We love sleek, sexy high-end tablets from Samsung and Apple. They’re thin, light, and desirable. Problem is, I’ve got last night’s episode of Game of Thrones my PowerPoint presentation on a full-size USB stick and hey! There’s nowhere to plug it in!
This article includes:
- A list of some of the best tablet PCs that DO come with full-size USB ports.
- Options for cheaper tablets with the ports you need
- A selection of tablets that have two or more ports
The Best Tablet with a Full-Size USB Port
Engineers are great. They build bridges, skyscrapers, self-driving cars. They also make our tablet PCs thinner, faster, more elegant. The first thing they chuck out when designing a new model is the full-size USB port. The port is just too big! It has to go. Anyway, they say, people can send files wirelessly now.
Well, not in my house. I’ve got four or five USB sticks on the go at any one time, and use them to distribute files to friends and colleagues on a daily basis. For me, and I suspect for millions of others, a tablet with a full-size USB stick has its place.
In this article I’ll post mini-reviews of tablets that fit the bill. There aren’t many, but when I find new ones I’ll update the list. Note – I’ve discounted half a dozen that I know of because they are too old now and it probably makes no sense to buy them. I’ve also left out hybrid ultrabooks.
Best Premium Option – Microsoft Surface Pro 3/4
Now with Windows 10, this is a superb tablet that garnered superb reviews when it was released. However, one can only say that it was under-rated. You only have to look at how much the iPad Pro was influenced by the Surface range to see that.
(This article on Gizmodo is funny: The World Finally Admits Microsoft Surface Is the Shit. For our readers who aren’t native English speakers, in this case ‘the shit’ is a big compliment!)
There’s also the small matter of this being the tablet most chosen by CFOs. If anyone knows how to spend money, let’s hope it’s those guys!
So what do you get? First, you get a FULL-SIZE USB PORT, which is what we want. Right? Guess what? It’s USB 3.0, which means it is silly fast. First time I used a USB 3.0 device I felt a bit sick from thinking about all the time I’d wasted in my life waiting for files to transfer from USB 2.0. Ah well, the future is now.
It’s bundled with the 70-dollar-value Office 365 suite (for a year). I was quietly impressed first time I used the new Excel. Microsoft are doing some good work at the moment – Windows 10 is great and the changes they’ve made to Office make a lot of sense. Better late than never!
Microsoft says this device has the ‘power and performance of a laptop’ while offering ‘the best of a tablet’. They’re not wrong. Check it out.
– August 2016 Update
We were pretty impressed with the Acer Switch Alpha 12 – and its combination of ports is better than the Surface Pro’s. You get a USB 3.0, a USB type-C, power jack, plus a micro-SD slot. Full review.
– Fall 2015 Update
The Surface Pro 4 is out and also comes with a full-size USB 3.0. Mosy on over to our review, if you’re so inclined. The Samsung Galaxy TabPro S is great but doesn’t have a full-sized USB port.
There’s also a chunky ‘dock’ thing you can buy that adds a whole slew of extra USB ports.
– January 2016 Update
The Vaio Z Canvas has two fill-sized USB 3.0 ports. This is a high-spec tablet built with design and designers in mind. Full review.
Cheap Tablets with USB Ports
The Chuwi Hibook is an inexpensive Surface Pro clone. It has a micro-SD USB 3.0 port but also a full-sized 2.0. For the price it’s a great device. Read the review.
The LG G Pad II 8-inch
Like most in the industry, we were surprised to find that LG had given their new 8-inch tablet a full-size USB port. It’s a very decent tablet, running Android 5.0 and having some nifty features. It’s not the most powerful, but with an MRSP under 200 dollars you wouldn’t expect it to be. It comes with a stylus and Microsoft Office installed. Our review is on the other end of this link.
Image a tablet that costs 80 dollars and comes with a free year of Microsoft Office 365. That’d be pretty attractive, right? What if you could use the free Office 365 on your home PC too? That’d be like getting a tablet for free! This is far from the newest device in town – it was released November 2014, but it’s still pretty good and the price has been dropping and dropping. It’s got a micro-SD card slot, a micro-HDMI port, a micro-USB port AND a full-size USB port (2.0). If you’re reading this article, this is something you’re likely to want!
Throw in bluetooth, an okay 7inch screen (1280×800), 5 hours of battery life, Windows 8.1 pre-installed and you get the general idea. The dimensions are 7.44 x 0.43 x 4.76 (inches) and it weighs 12.3 ounces. The speakers are pretty garbage, but at the price point there are bound to be sacrifices.
For normal tablet use, the Winbook TW700 (Amazon link) is solid, and comes with the benefit of being able to do some general Windows and Office work, too.
Tablets With Two or More USB Ports
Is There A Tablet PC with TWO Full Size USB Ports?
– Surely not? But wait! Yes. there is! The Chuwi VI10 Quad Core 10.6 inch has two full-size USB slots. It’s only 2.0 but then again, it’s a budget option. You can read more about it in our article rating the 5 Best Dual Boot Tablets.
Is There a Tablet PC with THREE Full Size USB Ports?
– Yes! The new 27-inch Lenovo Yoga 900 will have 3 x USB 3.0 ports.
Don’t tell me there’s a Tablet with FOUR Full Size USB Ports!
– Check out our review of the intriguing Pipo x9 – it won’t be for everyone but it’s got the most USB ports of any tablet on the market.
Another option to consider is buying one of the many tablet PCs that come with micro-USB ports and using an On-The-Go cable. This handy device plugs into the micro-USB slot – its other end is a full-size USB slot. They can be a bit fiddly and it’s one more thing to have to remember, but it’s an option that lets you choose the tablet PC you want.
This is one of the better OTG cables – it’s available on Amazon for a few dollars.
[Note – The OTG solution will work for many tablets, but sadly not all. It will somewhat depend on the quality of the manufacturing process – if a company has cut some corners to shave a few dollars from the build cost, you might find the OTG doesn’t quite make a connection.]