Sketch & Note Devices: Best Tablets for Drawing & Note-Taking

You no longer have to rely on pen and paper to take notes or work on creative projects. A tablet with a pen is a much more practical and portable option. 

You can work from anywhere or jot down an idea when it comes to mind. You’ll become more productive and streamline your workflow with the right tablet. And with digital notes, you’ll never misplace anything. 

So, I put together this guide of the best tablets with a stylus for drawing and note-taking.

In my opinion, the best premium tablet for taking handwritten notes overall is the iPad Pro. It’s hard to beat Apple technology, especially for a versatile and multipurpose tablet. 

Regarding Android, the Samsung Galaxy S7+ takes the best overall for note-taking and drawing. But if you want a cheaper option, the S6 is another great option.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina XDR display, 256GB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP back cameras, Face ID, all-day battery life – Space Gray
2,074 Reviews
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina XDR display, 256GB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP back cameras, Face ID, all-day battery life – Space Gray
  • WHY IPAD PRO — iPad Pro is the ultimate iPad experience, with the astonishing performance of the M2 chip, superfast wireless connectivity, and next-generation Apple Pencil experience. Plus powerful productivity features in iPadOS.
  • IPADOS + APPS — iPadOS makes iPad more productive, intuitive, and versatile. With iPadOS, run multiple apps at once, use Apple Pencil to write in any text field with Scribble, and edit and share photos. Stage Manager makes multitasking easy with resizable, overlapping apps and external display support. iPad Pro comes with essential apps like Safari, Messages, and Keynote, with over a million more apps available on the App Store.
  • FAST WI-FI CONNECTIVITY — Wi-Fi 6E gives you fast wireless connections. Work from almost anywhere with quick transfers of photos, documents, and large video files.
  • PERFORMANCE AND STORAGE — The 8-core CPU in the M2 chip delivers powerful performance, while the 10‑core GPU provides blazing-fast graphics. Add all-day battery life, and you can do everything you can imagine on iPad Pro. Up to 2 terabytes of storage means you can store everything from apps to large files like 4K video.
  • APPLE PENCIL AND MAGIC KEYBOARD — Apple Pencil (2nd generation) transforms iPad Pro into an immersive drawing canvas and the world’s best note‑taking device. Magic Keyboard features a great typing experience and a built‑in trackpad, while doubling as a protective cover for iPad. Accessories sold separately.
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus 12.4” 128GB Android Tablet w/ S Pen Included, Edge-to-Edge Display, Expandable Storage, Fast Charging USB-C Port, ‎SM-T970NZKAXAR, Mystic Black
  • PC PERFORMANCE. TABLET PORTABILITY: Transform your tablet into a PC experience with DeX mode and the optional keyboard with expanded trackpad (Keyboard sold separately)
  • REDESIGNED S PEN INCLUDED: With improved 9ms pen latency, the redesigned S Pen can control presentations and take notes effortlessly
  • ENTERTAINMENT, UPGRADED: Experience cinematic viewing with larger edge-to-edge displays, TFT LCD screen,** and AKG quad speakers with Dolby Atmos surround sound
  • CHARGE FAST, POWER FOR HOURS: Go for hours on a single charge and back to 100% with the fast-charging USB-C port
  • SYNC AND SEND FROM ANY SPACE: With One UI 3.1, you can copy text or an image from your phone and paste it on your tablet, and vice versa
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 12.3in Intel Core i5 10th Gen 8GB RAM 128GB SSD Platinum (Renewed)
190 Reviews
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 12.3in Intel Core i5 10th Gen 8GB RAM 128GB SSD Platinum (Renewed)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G4 3.70GHz processor, 128GB SSD Drive
  • 8GB RAM, Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: Full-size USB 3.0; microSD card reader; Headphone jack; Mini DisplayPort; Cover port; Charging port, Camera: 5MP front-facing and 8MP rear-facing cameras with 1080p HD video recording
  • Display: 12.3-inch PixelSense touchscreen display; 2736 x 1824 resolution, Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio-enhanced sound
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home, Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Sale
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4" 64GB Android Tablet, LCD Screen, S Pen Included, Slim Metal Design, AKG Dual Speakers, 8MP Rear Camera, Long Lasting Battery, US Version, 2022, Oxford Gray
  • S PEN INCLUDED: Unleash your creativity and never miss a note with S Pen; Use for drawing, jot notes, edit photos, and convert your handwritten notes to text; Plus, S Pen attaches magnetically right to your tablet so it’s always ready to go
  • ENTERTAINMENT READY: The shows and games you love look epic with Galaxy Tab S6 Lite; Never miss a second of gaming action with our latest processor and see every detail with a crystal-clear screen; Dolby Atmos surround sound draws you into the experience
