Categories: reviews

9 Best Tablets for Note Taking 2020 (Apple | Android | Windows)

You’re on the go, running from class to class, or meeting to meeting. Your paper notes are always chaotic and messy. Your laptop is heavy, unforgiving and tiring to carry around. Stop. These are the very reasons why people choose to go in the digital direction and invest in a tablet for their note taking needs.

With today’s tech giants rolling out new and improved versions on a regular basis, choosing the best tablet for note taking can get complicated. Deciding which one is best depends on so many things – features, price, and even style for the image conscious. And, browsing tons of web pages can take forever.

So we’ve gathered the top 9 tablets you can use to take notes. We’ve reviewed them and pointed out their best and worst features. Now all you have to do is read through this guide and make a selection.

TLDR: The Apple iPad 2019 wins the title of overall top tablet for note taking. The latest iPad model is a productivity-enhancing champion, allowing you to create, draw, doodle, and jot all at the touch of a screen. With its fast A10 Fusion chip and large screen size, it offers speed and power matched with a remarkable viewing experience.

It may lack the extra drama embodied by the Samsung Galaxy S6 Tab and the iPad Pro, but it also lacks the major price tag, making this a fast, affordable and satisfying option for note taking.

Top Note Taking Tablet for Business

The best of the note-taking tablets for business is the iPad Pro 11”. With its state-of-the-art liquid retina display, powerful performance, and sleek, professional appearance, this tablet is the ultimate business tool.

Best Note Taking Tablet under $250

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is the most affordable tablet with a pen. Its compact size and crisp 8” screen offer the perfect combination of portability and viewing satisfaction. The included S Pen increases productivity enabling the user to effortlessly mark up documents, touch up photos and jot down notes.

Best Android Tablet with Stylus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is our favorite Android tablet with a stylus. The incredibly sensitive S Pen has 4096 pressure points, meaning your note-taking will reach new heights. If you’re an Android fan, the Android 9 Pie operating system will feel like home and give you the best user experience.

Best Tablet for Taking Notes: Family Edition

The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite takes the title of the best family tablet with its sleek design and child-friendly features. This tablet offers protection for your children’s eyesight, great streaming for the whole family, as well as fun note-taking and children’s apps.

Tablet Comparison Table

This table gives a quick overview of the products we’ve listed in this buying guide. Check out the in-depth reviews farther down in this post for more detail.

9 Note Taking Tablets Reviews

With so many attractive models on the market, it can be difficult to choose which tablet would best suit your needs. We’ve narrowed it down for you with this list of 9 best tablets for taking notes.

Apple iPad 2019 Review

Pros
  • Under $350
  • Lightning connector for charging
  • 10 Hours of battery life
  • Great space to multitask

Cons
  • Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard sold separately
  • Underwhelming hardware
  • No laminated display

The 2019 iPad has been upgraded with a fast A10 Fusion chip, a larger screen size and Smart Keyboard support. This means it’s speedier and offers more viewing pleasure than previous models. Whether you prefer using a stylus or a keyboard for writing, the iPad has capacity for both. Unfortunately, these accessories are sold separately.

The iPad 2019 runs iPadOS, which offers innovative ways to manage and mark up documents, multitask, and use the Apple Pencil. This tablet allows you to create, draw, doodle, jot and sketch at the touch of a screen.

In terms of the Apple Pencil’s sensitivity, the tech giant has kept silent about the stylus’ pressure level. However, word on the street is that the sensitivity is in line with competitors in the range. If you are a serious designer, you may want to cast your eyes higher, but for writers, this stylus fits the bill.

The Apple iPad weighs in at over a pound with a 10.2” display. This makes it a little heavier with less of a screen than more high-end tablets. But, in terms of its price, speed and capacity for productivity, this is the best tablet for note taking.

