Tablets with USB Ports

Buying a New Tablet with a Full Size USB Port

If you are looking for wide selection of new tablets with full size USB Ports, I am sorry to report that your selection will be limited. Most tablets do come with at least one Mini-USB port but normally do not include any USB 2.0 ports. Trying to find these tablets from all others is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

If you had a Windows or Android tablet with a full size USB port, you could connect and use a regular keyboard to increase typing ease and speed or even use a normal mouse. You could also use things such as flash drives to transfer and store files or even connect a PlayStation 3 controller or Logitech game controller. Talk about the ultimate tablet gaming experience.

These tablets come with a full size USB connection.

Tablet Name
Screen Size
Acer Iconia Tab A200
Android Honeycomb 3.2
Toshiba Thrive
Android Honeycomb 3.1
Microsoft Surface
Windows 8 Pro RT

My Top Pick is the Acer iconia Tab A200

This tablet is difficult to find around town and most often needs to be ordered online. While not a cheap tablet, this is the best tablet for the price. The screen is one of the most impressive features as it is bright and crisp. The one detail that really stands out is how bright and white the color white is displayed. This tablet not only has the on-board full size USB but also includes a Mini-USB as well. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it does feel a little heavy (It weights in at 1.5 Lbs).

Toshiba Thrive 10.1" Android Tablet

The Toshiba Drive not only includes a full size USB port, it has nearly every other port ever found on a tablet. It comes with an on board SD card, a mini-USB port and a full sized HDMI ports. Of course they did not forget the front and rear side cameras. The 10" tablet's screen is nothing short of stunning which has an auto-adjusting screen brightness. Many tablets have a smooth glossy rear exterior that increase the chances of it being dropped. Not with this tablet. The rear exterior of the tablet is made of a durable rubber that has a smooth velvet type of feel and provides a confident grip. This tablet is also a little thicker than most at just a hair over half an inch (.6 inches). Also good to note is that this tablet also supports Adobe Flash.

Microsoft Surface RT (32GB)

With Windows 8 RT with a quad core processor and an incredible 10.6" screen, this tablet makes easy work of multitasking. You can expect to get 8 hours worth of use out of this tablet and if left and idling, up to two weeks before you deplete the battery. The USB port on this tablet is a USB 3.0 for the fastest transmission speed possible. Of course they did not forget the front and rear facing cameras. One of the best things about this tablet is that you can delete nearly any app that it ships with and in the event you miss one, you can easily download it again from the store. Choosing a Windows operating system over Android makes creating word processing, spreadsheet and presentations a breeze.

Did you know that you can often easily add one or more USB 2.0 port(s) to a tablet that does not have any?

USB Host is one of the most unknown and overlooked features when it comes to Androids. All tablets and smart phones with Android Version 3.1 or higher support the hosting of USB devices, even if a full size USB port is not on-board. USB hosting is supported from within the OS. USB hosting allows for tablets with out the larger USB port, one can be easily added. You would simply use an On-The-Go or OTG cable. It is essentially a Micro-USB to full size USB adapter.

Just like a computer, tablets can also support multiple USB devices all at the same time. You would just need multiple USB ports. By connecting a USB hub to create multiple USB ports, you could use multiple devices such as a keyboard and mouse at the same time.

Tablet with Micro-USB connection with a OTG Cable and a Mini USB Hub Connected using a Keyboard and Mouse.

Quick Poll

What are you planning on doing?

  • Buying a new tablet with a full size USB port.
  • Buying a new tablet with a Mini-USB that supports USB Hosting and use an OTG Cable.
  • Buy a OTG cable for my existing tablet.
  • Other
See results without voting

There is good news and bad news.

The good news is that with Android tablets and cell phones running Android Version 3.1 (Honeycomb) or newer support the USB On-The-Go from within the Android OS. Just in case you have never figured it out, the versions of Android are in alphabetical order.

So for instance, Gingerbread would not work as that would be the version before Honeycomb. Ice Cream Sandwich or Jellybean would work as they are newer than Honeycomb. But having Honeycomb or newer does not necessarily guarantee that USB OTG functionality will work on that device though.

As we all know, there is a countless list of different hardware manufacturers using the Android OS on their different hardware platforms. It is possible that even though the Android OS version on the tablet or smart phone is capable of supporting the USB On-The-Go technology, the manufacturer of that device may have turned off the USB hosting functionality from within the hardware’s firmware.

This is not very common but should be considered. In the rare event that the manufacturer intended to use the Mini-USB as a power only port, an OTG data cable will not work on that device. Again this is not common and odds are a OTG cable will work just fine without an issue. Plus the cables are very inexpensive.

This On-The-Go cable currently sells for $1.50 with free shipping, at the time of this article. It has a 4 star rating based on over 1000 reviews so it is obviously working for most everyone.

The video shows a regular full size USB keyboard and a wireless mouse being used on a regular tablet and how the tablet behaves from their input. If you look closely at the tablet you will see an OTG or On-The-Go cable connected directly to the tablet.

Because more than one device was to be connected (a keyboard and a mouse), the one USB Port on the OTG cable was not enough. To have two or more USB ports, you would then connect a Mini USB Hub to the OTG cable as show. You can also pick up a Mini USB Hub for under $5.00 with shipping included.

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kathy 3 years ago

i am looking for a tablet that I can use overseas (Tanzania) on their mobile broadband cell network (2 G). They're not very technologically advanced. I will use it on wifi here at home, but not in TZ, where it must access the cell network. I have a Vodacom SIM card that I drop in my phone while I am there. For my laptop, I used an "internet modem" that comes as a USB device.That is the extent of internet access in TZ.

So can I get a tablet with a USB port that I can plug the modem in to, or with a slot for a SIM card? Will the power micro USB port work as this article says with one of those OTG port adapters?

I prefer something really small, but no bigger than 10 inches.

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Adept2012 2 years ago

thanks, I did not know before that Microsoft surface has full usb port. thanks for sharing this information.

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mybestreviews 2 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida Author

I would think there is a very good chance it should. If you choose to purchase one to try, please follow up with us and let us know how it worked out.

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FullOfLoveSites 2 years ago from United States

Oh thanks... very wonderful information out there. I am looking for a casing with a built-in keyboard on it, for my new tablet (Acer Iconia A1-810). I hope it would be compatible with or support the OTG, although just now (after reading this hub) I go and read on the Internet about the tablet's problems about it -- complaints from consumers, mostly. But I hope that's an isolated issue.

germain 2 years ago

Brilliant advice. Thanks!!

Michael 2 years ago

I bought a tablet for my mother in law so she can use skype. (she is in Poland and I am in Australia) I had it all set up for her. After we came back home the tablet broke down and was replaced under waranty. the new tablet has a one mini-usb for charging as well as for plugging in the mobile modem I got her.

do you know if there are any OTG hubs that you can plug usb 2 and mini usb into?

Chris 24 months ago

Can 4.4 Kit Kat support OTG?

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mybestreviews 22 months ago from Tampa Bay, Florida Author

Yes, it does. Thanks for stopping by.

Saba 4 months ago

The issue is that in case you want to charge the device and at the same time use it as a USB HUB I see no option. There are Micro USB Power charging HOST OTG Adapter. But these come with a switch which allow charging or usage as OTG alternatively. Is there any option where charging can be done in parallel as well as OTG can be used.

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