The 12 Best Tablets for Drawing and Note Taking

Best tablets for note taking and drawing

Graphic designers and creative professionals used to have to put pen to paper to express their ideas and work on design projects. But now, every creative professional should have a tablet for drawing and notetaking.

So to help you decide which best writing tablet to go for, I’ve scoured the web to find the best note-taking and handwriting tablet with a pen as well as touchscreen notepad.

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How To Choose the Best Tablet for Note Taking and Drawing

Here’s my review of the top tablets with a keyboard or with a stylus pen, and the best medium or large tablets to meet all your creative needs!

In the past 10 years, technology has advanced significantly, and it’s now possible to do all your creative work on a professional-grade tablet. 

Not only are tablets lightweight, portable, and more affordable than ever before, but you can edit, save, and share your work easily.

There’s a wide range of tablets with stylus available for every operating system. 

Screen Active Area

There are certain features to look for when buying. You should check out the screen size and the active area, which is the space where you’ll be drawing.

You’ll need the largest and the biggest screen tablets for your drawings and graphic artworks

Resolution & Pen Sensitivity

Another factor to consider is the screen resolution and multi-touch capability. For drawing and graphic design projects, you’ll need a super-high-resolution model and a very responsive stylus so you can let your creativity flow. 

If you’re looking for a tablet for note-taking, you might not need such a high level of pressure sensitivity and pen tilt recognition.

Instead, you’ll want to know that your chosen tablet is powerful and fast enough to run all your apps. Size and weight are also important if you’re going to carry your tablet around with you and use it on the go.


Your budget will also be a factor in choosing the best tablet for your needs. You’ll find that there is something for every budget, including some great, affordable options. Just remember that the cheaper tablets won’t offer the same range of professional features that high range models provide.

The Best Tablets for Note Taking and Drawing

Here’s my rundown of the best tablets for all your drawing, design, and note-taking needs! From high-end options to affordable, you’re sure to find the right model for you in my list of the best writing tablets around right now.

1. Apple Ipad Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Ipad Pro is one of the slickest and most responsive models on the market. With incredibly powerful features, a super-high-resolution screen, and a user-friendly interface, you can’t go wrong with the Apple Ipad Pro for your creative projects. 

It’s also the best tablet for taking handwritten notes or drawing when you pair it with the Apple Pencil.

Harnessing the best of modern technology, the Apple Pencil is a fantastic tablet pen that gives you an exceptional level of control and responsiveness over your designs, notes, handwriting, and illustrations.

  • Large screen size
  • Impressive, crystal clear resolution
  • Very powerful
  • The Apple Pencil feels just like a real pen
  • Can have two apps side by side
  • No headphones jack
  • No sd cards

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2. Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad Digital Notebook

Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad Digital Notebook

(Image credit: Wacom)

The Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad is one of the most innovative tablets on the market right now. Halfway between a good old notebook and a tablet, you get the best of both worlds. 

You can doodle right onto a standard sheet of paper. When you’re finished, the Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad will save your ideas into clever digital files. Then, you can access, edit, and share online at the touch of a button.

You can even use the free Wacom Inkspace app to transform your handwritten notes into text. This will take your digital note-taking to the next level, allowing you to export them, edit them, share them, and more.

  • Draw on a piece of paper and convert your designs to digital files by pressing a button
  • Save your drawings and edit them online
  • A great combination of the old and new, analog and digital – the best of both worlds
  • Store your notes online and find them easily when you need them
  • Transform your notes from handwritten to text form quickly and at no cost with Wacom Inkspace app
  • The handwriting-to-text option requires a paid subscription.

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3. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0″ with S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0" (2019) with S Pen - Note Taking tablet

(Image credit: Samsung)

Quite simply, this Samsung Galaxy tab A with s pen is a remarkable note-taking tablet for anyone shopping on a budget. You can use this Samsung tablet with a stylus for both writing and drawing, thanks to the ample 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. When you’re finished, the pen tucks away inside the tablet, so you’ll never risk losing it.