  • LONG LASTING BATTERY: Go ahead: crush your favorite shows for hours, then head to work for a full day of meetings; This battery will keep up – going up to 13 hours* on a single charge
  • SLIM METAL DESIGN: The slim and lightweight build slips right into your bag, making it easy to take everywhere; Make the sleek, stylish frame all your own and choose from distinctive, expressive colors to show the world your personality and style
  • MULTI DEVICE CONNECTIVITY: Own your work and play with Galaxy connectivity; Get more done on an expanded workstation that lets you hand off content between your devices and open multiple windows on your tablet. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G+5GHz, VHT80 MIMO
ASUS 10.1” Transformer Mini T103HA-D4-GR, 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Quad-Core, 128GB SSD, Grey, pen and keyboard included
  • Versatile Windows 10 device with keyboard and pen included, 2-in-1 functionality: use as both laptop and tablet
  • All day battery life, rated up to 12 hours of video playback; 128GB Solid State storage; Webcam: 2MP Web Camera
  • Latest Intel Atom Quad Core x5-Z8350 Processor with 4GB RAM for fast and efficient performance
  • Portable 10.1" frame allows ASUS Transformer Mini to be taken everywhere you go with a compact & lightweight body. It's paired with an active stylus that gives full access to the Windows Ink Workspace
  • Magnesium Alloy body weighs less than 1.7 lbs. with keyboard attached and only 0.6 inches thin.Built-in Bluetooth V4.1
Sale
Lenovo Tab M10 Plus 3rd Gen Tablet - 10" FHD - Android 12-32GB Storage - Long Battery Life, Gray
  • The dazzling, 10.6" FHD IPS display on this Android tablet lets you stream your video services at up to 1080p, while the quad speaker system optimized for Dolby Atmos envelops you with sound
  • A lightweight, portable tablet like the Tab M10 Plus Gen 3 is great for student research and projects, working with the Lenovo Instant Memo app to make on-screen input a breeze
  • Keep focused with Immersive Reading Mode, which makes long screen sessions easier on the eyes with enhanced readability, so it's more like reading on paper
  • The Tab M10 Plus Gen 3 tablet includes Android 12 for all of the latest features and three years of security and other updates
  • Stream, study, and multitask for hours with great processing power and a battery that can run the whole day so you can use it just about anywhere
Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 4GB Memory - 64GB - Wifi - Platinum
  • Starting at just 1.2 pounds (not including Type Cover), with new 10.5” touchscreen.
  • Battery life up to 10 hours. Perfect for browsing, shopping, emails, and homework
  • Tablet portability, performance and laptop versatility with adjustable Kickstand and Signature Type Cover.
  • Stay connected with included USB-C port and headphone jack. Full HD front- and rear-facing cameras let you make crisp, clear calls to friends and family, or take and share great photos.
  • Hi-res touchscreen is perfect for browsing, playing, and binge watching.
Sale
Apple iPad mini (6th generation): with A15 Bionic chip, 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display, 64GB, Wi-Fi 6, 12MP front/12MP back camera, Touch ID, all-day battery life – Space Gray
  • WHY IPAD MINI — The full iPad experience designed to fit in one hand. With an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display, powerful A15 Bionic chip, 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, USB-C connectivity, and ultrafast Wi-Fi. Take notes, mark up documents, and edit photos and videos.
  • IPADOS + APPS — iPadOS makes iPad more productive, intuitive, and versatile. With iPadOS, run multiple apps at once, use Apple Pencil to write in any text field with Scribble, and edit and share photos. iPad mini comes with essential apps like Safari, Messages, and Keynote, with over a million more apps available on the App Store.
  • FAST WI-FI CONNECTIVITY — Fast Wi-Fi keeps you connected at home, work, school, or wherever you go with your iPad.
  • PERFORMANCE AND STORAGE — The A15 Bionic chip delivers powerful performance and blazing-fast graphics. And with all-day battery life, iPad mini is always ready for any task or project. Choose from 64GB or 256GB storage options depending on the room you need for apps, music, movies, and more.
  • APPLE PENCIL AND SMART FOLIO — With Apple Pencil (2nd generation), iPad mini transforms into the world’s best note‑taking device. To protect your iPad mini and easily prop it up, you can use the slim Smart Folio covers, available in five colors. Accessories sold separately.
Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad Digital Notebook, Large (A4/ Letter Size), CDS810S
426 Reviews
Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad Digital Notebook, Large (A4/ Letter Size), CDS810S
  • Start with a pen in your hand and a clean sheet of paper; Capture your thoughts and ideas; Then turn them into digital, shareable files while you write; When you're ready to turn the page, just touch a button and Bamboo Slate saves your ideas