  • A10 Fusion Chip
  • 2” Retina display
  • Support for Apple Pencil
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable and a great user experience
Click to Check Lowest Price

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 10.5″ Review

Pros
  • Beautiful viewing
  • Up to 15 hours battery life
  • Excellent multi-tasking
  • Great Android experience
  • Light and portable

Cons
  • Fingerprint scanner is unreliable
  • No headphone jack
  • Placement of S Pen can be a hassle

When it comes to design, hardware and feel, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is king. Sleek, light and available in three striking colors, this tablet is ideal for the business professional and the creative.

The fast mobile processor means that you can switch between multiple apps and tasks, and enjoy high-quality game graphics. The power of this tablet, combined with its keyboard compatibility, makes for a close-on PC desktop-like experience.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the definition of portability, weighing in at less than a pound.

Add to that the magnetic S Pen with 4096 points of pressure sensitivity and your note-taking experience will reach a whole new level.

If you’re Team Android, then this is the best Android tab with a stylus. Android users will love the familiar feel of the Android 9 Pie operating system.

In terms of screen size, the tablet’s 10.5” screen has an incredible almost bezel-less AMOLED display. It has enough resolution to read text – without it looking blurry – at a comfortable distance.

Although the price tag is on the higher end, the S6 packs a lot of punch in terms of its power, convenience and note taking.

  • Fast mobile processor
  • 5” Super AMOLED display
  • S Pen included
  • Thin, lightweight and brilliant for entertainment
Click to Check Lowest Price

Apple iPad Pro 11″ Review

Pros
  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • Incredible gaming
  • Super-wide photos
  • LiDAR scanner offers enhanced AR
  • Shoot/Edit 4K videos

Cons
  • Apple Pencil and Keyboard sold separately
  • +- $800 Price tag

If the price tag is not your chief concern, then cast your sights on the 11” Apple iPad Pro. Apple is known for its upmarket products, and for good reason, their technology is unrivaled.

Slim, light and so fast that most laptops can’t keep up, this product is the next generation of tablet. Weighing in at just over a pound, this tablet is the perfect fusion of powerful processing and portability. It’s also designed in a way that it looks at home in a room of suits – ideal for the polished professional.

The 11” screen with Promotion and Truetone makes for an unparalleled, immersive and magical experience. Designs and presentations come alive. It’s also mentioned in our top 10 gaming tablets and our best drawing tablets for animation reviews – an all rounder!

The iPad Pro has Smart Keyboard, trackpad and Apple Pencil support. These accessories are sold separately, but allow for advanced note-taking and superior sketching.

If innovation, ambition, cutting-edge technology and professionalism are ideals you appreciate, look no further. The Ipad Pro is your means to level up in the world.

  • A12Z Bionic chip
  • 11” Edge-to-edge liquid retina display
  • Support for Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard
  • Light, thin and super fast – cutting edge in every way
Click to Check Lowest Price

Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet Review

Pros
  • Wacom Pro Pen draws power from tablet – no battery needed
  • Built-in stand allows for adjustable working position
  • Pen has natural grip
  • More paper-like feel to screen
  • Attaches easily to Mac or P

Cons
  • Pricey
  • Heavy and not as portable as other tablets

First thing to note about this Wacom Cintiq Drawing product is that it is a pen-display tablet. It functions mainly as a creative mural to be used alongside a laptop or computer. That being said, this tablet proves to be one of the best tools on the market for creatives and graphic designers.

The 15.6” HD display gives you plenty of room for designing, note-taking or drawing. Strikingly, this tablet offers 16.7 million colors with a level of detail that will amaze any artist.

Scratch-resistant and robust, this tablet will stand the test of time. The combination of the slimline display and Wacom Pro Pen 2 ensure you have a natural-feeling and productive creative session.

The tilt-sensitive pen is world-class and performs like traditional pencils and brushes. With 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, creatives and note-takers can enjoy a whole spectrum of brush strokes.

The Wacom Cintiq Tablet weighs 4.19 pounds. This makes it heavier than other tablets in this review, such as the iPad Pro, and impacts on its portability. Fortunately, the tablet comes with a built-in stand – brilliant if you intend to use it as part of a workstation.

