What is the Best Tablet for Note Taking?
Looking for a tablet computer for writing notes? Look no further!
Updated: 3rd Mar, 2016
Are you looking for a media consumption device that also has note-taking capabilities, or a tablet that you can write notes on that doubles as a powerful productivity suite? Whatever you're looking for, check out our favorite note taking tablet picks for 2016.
These tablet computers are suitable for:
- note-taking capabilities
- handwriting recognition (to differing degrees)
- taking notes in class
- taking notes for college students
The Apple Line for Writers and Artists Alike
|Tablet||Apple iPad Pro|
|CPU||Apple A9X - 1.30 GHz|
|Display||IPS LCD - 12.9 inch|
|Resolution||2732 x 2048 px - 264 ppi|
|Camera||Front 1.2 / Back 8.0 MP|
|Weight||0.71 kg / 1.57 lbs|
|Battery life||10.0 hours|
When Apple further expanded its iPad line of tablets to include the iPad Pro, it put itself on the map as the premier productivity device maker in the market. The large 12.9-inch Retina display, paired with the Apple Pencil, provides the perfect canvas for a budding artist or a soon-to-be starving writer (the base model is at least $799).
The iPad Pro takes advantage of the new iOS 9 features for multitasking, such as Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture. This means you can watch a video while writing the next bestseller or taking class notes with your favorite note-taking app from the app store or Apple’s own iWork suite.
The Apple Pencil itself is the perfect accessory, with pinpoint accuracy and pressure sensitivity that completely takes account your hand's angle and pressure on the screen. While handwriting recognition still needs some work, the iOS app store offers a huge selection of note-taking apps, like Evernote and Notability, for taking down notes with either the Pencil or an accessory keyboard.
The iPad Air 2 is smaller and less expensive than the Pro, but is no less capable of note-taking. Pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard and you can tap away at the keys in no time. It is also much more portable, with a 9.7-inch display and lighter body.
Apple iPad Air 2
Apple AX8 - 1.30 GHz
IPS LCD - 9.7 inch
2048 x 1536 px - 264 ppi
Front 1.2 / Back 8.0 MP
0.44 kg / 0.96 lbs
Windows Users and Productivity Fans
|Tablet||Microsoft Surface Pro 3|
|OS||Win 8.1 Pro|
|CPU||Core i3,i5,i7 - 1.90 GHz|
|Display||ClearType - 12.0 inch|
|Resolution||2160 x 1440 px - 216 ppi|
|Camera||Front 5.0 / Back 5.0 MP|
|Weight||0.80 kg / 1.76 lbs|
|Battery life||7.0 hours|
Before there was an iPad Pro, there was the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Surface Pro was released as a laptop replacement, complete with a stylus and keyboard to fully support note-taking and other activities.
If you're looking to simulate the desktop experience on a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro is your best bet. The latest iteration is the Surface Pro 4, which still includes the stylus, the Surface Pen, that’s singularly designed for note-taking.
Microsoft’s powerful Office suite gives users plenty of opportunities to use the tablet for work-related tasks. Purchase the Type Cover to convert the tablet to a full laptop replacement for use with apps like Word or OneNote.
The Surface Pro 4 starts at $898, but if that’s not within your price range, the earlier model Surface Pro 3 retails at only $499. It may not be as powerful, nor the stylus as responsive, but it is still one of the best tablets for note taking, thanks to Windows 10 and its desktop replacement features.
An Android Tablet for Any Budget
Notable tablets with note-taking features include the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the Lenovo Yoga Tab, and Google’s own Pixel C. Users can also use the Google Docs suite to type down notes, projects, and other documents.
The Google Pixel C is the latest Android tab made directly by Google, offering the purest Android experience for users who do not want to use a re-skinned Android tablet. The 10.2-inch display offers plenty of room to take notes in, while the keyboard accessory perfectly lines with the tablet, allowing you to port it with you should you want to work elsewhere.
|Tablet||Google Pixel C|
|CPU||Nvidia Tegra X1 - 1.7 GHz|
|Display||LTPS LCD - 10.2 inch|
|Resolution||2560 x 1800 px - 308 ppi|
|Camera||Front 2.0 / Back 8.0 MP|
|Weight||0.51 kg / 1.13 lbs|
|Battery life||10.5 hours|
|Tablet||Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 II|
|CPU||Exynos 5420 - 1.90 GHz|
|Display||TFT LCD - 10.1 inch|
|Resolution||2560 x 1600 px - 299 ppi|
|Camera||Front 2.0 / Back 8.0 MP|
|Weight||0.54 kg / 1.19 lbs|
|Battery life||7.5 hours|
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is older than any of the other models here, but is no less relevant. It is a much cheaper alternative to the Pixel C and offers less bells and whistles, but it’s still a solid contender when it comes to taking notes. It offers a stylus to use with the screen, though it’s more for navigation than handwriting.
For users looking for more juice in an Android tablet, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 has unique features that not only make it a powerful tablet for note-taking, but also a media powerhouse with fantastic battery life. The built-in projector also lets you project your screen for a presentation with friends or coworkers.
Picking a tablet with the best note-taking capabilities these days doesn’t just come down to which tablet has the better operating system or app environment; consider also tablet prices as well as the prices of peripheral accessories needed to complete the desktop experience.
Great Note-Taking Apps for Android