  • Use the free, next generation Wacom Inkspace app to convert your handwritten notes to text, edit your digitized notes and export them into JPG, PNG, PDF, SVG, or WILL files; System Requirements Bluetooth enabled iOS and Android, Windows 8.1 and later smartphones and tablets with Wacom Inkspace app, internet connection maximum notepad thickness about 80 pages (<8 millimeter)
  • With an optional upgrade to the all-new Inkspace Plus, you can convert handwriting to rich text. (Free 3 month Inkspace Plus trial included with purchase)
  • System requirements: Bluetooth enabled iOS or Android smartphone or tablet with Wacom Ink space app/Internet connection/Maximum notepad thickness: About 80 pages (less than 8 millimeter)
  • And for a short time, we’re offering limited edition Bamboo Slate large in red and blue; The pixel pattern is inspired by Minecraft and designed with the high energy, gig economy go getter in mind
Sale
Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Full HD 15.4-Inch Display Screen, 8192 Pressure Sensitive Pro Pen 2 Tilt Recognition, Compatible with Mac OS Windows and All Pens, Black
  • New Class of Creative Pen Display: Optimized feature set for creative starters provides HD clarity and ergonomic design that allows you to take your creative ideas and illustrations to the next level
  • Super Responsive: Wacom Pro Pen 2 features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt response and virtually lag-free tracking. Two customizable switches allow for easy access to shortcuts
  • Industry-leading Color Displays: Our Cintiq displays have LCD display with HD resolution and showcase uniform brightness, high resolution and true to life color quality
  • Control at Your Fingertips: The relaxed parralax gives you full control and combined with the super responsive Wacom Pro Pen 2, makes creating feel as natural as drawing on paper
  • Wacom is the Global Leader in Drawing Tablet and Displays: For over 40 years in pen display and tablet market, you can trust that Wacom to help you bring your vision, ideas and creativity to life
Sale
HUION Inspiroy H640P Drawing Tablet, 6x4 inch Art Tablet with Battery-Free Stylus, 8192 Pen Pressure, 6 Hot Keys, Graphics Tablet for Drawing, Writing, Design, Teaching, Work with Mac, PC & Mobile
  • [Customize Your Workflow]: The 6 easy accessable press keys on the H640P drawing tablet for pc can be customized to your favorite shortcut so that your creative work become smoother and more efficient. You also can change the shortcut setting for different apps in Huion driver.
  • [Nature Pen Experience]: The included battery-free stylus PW100 with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity is light and easy to control with accuracy. If feels like a standard pen, giving you natural drawing experience on the drawing pad for computer. The pen side buttons help you switch between pen and eraser instantly.
  • [Compact and Portable]: H640P digital drawing tablet uses a compact design with 0.3 inch in thickness and 1.41 lbs in weight, making it easy to carry between home, work, class and wherever you go. It is a perfect computer graphics tablet for limited desktop.
  • [Multi-OS Compatibility]: H640P graphic drawing tablet works with Mac, Windows and Linux PC as well as Android smartphone or tablet (OS version 6.0 or later). It is also available for left-handed user.
  • [Intuitive Mouse Alternative]: H640P drawing tablet with pen makes a great mouse replacement. With this pen tablet, you can sign document, freehand draw, take digital note and do all of the functions of a mouse but better. It helps do precise work and save your wrist from strain.
Sale
PicassoTab X Drawing Tablet • No Computer Needed • Drawing Apps & Tutorials • 4 Bonus Items • Stylus Pen • Portable • Standalone • 10 Inch Screen • Best Gift for Beginner Digital Graphic Artist • PCX
  • DRAW or TAKE NOTES: The most affordable Art tablet that comes with a pen and a pre-installed Drawing and Animation apps for those who want to draw, make animations or take notes in the classroom.
  • 4 FREE BONUS ITEMS inside the box: a high-quality tablet case, Drawing Glove, universal power adaptor and pre-installed screen protector; a total value of $50 inside the box along with 10-inch tablet and an active Pen.
  • CLEAR SCREEN, LARGE DISK and a SUPERIOR CPU: The High power MediaTek Quad-core processor boosts the multitasking abilities of the tablet. The IPS HD screen resolution makes crystal clear pictures and the 64GB disk allows you to download thousands of free apps from the play store.
  • CONNECTIVITY: Connect your tablet to your home WIFI network and you can take this tablet wherever you are; your entertainment always goes with you. Link your tablet to the TV via the micro HDMI port and view your movies on the large screen. One of the best tablets for watching movies on Netflix, playing games and browsing the internet. GPS and the USB type-c port provides all the connectivity options you want.
  • CERTIFIED QUALITY and WORRY-FREE PURCHASE: Certification by GMS, FCC and CE standards provides you the peace of mind for safety as well as quality. Comes with 1-year warranty, along with best customer service our support staff can provide. You can contact us for any questions that you may have.

Buying Guide: How To Choose the Best Tablets

Buying a new tablet is quite an investment, so you want to make sure you’re making the right choice. In this section, I’ll share some of the essential features to look out for to help you find the best tablet with a stylus. 

In the past ten years, technology has advanced significantly. You can now rely on a tablet for all your creative work. That covers everything from designing logos, illustrating, or making notes on a project.

Tablets are lightweight, portable, and more affordable than ever before. Another advantage is that you can easily edit, save, and share your work.

A wide range of tablets with a stylus is 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 a large screen size for drawings and graphic artwork. 

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. It should also have 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 advanced features. For example, pressure sensitivity and pen tilt recognition aren’t essential for taking notes.

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 crucial if you carry your tablet around and use it on the go.

Price

Your budget will also factor in choosing the best tablet for your needs. There is something for every budget, including some great, affordable options. But remember that cheaper tablets won’t offer the same premium features.

Top 3 Note-Taking and Drawing Tablets Compared

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina XDR display, 256GB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP back cameras, Face ID, all-day battery life – Space Gray
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus 12.4” 128GB Android Tablet w/ S Pen Included, Edge-to-Edge Display, Expandable Storage, Fast Charging USB-C Port, ‎SM-T970NZKAXAR, Mystic Black
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 12.3in Intel Core i5 10th Gen 8GB RAM 128GB SSD Platinum (Renewed)
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina XDR display, 256GB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP back cameras, Face ID, all-day battery life – Space Gray
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus 12.4” 128GB Android Tablet w/ S Pen Included, Edge-to-Edge Display, Expandable Storage, Fast Charging USB-C Port, ‎SM-T970NZKAXAR, Mystic Black
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 12.3in Intel Core i5 10th Gen 8GB RAM 128GB SSD Platinum (Renewed)
2,074 Reviews
-
190 Reviews
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina XDR display, 256GB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP back cameras, Face ID, all-day battery life – Space Gray
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina XDR display, 256GB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP back cameras, Face ID, all-day battery life – Space Gray
2,074 Reviews
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus 12.4” 128GB Android Tablet w/ S Pen Included, Edge-to-Edge Display, Expandable Storage, Fast Charging USB-C Port, ‎SM-T970NZKAXAR, Mystic Black
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus 12.4” 128GB Android Tablet w/ S Pen Included, Edge-to-Edge Display, Expandable Storage, Fast Charging USB-C Port, ‎SM-T970NZKAXAR, Mystic Black
-
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 12.3in Intel Core i5 10th Gen 8GB RAM 128GB SSD Platinum (Renewed)
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 12.3in Intel Core i5 10th Gen 8GB RAM 128GB SSD Platinum (Renewed)
190 Reviews

The Best Tablets for Taking Notes 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 ones, there’s something for everyone. You’re sure to find a suitable model in my list of the best writing tablets.

Apple Ipad Pro

The best premium multipurpose tablet

Apple Ipad Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Ipad Pro is one of the slickest and most responsive models on the market. It has very powerful features and a user-friendly interface.

But what sets it apart from the competition is the high-resolution screen. Pro-Motion, True-Tone display, and 120 Hz refresh rate make for an incredible experience. 

It’s so responsive and fast, with bright, vivid colors. I think any other tablet pales compared to the iPad display. And with 12.9 inches of screen, you have plenty of space to work on. (Movies also look amazing on the iPad!)

(Image credit: Proactive Creative)

You can’t go wrong with the Apple Ipad Pro for your creative projects. Whether you use it for drawing or graphic design, your designs will look stunning!

It’s also the best tablet for taking handwritten notes or drawing when paired with the Apple Pencil. You will need to buy it separately, so factor that into your budget. 

(Image credit: Proactive Creative)

But the 2nd Gen Apple feels great in your hand and has a nice balance. It’s super responsive and writes flawlessly, like a regular pen. Another bonus is that it attaches magnetically to the iPad, so you can keep it safe and charge it all at once.

