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As our personal lives and work environments become increasingly digital, notepads and pens are becoming a thing of the past. That said, technological advancements haven’t discounted the widespread appeal and use of putting pen to paper.

Digital writing pads cater to just this, each offering something unique in terms of functionality and design. These devices give you all the benefits of handwriting, without the hassle of handling physical notes.

best-digital-writing-pads

This article reviews the best digital writing pads for laptops, which means the products mentioned either sync with cloud services, connect to your laptop via Bluetooth, connect in real-time or allow for digital capture via a smartphone.

TLDR

TLDR: The best digital writing pad for a laptop is the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set because it syncs your notes online in real-time. Combined with a real pen and paper feel, this is the best smart notepad to connect with your laptop or PC, saving you time and effort. This writing set is stylish with a precise stylus, not to mention compatibility with all major software brands. The Moleskin is great value for money and a dependable, versatile device.

Best Digital Writing Pad with Memory

The ReMarkable is the best writing pad with internal storage. This digital paper tablet has all the features you’d want from a digital writing pad. This device offers handwriting recognition, cloud software, and storage, as well as an authentic handwriting feel thanks to a combination of analog and digital components. 

Best Budget E-writer

The Mobiscribe E-Ink Tablet is the best e-writer if you’re on a budget. This digital writing pad has most note-taking functions you’ll need, as well as advanced features from the accompanying stylus.

Best Digital Notepads and Smart Notebooks

The Moleskin Pen & Ellipse Writing Set has a great combination of analog and digital elements. This amazing device saves your notes in real-time, so no need to worry about syncing your notes manually.

Best digital Writing Pads Reviews

From LCD tablets to graphic drawing tablets and basic e-writers, here are the reviews for the best digital writing pads on the market.

ReMarkable Paper Tablet Review

Pros

  • Distraction-free
  • Closest feel to pen and paper

Cons

  • No backlight

  • Only syncs to ReMarkable cloud services

ReMarkable is an established brand and the digital paper tablet is a great option for pure note-taking. The price point is high but the tablet has the benefits of active handwriting to text conversion, as well as sharing capabilities.

You can store notes on the device or share them via email. The ReMarkable tablet also supports E-book and PDF formats, which makes for a versatile contender for digital writing pads.

  • Two-week battery life

  • USB Port

  • 10.3”

  • Codex OS

  • 2048 Pressure sensitivity

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Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Review

Pros

  • Storage 64GB

  • WIFI

  • Durability

Cons

  • Strictly Android

  • LCD Display with glare

Of the Samsung tablets that come with a stylus, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the most affordable. The S Pen is ideal for taking notes, annotating documents, and even free-hand drawing.

This nifty device isn’t just lightweight and sleek, it’s also got built-in handwriting recognition to convert your notes to text if needed. This is super helpful if you like handwriting notes, but you need to be able to share them as well.

With WIFI capability and cloud support, the Galaxy Tab makes sharing and storing your notes seamless and simple. The S Pen is not as responsive as other styluses, but it certainly fulfills its promises.

One drawback of taking notes on a tablet is the LCD display. Some users take issue with glare and reflection and prefer to choose analog drawing and writing pads for this reason. Check out our reviews of other tablets.

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Huion Inspiroy H640P Drawing Tablet Review

Pros

  • Compact

  • Compatible with most software

  • Battery-free stylus

Cons

  • No LCD screen

  • Handwriting recognition not native to the device

The Inspiroy is compatible with pretty much every software you’ll need for, well, anything. That includes Onenote, Microsoft Word, Adobe, Illustrator, you name it. It supports Windows, Mac, and Android. It can even screen share on Zoom.

Being compatible with OneNote is particularly useful as this application has handwriting-recognition, meaning you can convert your handwritten notes to text.

The Inspiroy is essentially your laptop shrunken down to fit in a tote bag. The included stylus is high resolution, battery-free, and has ideal pressure sensitivity – yet another testament to the Inspiroy’s versatility.

  • 8192 Pressure sensitivity

  • Battery-free stylus

  • Micro SD Card

  • 10”

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Moleskin Pen & Ellipse Writing Set Review

Pros

  • Companion app saves notes automatically

  • Affordable

  • Good combination of analog and digital components

  • Works with iCloud, Google Drive, Windows10, and Adobe Suite

Cons

  • We can’t think of any!

The best feature of the Moleskin writing set is the seamless page to screen transfer. Rather than capturing notes with your phone or uploading them manually, you can write freely knowing everything is being stored digitally.

The Moleskin is definitely the most efficient digital writing pad for this reason. Sure, it doesn’t have storage, but the companion app negates the need for that altogether.

This versatile and unique writing tool can also record audio, which you can sync with your notes.

  • 8.2”

  • Recognizes 15 languages

  • Android and Apple

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Rocketbook Fusion Smart Notebook Review

Pros

  • Paper to pen fee

  • Reusable templates

  • Sync with Google Drive, Slack, Evernote, and iCloud

  • Great for organizational purposes

Cons

  • No device storage

  • Only save function is with a smartphone

  • Must allow 15s for the ink to dry

This is one of the most unique writing pads out there because it combines digital and analog functionality. If you enjoy taking physical notes, but also need to be able to save them digitally, then this is the perfect notebook for you.

The Rocketbook Frixion pens use actual ink, which can be wiped away with a microfibre cloth. While this isn’t entirely necessary, it certainly appeals to people who have never used an e-writer before. Simply scan your documents to save them to the cloud, wipe the ink, and start fresh.