  • Wacom Pro Pen 2 technology
  • 6” 1920×1080 HD display
  • 7 million colors
  • Convenient 3-in-1 HDMI connection cable – compatible with Windows or iOS
Click to Check Lowest Price

Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite Review

Pros
  • Affordable
  • M-Pen lite stylus included
  • Long-battery life
  • Family friendly
  • Excellent sound

Cons
  • Limited storage capacity
  • No pen slot

With its elegant design and child-friendly features, this tablet is ideal as a family device. The MediaPad’s beautiful 10.1” screen size and gorgeous 1080px display provide for an incredible viewing experience. And it’s a great size for writing notes when you’re feeling inspired (It’s also proven brilliant for photo editing).

The Huawei MediaPad lite offers 5 eye-comfort modes, which provide protection for your children’s eyesight. This function reduces blue light and lets you know if the device is too close to your child’s face.

The Huawei M-Pen lite Stylus acts as a stylish and functional writing accessory. The 2048 layers of stylus pressure sensitivity will make jotting down ideas and reminders a delight, and you’ll find its responsiveness remarkable.

The pressure sensitivity may be lower than more artistic-focused tablets, but it’s more than enough for the passionate note-taker. One downfall of this device, though, is its lack of a stylus slot for the pen.

Weight-wise, this Huawei tablet is just over a pound. Making it easy for adults and children to carry around without difficulty.

  • Octa-core processor
  • Curved-edge 10.1” 1080p (1920 x 1200) display
  • Support for Huawei M-Pen Lite Stylus
  • A tablet for the entire family
Click to Check Lowest Price

Samsung Galaxy Tab A Review

Pros
  • Up to 14 hours battery life
  • Great build
  • Latest Android version
  • Excellent streaming
  • Under $250

Cons
  • Single speaker
  • Large bezels at top and bottom

Just 0.35” thin and 12.2oz heavy, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is ideally sized for using on the go. Its compact size makes it easy to tuck into a handbag or bag pocket. The embedded, stylish S Pen makes taking quick memos, creating lists and taking down details an absolute dream.

The tablet also offers excellent viewing angles and brightness so you won’t struggle to use this in direct sunlight. Avid readers will be happy to see that the blue light filter switches on at the touch of a button, providing for safe night-time note reading.

The S Pen fuses style, function and lightweight comfort. Resistant to water and dust, this pen can withstand everyday activity and is easily accessible, courtesy of the built-in slot.

In terms of stylus sensitivity, the pen tip is soft and pressure-sensitive, making it feel like you are writing on paper. It responds when you tilt it. The stylus has no battery and never needs to be charged, which is great for no-hassle use.

As a note-taking device, this tablet is affordable and effective. Plus, if you get the LTE version, this tablet doubles up as a phone. With the Android 9.0 (Pie) operating system and octa-core processor, it’ll exceed performance expectations at a really reasonable price.

  • Octa-core processor
  • 8” LCD screen
  • Embedded S Pen
  • Easily fits into a purse or backpack pocket
Click to Check Lowest Price

Boogie Board Jot 8.5 LCD Writing Tablet Review

Pros
  • No charging necessary
  • Eliminates need for paper
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great fun

Cons
  • Note taking in one colour only
  • No speakers

The Boogie Board Jot LCD Writing Tablet is purely for note-taking. If you are looking for a tablet that’s sole function is to record lists, memos, and reminders then this is your ideal companion. With a price tag of under $30, you can easily see why it made it onto the list of best tablets for note-taking.

You don’t need to worry about Android vs iOS. This tablet literally lets you write and erase without finicky software or complicated apps. Post-it notes will become a thing of the past. Whatever you write or draw on the tablet will remain there until you choose to erase it, which happens at the touch of a button.

The 8.5” screen is the perfect size and the tablet is light. It’s great to take on long car trips and flights, especially if your family likes playing games like Hangman and Pictionary.

