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Best Tablet for Note Taking 2024 | 8 Tablets for Every Budget

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 one of the best tablets for note taking.

With today’s tech giants regularly rolling out new and improved versions, choosing the best tablet for note taking can get complicated. Deciding which one is best depends on so many things, like features, price, and battery life. And browsing tons of web pages can take forever.

Luckily for you, we’re here to help you find the best tablets for taking notes. We’ve tested some of the top options on the market, assessing the best and worst features of each to give you a round-up of our ultimate picks.

Now, all you have to do is read through this guide to the best tablet for writing notes and make your selection. There are even a few gaming tablets that will add a whole different dimension to not only your note taking but your entertainment as well.

TLDR

TLDR: The iPad Air 5th Generation wins the title of the 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 supercharged Apple M1 Chip and True Tone Liquid Retina display, it offers speed and power matched with a remarkable viewing experience.
It may lack the extra drama embodied by the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and the iPad Pro, but with an M1 chip powering it, there’s nothing minimal about its performance.

Best Writing Tablet for Business

The best tablet for business note taking is the iPad Pro 11”. With its Liquid Retina display, 12 MP wide and 10 MP ultra-wide cameras, sturdy build, and professional appearance, this writing tablet is the ultimate business tool. Although not the cheapest tablet for note taking, this Apple iPad is well worth the investment.

A few more contenders for the best writing tablet for business include:

Best Cheap Note-Taking Tablet under $250

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is the best cheap tablet for note taking. Its compact size and crisp 10.5” screen offer the perfect combination of portability and viewing satisfaction. With its easy-to-use interface and excellent performance-to-cost ratio, this tablet is our top pick for the best affordable tablet for note taking.

Some more affordable note-taking tablets include:

Best Tablet for Taking Handwritten Notes

woman using a tablet and stylus

If you’re looking for the best tablet for taking handwritten notes in 2024, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is our top pick. The new, reduced-latency S Pen feels more pen-like than ever, making it perfect for those seeking a more natural “pen-to-paper” feel. If you’re an Android enthusiast, then this is the best Android tablet for note taking.

A more budget-friendly option for handwritten note taking includes:

Best Budget Note-Taking Tablet – Family Edition

If you’re looking for something that’ll suit the whole family’s needs, the mid-range Microsoft Surface Go 3 ticks all the boxes. With its dual-core 10th-generation Intel Core processor and 11-hour battery life, this tablet will carry you through hours of work and play.

Prop up your tablet with the adjustable kickstand for more comfortable note taking or to watch your favorite Netflix shows.

Another best budget tablet for note taking is:

Tablet Comparison Table

Short on time? This table gives a quick overview of the top note-taking tablets to help you make an informed decision. Check out our in-depth reviews further down in this post for more details.

8 Note-Taking Tablets Reviews

With so many attractive models on the market, it can be difficult to know how to identify the best tablets for note taking. Luckily, we’ve done all the research and narrowed it down for you with this list of the 8 best tablets for taking notes.

Apple iPad Air 5th Generation Review — Best Note-Taking Tablet Overall

apple ipad air

Pros
  • Speedy performance with the new Apple M1 Processor
  • Supports Magic Keyboard
  • Touch ID
  • 10 hours of battery life
  • Improved 12 MP camera
Cons
  • Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard sold separately
  • Base model only comes with 64GB storage
  • No face ID
  • Screen Size: 10.9” Retina display
  • Weight: 1.0 pounds
  • Stylus: Support for Apple Pencil 2nd generation
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Storage Capacity: 64GB internal storage in base model
  • Operating System: iPadOS

We were overjoyed to find out that the 5th Generation iPad Air, released in 2024, has been upgraded with the super-fast Apple M1 chip. This chip positions the tablet’s performance closer to that of the Apple iPad Pro while maintaining a price point relatively below it.

We also appreciated that the new Air came with 12 MP back and front cameras with Apple’s Center Stage feature on the front. Pairing this with its roomy 10.9” display, we found note taking and even video calls on this Apple tablet to be comfortable on both our hands and eyes.

Apple definitely falls short when it comes to including accessories — like the Apple Pencil — which set us back an extra few hundred dollars. Comparing this with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 with the included S Pen, we would’ve loved to see this tablet come with the Second Generation Apple Pencil included. This is especially important when considering that Apple is one of the top choices for digital creators.