The 4th Gen iPad Pro is more powerful than the 2018 version, thanks to the improved A12Z Bionic chip. And with 6GB of RAM compared to the earlier model’s 4GB, multitasking is easy.

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

While it’s very expensive, it’s also a multipurpose tablet you can use for everything. If it fits your budget, you won’t regret investing in an iPad Pro!

  • Screen Size: 12.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2732 x 2048 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches, 1.5 lbs
  • Processor: Apple A12X Bionic 8-core CPU
  • OS: iPad OS 14

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • No headphones jack
  • No SD cards
  • It’s very expensive
View Prices

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

The best android tablet with a stylus

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

(Image credit: Samsung)

If you prefer to use Android gadgets, then check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. This fantastic tablet is cheaper than the iPad Pro but rivals it in many ways. 

The large 12.4-inch AMOLED display is vibrant with a super-fast refresh rate. It’s a real improvement from the Galaxy Tab S7. I think that if you’re an artist or designer, it’s worth upgrading just for the larger and brighter screen.

(Image credit: Proactive Creative)

You can draw directly on the screen with the included S Pen – no extra spending necessary! The tablet and pen work seamlessly together for drawing or taking notes. 

You can easily change font color and write directly onto PDFs. Students will love this tablet with a pen for its handy features like searchable tags. It makes taking digital notes much easier and more streamlined. 

I also love that the S Pen fixes magnetically to the tablet. But I would be careful to keep it attached when out of the house because it could dislodge and get lost. 

The Galaxy Tab S7+ is powerful enough to replace your laptop for most uses. Taking notes on the screen saves you from carrying your laptop everywhere. 

While the Galaxy Tab isn’t quite as robust as the iPad Pro, it’s the best Android tablet with a stylus around. That gorgeous screen and useful features make the user experience hard to beat. 

Product Specs:

  • Screen Size: 11 inches
  • Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight: 11.3 x 7.3 x 0.2 inches, 1.3 lbs
  • Processor: 1.6 Ghz octa-core
  • OS: Android 10, One UI 2.5

Pros:

  • The large AMOLED screen is gorgeous, responsive, and refreshes quickly
  • It comes with the S Pen (so you don’t need to spend more money on a stylus)
  • The S Pen is pressure-sensitive with low latency
  • You can attach the S Pen magnetically to the Galaxy Tab S7+

Cons:

  • The Galaxy Tab S7+ is quite expensive
  • It’s pretty big – this isn’t a compact tablet
View Prices

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The best multipurpose laptop & tablet with a keyboard & stylus

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is, without a doubt, the finest tablet for Windows users. The edge-to-edge AMOLED display looks incredible.

It offers improved performance and processor than the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. So, you can run all your favorite Adobe apps without delay or lag.

(Image credit: Proactive Creative)

The Surface Pen writes smoothly on this tablet. It’s responsive and has excellent palm rejection so that you can write quick and accurate notes. 

When you use OneNote, it syncs to all your devices – a feature I’ve found very useful. But even better, you can convert your handwritten notes to text.

But one thing that doesn’t compare is the battery life. You’ll only get around 4-5 hours out of the Pro 7, up to 7 if you’re lucky. That’s disappointing, as you’ll have to carry the charger. 

It charges very quickly, so you can be back up to full power in an hour or two.

If you’re looking for a laptop you can use for all your creative projects, the Surface Pro 7 is for you. As it doubles up as a tablet, it’s versatile and means you only need one device for everything!

  • Screen Size: 12.3 inches
  • Resolution: 2736 x 1824 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches, 1.7 lbs
  • Processor: Quad-core 10th Gen Intel Core i5
  • OS: Windows 10

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Super-fast processor
  • You can use it with the Surface Pen – it’s a clean, precise pen
  • Best note-taking tablet/laptop combo

Cons:

  • The battery only lasts 4-5 hours
  • The Surface Pro doesn’t have a lot of ports so you may need an adapter
View Prices

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The best mid-range android tablet with a pen

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

(Image credit: Samsung)

If you’re looking for a cheaper tablet, consider getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. Although it’s not the newest Samsung model, it was released less than two years ago. It’s still a great tablet with many features the S7 or S7+ offers.

Unlike some tablets on this list, the Galaxy Tab S6 comes with an S Pen. So, you’ll save even more money right from the start. 

With this Samsung tablet with S Pen, you can easily take handwritten notes. The S Pen is responsive, lightweight, and balanced in your hand. It also packs 4,096 pressure levels, so it feels like a real pen.

The Galaxy S6 also has a very long battery life, so you won’t have to worry about charging it often.

(Image credit: Samsung)

While the screen is smaller than the Galaxy Tab S7, you’ll hardly notice the 0.5-inch difference. At 10.5 inches, the S6 is compact and perfect for taking anywhere. You can use it to work in a cafe or take notes during a lecture or meeting.

It also has that stunning AMOLED display, and the tiny bezels make it seem even larger. The refresh rate is slower than the S7 at 60Hz. But you won’t even realize it unless you’re used to a faster refresh rate.

All these features make the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 ideal for note-taking or drawing. It’s a sturdy little tablet that will last and is one of the best mid-range Android tablets with a pen. 

  • Screen Size: 10.5 inch
  • Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight: 9.63 x 6.28 x 0.22 in, 0.9 lbs
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • OS: Android 9.0, upgradable to Android 11, One UI 3.1

Pros:

  • It has a very long battery life and a great AMOLED screen
  • It’s compact, lightweight, and reasonably priced
  • It comes with the responsive and sensitive S Pen

Cons:

  • The refresh rate is slower than the Tab S7
View Prices

Asus Transformer Mini

The best affordable tablet/laptop for note taking

Asus Transformer Mini

(Image credit: Asus)

The Asus Transformer is the cheapest option on this list, and it’s technically a laptop. But you can use it as a tablet due to the touchscreen and adjustable hinge design.

Are you looking for a low-cost tablet? The Asus Transformer Mini ticks all the right boxes. It comes with an included stylus and offers great value for money.

You can draw directly onto the touchscreen with the Asus pen. The kickstand lets you prop it up to get the best angle and is compatible with Windows Ink.

It’s also very lightweight – perfect for commuting or using on the go. The keyboard detaches if you don’t need it, making it even more compact. And with the long battery life, you can work all day without needing to charge it.

(Image credit: Asus)

Asus has also improved the processor, so it’s more powerful than earlier models.

But don’t expect the same performance level as premium tablets and laptops. It’s only 4 GB RAM, and the camera is slightly disappointing with just 2 MP. 

However, the Asus Transformer Mini is not the laptop for heavy design work, video editing, or gaming. But if you want it for light use and have realistic expectations, you’ll get on fine with it. 

The Asus Transformer Mini is a cheap option for note-taking or sending emails. As it’s lightweight and compact, it’s a great choice if you’re on the move.

  • Screen Size: 10.1 inches
  • Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight: 10.19 x 6.69 x 0.32 inches, 1.17 lbs
  • Processor: Intel® Atom™ x5-Z8350 Processor 1.4 GHz
  • OS: Windows 10

Pros:

  • It weighs only 1.17 lbs and is compact enough to take anywhere
  • It comes with a stylus for note-taking on the touchscreen
  • It’s pretty cheap for a laptop/tablet combo

Cons:

  • It’s not very powerful and can run slow
  • This laptop can’t handle intensive programs 
View Prices

Lenovo Tab M10 Plus 

The best value for money android tablet

Lenovo Tab M10 Plus

(Image credit: Lenovo)

If you’re looking for a compact tablet that won’t break the bank, the Lenovo Tab M10+ is for you! 

This very affordable tablet still packs a punch with a powerful octa-core processor. You also get 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage – impressive for such a cheap tablet! 

The Lenovo Tab M10 Plus looks and feels sturdy. It has a sleek metal cover, and the display looks great, with a pretty high resolution. 

You shouldn’t expect a premium tablet for this price. But even so, the features don’t disappoint. You get 8MP and 5MP cameras, good sound quality, and gorgeous visuals. It’s fast and responsive.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

This tablet supports 10-point touch, but using a stylus is a little complicated. It doesn’t work with active pens, but you can pair it with the AccuPoint pen. This stylus emits electric pulses that the tablet responds to the same way as your finger on the screen. 

With this handy tip, you can transform the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus into a tablet. But it’s worth noting that it won’t be as sensitive as other tablets with pressure levels. 

All in all, it offers excellent value for money and is very versatile. The Lenovo Tab won’t let you down if you want a simple tablet.

  • Screen Size: 10.3 inches
  • Resolution: 1200 x 1920 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight: 9.61 x 6.04 x 0.32 inches, 1.01 lbs
  • Processor:  1.8GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P22T 
  • OS: Android 9.0

Pros:

  • It offers great value for money
  • It’s lightweight and provides a lot of storage

Cons:

  • Not all digital pens will work with the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus
  • It doesn’t offer premium features like more expensive tablets on this list
View Prices

New Microsoft Surface Go 2 

The best Microsoft tablet

New Microsoft Surface Go 2

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is one of the best tablets around for note-taking. It works seamlessly with the Surface Pen and makes digital organization easy.

Although you’ll need to buy the Surface Pen separately, it’s worth the investment. It moves smoothly across the screen with no lag and is very sensitive. The sleek metal design makes it feel premium and has the right weight to sit nicely in your hand.

(Image credit: Proactive Creative)

Compared with the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, the Go 2 is cheaper and more portable. It’s lightweight with thinner bezels, although it can’t compete when it comes to pixels. But with 1920 x 1080 pixels, the Go 2 still isn’t shabby. The display looks crisp and clean.

An Intel Pentium processor powers the Surface Go 2. While it’s fine for light tasks like emails and surfing, it can struggle with heavy programs. You can run Photoshop on the Surface Go 2, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You’ll find that it’s quite laggy.

Where this tablet shines is for OneNote users. If you want to get on top of your digital notes, you can’t beat this tablet combined with the Surface Pen.

(Image credit: Proactive Creative)

You can also use the Surface Pen with other apps to make notes on PDFs. If you want to get creative, you could do some sketching on this tablet!

  • Screen Size: 10.5 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1280
  • Dimensions & Weight: 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches, 1.22 lbs
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel® Core™ m3 Processor
  • OS: Windows 10

Pros:

  • It’s a great tablet for a reasonable price
  • The resolution is good, and the screen looks even bigger due to thinner bezels
  • It works beautifully with the Surface Pen
  • You can take handwritten notes on many different apps

Cons:

  • The processor lacks power and can’t handle heavy programs like Photoshop
View Prices

Apple iPad mini

The best compact tablet

Apple iPad mini

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad mini is a small-size tablet that’s practical and handy for note-taking. If you want a compact tablet you can take anywhere, snap it up! It’s both affordable and impressive.

The display on the iPad Mini is as close to flawless as is possible. It has a 7.9-inch Retina display with True Tone and a wide color gamut that will blow your mind. While it’s missing the Pro-Motion feature, that shouldn’t be enough to put you off. 

The Apple Pencil works wonders on the iPad Mini. It’s effective for taking notes, drawing, and even graphic design. The robust A12 chip allows you to run any program, so there are no limits to what you can do.

The gorgeous display and powerful processor make it perfect for creative projects. You can use the iPad Mini to draw, illustrate, or edit photos from anywhere. 

It’s so lightweight you won’t notice it, and it can fit into any bag. With up to 10 hours of battery life, you won’t need to worry about charging it while you’re out.

Overall, I think the iPad Mini is the best compact tablet around! Many smaller tablets don’t have the power or sensitivity for drawing and design work. But the iPad Mini provides all that and more! 

  • Screen Size: 7.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight: 8 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches, 0.68 lbs
  • Processor: A12 Bionic chip, 2.49 GHz Hexa-core 
  • OS: iPad OS 14.5.1

Pros:

  • Incredibly crisp 7. 9-inch Retina display with True Tone and wide color
  • Super fast and responsive
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD front camera
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life

Cons:

  • It’s a bit pricey
  • No headphones jack or SD cards
  • You’ll need to buy the Apple Pencil separately
View Prices

Wacom Bamboo Slate

The best hybrid note-taking tablet

Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad Digital Notebook

(Image credit: Wacom)

The Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad is one of the most innovative tablets on the market. 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. The Smartpad will save your ideas into clever digital files when you’re finished. Then, you can access, edit, and share online at the touch of a button.

(Image credit: Wacom)

You can even use the free Wacom Inkspace app to transform your handwritten notes into text. This feature will take your digital note-taking to the next level. You can export, edit, or share your notes with ease. 

(Image credit: Wacom)

The Wacom Slate isn’t a regular, multipurpose tablet. But it’s ideal for handwritten notes and drawings and converting them to digital files. If that idea appeals to you, I think you’ll love it!

  • Screen Size: 11.69 x 8.26 inches
  • Resolution: N/A
  • Dimensions & Weight: 12.99 x 10 x 0.27 inches, 1.04 lbs
  • Processor: N/A
  • OS: Windows 8

Pros:

  • 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 to text form quickly and at no cost with the Wacom Inkspace app

Cons:

  • The handwriting-to-text option requires a paid subscription.
View Prices

Wacom Cintiq 16 

The best drawing tablet with a large screen

(Image credit: Wacom)

Wacom products are some of the best tools for graphic designers and creatives. Whether you want a tablet with a pen for note-taking, designing, or drawing, you’ll love the Cintiq 16.