It doesn’t take much to set this tablet up. Just download the Jot App on your phone to scan the Boogie Board surface and save your notes as files. The built-in stylus dock provides a safe place to keep your pen and also doubles up as a kickstand.

The pen has an accurate stylus response and a pen-and-notepad-type feel to it. The amount of pressure you use when drawing lines will determine the line thickness. But, unfortunately, the pen writes in a luminescent green color only, so if you are looking to create multi-colored notes and lists, you’ll be disappointed.

  • LCD writing tablet
  • Built-in magnet and stylus dock
  • Jot App means you can save, edit and share
Click to Check Lowest Price

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review

Pros
  • Powerful laptop-class performance
  • Type Cover included
  • USB-C and USB-A ports
  • Kickstand allows for range of angles

Cons
  • Large bezels
  • Not great in direct sunlight
  • Poor battery life

In some of the previous reviews, we’ve touched on the idea of tablets giving almost desktop-like experiences. With the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, this truly becomes a reality. Just open up the built-in kickstand and attach the Type Cover for the physical appearance of a laptop. The Intel Core processor’s power will take care of the performance.

The Surface Pro 7 has a beautiful, slim 12.3” touchscreen, which provides for a magnificent viewing and drawing experience. The kickstand gives artists and note-takers the perfect 15° angle for writing and sketching, especially when paired with the Surface Pen.

The Surface Pen offers precision ink on one side and an eraser on the other. The Surface Pen enables tilt for shading, has virtually no lag, and has marvelous sensitivity with 4096 pressure points. It writes like a pen on paper and is ideal for an individual with a creative flair. Just take note that the pen is sold as a separate accessory.

The Microsoft Pro 7 is heavier than most tablets, but far lighter than your average laptop. At 1.70 pounds, this tablet hybrid is perfect for someone who expects to use the laptop set up on a regular basis.

If you are looking for a Windows tab with a stylus and PC-like performance, and don’t mind a bit of extra weight or spend, this hybrid is your match.

  • 10th Gen Intel Core processor
  • 3” Touchscreen
  • Surface Pen support
  • Enjoy 3 modes: laptop, studio and tablet mode
Click to Check Lowest Price

Microsoft Surface Go Review

Pros
  • Excellent portability
  • Affordable
  • Beautiful display
  • Quick charge

Cons
  • USB-C is only data port
  • Limited storage capacity

The Microsoft Surface Go is the little brother of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. Just 1.3 pounds in weight with a 10” screen, this tablet is the ultimate in portability. The tablet has a slim look and sleek feel. The PixelSense touchscreen display makes working, writing, and browsing an absolute pleasure.

Similar to the Surface Pro, this tablet is compatible with the sensitive Surface Pen, meaning you’ll get the best in marking up, editing, and writing capabilities. The Surface Pen makes writing notes feel natural and efficient.

Microsoft users will love this tablet. The Surface Go runs the Windows 10 operating system in S Mode. You can browse and work and play in every way with the added assurance of the best protection and performance.

In short, the Microsoft Surface Go is a more compact, and thus, more portable version of the Surface Pro. The difference lies in its size, power and price tag.

The Go is still a superior Surface device that lives up to the high-quality standard. It just doesn’t pack the same punch as the Pro, and is much lighter on the wallet. So, if you favor the tablet side of a tablet-laptop hybrid, then the Surface Go is your number one option.

  • Intel Pentium Gold Processor
  • High res 10-inch PixelSense Display
  • Surface Pen support
  • A great choice for tucking under your arm and casual computing
Click to Check Lowest Price

Tablet Keyboard Case Review

We’ve mentioned some of the best note-taking tablets and their styluses above. Yet, not everyone uses a stylus. Here we include some of the best keyboard cases.

iPad Keyboard Case

Designed with the 2019 10.2” iPad in mind, this best-selling keyboard case has a stylish finish with grip-enhancing technology. This keyboard also features 10 unique backlight colors and a spacious layout.

