BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper
Beyond reviews, our team aims to provide you with useful, compelling, and fun how-to guides, gift ideas, and deep dives into trendy products consumers like you love. Here are our latest articles.

Best tablet for note-taking

Which tablets for note-taking are best?

While laptops remain incredibly useful for the student or professional who is constantly on the move, it must be said that nothing substitutes for actual pen and paper note-taking like a properly equipped tablet.

If you need to take notes on a regular basis, the New Microsoft Surface Go 2 10.5-Inch Touch-Screen Tablet will allow you to do so with ease and style.

What to know before you buy a tablet for note-taking

Productivity and cross-device information

If you have ever had to go through the annoying, taxing process of sharing an important document across multiple devices and applications, you probably wished to be able to cut out the middleman and save notes to everything at once. Thankfully, note-taking tablets allow you to do just that, which not only saves you a great deal of time but also provides insurance against your file becoming lost or corrupted.

Convenience when traveling

Even if your laptop is both ultrathin and ultralight, there is no denying that carrying a full computer throughout your travels can become a bit inconvenient, especially when it comes to things like airport security. As such, you might be thinking that bringing your 2-to-8-pound laptop and enduring the attendant back strain is worth it for the superior ability to connect to the internet or cellular networks.

However, many modern note-taking tablets are capable of connecting via Wi-Fi and traditional LTE networks. In addition, some of the most current versions can access 5G LTE for significant increases in activities, like web browsing without needing an internet connection. Depending on where your work or travel takes you, that ability might just be a literal lifesaver.

What to look for in a quality tablet for note-taking

Ability to take notes both by hand and with a stylus

Not everyone needs, wants or can afford to spend an extra $50 on a fancy electronic stylus that only works with a specific tablet brand or runs out of battery quickly. While using a stylus undoubtedly offers the user far greater manual dexterity and the ability to convey finer details, taking notes with just your fingers is a great option that you don’t have to pay for. Regardless of your particular preference of note-taking, it is always better to have the option and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Good level of responsiveness and sensitivity suitable to your needs

For those unfamiliar with note-taking tablets, the two technical aspects that will have the greatest impact on stylus and finger note-taking are tilt sensitivity and pressure sensitivity. Tilt sensitivity refers to the tablet's ability to sense the amount of tilt between your finger or stylus and the tablet itself. In contrast, pressure sensitivity determines how thick or thin your lines of notes become based on how hard you are pressing against the screen. As such, it is well worth ensuring that the note-taking tablet you decide to purchase is compatible with your preferred style of work.

Accessories, security, peripherals and ability to upgrade

Before you decide to rush out and buy the first tablet for note-taking that you encounter, one crucial thing to consider is whether any necessary peripheral devices are included in your purchase price or need to be acquired separately. For example, while having a compatible stylus right out of the box will let you get a feel for your tablet, going through the process of purchasing a separate stylus can help ensure you find the perfect tool for note-taking with features like wireless charging and multiple button inputs.

Suppose you are looking for a tablet that will take notes while being able to share them securely. In that case, many note-taking tablets have biometric features, like fingerprint scanners and facial recognition, to keep unwanted users locked out. Other features to consider are MicroSD card slots for additional storage as well as the ability to configure your tablet’s internal storage, RAM and other components.

To learn more about powerful and versatile tablets and some key considerations, take a moment and look at the buying guide at BestReviews. 

How much you can expect to spend on a tablet for note-taking

Depending on the desired features and any budget considerations, a quality tablet for note-taking can easily cost between $150-$750 and much more.

Tablet for note-taking FAQ

Will I need to purchase a stylus to use my tablet effectively?

A. This will depend on your tablet’s technical specifications and your personal preferences regarding your style of work. Still, unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer, you don’t necessarily have to buy a stylus.

What should I look for when purchasing a note-taking tablet?

A. You should look for a decently powerful processor capable of handling note-taking as well as a brightly lit and large display screen.

What’s the best tablet for note-taking to buy?

Top tablet for note-taking 

New Microsoft Surface Go 2 10.5-Inch Touch-Screen Tablet

What you need to know: This note-taking tablet is designed to take your work anywhere you need to go.

What you’ll love: This unit features a 10.5-inch high-resolution touch screen, adjustable Kickstand and Signature Type Cover, full HD front- and rear-facing cameras as well as an included Surface Pen stylus and Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y 8th Gen Intel Core m3 Processor.

What you should consider: Users have reported issues occurring after major software updates as well as problems with overall battery performance.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top tablet for note-taking for the money

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet, 10.1 Inches, 1080p Full HD, 32GB

What you need to know: An impressive note-taking tablet for students and professionals on a budget.

What you’ll love: This unit offers a 12-hour battery and 32GB to 64GB internal storage up to 1 terabyte with MicroSD, access to Amazon’s App Store, vivid 10.1 inches 1080p Full HD display with over 2 million pixels and an octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM.

What you should consider: The tablet does not offer support for Google Store and has occasional battery and connectivity issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

2021 Apple 11-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi, 128GB)

What you need to know: An elegant and effective note-taking tablet with power to spare.

What you’ll love: This unit features an Apple M1 chip for incredible performance as well as an 11-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone, P3 wide color and ProMotion, Thunderbolt port for speeding connectivity and data transfers, and FaceID for biometric security.

What you should consider: Users have reported broken USB-C ports and charging issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: