In our guide above, we’ve recommended what we think is the best keyboard for each tablet – this is normally the manufacturer’s own, which will have been specifically tailored to that particular tablet. 

However, these keyboards tend to be among the more expensive; Apple’s Magic Keyboard Folio costs $249, Microsoft’s Surface Pro Signature Keyboard costs just under $180. If you want something simpler and cheaper, then most generic bluetooth or USB keyboards will likely work with most tablets. It may not be as comfortable or as hard-wearing, and it may not come with useful features like a touchpad, but it’ll work for typing, and it won’t cost the earth.

You do unfortunately pretty much always have to factor in the cost of the keyboard when tablet shopping, as tablets are rarely bundled with them.

Jon Stapley
TTR Contributor

Jon Stapley is an experienced writer and journalist who covers tech, photography and more. As well as contributing to TopTen Reviews, he has written for Digital Camera World, Black + White Photography magazine, Creative BLOQ, Wex Photo Video, Amateur Photographer, Trusted Reviews and plenty more.