More people than ever are buying tablets, whether it be for work, school, or personal enjoyment. Many technology companies have increased their focus on tablet marketing, and large corporations and department stores often highlight their selection of tablets to attract the growing fan base. It is no secret that tablets are on the rise, nor is it any surprise considering the tremendous capabilities instilled in a thin, handheld device the size of a notebook. It is difficult, however, to know which of the thousands of readily available tablets to buy.
With technology developers consistently releasing different models or modified versions of tablets and retailers advertising dozens of products at a time, many consumers are left confused and bewildered without any real sense of where to look. We will attempt to simplify your search by giving you a comprehensive understanding of everything Ubuntu tablet related. There are many questions to be answered and many details to be analyzed. Getting right down to business, here are a few frequently asked questions about Ubuntu tablets.
1. What Is an Ubuntu Tablet?
For this article all tablets reviewed are compatible with Ubuntu, which is an operating system and Linux distribution modeled after the Debian computer operating system. Releasing updated versions of their software every six months, Ubuntu first hit the market in 2004 and has steadily grown since. Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS is the most recent version at the time of this writing and was released in July of 2018. As an operating system, Ubuntu works on computers, servers, and other core devices in the technology world, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that tablets were designed to support Ubuntu.
2. How Does It Work?
Ubuntu is an open-source model system, meaning it has decentralized software that encourages open collaboration via a free license to the design. It is part of the Linux family, a pioneer in the open-source model, and a well-recognized system around the world. The Ubuntu package comes with several features like Firefox, Thunderbird, and Sudoku, and additional packages including such features as Evolution and Synaptic are available to purchase and install with the main tool. Your purchase of Ubuntu comes with a comprehensive guide for installing the software on whatever platform you’ll be using.
3. Where To Buy?
Buying the Ubuntu package is really straightforward. From Ubuntu’s website you can just download the system onto the device you are using, so chances are you won’t encounter any trouble in this step. Buying a compatible tablet, however, will take a bit more effort. After all, Ubuntu is an all-encompassing system, whereas there are thousands of tablets out there, each of them unique. A variety of retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, or Walmart sell tablets that run Ubuntu. Typical prices for an Ubuntu tablet fall in the range from $400-$2,300 with those on the higher end often boasting more features or greater quality.
Top 10 Tablets With Ubuntu
Lenovo Miix 520, 12.2-Inch Windows Laptop, 2 in 1 Laptop
This tablet has Windows 10 as its operating system, as does every tablet on this list, the reason being that this is the easiest system to download Ubuntu on. The Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 520 is a great Windows tablet with a 12.2-inch screen size and a 2.65-pound weight. With 1.6 GHz of processing speed, it is a fairly fast device, and has a storage capacity of 256 GB. The only real downside to this tablet is the battery life at just 7 hours 32 minutes, but seeing as this spans almost a full workday, it could be far worse. Costing an even $990 – $1100 and backed by a five-year warranty, the Miix 520 is a great way to kick off the list.
Wacom DTHW1620H Mobile Studio Pro 16″ Windows 10
Up next is a larger tablet, and with this increased size comes increased power. Weighing 4.86 pounds, the Pro 16 can be a bit heavier than some people are used to, and the screen size is a whopping 15.6 inches. With such great size, the Pro 16 is able to process at a speed of 3.3 GHz and can hold 512 GB of storage. Unfortunately, battery life is lacking, and this tablet lowers the bar even more with a mere 6 hours of power. If you can look past this negative and can muster up the $2,500 – $2800 price, the rest of the features are simply outstanding, and your purchase comes with a 30-day return policy and a manufacturer’s warranty per your request.
Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme
Another hefty device, the Rugged Extreme lives up to its name with a hard-hitting weight of 4.98 pounds. The screen size is pretty small at just 11.6 inches, so for those accustomed to larger screens this may take some getting used to. It is certainly worth the adjustment, however, as the 11-hour and 34-minute battery life astounds consumers. Furthermore, the Rugged Extreme is capable of processing at speeds of 2.6 GHz and has 256 GB of storage. It costs $900 – $1100 and comes with a limited warranty which can be extended at any time should you wish for further coverage.
Microsoft Surface Pro
Perhaps one of the more widely recognized names in the tablet world, the Surface Pro earns its superb reputation. Weighing just 1.75 pounds, this is a lighter option that will take stress off your hands, and the 12.3-inch screen is often considered the happy medium of sizes. It is extremely capable with 2.5 GHz processing speed and 512 GB of storage space, and the battery life is a smashing 13 hours 54 minutes, one of the best you’ll find. As a kicker, the Surface Pro is quite affordable at $800 – $900 and comes with a one-year limited warranty.
