Tablets offer a distinctive feature that sets them apart: the ability to take handwritten notes, a functionality that can not be found in smartphones or laptops.

Buying a tablet for note-taking can be challenging. A lot of information can be more confusing than helpful.

In this article, I want to mention key factors that you should pay attention to when buying a tablet for note-taking.

Stylus Support

You need to look for a tablet that has Stylus support and you have to be careful because there are two types of Styluses: active Stylus and passive Stylus.

Passive Stylus will work with any touchscreen surface, smartphones, touchscreen laptops, and all tablets, but it works more as a finger than a Stylus. That’s why you need to look for a tablet that has Active Stylus support. The key difference is that they require a power source like a battery, while a passive stylus doesn’t. They also often come with tilt sensitivity and pressure sensitivity and are a lot more precise than passive styluses.

Tip: Samsung tablets (mid-range and premium) have stylus pens included in the price.

Operating System

You will have a different application store depending on which operating system you choose for your tablet.

  • iPadOS – App Store
  • Android – Google Play Store
  • Chrome OS – Google Play Store
  • Windows – Microsfot Store
  • Fire OS – Amazon App Store

App Store offers the widest variety of note-taking apps. They have exclusive apps that are only available in their ecosystem. One of those apps is Notability.

As a rule of thumb, I recommend choosing an operating system you already use on your phone or laptop. The tablet interface will feel more familiar, and it will be easier to navigate it.

The tablet’s operating system will determine what note-taking apps you can use.

Screen Size

Screen size is important if you want to take notes on your tablet. I recommend picking at least a 10+ inch screen size.

Picking a smaller screen size is not advisable for note-taking. The more screen real estate you have, the easier it is to manage your notes.

Of course, you can also take notes on ‘sticky notes’, but it’s not as convenient as to take notes in notebook.

Refresh Rate

Usually, tablets come with 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz screens.

The refresh rate on a tablet refers to how many times per second the screen updates the displayed image. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). A higher refresh rate, such as 90Hz or 120Hz, means the screen refreshes more frequently.

The main difference between a 60Hz and a 120Hz screen on tablets, especially for note-taking, lies in the smoothness and responsiveness of the display.

A higher refresh rate can create a more natural and fluid writing experience. Stylus movements are tracked more accurately, resulting in lines and strokes that closely mimic the feel of writing on paper.

Battery Life

Tablets generally have good battery life, and they last longer than laptops and smartphones on average.

But make sure your tablet has 6+ hours of battery life. You don’t want your device to run out of battery while in the middle of class.

You can take notes on a tablet while it’s charging, but it’s another inconvenience.

Split-Screen Feature

Make sure the tablet has a split-screen feature.

split screen
split screen: watching video while taking notes

This will allow you to watch a video or read documents while taking notes next to it. This feature is very handy and makes you a lot more productive.


You might want to access your notes from your smartphone or laptop, so whichever note-taking app you choose, I recommend making sure it’s also available on your smartphone and laptop so you can access your notes from any device.

Make sure the app has:

  • handwritten recognition
  • cloud synchronization
  • multimedia support
  • collaboration option


When you want to buy a tablet for note-taking, pay attention to these details:

Stylus Support, Operating System, Screen Size, Refresh Rate, Split-Screen Feature, Battery Life, Note-Taking Apps, and I would recommend ensuring it has external keyboard support in case you want to type notes.

I also wrote an article about the best tablets with stylus for note-taking. Make sure you read it if you are looking for the best option.

ernests embutnieks wolfoftablet
Founder & Chief Editor | +37122300405 | | + 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.

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