Best tablets for business

With many Singaporeans working from home, here are some of the best tablets for your virtual office

Before “circuit breaker” measures to curb the coronavirus spread kicked in on April 7, many Singaporeans rushed out to buy laptops to work from home. Many models sold out quickly.

Good news is, there are alternatives to full-fledged laptops that might just do the trick for some users. Tablets today can easily handle many common tasks, such as e-mails, conference calls and other collaborative work tools.

Here are four that are worth considering if you didn’t manage to buy a laptop or don’t fancy using one at home.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (from S$1,499)

The iPad Pro is still the standard bearer when it comes to the tablets today.

The 12.9-inch version comes with a screen that is nearly as large as many laptops that sport 13.3-inchers, so you don’t miss out that much when working on, say, a presentation.

The display is also sharp, offering 2,732 x 2,048, one of the finest in the business, so you can see all the detail in an image you’re editing, for example.

When it comes to scribbling or even drawing on the tablet, the experience with Apple Pencil is also commendable. It’s worth spending an additional S$189 on this stylus, which feels just like a regular pencil or pen, depending on how you configure it. The only downside here is the price.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (S$1,098)

A close second when it comes to premium tablets, Samsung’s top-end model – the Galaxy Tab S6 – sports a smaller 10.5-inch screen but is a powerhouse in terms of getting work done.

Just like Apple’s iPad Pro, it features a stylus that is highly realistic with its real-world feel. However, its main attraction is how the software interface feels like a Windows PC, so you won’t miss your office desktop too much.

The Samsung DeX mode changes the interface from a familiar touch-screen tablet mode to one that lets you multitask with a few windows and apps simultaneously, much like Windows.

Want to drag and drop a file? Copy over some text from an e-mail message to a document? Easy.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (from S$1,388)

Okay, this isn’t exactly a tablet in the traditional sense but a full-fledged Windows machine with the works. This means a powerful Intel Core processor, more memory and more importantly, support for the Windows software apps used in the office.

The 12.3-inch touchscreen is also nifty, responding well to user interaction. Plus, you can add a stylus at about S$118 to handwrite meetings notes on it.

The kickstand that props up the tablet also folds away when not needed, contributing to an excellent design that delivers both portability and performance.

Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab (S$399)

If spending over S$1,000 is not your cup of tea, one budget-friendly option is Lenovo’s Yoga Smart Tab, which costs S$399. Though it does not have the same powerful processors in the other tablets in this list, it should be fast enough for commonly used apps such as Zoom or Microsoft Office.

You get less sharpness in the 10.1-inch screen than the rest of the tablets here, but the Full HD resolution should get you through everyday office tasks. It helps to have two well-made speakers at the side – which are larger than in most slim tablets – so you can clearly hear what is being discussed over a video call.

A neat kickstand also lets you balance the tablet upright for video calls or when viewing a webinar, for example. Add any Bluetooth keyboard and you’ll be able to fire off e-mails quickly.