Interested in buying a dual boot tablet? Perhaps you want to run Office 365 in its native environment, then switch to Android to use its wide range of apps.
Now you can: there are some inexpensive Dual OS tablets on the market, mostly from Chinese companies. We round up some of the best.
The Best Dual OS Tablets
Update 2 – The Chuwi Hibook is probably the best all-round option. It’s like a Surface Pro clone (make sure to buy the keyboard). Read our full review here. Or if you want a pure tablet or don’t want such a large device, its little brother the Chuwi Hi8 is an upgraded version of the VI8 – the number 1 in our 2015 list.
Update 3 – We reviewed the dual-boot Cube iWork8 Air here.
Update 4 – LOTS of new dual boot OS tablets to consider. It’s probably time for us to write a fresh article, but hey! It’s Christmas and we’re on holiday. In the meantime check out the tablets in the list below and also these bad boys: the Teclast Tbook 16 Power, Teclast TBook 12 Pro, Ainol AX10 Pro 4G, Onda v80 Plus, and the Chuwi Hi12.
Small Chinese manufacturers, more nimble and responsive to the changing market than megacorporations, are leading the way in terms of providing Dual Boot tablets.
This is a niche we expect to grow over the next few years as customers realise they don’t need to buy two tablets to run two operating systems. (Indeed, it would be wise to consider a Dual Boot tablet as two separate tablets, since their most common drawback is the difficulty of transferring files between the two boots.)
Brands such as Chuwi are getting requests from customers for Dual OS tablets and they are filling that demand in style.
These products are freely available on dubious websites, sometimes at lower prices than quoted here. However, those prices do not include customs duty (if the tablet is shipped direct from China, which it would be) and even if they are not scams, you will struggle to get customer support.
For that reason, we recommend you buy these Dual OS tablets through Amazon. The price you see is the final price you pay, and if you are unlucky enough to receive a tablet with dead pixels or any other defect, you are protected.
On with the list:
1 – Chuwi VI8 Dual Boot Intel Z3735F Quad Core 8″
This is one of the best-selling products from a brand you have never heard of. While utterly obscure in America, in Asia it sells by the bucketload owing to its low price and great feature set.
The Chuwi VI8 comes with a 1.83GHz processor, micro-HDMI port, micro-USB port, 2GB RAM, Windows 8.1 (which is fairly easy to upgrade to Win 10), 32GB of flash memory and a 1280 x 800 IPS display that will do well in all but direct sunlight. The 5000 mAh battery is good for 5 or 6 hours of life, which is not optimal, but at the price some limitations are inevitable.
The audio output and camera are also weak spots. But you can offset that against the installation of Windows and a year of Office 365 (talk about value!).
Here’s a link to its Amazon page.
2 – Cube i10 Intel Z3735F Quad Core 1.8GHz 10.6 Inch
This large tablet has very decent specs. The quad core processor runs at 1.8GHz, and it has 2GB RAM, and 1366×768 resolution. It comes bundled with Win 8.1 and Android 4.4. It has a micro-USB port and a mini-HDMI.
The tablet works great, though not for taking photos. A fair chunk of storage is taken up by the operating systems and there might be some fiddling around needed when upgrading to Windows 10.
Having a bit more power than others at this price point makes it a decent option for office productivity tasks, though casual users will want to buy something that needs less technical knowledge to optimise.
Buy from Amazon.
3 – Pipo W3F TOZO 10.1″
The Pipo W3F TOZO is not only dual boot, but with its keyboard dock can act as a laptop. Bonanza! It runs both Android 4.4.2 and Windows 8.1 comes installed. Boot-up is rapid, performance is fast, and at times you’ll forget you’re using a tablet.
The keyboard is not the best and the trackpad is sometimes a tad unresponsive, and the battery life is less than 5 hours, but perfection comes at a price. If you want perfection you’ll have to pay 3 times what the W3F costs! What you do get is a 1920×1200 max screen resolution, 32Gb storage and a 1.83GHz processor.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
4 – Vido M9I
Take a look at these specs, and imagine how much you’d have to pay if it came with a Samsung logo attached: Intel Z3735F, 1.86GHz Quad Core GPU, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB drive, a 9.7 inch screen running at Retina quality 2048×1536.
Wow. It also has micro-USB and mini-HDMI ports, plus Google Play and Office 365 preinstalled. It runs both Windows 8.1 + Android 4.4.
The screen is fantastic and the metallic build feels better than the others on this list. The battery life is slightly better than the others too, allowing 6 hours of use. More than the other Dual OS tablets it feels like it has been designed. It’s very sexy.
Check it’s in stock at Amazon.
5 – Chuwi VI10 Quad Core 10.6″
Another entry from Chuwi. It seems that when they aren’t flying the Millennium Falcon they’re churning out great value tablets. The VI10 Quad Core has been designed to take a magnetic docking keyboard – the best such tablet keyboard ever made by a minor brand. (Well worth spending an extra 30 dollars on.)
The main factor of differentiation with this one is the appearance of two FULL-SIZE USB ports! Strange as it may seem, this is going to be a killer feature for a lot of people. Tablets with USB ports are just so much more convenient, although it’s understandable why manufacturers have moved away from including them. Here’s a detailed video review:
As always, here’s a link to it on Amazon.
These tablets are not sold on the premium end of the market – they are budget options and have flaws. Being from less affluent producers there will be sacrifices in terms of documentation and support. Most users will be delighted and even astounded by the value for money, but users used to luxury options should look elsewhere!