The Best Tablets for Taking Typed and Handwritten Notes

Whether you’re working on the last few chapters of your journal, cranking out a content plan for your next marketing campaign, or preparing for a writing session, the best tablets for taking notes can make a very big difference in the process.

Think about it:

Technology has come of age, and with it is the advancement that throws the demand for pens and papers down to dust. In fact, the ability to use a tablet as a notepad, with styluses being the new pens in action, means the old school way of taking notes may become obsolete someday.

Before then, it’s time to step up your note-taking style the digital way. You can do that with any of the following tablets for taking notes.

Best Tablets for Taking Notes in 2020

1. Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows Tablet 

Dell Venue 8 Pro strikes a good balance between design and performance, not to mention it’s reasonably priced. At its core, this Windows tablet lets you create and consume content at the same time. So if you have a meeting coming up or you want to complete some class assignments in style, this is the best device to use.

To begin with, the model shines really well on design. Its plastic back cover feels strong and durable, and the edges are all rounded and they feel smooth to the touch. The front glass is glossy and robust. Beneath the glass is an 8-inch, high-resolution display that lets you write and read your notes in high definition, either in landscape or portrait orientation.

Although Dell Venue 8 Pro comes with Windows 8.1 pre-installed, you can upgrade the software to version 10 if you like. Robust and user-friendly, the operating system allows you to run must-have applications like Microsoft Office, the best option for taking notes.

The Windows 8.1 pre-installed in this tablet allows you to connect a Bluetooth keyboard, which can be great at speeding up the note taking process. With the snapping app function, it’s easy to place apps side by side, so you can do research while writing your notes at the same time.

Powered by an Intel Atom Bay processor and a 2GB RAM, this tablet performs smoothly, so even heavy tasks besides taking notes won’t necessarily lag its performance. Plus, you can even use the Dell Venue 8 Pro to multitask, thanks to the 1.8GHz clock processor speed. 

Pros

  • Impressive battery life
  • Great display for taking notes
  • Snapping of apps enabled
  • Impressive performance, even when running multiple apps simultaneously 

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a micro HDMI, so it can’t connect to external displays
  • The onscreen keyboard can be difficult to manage 

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Android Tablet

Built for multitasking, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the tablet you can buy right now and use as a jack-of-all-trades. In our case, though, it includes an S Pen Stylus, which recognizes handwriting that allows you to enjoy taking notes the digital way.

The outer build looks great overall. The edges are nicely curved, the back is flat, the thickness feels thin, and it’s so lightweight. The volume and power buttons rest on the side. A headphone jack rests at the bottom, a good addition to warming your heart with music as you write down your notes with the S Pen Stylus.

The display looks glossy, it feels responsive even on gentle touch, and displays content in high resolution. As such, the viewing experience, at 2048 x 1536 pixels, on the 9.7-inch screen, is way above what you’d from low-end tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 runs on Android 7.0 operating system. This means you have access to Google Play Store, where you can download note-taking apps such as Keep My Notes and Evernote. 

Its S Pen Stylus is sizeable and responsive. For what it’s worth, it’s powerful enough to detect and capture your handwriting with upmost precision. This makes it easy for you to do a lot of writing in a very short time.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 includes a Snapdragon 820 processor and a 4GB RAM. Together, these components ensure fast and efficient performance, even when you’re running multiple note taking apps in the background.

The standard built-in storage is only 32GB, which is sufficient for keeping your handwritten notes. If you like, you can use the micro SD card slot to expand the memory, especially if you expect to store other file types.

And by the way, taking your notes as you listen to music isn’t a bad idea. That’s why this model features quad combo speakers, which perform quite well in term of audio output. The sound actually feels rich and absolutely natural. 

Pros

  • Great display and high quality speakers
  • Includes a responsive S Pen Stylus for taking notes
  • Performance is up to the standard
  • Light and portable 

Cons

  • The keyboard could be better
  • The reflective coating on the screen makes the tablet unsuitable in high light environment
  • Fingerprints tend to appear on the screen 

3. Lenovo Yoga Book 

If you’re looking for the best note-taking tablet that also doubles as a tablet for artists, go with the Lenovo Yoga Book. It’s a laptop-tablet combination currently nicknamed as the note taker’s dream, mostly because it has taken the art of taking notes to the next level.