  • Very lightweight and easy to carry around with you at just 1.22 pounds 
  • Large screen with a small bezel for the ultimate viewing experience
  • You can add a MicroSD card for extra storage space
  • Download all the note-taking apps you need from the Google Play Store
  • The long battery life of 13 hours will last you all-day
  • Affordable and allows you to take great handwritten notes
  • Disappointing cameras
  • A bit expensive for what you get

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4. Samsung Galaxy Tab  10.1-Inch with S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Tab  10.1-Inch with S Pen - Notetaking tablet

(Image credit: Samsung)

Another brilliant Android tablet with pen, if you’re looking for a similar tablet as galaxy tab 2 for drawing or note-taking, this Samsung Galaxy Tab a stylus should be high on your list. The crystal clear visuals and the responsive S Pen will win you over, making this the best Android tablet with a stylus. In fact, it might even be the best Android tablet for drawing on the market right now!

  • Generous 10.1-inch display screen makes drawing and note-taking easy
  • Bright, realistic colors are ideal for creative projects and graphic design
  • With both a rear and front camera, you can also take some great snaps with this tablet
  • The HD display and 1920×1200 resolution make this tablet a joy to work on
  • The S Pen is precise, multifunctional, and easy to use
  • A bit pricey
  • Medium quality cameras

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5. Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen

Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen

Bonus Gift with Purchase: Clip Studio PAINT PRO (Image credit: Wacom)

Wacom products are among some of the brilliant tools out there for graphic designers and creative professionals. Whether you want a tablet with a pen for note-taking, designing, or drawing, you’ll love the Cintiq 16.

At 15.6 inch 1920×1080 HD display, you have a perfect screen with a high resolution that will be sure to wow you.

Specially designed with artists in mind, the amazing features tick all the boxes. From pen tilt recognition to ExpressKeys, impressive pen sensitivity, and multi-touch functionality, the Wacom Cintiq 16 is worth the investment.

  • The Wacom Grip Pen is included and boasts 8,192 levels of pen pressure
  • Fantastic 15.6 inch 1920×1080 HD widescreen display
  • Incomparable visual experience
  • You can easily create a wide range of brush and pen styles with the pen
  • Combines seamlessly with all your favorite apps and software

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6. CHUWI UBook Pro Tablet

Keyboard and stylus are sold separately 

(Image credit: Chuwi)

If you’re looking for an affordable tablet with a screen for drawing and note-taking, check this product out! It has a highly sensitive screen and high resolution. So you can create gorgeous, brightly-colored illustrations that are true to life.

If you want to get creative on the train, in the park, or in a cafe, this portable drawing tablet fits the bill.

With 12.3-inch Resolution, and an Intel UHD Graphics 600 Flash Memory Size: 256 GB this tablet is a bargain. That’s why I believe that it’s the best budget standalone drawing tablet with screen. It’s an excellent choice for students or anyone on a tight budget.

  • Incredible range of sensitivity
  • Large screen displays bright images and vivid details
  • Keyboard and stylus are sold separately

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7. HP Envy x2

HP Envy x2 - Best notetaking tablet

(Image credit: HP)

The HP Envy is the top tablet with a keyboard and stylus for drawing and note-taking on the go. Running on Windows 10 and with a large touchscreen for drawing, you have everything you need to get creative, no matter where you are. 

The HP Envy x2 is exceptionally light and portable, and with 22 hours of battery life, you won’t have to worry about charging it when you’re out and about. 

This tablet comes with a stylus and keyboard included, so you don’t need to buy anything else. 

  • You can get online even when there’s no Wifi around thanks to the built-in 4G LTE
  • Long battery life: Up to 22 hours of video playback
  • The HP Digital Pen is included in the price
  • Great value for money
  • Large touchscreen – 12.3”
  • Doesn’t accept all Store apps

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8. Microsoft Surface Book 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is among the great tablet for taking handwritten notes and working on graphic design projects. Equipped with a detachable keyboard and compatible with the excellent Surface Pen, it’s suitable for all your creative needs. 