Nonetheless, we enjoyed being able to magnetically clip the pencil to the top of the iPad for automatic charging and enjoyed the more matte feel of the newest version.

The Apple iPad Air 5th generation runs iPad OS15, which offers innovative ways to manage and mark up documents, multitask, and use the Apple Pencil. Pairing this with the M1 chip, we were hoping for improved battery life. But 10 hours of battery life was still more than enough to get us through a day of serious note taking, doodling, and web browsing.

With the M1 processor, Apple Pencil, and Magic Keyboard support, we found this tablet to be a beast of a productivity machine. Not only could we take notes and multitask effortlessly, but we could also use it as a powerful laptop with Apple’s luxurious (and pricy) Magic Keyboard. If you’d like to use this tablet as a laptop without paying a few hundred dollars extra, we found third-party wireless mini keyboards to do the job just fine.

The Apple iPad weighs in at over a pound with a 10.9” 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, we’d say this is the best iPad for note taking.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 11″ Review — Best Note-Taking Tablet for Business

samsung galaxy tab s8

Pros
  • Up to 15 hours of battery life
  • Excellent multitasking
  • Stylus included
  • Great Android experience
  • Light and portable
Cons
  • Fingerprint scanner is unreliable
  • No headphone jack
  • Placement of S Pen can be a hassle
  • Screen Size: 11” LCD Screen
  • Weight: 1.10 pounds
  • Stylus: S Pen included
  • Battery Life: All-day battery life
  • Storage Capacity: 128GB in base model
  • Operating System: Android

When it comes to design, hardware, and feel, we love the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. We were already impressed with its older model, the S7, and this upgraded model is no different.

If you’re looking for an Apple iPad Air competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S8, with its 128GB standard internal storage and 15-hour battery life, is your best bet. We loved that the S Pen stylus comes included, making it a more budget-friendly purchase than the iPad Air or Pro.

With an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon chip in this newer version, we managed to breeze through multiple apps and tasks without any staggering. We could also play graphics-heavy games with no problem and enjoyed the crisp and bright screen, although the colors are not as punchy as Apple’s iPads.

We loved the improved S Pen, which now comes with lower latency and a softer tip, making writing on the glass screen feel much more natural. We weren’t fans of the magnetic attachment and charging point, as we found the positioning a bit odd, and the magnets felt quite weak. And, without a keyboard case holding it in place, the pen could easily be knocked off the tablet.

We did, however, love the durable aluminum body, which not only gives the tablet a high-end feel but makes it more resistant to scratches. The aluminum body also helps keep the tablet’s weight down. Weighing just over a pound, the S8 is a great portable option for business professionals, students, and creatives on the go.

The power of this tablet, combined with its keyboard and Bluetooth mouse compatibility, also makes it one of our top choices for a PC-style tablet. And with four Dolby Atmos speakers and an improved front camera, this tablet is great for both video meetings and watching your favorite shows.

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UGEE U-1200 Drawing Monitor Review — Best Cheap Note-Taking Tablet

UGEE u1200 drawing tablet

Pros
  • Affordable
  • 3-in-1 cable included
  • Multi-purpose tablet
  • Compatible with all major computer brands and creative apps
Cons
  • Has to be connected via cable
  • Weighs almost two pounds
  • Screen Size: 11.9″ HD Display
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Stylus: Advanced PH12 passive pen
  • Battery Life: Needs to be connected to computer
  • Storage Capacity: 64GB standard model
  • Operating System: Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Chrome, & Linux

If you’re looking for a Wacom-style cheap drawing tablet for notes that won’t break the bank, the UGEE U-1200 Drawing Monitor has you covered. At its price point, this 11.9” tablet is the perfect budget option for taking notes. Featuring a battery-free stylus pen and a laminated, anti-glare screen, we also found it to be one of the top tablets for photo editing.

We enjoyed the feel of the non-slip stylus pen with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, which made taking notes and drawing feel absolutely natural.

While it weighs almost two pounds and has to be connected to a computer to work, we actually found this tablet to be quite the all-rounder. Not only could we take notes during video calls and create drawings, but we could also use the monitor as a second screen.

This tablet will also get you through serious online meetings, as it’s fully compatible with platforms like Zoom, Twitch, and Microsoft Teams. If you’re big on retouching and illustration, this tablet’s 127% SRGB color gamut monitor may just showcase colors better than your laptop.

It’s also compatible with all major creative apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Draw, and Sketchbook. So, whether you’re looking for something to comfortably take digital notes with or something to help you translate your creativity onto your favorite computer, this tablet has your back.

Click to Check Price on Amazon Click to Check Price on UGEE

Apple iPad Pro 2024 11″ Review

apple ipad pro

Pros
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Incredible gaming
  • Super-wide photos
  • Face ID
  • LiDAR scanner offers enhanced AR
  • Shoot/Edit 4K videos
Cons
  • Apple Pencil and Keyboard sold separately
  • Expensive
  • Screen Size: 10.9” Retina display
  • Weight: 1.03 pounds
  • Stylus: Support for Apple Pencil 2nd generation
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Storage Capacity: 128GB base model
  • Operating System: iPadOS

If the price tag is not your chief concern, then cast your sights on the 11” Apple iPad Pro. Featuring the same speedy Apple M1 Chip that we’ve grown to love, the iPad Pro is the ultimate choice for those looking for a note-taking tablet with extra perks.

Slim, light, and so fast that most laptops can’t keep up, this product will do more than just help you take notes in style. Speaking of style, the tablet only comes in three color variations, which makes it great for carrying into the boardroom but limiting if you’re looking for a more punchy color.

Weighing in at just over a pound, this tablet for writing notes is the perfect fusion of powerful processing, thanks to the new Apple M1 chip and portability. We loved the inclusion of Face ID for easy unlocking and online payments, and the 11” screen with ProMotion and True Tone made for an unparalleled, immersive, and speedy experience.

The iPadOS gives the tablet a more practical interface and flow than the somewhat awkward proportions we often encountered with the Galaxy S8. We also appreciated the up to 600 nits brightness, which made it ideal for working in brighter conditions.

With 5G capability and an 8-core CPU chip with an 8-core GPU, this tablet is also a great option for a rewarding gaming session after a long day.

The iPad Pro has a Smart Keyboard, trackpad, and Apple Pencil support. While we were a bit bummed that these accessories are sold separately and at a hefty price tag, we found them all to deliver excellent value for money.

If innovation, ambition, cutting-edge technology, and professionalism are ideals you appreciate, look no further. The iPad Pro, with up to 2TB of storage, will carry you through years of work.

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Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet Review

wacom cintiq 16 drawing tablet

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 pen-to-screen feel
  • Attaches easily to Mac or PC
Cons
  • Slightly dim screen
  • Heavy and not as portable as other tablets
  • Screen Size: 15.6” HD display
  • Weight: 4.19 pounds
  • Stylus: Stylus pen included
  • Battery Life: Needs to be connected to computer. Pen draws power from tablet.
  • Storage Capacity: N/A
  • Operating System: Windows & Mac compatible

The first thing to note about this Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet 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, there’s truly no brand offering a better pen-to-paper feel than Wacom, which is why it’s made this list.

We adored the 15.6” HD display, which gave us plenty of room for designing, note-taking, and drawing. Strikingly, this tablet offers 16.7 million colors, with a level of detail that will amaze any artist. Yet we would’ve loved a boost in the brightness.

We love the tilt-sensitive pen, which performs like traditional pencils and brushes and even makes us forget that we’re using a digital pen. With 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, this pen transferred strokes with absolute accuracy and zero lag.

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 its portability. Fortunately, the tablet comes with a built-in stand, which is brilliant if you intend to use it as part of a workstation.

Although it’s not the cheapest note-taking tablet, this product is a great entry-level option for creative students and digital artists looking for a way to take notes and draw.

Scratch-resistant and robust, we’re confident that the Cintiq 16 will stand the test of time. The combination of the slimline display and Wacom Pro Pen 2 will ensure that you have a smooth note-taking or creative session with every use.

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Boogie Board Jot 8.5″ LCD Writing Tablet Review

Boogieboard jot reusable drawing tablet

Pros
  • No charging necessary
  • Eliminates the need for paper
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great fun
Cons
  • Takes notes in one color only
  • No speakers
  • Screen Size: 8.5” LCD display
  • Weight: 0.24 pounds
  • Stylus: Pen included
  • Battery Life: Contains a replaceable 3-volt CR2016 Lithium battery
  • Storage Capacity: N/A
  • Operating System: N/A

The Boogie Board Jot LCD Writing Tablet is purely for note taking. If you are looking for a tablet that has the sole function of recording lists, memos, and reminders, then this is your ideal companion.

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. We loved that whatever you write or draw on the tablet will remain there until you choose to erase it. And erasing literally happens at the touch of a button.

With an 8.5” screen and weighing a mere 0.24 pounds, we found this tablet to be the perfect size for any note taking — or figuring out tough equations. We also found the attached magnets and kickstand quite nifty, as we could fasten them to the fridge or prop it up on our desk.

Setting up the tablet and saving notes was an absolute breeze. We simply had to download the Jot App on our phone (both Google Play Store and App Store-compatible) to scan the Boogie Board surface and save our notes as files.

This tablet would be great to take on long car trips and flights — especially if your family likes playing games like Hangman and Pictionary.

At such a low price point, we weren’t expecting much, but the pen had a surprisingly accurate stylus response and a great pen-to-paper feel. The amount of pressure we applied smoothly translated to the line thickness on the tablet — making it feel quite similar to use as a Wacom pad.

The tablet only writes in a neon-green color. But for a tablet solely used for taking and transferring notes, we were hardly bothered by this.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review

microsoft surface pro 7 tablet

Pros
  • Powerful laptop-class performance
  • Type Cover included
  • USB-C and USB-A ports
  • Kickstand allows for a range of angles
Cons
  • Large bezels
  • Not great in direct sunlight
  • Poor battery life
  • Screen Size: 12.3” display
  • Weight: 1.10 pounds
  • Stylus: Compatible with Microsoft Surface Pen – sold separately
  • Battery Life: Up to 10.5 hours
  • Storage Capacity: 128GB base model
  • Operating System: Windows 10

We mentioned that a few of the above tablets are great for use as a laptop, but the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 truly takes the prize in this category. We simply had to open up the built-in kickstand and attach the Type Cover to achieve the physical appearance of a laptop.

The Intel Core i5 processor and Windows 10 further added to the PC-style performance and left us impressed with its speed.

We loved the Surface Pro 7’s beautifully slim 12.3” touchscreen, which provided a magnificent viewing and drawing experience. In addition, the kickstand created the perfect 15° angle for comfortable writing and sketching, especially when paired with the Microsoft Surface Pen, which is sold separately.

The stylus pen offers precision ink on one side and a nifty eraser on the other — with tilt allowing for shading. With 4096 pressure points, the pen delivered marvelous sensitivity, and we found the pen to have zero lag — making it great for notes and doodles.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is heavier than most tablets but far lighter than your average laptop. At 1.10 pounds, this tablet hybrid is perfect if you’re always on the go and working between type and touchscreen devices already.

If you are looking for a Windows tablet with a stylus and PC-like performance and don’t mind a bit of extra weight or cost, this hybrid is a powerful choice.

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Microsoft Surface Go 3 Review

microsoft surface go 3 tablet

Pros
  • Excellent portability
  • Affordable
  • 11-hour battery life
  • Quick charge
Cons
  • Stylus pen sold separately
  • Limited to 128 GB storage capacity
  • Screen Size: 10.5” display
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Stylus: Microsoft Surface Pen compatible – sold separately
  • Battery Life: Up to 11 hours
  • Storage Capacity: 64GB base model
  • Operating System: Windows 11

The Microsoft Surface GO 3 is the little brother of the Microsoft Surface Pro series. Just 1.2 pounds in weight with a 10.5” screen, we loved this tablet for its portability, slim look, and sleek feel. The Surface Go also has the same kickstand, which is ultra-handy for comfortably taking notes.

Similar to the previous model, this tablet is compatible with the sensitive Surface Pen, which performs excellently while doing markups, editing, and making notes. We would have loved the pen to come included. But, even with the added purchase, the Surface Go 3 is almost half the price of the Surface Pro.

For a tablet with two 1080p HD cameras and running the Windows 11 operating system, we found the Microsoft Surface Go to provide excellent value for money. The tablet not only performed well for browsing and taking notes but also worked great for conference calls — with the dual studio mics and built-in Dolby Audio providing excellent sound quality.

In short, the Microsoft Surface Go is a more compact and, thus, more portable version of the Surface Pro that’s great for school and business use.

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Tablet Keyboard Case Review

If you’re looking to take both handwritten and typed notes, the below keyboard cases have you covered.

iPad Keyboard Case

Designed to fit the 12.9” 5th and 6th Generation iPads, this best-selling Chesona keyboard case has backlit keys and a multi-touch touchpad. We loved that this hard-cover case had a built-in Apple Pencil holder and would recommend it as a cheaper alternative to the Magic Keyboard.