The durable and hard case offers high-quality protection. This makes it the ideal accessory to protect your iPad when at home, work or traveling.

Check Price

Microsoft Surface Go Type Case

The Microsoft Surface Go Type Case has a large trackpad for accurate navigation and a full keyset. This keyboard is compact while offering the same performance as its traditional, full-sized counterpart.

The keyboard case comes with a snazzy range of colors including platinum, burgundy and cobalt blue. Use this keyboard in combination with the Surface Go kickstand to get a real desktop experience.

Check Price

Fintie Keyboard Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

This keyboard case combines function, safety, and style all in one beautiful package. The case includes a slim and lightweight Bluetooth keyboard with a 10-meter range.

It also doubles up as a stand – just adjust the keyboard backwards or forwards to change the angle of your Galaxy Tab S6. The durable leather cover and variety of funky and smart designs means that your tablet is fully protected and also a fashionable accessory.

Check Price

Best Note Taking Tablet Buyers Guide

There are a couple of things you need to weigh up and ask yourself when buying a note taking tablet.

Operating System

When selecting the perfect tablet for taking notes, you may want to go with a device that has a familiar operating system. In many cases, this can also help with syncing between devices.

For instance, Apple users ordinarily like to stick with iOS operating systems and Apple devices. This ensures seamless syncing between their phones, tablets, and Macs.

Top Tablet Brands

When it comes to tablets, the major players in this field are pretty much the same as in the laptop and mobile market. We’re looking at the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft.

These tech giants guarantee superior quality and performance. Not only do these tablets look sleek and professional, but they are also the result of years of development, innovation, and improvement. That’s why these brands made it into our best tablets for note taking review.

Screen Area Size

The tablet size is not the same as the screen area size. The screen size refers to the active screen area – the area you can write on. For those who want to take notes, a large screen area with landscape orientation would be beneficial.

Find out if the tablet’s screen area is suited to the note-taking apps on the device. And check out the font sizes to make sure you can read comfortably on the screen size.

Stylus Sensitivity

The higher the sensitivity level of the stylus, the more control the user has over their pen strokes and the pressure.

The importance of this category depends on your note-taking style. Are you a writer, doodler and artist? If you love design and art, then, your tablet’s pen sensitivity level would be a vital factor.

First things first. Check if your desired tablet comes with a stylus. Some tablets come without a stylus, meaning you need to purchase it separately.

Then, check the pen pressure sensitivity. If you want to draw as well as take notes, you will want a high-pressure sensitivity to help you get the perfect “brush strokes”. If you would rather stick to jotting things down, then your pressure sensitivity doesn’t need to be as high.

Price

When it comes to buying a tablet for writing purposes, price is an extremely important factor. At the end of the day, if you just want a tablet for the purpose of taking notes, you don’t need to splash huge sums of money. If you would rather keep costs low, then you don’t need the latest tablet model to be satisfied.

However, if you want to spend more rather than less, you can look at the more recent models of big brands like Apple and Samsung. In that case, you will get the best in note-taking functions as well as entertainment and performance.

Weight

One of the reasons many people choose a tablet over a laptop is that these devices are portable and less cumbersome to carry. When you are using it to take notes at business meetings, you want a tablet that is easy to whip out and work with.

Questions to ask yourself here would be:

  • Will I mainly be using the tablet with a stand?
  • How much will I be holding the tablet?
  • How big does the tablet need to be in terms of screen size?

Summary

Note-taking tablets make life so much easier and more convenient. Creating and storing all your business memos and digital documents in one attractive, powerful and portable tablet will make a huge difference to your productivity and organization.

There are so many different models on the market that cater to a broad range of needs. Whether its family-friendly features, editing functions, sublime performance or creative expression you long for, the perfect tablet is out there.

We hope that this buying guide will help you to find the best tablet and stylus to make your note-taking and your life that much better.

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.

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