There are 42 template pages, including a blank one you can sketch freely in, which can appear quite limiting at first. However, the set templates actually give this product a competitive edge. It looks and feels like a physical, weekly diary.

The one catch with this notebook is how you save your documents and notes. Like the Blackboard device, you need to scan your notes from a smartphone in order to save them. This can become quite tiresome, especially if you fill your templates up quickly.

  • Lightweight

  • 8.5”

  • iOS and Android

  • Dot grids

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Wacom CDS610S Bamboo Folio Smartpad Review

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Sleek design

  • Pen and paper feel

Cons

  • Handwriting recognition only available for subscribers

  • Limited app support

  • No storage

The Bamboo Folio Smartpad allows you to write naturally. It even allows you to flip over to the next page, mimicking the real notebook experience. You can also easily convert handwriting to text (but only with a subscription).

Capture your notes with your smartphone to easily transform them into digital files. These files can be shared and edited in JPG, PDF, PNG, and SVG formats. You can also save notes using the device’s save button, which stores your docs in the cloud.

  • Android and iOS compatible

  • Bluetooth enabled

  • 9.8”

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Mobiscribe E-Ink Tablet Review

Pros

  • Compact

  • Precise stylus

  • SD card for storage

Cons

  • No handwriting to text recognition

  • No Microsoft Suite apps supported

  • Limited formats

The Mobiscribe tablet has one of the most precise stylus controls, thanks to 4096 pressure sensitivity. This, combined with a touch-screen display, means the tablet can detect your gestures to avoid erasing or unintended writing.

Unlike LCD tablets, the Mobscribe has anti-glare from every angle. You can also adjust its front light as needed. This tablet also has pre-loaded templates, though not as many as the Rocketbook Fusion smart notebook.

  • Micro SD card

  • High-resolution display 300PPI

  • Android only

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Digital Writing Pad Accessories

Digital writing pads come with a variety of stands, covers and more. Read about the best digital writing pad accessories below.

Lamicall Adjustable Tablet Stand

This tablet stand is adjustable and can hold your drawing tablets, writing pads, and cellphone. It’s a great companion for using your tablet and laptop at the same time and supports a multi-angle view.

The stand is portable and can be folded up neatly into your laptop case or bag. It’s also durable with a rubber protector for your tablet or writing pad.

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ESR Pencil Holder

This adhesive pencil holder sticks to any tablet or e-writer case you’re using. It’s a great way to store your stylus if your device doesn’t come with a magnetic grip for it. The lycra-leather material is sleek and stylish, as well as compatible with a number of different stylus sizes.

This holder was designed for the Apple pencil, but no need to worry, any stylus will fit.

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OOKU Leather Cover

This versatile leather cover can protect your smart notebook. The OOKU cover fits the Moleskin smart notebook and the Rocketbook Fusion smart notebook. It’s perfect for storing your device, pens, cellphone, even your cards, and other carry-ons.

The leather material is durable, not to mention stylish, and is a great way to keep your tablet or notebook in good condition. This cover is a great option for working on the go and traveling.

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Digital Writing Pad Buyer’s Guide

Naturally, your preferences and priorities will guide your ultimate decision on which digital writing pad to buy. Below is a breakdown of key elements to look out for when weighing up your options.

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Sync Capabilities

If your digital notebook doesn’t have internal storage, you must ensure that it syncs with applications you need on a day to day basis. This is particularly important if you need to save and send documents online. You want to ensure you can upload your notes in the format you need.

Also, keep in mind the operating system the device uses and choose something in your comfort zone. If you’re familiar with OS and you work with mostly Android devices, make sure your writing pad is either compatible with both, or simply stick to OS.

Advanced Features

In more concrete terms, ‘advanced’ means customizable or versatile. The more you can do with your tablet, the better value for money. Think about the kind of projects you’ll be working on and what tools you’ll need to bring it to fruition.

Some notable features to look out for are programmable hotkeys – these will save you time and you can modify them as needed. Also check for multi-touch displays, which will allow you to scroll and zoom.

Specs

Portability is a key consideration, so get a sense of the weight and dimensions of the tablet relative to your phone. If you can sneak it into your or pocket, all the better. Look out for the surface area, though, as there are drawbacks in resolution and detail the smaller you go in size.

Stylus

The whole point of using a digital pad is to retain the natural feel of handwriting. Of course, this boils down to the grip, weight, and size of the stylus (or pen) your tablet comes with.

Pens vary from rubber to metal, with either nibs or actual ink depending on the product. If you like having something tangible to work with, a smart notebook may be more suited to you than a fully digital tablet.

You’ll also need to ensure that either your stylus or your device has an app for handwriting recognition. Converting handwriting to text is often needed when sharing notes and documents.

Summary

Whether you’re in the market for a digital writing pad for work or for personal use, it’s important that you take stock of your priorities. Consider your and needs and how you plan to use the device.

Make sure you understand our buyer’s guide to get a sense of what components to look out for. This way, you’ll be able to compare the best of the digital writing pads and drawing tablets and make an informed decision you won’t regret.

Matthew Davison

Written by Matthew


Matt is about 80% nerd, 10% writer, 10% animal lover. His love for PC's started at the tender age of 4 and his love for animation and motion graphics fairly soon after. You can normally find him behind a computer screen or playing with his dog Rusty.