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Microsoft Surface Go Type Case

The ultra-impressive Microsoft Surface Go Type Case has an extra-large trackpad and comfortably spaced backlit keys. Our favorite part about this keyboard is that it doesn’t require any Bluetooth connection. In fact, the magnetically attached keyboard draws power directly from your Surface Go tablet — so you won’t even need batteries.

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Samsung Galaxy Tablet S8 keyboard

This Fintie Bluetooth Keyboard Case for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 features backlit keys and a PU leather cover that doesn’t get in the way of the wireless S Pen charging. We loved the adjustable backlight and the spring mechanism under the keys, which allowed for a satisfying laptop-style typing experience.

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Why Trust Our Reviews

At Pixelsmith, we aim to provide our readers with in-depth reviews of various products — ones that we have actually used and tested. The purpose of our method is to provide you with all the information needed to make an informed purchasing decision when looking for the best digital tablet for note taking.

Our team is more than just experts. We all have a deep passion for technology, design, and gaming. As such, we have tested out nearly everything when it comes to digital assets, including a wide variety of tablets. We have tested and reviewed various categories like the best tablets for writing notes, as well as the best brands, including Apple and Android’s latest tablets.

It’s worth noting that Pixelsmith doesn’t get paid to review products, nor do brands give us free products in exchange for a good review. We constantly strive to provide the most unbiased reviews based on first-hand experience.

When looking for the best tablet for note taking, we tested out many products before coming up with this list. With our in-depth review process, we were able to identify the best tablets on the market to help make your search as easy as possible.

Have any questions about our review process? Be sure to contact us — we’re happy to assist our fellow tech, design, and gaming enthusiasts!

Best Note-Taking Tablet Buyers Guide

person holding apple ipad

With all the variations and technical specifications out there, buying a note-taking device that suits your needs can be quite the challenge. We’ve listed some of the top things to keep in mind when searching for your perfect fit.

Operating System

The operating system can play a big part in your productivity and user experience. If you’re keen on working with business apps like Microsoft Excel and Word, a Windows tablet may be a better bet. Whereas, if you’d like to sync your files to your phone, an iPad or Android tablet will be perfect.

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 focused on the biggest technology companies in the world.

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.

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 work on. For those who want to take notes, a large screen area with landscape orientation would be beneficial.

Suppose you’re simply looking for a tablet for taking notes, an 8-10” screen will do just fine. But if you’re keen on using your note-taking tablet for drawing digital art, a 10”+ screen will be a more comfortable size.

Stylus Sensitivity

The higher the sensitivity level of the stylus, the more control you’ll have over your pen strokes and the pressure.

If you want to draw as well as take notes, you will want a high-pressure sensitivity to help you get the perfect “brushstrokes”. If you’re simply looking to jot some things down, then your pressure sensitivity doesn’t need to be as high.

woman taking notes on tablet

Price

When it comes to buying a tablet for writing purposes, price is an extremely important factor. If you just want a tablet to take notes on, you don’t need to splash huge sums of money.

Budget-friendly tablets like the Boogie Board Jot or the UGEE U-Series U1200 will be excellent options in this case.

However, if you want a note-taking tablet with extra features, 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-making 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 often will I be holding the tablet?
  • How big does the tablet need to be in terms of screen size?

Summary of the Best Tablet for Taking Handwritten Notes

The best note-taking tablets can make life so much easier and more convenient. Creating and storing all your business memos and digital documents in a 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. From the best cheap tablets for note taking to high-end computer-style tablets, the options are plenty. So whether it’s family-friendly features, editing functions, sublime performance, or creative expression you long for, there’s a tablet to meet your needs.

Hopefully, this buying guide will help you find the best tablet for notes to make your writing that much smoother. Have a look at our review of the best digital writing tablets for even more exceptional options.

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AUTHORS

Website | + posts

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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Neal's everyday work showcases a blend of technical mastery and creative innovation. His artistic flair is evident in his digital illustrations, where he produces captivating visuals on tablets. Additionally, Neal enriches written content as a co-author at Pixelsmithstudios, offering unique industry insights and expertise. This combination of visual and written contributions highlights Neal's diverse talents. As a Co-Owner of Pixelsmithstudios, he further applies his skills as a Motion Graphics Designer, specializing in various aspects beyond marketing content creation.

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