The 15.6-inch 1920×1080 HD display is sure to wow you. It has an anti-glare surface that protects your eyes and allows you to work for longer.

The amazing features tick all the boxes, specially designed with artists in mind. These include pen tilt recognition, ExpressKeys, and impressive pen sensitivity. 

(Image credit: Wacom)

It also offers multi-touch functionality and comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2. Unlike many styluses, this pen has shortcut buttons that can save you time as you draw.

One drawback is that you’ll have to connect the Cintiq to your computer. So, it’s not a portable option for working on the go. 

I’ve also noticed a little parallax, the distance between the screen and the pen. But it’s not enough to affect the accuracy of your lines, so don’t worry.

The Wacom Cintiq 16 is worth the investment if you’re an artist or designer. But if you’re after a more versatile tablet, check out the other options on this list! 

  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight: 16.2 x 10.4 x .7inches, 3.3 lbs
  • Processor: N/A
  • OS: Windows, macOS

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • It’s not portable 
  • You can’t use it for Internet browsing or streaming videos
View Prices

Huion Inspiroy H640P

The best budget tablet with a pen

Huion Inspiroy H640P

(Image credit: Huion)

The Huion Inspiroy H640P is the cheapest product on this list. And first of all, I want to clarify that this tablet doesn’t have a screen.

It’s designed for your computer screen and isn’t a standalone tablet. As you draw on the active area, you’ll need to look at your monitor to see your designs. It can take time to adjust to drawing on one device while looking at another.

(Image credit: Huion)

The Inspiroy H640P meets a specific need for a low-cost yet accurate drawing tablet. It’s perfect if you want to get into digital art but are on a tight budget. Just make sure that you have the right expectations! 

This tablet is pretty compact, so you could find that a bit limiting for your artwork.  

You can also use the Huion Inspiroy for note-taking and annotating. But you’ll need to zoom in on your monitor to write comfortably within the small active area.

(Image credit: Huion)

The H640P doesn’t disappoint when it comes to accuracy and sensitivity. If you don’t mind the small size, this tablet will come in handy for drawing and note-taking. Especially at such a bargain price! 

  • Screen Size: 6.3 x 3.9 inches
  • Resolution: 5080 LPI
  • Dimensions & Weight: 10.23 x 5.7 x 0.31 inches, 0.61 lbs
  • Processor: N/A
  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 10, macOS 10.11.0 or above

Pros:

  • It’s very affordable – great for anyone on a budget
  • It’s compact and has great accuracy and sensitivity

Cons:

  • This tablet doesn’t have a screen
  • You only have

View prices on


Simbans Picasso Tab 10-inch 

The best low-cost android tablet

Simbans Picasso Tab 10-inch

(Image credit: Simbans)

If you’re looking for a cheap drawing tablet with a screen, check out the Simbans Picasso Tab. This tablet is affordable and comes with some excellent features. They make it ideal for drawing or note-taking, among other uses.

The 10-inch screen on the Picasso Tab makes it compact and large enough to work on easily. 

This tablet doesn’t have the best resolution, so I wouldn’t recommend it to professional artists. But it’s ideal if you’re starting or want to use it for note-taking and studying. 

(Image credit: Simbans)

It comes with an active drawing pen in the box, so no extra spending is necessary. 

You can also use this tablet for gaming, surfing, and other light uses. Video calls are easy as it has a 5MP back camera and a 2MP front camera.

(Image credit: Simbans)

The RAM is quite low at just 2 GB, so set your expectations. I would avoid multitasking on this tablet so you don’t slow it down.

But for this price, it’s a great little buy. It’s perfect for students, kids, or anyone who wants to draw and take notes on the screen. 

  • Screen Size: 10.1 inches
  • Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Dimensions & Weight:  10.24 x 6.81 x 0.39 inches 2.91 lbs
  • Processor: Quad Core MTK8163 1.3GHz
  • OS: Android 10

Pros:

  • You get an active stylus and accessories included in the price 
  • The 10-inch HD screen gives you lots of space to work on
  • It’s a great low-cost tablet for drawing and note-taking

Cons:

  • The resolution isn’t the best at 1280 x 800, so it looks a little grainy
  • It’s not the most powerful tablet
View Prices

Conclusions

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

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

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 post contains affiliate links. Proactive Creative may receive a small commission at no additional cost if you purchase.

Author

Outmane is the founder of Proactive Creative. He is an artist/designer.


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