6 Best Tablets for Note Taking: Buying Guide

best tablets for note taking

As tablets become increasingly advanced, they have become incredibly useful productivity tools – especially when it comes to organization and note-taking. The top tablets today have robust note-taking apps, high-resolution displays, precise style, and powerful multitasking capabilities. With the right tablet, you can ditch the notebooks and take all your notes digitally more conveniently and efficiently than ever before.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the key factors to consider when shopping for a note-taking tablet in 2024. We also recommend the top tablets across different categories and budgets.

Key Considerations for a Note-Taking Tablet

When evaluating tablets for note-taking, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:

1. Screen Size and Resolution

Consider the screen size you need for your note taking style. Do you prefer small, pocket-sized notepads or larger letter-sized pages for notes? Tablet screens range anywhere from 7 inches up to 13 inches and beyond. High-resolution screens (2048×1536 and up) will render text and images sharper. Large high-res screens are ideal but cost more.

2. Display Technology

Two main technologies here are LCD and AMOLED screens, found on most tablets, or e-ink displays on some e-readers. LCD and AMOLED screens perform better for note taking that involves drawing or illustration. E-ink provides an excellent reading experience with less eye strain but has limitations with refresh rates and drawing capabilities.

3. Stylus Compatibility 

Many tablets work with a third-party smart style that offers pressure sensitivity, low latency, and excellent palm rejection when writing. Having an advanced stylus helps immensely for natural, fluid note taking. Ensure any tablet you’re considering works well with an advanced stylus.

4. Operating System

The OS dictates the note apps available. iOS and iPadOS have robust first-party apps like Notes plus third-party options. Android offers flexibility but less optimization. Windows 10 tablets enable full PC note apps. Consider the note environment each OS provides.

5. Performance and Battery Life

Look for a tablet equipped with enough processing power and RAM to launch notes apps and handle multitasking quickly. All-day battery life is also ideal so you don’t have to worry about recharging during classes or meetings.

6. Budget

Tablets range from very affordable to high-end premium. Set reasonable expectations for features and capabilities based on your budget. We highlight excellent options at different price points below.

Best Tablets for Note Taking 

With the key factors above in mind, the following stand out as the top tablets for note-taking across different categories and budgets right now.

1. iPad Air 5th Gen: Best All-Around

Apple’s latest iPad Air 5 combines performance, versatility, and gorgeous design starting at $599. The sharp 10.9-inch LCD display (2360×1640 resolution) works beautifully for note taking, while the speedy M1 processor breezes through demanding apps. Support for the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard make this a fantastic mobile productivity tool. From basic notes to illustrations and diagrams, the iPad Air excels across the board – all with Apple’s optimized iPadOS environment.

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE: Best Budget Option

For just $379, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 FE packs a vibrant 12.4-inch 2560×1600 pixel LCD into a thin aluminum design while also supporting the responsive S Pen stylus. Powerful enough for smooth note taking and multitasking, the Tab S7 FE delivers solid mid-range hardware specs while cutting costs with its plastic back. But for the price, it’s hard to beat when paired with OneNote or other Android-compatible apps.

3. Microsoft Surface Go 2: Best for Students

Microsoft positions its compact 2-in-1 Surface Go 2 as an academic standout – complete with an optional pen and touch keyboard. Starting at $399, its sharp 10.5-inch PixelSense display (1920×1280) combines with Windows 10 flexibility for an ideal digital study aid. Run full note apps from OneNote to Evernote or even Microsoft Office programs. Tablet portability plus laptop convenience makes the Surface Go 2 an excellent student companion.

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Best for Professionals

Productivity mavens needing copious digital workspace will love the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Its expansive 14.6-inch 2960×1848 Super AMOLED screen paired with supercharged specs (Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, up to 16GB RAM) and S Pen support takes on any business workload. Plus DeX mode transforms the Tab S8 Ultra interface into a desktop-style experience. With ruthless performance packed into an ultra-premium chassis, professionals can tackle anything on the Tab S8 Ultra. Just be prepared to pay up with a starting price of $1099.

5. 2021 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Best for Artists and Designers

Creators designing the next era-defining product need the right digital canvas – and the 2021 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro delivers. Its striking Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED screen makes drawings and visual work truly come alive. Apple Pencil 2 integration takes that further with industry-leading responsiveness. Power through demanding design apps with Apple’s ferocious M1 chip while enjoying the iPad Pro’s slim, durable chassis. Just expect to pay a premium for this top-of-the-line creative suite, starting at $1099.

6. Amazon Kindle Scribe: Best eReader with Note Taking 

For those focused purely on reading and written notes, Amazon’s brand new Kindle Scribe sets the standard for e-ink versatility. The 10.2-inch 300ppi display excels for book reading while also facilitating notetaking via Amazon’s Basic Pen (included by default). While the pen experience isn’t as fluid as on LCD/AMOLED rivals, the Kindle Scribe handles writing nicely given e-ink limitations. Plus, Kindle integration makes adding books and docs seamless while sync keeps everything backed up in the cloud automatically. Starting at $339, it’s an unmatched digital notebook.

Tips for Picking the Best Tablet for Note Taking

Beyond the core features above, keep these additional tips in mind while evaluating note taking tablets:

Compare native note apps as well as compatible third-party options. Apple, Samsung, and others all offer their fully-featured note programs while Windows and Android give you more choices.

Carefully read tablet reviews and watch product demo videos to better understand real-world use. Getting more perspectives always helps inform your buying decision.

If possible, visit an electronics retailer to experience notebooks first-hand. Testing different styles and writing on various tablets can clarify personal preferences.

At the end of the day, the best note taking tablet comes down to your individual needs and budget. But with the outstanding selection of options in 2024, finding the perfect digital notepad for school, work, or personal projects is now easier than ever. We hope our tablet recommendations and buying guidance above set you up for productive success this year and beyond.

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