ASUS Transformer Mini
Mini is the correct adjective for this tablet, as the 1.18-pound weight is the lightest that appears on this list. Screen size is also the smallest on the list, measuring just 10.1 inches, so if a tiny overall size attracts your attention, you’ll be very satisfied with this purchase. Of course, the Mini comes with its limitations like the 1.44 GHz processing speed, but surprisingly does not hold back with 256 GB of storage and a simply amazing battery life of 14 hours and 14 minutes. A cheap purchase if there ever was one, the Transformer Mini goes for just $300 – $400, and the warranty will fall in a range of two to three years depending on the extent of your order.
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Another Microsoft model with many similar features to the Surface Pro, the Surface Book 2 made a splash upon its release. The 4.2-pound weight may be a bit heavier than most people are used to, but the super clear 15-inch screen makes you forget about the extra pounds. With 1.9 GHz of processing speed, it is not the fastest tablet out there, but it has the greatest storage capacity found on this list with 1 TB available. Furthermore, its battery life is an astonishing 17 hours 12 minutes, by far the best on the list, and perhaps the best you’ll find outside of the list as well. Costing $1,200 – $1300 and backed by a one year warranty, the Surface Book 2 continues to impress critics and consumers alike with its high-end quality.
HP ZBook x2
Next is a hefty tablet with a hefty price tag. This one weighs 4.9 pounds, trailing the Dell Latitude by just 12.8 ounces, and has a screen size of 14 inches that many people find appealing. The processing speed is good, not great, at 1.9 GHz, and the storage is quite ample with 512 GB. Sadly, this is where the positives end, as the battery life is the lowest on the list with only 5 hours 6 minutes of power. An expensive buy, the HP ZBook x2 costs $1,200 – $1300 and comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Lenovo IdealPad Miix 720
As an upgraded version of the 520, the Miix 720 fulfills many of the areas where its predecessor struggled. For one, the weight was dropped to 2.49 pounds and the processing speed was increased to 2.7 GHz. The screen is basically the same size at 12 inches, just .2 inches smaller than the 520, and the 256 GB storage is right on par. Battery life was also improved, albeit not by much, so that the tablet can go 8 hours and 30 minutes without being charged. If all of these distinctions from the 520 capture your attention and you’re willing to spend $780 – $900 instead of $700 – $800, this tablet may be right for you. As an added bonus, Lenovo offers their five-year warranty here as well.
Acer Switch 3
This is the cheapest tablet you’ll find on this list, and possibly the cheapest one worth buying in the vast technological world. Being an affordable option comes with its drawbacks, as the 1.1 GHz processing speed is hardly impressive, and the 64 GB storage pales in comparison to other products. However, this is not a tablet to be skipped over, as many of its features are simply delightful. Weighing 1.98 pounds this is certainly a light device, and the 12.2-inch screen is a great size. Most impressive of all is the 12-hour and 45-minute battery life, and your purchase comes with a limited warranty and 30-day return policy. The cheap price mentioned? Just $400 – $500, half the cost of most comparable tablets and more than a third of the cost of many high-end options.
Dell Latitude 5290
Finally, the Dell Latitude 5290 ends the list with little fanfare. It does have many great qualities, like the 256 GB storage and the 10-hour and 36-minute battery life. All around is it a pretty average tablet, weighing 2.65 pounds and measuring 12.3 inches across the screen. Its 1.7 GHz of processing speed is commendable at most, but the $1350 – $1450 price tag and limited warranty seem to justify this very middle-of-the-line tablet.
It is now time to unveil the winner. The best Ubuntu tablet is…the Microsoft Surface Pro! Weighing just 1.75 pounds, this is a lightweight tablet that packs a punch. It is capable of holding up to 512 GB of storage and can run at a processing speed of 2.5 GHz, well above average for Ubuntu tablets.
The fantastic battery life is what attracts people the most, as so much can get done in a 13 hour, 54-minute window. Perhaps even more exciting is the super low price of $800, and the Microsoft warranty does not disappoint either. All in all this is an outstanding item, one that has garnered much support from business professionals and casual users alike. It is because of all of this that the Microsoft Surface Pro has earned the number one spot on this list, and carries the proud title of best tablet on the market.