People are replacing their pens and notebooks with tablets. It has become a more convenient way to take notes and write down your ideas, recipes, sketches, etc.

Even if you lose your device, your notes will be accessible. It’s easy to find notes because you have a quick search. Your dog can’t eat them. You can’t spill coffee over them.

But there are so many tablets out there, so I came up with a criteria that helps people to pick the best tablet for them. My criteria:


Stylus Support


Keyboard Support


Battery Life


Refresh Rate


Screen Quality


OS Ecosystem


Apps


Which OS Is Better For You?

The first decision you have to make is which OS you want for your tablet. You have to make a decision between iOS, Android & Windows.

  • If you have a MacBook and iPhone, I recommend staying in that ecosystem.
Apple iPadAndroid TabletWindows Tablet
MacBook & iPhone
MacBook & Android Phone
Windows & iPhone
Windows & Android Phone

When it comes to note-taking, Apple offers more. You have more apps to choose from. More competition means higher standards and better experience. It also means more support and more guides.

Sharing Notes Between Devices

You can share notes between any two devices, but it’s much more convenient and faster if your devices are in the same ecosystem.

  • I recommend picking an app that’s available on all devices.

I personally use Notability because I have a Mac, iPad, and iPhone. If I had other devices I would have chosen Goodnotes 6.

MacBooksiPhoneWindowsAndroid
NotabilityXX
Goodnotes 6
Nebo
Microsoft OneNote
Apple NotesXX
iPad Pro
Overall Best

iPad Pro

  • OS: iPadOS
  • Processor: Apple M2
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB
  • RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB
  • Camera: 12 MP (Wide) + 10 MP (Ultrawide) / 12 MP (Ultrawide)
  • Display Size: 11 / 12.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2388×1668 / 2732×2048 (~264 ppi)
  • Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
  • Weight: 1.03 lbs / 1.51 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 9-10 hours
  • Stylus Included?: No 
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

The iPad Pro is Packed with a ton of exciting features, I use this tablet for my own note taking due to a few reasons.

Firstly, it features an excellent 120 Hz ProMotion display.

Moreover, the Apple Pencil 2 just works great with the iPad Pro. Featuring a dedicated magnetic strip on the side for charging and storage, the Pencil 2 seamlessly connects to the iPad.

 The impressive plethora of applications, such as Procreate, Notability, Goodnotes 6, etc.

Apple’s ecosystem truly shines here. Your notes automatically synchronize with iCloud. Allowing you to access them from iPhone or MacBook. 

If you need to annotate and markup PDF files you can directly do that on iPad Pro, the files transfer from one to another device is seamless. 

iPad Pro split screen feature also comes in handy when you need to cross-reference your work.

It’s equipped with M2 chip. It doesn’t sweat when you take notes on it, but it gives you the option to edit videos, play heavy games and use it for heavy processing tasks.

You’ll be able to take notes for hours on end with your hand fatiguing before the iPad runs out. All in all, the best tablet for note-taking.

Pros
  • Great battery life
  • Liquid retina XDR display
  • Variety of note-taking apps
  • Notes sync across devices
  • Offers discount to students
Cons
  • Costs
  • Learning Curve
  • Quite heavy (12.9-inch model)
  • Expensive (especially with accessories)
Best Android Tablet For Note-Taking
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ Plus

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ Plus

  • OS: Android 13
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 
  • Storage: 256 GB / 512 GB
  • RAM: 12 GB / 16 GB
  • Camera: 13 MP (Wide) + 8 MP (Ultrawide) / 12 MP (Ultrawide)
  • Display Size: 12.4 inches
  • Resolution: 1752×2800 (~266 PPI)
  • Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
  • Weight: 1.29 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 10 hours
  • Stylus Included?: Yes
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus is packed with a large 12.4-inch AMOLED display, high resolution, excellent color accuracy.

Unlike Apple, Samsung has an S pen included in the price and it’s highly accurate with pixel precision. 

There are multiple note-taking apps to choose from. The best Goodnotes 6 or Microsoft OneNote. 

It has a great battery life that can last up to 10 hours and of course, you can also multitask, or split the screen in half to cross-reference. 

You can also markup PDF files and share your notes with others.  

S Pen’s latency is just 2.8ms and pressure sensitivity is around 4096. It responds instantly to your movements, no lags. Each stroke appears on the screen with precision and no delay.