This tablet can handle anything you throw at it. Download all the apps you need – this model won’t crash on you. 

With 4 different modes of use, you can easily work in the style you prefer. Flip the screen back to draw, sketch, and take notes comfortably, turn the screen around to give presentations, or use it as a normal laptop. 

You won’t go wrong with the Microsoft Surface Book 2 – it’s among the top tablets for note-taking and graphic design.

  • A super-fast, powerful
  • Long battery life
  • 4 different modes (Laptop, Studio, Tablet, and View), so you can use it whichever way works best for you
  • you have to buy a pen separately

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9. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is, without a doubt, the finest tablet for Windows users. With improved battery life and a powerful processor, you can run all your favorite Adobe apps without any delay or lags.

If you’re looking for a product that you can use for all your creative projects and that can double up as a laptop, this one’s for you.

  • Very lightweight
  • Super fast processor
  • Use with Surface Pen, a clean, precise pen
  • Best note-taking tablet/laptop combo

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10. Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible

(Image credit: Acer)

The Acer Chromebook R 11 is an excellent, affordable option for a touchscreen tablet/laptop. You can use it on the go thanks to the long battery life, and with a 10 point multi-touch screen and bright display, it’s perfect for drawing and note-taking.

  • Low maintenance – automatic updates and built-in virus protection
  • Back up all your files with internal storage plus 100GB of Google Drive space
  • 1366 x 768 resolution with backlighting and a multi-touch screen capability
  • Multiple modes (laptop, tent, tablet) so you can use it anywhere
  • Chrome OS isn’t touch-optimized
  • Low webcam performance

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11. Moleskine Pen+ Smart Writing Set Pen & Dotted Smart Notebook

moleskine smart writing set review

If you’re traditional, you love the feel of writing on your fancy Moleskine notebook. Nothing quite compares! But in the digital age, this Moleskine smartpen and notebook set is the next best thing! It feels like you’re writing on regular notepaper. But you can transfer your drawings straight to your smartphone or tablet. So, you can access them anywhere online! 

You’ll need to pair the Moleskine smart writing set with your phone or tablet – it’s not a standalone device. But this set comes with everything you need. The included smart pen moves smoothly across the page and is a delight to use.

This clever Moleskine set combines the best of the modern and the traditional. You can take notes or draw freehand to express your creativity. But, you get all the versatility and accessibility of a digital device! It’s simple and straightforward to save, edit, and send your files on screen.

  • It’s practical, compact, and easy to use
  • You can transform handwritten notes into digital files
  • It can be expensive as you need to replace the notebooks over time

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12. Apple iPad mini

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad mini is a small size tablet practical and handy for notetaking. With its 7.9-inch Retina display with True Tone and wide color that works with the Apple Pencil and a chipset, it is effective for taking notes, drawing, and managing your graphic design tasks as well as your creative projects.

  • 7. 9-inch Retina display with True Tone and wide color
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD front camera
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • A bit pricey
  • No headphones jack
  • No sd cards

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The Best Tablet with Stylus – My Conclusions

Tablet technology has come a long way, and there are some awesome high-end and budget options for note-taking tablets on the market. Any of the above-recommended products will serve you well and meet all your needs, whether you’re intending to use your tablet for creative projects or for taking notes.

The best tablet is portable and lightweight, has a great screen resolution, and is powerful enough to run your favorite apps. All the tablets on this list tick the right boxes, and there’s something for everyone, no matter what your budget is. 

Everyone should have a handy little tablet, whether you use it for note-taking, drawing, graphic design work, or just surfing the web.

Grab one of my top recommended tablets, and you won’t regret it – you’ll just wish you’d invested in one sooner!

Hey, I’d love to hear what you think about this post. If you’ve got a question or an opinion on this, leave a comment at the bottom.

This article is available in French

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Proactive Creative may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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My name is Outmane Amahou, 2D / 3D graphic designer and artist.
I like drawing and painting. I'm an avid reader of books in various fields such as creativity, innovation, and technology.
I have a great appreciation for minimalism in art, design, and life.

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