I know that some users will express concerns about its reliability, pointing to cases where the nib tends to wear off a bit quicker than the Apple Pencil, similar to its predecessor. If you take notes on a daily basis you will have to change the nib once or twice a year. 

It’s a powerful tablet that great for taking notes and is capable also of heavy processing tasks, like video editing, photo editing, gaming, etc.

Pros
  • Long Battery Life
  • High-Quality Display 
  • S pen Is Included In The Box
Cons
  • App Ecosystem (in comparison to iPad)
  • Weight And Size
  • Learning Curve
Best Windows Note-Taking Tablet
Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

  • OS: Windows 11 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 / i7 / SQ3(5g)
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
  • RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB / 32 GB LPDDR5
  • Camera: 10 MP Front Facing
  • Display Size: 13 inches
  • Resolution: 2880×1920 (~267 ppi)
  • Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
  • Weight: 1.94 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: Up to 19hours (5g model)
  • Stylus Included?: No 
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is a 2-in-1 device. It can be a laptop and it can be a tablet, that’s what attracts me the most to this tablet.

Equipped with the Surface Slim Pen 2, the Surface Pro 9 delivers an excellent experience when it comes to taking notes. It’s precise, it has pressure sensitivity, making it not only great for note-taking, but also for sketching and drawing.

The device comes with Windows OS. Compared to iPads and Android tablets the app variety is limited. The best option is Microsoft OneNote.

It has a high-resolution display with excellent color accuracy, providing you with crisp and vivid pictures.

It has a sleek design coupled with the Signature Keyboard that really lets you get in on some of that productivity action. (You have to buy the keyboard separately, but it really can turn your tablet into a laptop) The reason why I really like this tablet for note-taking is that in some classroom situations where you need a laptop, the Surface can act as one. Giving you access to software that’s not available on Android or iPad OS. 

Microsoft Surface Pro with Intel Core processor can handle note-taking apps with ease. This tablet has the most powerful processor from all the tablets on the list, it will can handle even some heavy PC games.

 

Pros
  • Powerful Processor
  • Incredible Battery Life
  • Versatility (Tablet & Laptop)
  • Great battery life
Cons
  • Limited Applications
  • Expensive (especially with accessories)
  • With top specifications – it’s quite expensive
Best Value For Price
iPad Air (2022 Model)

iPad Air (2022 Model)

  • OS: iPadOS
  • Processor: Apple M1
  • Storage: 64 GB / 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Camera: 12 MP (Wide) / 12 MP (Ultrawide)
  • Display Size: 10.9 inches
  • Resolution: 1640×2360 (~264 ppi)
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Weight: 1.02 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 9-10 hours
  • Stylus Included?: No 
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

The iPad Air is more budget-friendly when compared to the iPad Pro. 

You will be downgrading from a 120Hz screen to 60Hz when it comes to note-taking, you can see the difference, but it’s definitely not a deal breaker. 

Also, you will be downgrading on the storage. It has only two options 64GB or 256GB. If you plan to take a lot of notes, download some apps, or play some games, I would recommend going for 256GB just to be on the safe side.

When it comes to notes it has the same option of apps as iPad Pro. Many to choose from. It’s also compatible with Apple Pencil Generation 2 and Apple Pencil USB-C, among with other alternatives from different brands. 

 You gain access to the same ecosystem of applications, the same battery life (maybe slightly better, since it consumes less power). 

Overall I would say this is a smart choice for people who don’t intend to play heavy games on iPad and do heavy processing tasks like video editing, photo editing, etc. That’s the only reason why I would recommend iPad Pro over the iPad Air.

 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • M1 processor
  • Good Battery Life
  • Less Expensive(Compared to iPad Pro)
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil & Magic Keyboard
Cons
  • No Face-ID
  • 60Hz Screen
  • Only one Size
  • Limited Storage
Best Android Tablet For Note-Taking
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9

  • OS: Android 13
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB / 12 GB
  • Camera: 13 MP (Wide) / Selfie Camera 12 MP (Ultrawide)
  • Display Size: 11 inches
  • Resolution: 1600×2560 (~274 PPI)
  • Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 9 hours
  • Stylus Included?: Yes
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 comes with a smaller screen. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus.

It can be an advantage and disadvantage. It’s more compact, which makes it more lightweight, but if you need to multitask and split the screen in half S9+ has the advantage.

Samsung S pen is included in the box.

S9+ has a better battery life, but S9 consumes less power, so it evens out.

Both tablet are very similar, the key differences between Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 and S9 Plus are:

Screen size, storage options, RAM options, battery size, and most importantly cellular connectivity.

You can’t get Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 with LTE(sim card) at least not for now. 

Pros
  • Long Battery Life
  • High-Quality Display 
  • S pen Is Included In The Box
  • More Compact & Lightweight
Cons
  • Limited Storage Options
  • App Ecosystem (in comparison to iPad)
  • Learning Curve
  • No LTE Connectivity
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro

Lenovo Tab P12 Pro

  • OS: Android 12
  • Processor: Snapdragon 870 5G
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB
  • RAM: 6 GB / 8 GB RAM
  • Camera: 13 MP (Wide) + 5 MP (Ultrawide) / 8 MP (Wide)
  • Display Size: 12.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1600×2560 (~240 ppi)
  • Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
  • Weight: 1.02 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 8-9 hours
  • Stylus Included?: Yes
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro comes with Precision Pen 3. Both are meant to complement each other, with the Pen allowing the tablet to take notes. 

It features a sleek, gorgeous design alongside a fantastic 12.6 inch 2K AMOLED display equipped with a Snapdragon 870. The tablet is fairly quick, has an 8-9 hour battery life, and checks all the boxes, especially given its relatively reasonable price.

When it comes to note-taking. I have some issues. First of all, the screen is highly sensitive. In essence, palm rejection doesn’t really work all that well here, and you’ll see random squiggles in your sheet more often than not. Plus, the stylus feels cheaper in comparison to other Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft. 

In my opinion, the stylus made more sense when browsing and clicking or taking quick notes rather than for serious note-takers.(Maybe Samsung and Apple has spoiled me) This is because the stylus’s interface itself needs improvement. It feels bogged down by the plethora of features that the tablet tries to throw on you and feels glitchy sometimes.

 But, if you are someone who can let go of all the third-party nuances and features, then the nib and overall stylus just feels alright. 

 I found this a bit disappointing simply because the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is an excellent tablet. And, if it wasn’t for the sub-par stylus, I would’ve easily ranked it higher.

Pros
  • Sleek Design
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Large OLED Display
Cons
  • Stylus Could Be Better
  • Palm Rejection Could Be Better
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus

  • OS: Android 13
  • Processor: Exynos 1380 
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB / 12 GB
  • Camera: 8 MP (Wide) 8MP (Ultrawide) / Selfie Camera 12 MP (Ultrawide)
  • Display Size: 12.4 inches
  • Resolution: 1600×2560 (~243 PPI)
  • Refresh Rate: 90 Hz
  • Weight: 1.38 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 9 hours
  • Stylus Included?: Yes
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus in comparison to Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ is more affordable.

They have the same screen size, but FE version has a lower PPI or the screen quality isn’t as good. 

It also has a lower refresh rate 90Hz.

In a nutshell FE version is a more affordable version that has cut off a bit from everything to make it more affordable.

It has more than enough power to handle note-taking tasks, markup tasks, and tasks for school.

You would see some drawbacks if you would do some more demanding tasks like video editing or heavy gaming.

Pros
  • Big Display
  • More Affordable
  • S pen Is Included In The Box
Cons
  • App Ecosystem (in comparison to iPad)
  • Learning Curve
  • Lower-Quality Display 
Budget iPad
iPad 10th Gen

iPad 10th Gen

  • OS: iPadOS
  • Processor: Apple A14 Bionic
  • Storage: 64 GB / 256 GB
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Camera: 12 MP (Wide) / 12 MP (Ultrawide)
  • Display Size: 10.9 inches
  • Resolution: 1640×2360 (~264 ppi)
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Weight: 1.02 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 9-10 hours
  • Stylus Included?: No 
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

iPad 10 is the most budget-friendly option. Coming in cheaper than the iPad Air and the iPad Pro, the iPad 10th Gen is equipped with all the essential features you need for note-taking. However, in true Apple fashion, there are a few drawbacks you’ll have to get used to.

 Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the iPad 10th Gen comes compatible only with the first Generation Apple Pencil or Apple Pencil USB-C This means that there’s no magnetic compartment for storage and charging as the Pencil is charged with wire.

 The iPad 10th Gen comes equipped with an A14 Bionic. Granted, it isn’t going to setting Geekbench records, it certainly isn’t a slouch by any stretch of the imagination, either. So, if you are into casual video editing, photo editing, and gaming it can handle it, but it’s not really made for that, so you will feel some resistance, some lags, etc.

With a stellar battery life, and a decent 60 Hz display while also packing in all the essentials, the iPad 10th Gen is one of the best budget tablets for note-taking made.

Another thing I need to mention, what’s different from other iPads: is that this one comes with a non-laminated screen, meaning there’s a small gap between the glass and the screen you are writing on.

 

Pros
  • Great Price
  • USB-C Port
  • Sharp Display
  • Great Color Options
Cons
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil 1 or USB-C(needs wire to be charged)
  • No Face-ID
  • Non-Laminated Display
  • No Headphone Jack
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022)

  • OS: Android 13
  • Processor: Snapdragon 720G
  • Storage: 64 GB / 128 GB
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Camera: 8 MP (Wide) / 5 MP (Wide)
  • Display Size: 10.4 inches
  • Resolution: 1200×2000 (~224 ppi)
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Weight: 1.03 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 7-8 hours
  • Stylus Included?: Yes
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

The Tab S6 Lite is Samsung’s budget entry tablet that features a premium metal chassis and Samsung’s S Pen, which magnetically latches onto the side when not in use. It comes included in the box.

Even at this price point, we are met with a fully laminated display which means that there’s no actual gap between the S Pen and the display. All in all, the S6 Lite is a great tablet for note-taking simply because it comes with the stylus right out of the box, requires no additional setup, connects seamlessly, and also works great.

 One great feature for note-taking I found when using the tablet was the ability to change the transparency of the note-taking window and to be able to use it even when a video is being played on the screen. This allows students and professionals alike to jot down notes while also being able to view videos, perfect for exam revision sessions.

Pros
  • Great Price
  • Keyboard & Stylus support
  • Expandable storage (up to 1TB)
  • Face-ID
  • Samsung DeX
Cons
  • Average Performance
  • LCD Screen
Kindle Scribe

Kindle Scribe

  • OS: KindleOS
  • Processor:
  • Storage: 16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB
  • RAM: 
  • Camera:
  • Display Size: 10.2 inches
  • Resolution: 2480×1860 (300 ppi)
  • Refresh Rate: Not applicable
  • Weight: 0.95 lbs
  • Port: USB-C Port
  • Battery: Up to 13 hours 
  • Stylus Included?: Yes
  • Keyboard Support: No

If you want a device on which you can take notes and read ebooks – Kindle Scribe is the good option, the only option in fact, if you don’t want other features.

It’s designed so you can sketch, take notes, annotate PDF files, and read kindle books on it. 

The battery life is great. You can get 13 hours of usage. Unlike traditional tablets that will run out of battery even when you don’t use them this one will not, at least not so fast. 

It also comes with a Pen that doesn’t require charging. 

You can’t get any colors on it, only black & white, the pen has pressure sensitivity that comes in handy when you need to sketch something.

Also, it has a backlight unlike other e-ink tablets.

All the notes you can share between whichever devices you want. 

Overall, if you are easily distracted this minimalistic device might be the right pick for you.

 

Pros
  • Minimalistic Device
  • 2-in-1 (Reading & Writing)
  • Can Play Audiobooks
  • Backlight
Cons
  • Limited
  • Medium Export Quality

Compare Kindle Scribe with reMarkable 2 side-by-side

ReMarkable 2

ReMarkable 2

  • OS: Codex
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Dual Core ARM
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • RAM: 1 GB DDR3
  • Camera:
  • Display Size: 10.3 inches
  • Resolution: 1872×1404 (~226 ppi)
  • Refresh Rate: Not applicable
  • Weight: 0.89 lbs
  • Port: Micro USB
  • Battery: Up 15 hours 
  • Stylus Included?: Yes
  • Keyboard Support: Yes, but not included

If you just want to take notes, the ReMarkable 2 is a solid choice. It features a low-latency E ink display that has a simplistic UI primarily meant for annotating PDFs and taking notes. That’s the only functionality for the device and it excels in it. 

 Built off Wacom’s EMR technology, you can use some other styluses such as the Samsung S21 Ultra’s S Pen, just fine. However, stuff that uses Bluetooth, like the Apple Pencil, will not work. People love how simple the reMarkable 2 is. It’s simple and meant just for notes. You can transfer files from the tablet to your mobile / PC, and that’s pretty much all you need.

 It has limited storage, but you can connect Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud storage.

 But, when it comes to pure note-taking experience, this E Ink tablet is the closest to a paperlike feeling. You can still tell you are not writing on paper.

When you buy the tablet, the keyboard, and the pen, it gets very expensive, but its only use case is notes and you can also read some files on it(very limited options – ePUB and PDFs)

Due to this, I find it expensive. For the same price you can get a tablet with bigger storage, that will also allow you to watch movies, and videos and read on it.

But I understand the charm. This device guarantees you distraction-free work. 

 

Pros
  • Distraction Fee
  • Mimics Paper Very Good
Cons
  • Has a Micro USB Charging Port 
  • Limited Usage

Why I Ranked iPad Pro Above The iPad Air

The iPad Air is an excellent tablet for taking notes. However, the iPad Pro is slightly better due to a few reasons. Firstly, it offers a larger 12.9-inch option for those interested in more screen real estate. Secondly, the iPad Pro has a 120 Hz ProMotion display, while the iPad Air runs a 60 Hz display.

When it comes to note-taking, fluidity does make an immediate difference. The iPad Pro feels more natural and responsive to write and type on compared to the iPad Air. While the CPU on the iPad Pro is better, I’d argue that it won’t really make a difference, especially if your primary use case is taking notes.

Besides that, the iPad Pro has better speakers, a better camera, a higher refresh rate, bigger storage options, more RAM, and facial recognition while iPad Air has a touch ID.

FAQ

Is Apple Pencil Worth It Just For Note Taking?

Yes, the Apple Pencil is worth it just for note-taking. So, if you want to take notes on your iPad, you will need to use the Apple Pencil as no other stylus really comes close to the original one. Doubling down, it also is an excellent tool for artists and professionals alike.

Is The iPad Air or Mini Better For Note Taking?

The iPad Air is better than the iPad Mini for note-taking. This is because of two reasons. Firstly, iPad Air has a larger screen (10.9 inches vs iPad Mini 8.3 inches) which allows for more note-taking real estate. Secondly, it has a more powerful CPU (the M1) which lets you use more complex applications such as Autodesk Sketchbook with ease. But the biggest difference is definitely the size. It’s hard to take notes on an 8-inch screen.

Is It Better To Take Notes On An iPad Or Notebook?

It is better to take notes on an iPad. This is because you’ll be able to digitally save and keep all your notes piled up in one place forever. You’ll also be able to export and share them quickly and can also print them out if needed. Moreover, it’s healthier for the environment to use a tablet over an elongated series of times rather than investing in swathes of paper.

Is Amazon Fire Good For Note Taking?

Quite recently, Amazon released – Amazon Fire Max 11 Tablet. You can also get a Stylus with it and take notes on it. It isn’t as great as iPad, Android or Windows for note-taking, but it can definitely get the job done. It isn’t as fast, and there are certain limitations that come with Amazon Tablets – the biggest one – app availability.

What’s The Best Cheap Tablet with Pen For Note-Taking?

If you want a budget pick – I would recommend going with Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022, it was recently updated by Samsung, and it’s overall a very good tablet with an option to add a keyboard. If you just want to take notes occasionally – for school and work and do some basic drawing, it’s a good option. You can get it for under $250 in the United States. The best part? The Stylus is included in the price.

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ernests embutnieks wolfoftablet
Founder & Chief Editor | +37122300405 | ernests@wolfoftablet.com | + posts

I'm a writer and editor in iPads & Android Tablets, Windows Tablet section. I'm passionate about technology, especially about tablets. I'm on a mission to assist people in discovering their ideal tablets. In addition, I'm dedicated to producing helpful how-to guides and sharing top-notch tips and tricks. In my early carrier I founded and became and editor at worldoftablet and have been a guest author at many other tech blogs. In wolfoftablet I'm focusing on iPads, Tablets, Apple Pencil, Apps, Reviews, Buyers Guides and Tablet Accessories. In free time I like to play games on my PS5 or iOS.