To be frank, the Lenovo Yoga Book feels like a normal paper notebook. It’s 9.6mm thick and includes a metal chassis with a black finish. The edges are round and feel smooth and pleasant to the touch. It’s convertible and easily folds into a tablet thanks for the watchband hinge.

Its display is a 10.1-inch ISP screen with a 1920 x 1200 resolution for better note-taking experience. The ISP display gives you a wider viewing angle. And the screen is touch sensitive for easy navigation.

One of the features that make Yoga Book an ideal tablet for taking notes is the backlit keyboard. The technology gives you the ability to write down stuff even in complete darkness, and you don’t have to strain to do so.

You can use the Real Pen if you don’t want to use the keyboard to take notes. Built to work just like a regular stylus, the Real Pen is quite accurate and responsive even with minimal pressure.

Pros

  • Good display and wide viewing angle
  • Accurate and responsive Real Pen
  • Excellent battery life 

Cons

  • Some people may find the keyboard difficult to use
  • Not enough ports for data transfer 

4. Apple iPad Pro 12.9-Inch Tablet 

Apple has always been about the best tech, and it’s easy to see that with their iPad Pro 12-inch tablet. It’s a well-design model that promises a good note-taking experience, and delivers just that. Not to mention it doubles as one of the top tablets for writers who love to create great content for different platforms.

It features an aluminum chassis with rounded corners. And while it feels somewhat heavy, the screen’s real estate is big enough to explain why. Slim and comfortable to hold, this gives you an edge in writing notes fast, regardless of its weight.

At 12.9 inches, the display undoubtedly gives you a bigger real estate to write whatever notes you want. With a 2732 x 2048 resolution and a refresh rate of 120MHz, Apple iPad Pro gives you a breathtaking viewing experience that many tablets simply don’t.

This tablet runs on iOS 10 operating system, which is a more dynamic development that adds richness in performance to the device. In the building block is an A10X processor and a 4GB RAM, which gives you a more dynamic user experience, especially when multitasking.

The iPad Pro 12-inch tablet doesn’t disappoint when it comes to taking notes. The Apple Pencil is precise in detecting handwritings, allow you to take notes even faster than you would if you used the onscreen keyboard. 

Pros

  • Large display gives you a bigger real estate to write your notes
  • Smart keyboard and a responsive Apple Pen included
  • Overall impressive performance for the purpose
  • Solid and attractive build 

Cons

  • You buy the keyboard and the Apple Pencil separately
  • Doesn’t have a track pad
  • Battery life could be better

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

 If you’re in the market for a hybrid tablet for taking notes, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a good deal to consider. With the user experience and performance stepped up a bit, this model is definitely better than the Surface Pro 3.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is thinner and lighter than the previous versions. Microsoft does away with the Windows button and makes the screen bigger to give you a wider real estate for taking your notes. It even comes with a kickstand and a magnetic keyboard to enhance user experience.

This is a core i7 tablet with an 8GB RAM and an internal memory of 256GB. So if you want to run multiple tasks simultaneously, there shouldn’t be a lag in performance whatsoever.

It’s not just the size of the screen that makes this tablet ideal for taking notes. It even includes an S Pen, which is precise and responsive when it comes to taking hand written notes.

In fact, with up to 1024 levels of pressure, this stylus delivers every stroke with utmost accuracy and precision. This one even includes an eraser, which is quite handy in making the notes taking process smooth. 

Pros

  • Includes a responsive stylus pen
  • Great display for an improved viewing experience when writing notes
  • Variety of options available depending on your budget 

Cons

  • The battery life could be better
  • Doesn’t come with a keyboard cover

A Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Tablet for Taking Notes 

You should consider the following factors when it comes to searching for a tablet for taking typed or handwritten notes: 

Operating System

Operating system: There are many tablets in the market and the number of models will continue to increase as technology evolves.

Some run on Android OS, others come with Windows OS pre-installed, and all Apple tablets run on iOS. It’s important to understand that the OS you choose will determine the functionalities the tablet can support.

When it comes to taking notes, though, you don’t really have to worry about an OS that much. That’s because writing notes isn’t resource intense, and therefore even a basic OS would allow you do get the job done faster.

Regardless, you should choose a model with the latest version of operating system, as they’re not only secure but also good at enhancing overall user experience.

Accessibility

It’s common for people, mostly college students, to misplace their notes, and that’s never a good thing to be honest.

However, with a good tablet, you can take notes and store them in the cloud or even email them to yourself. This way, you’ll have a digital version of the notes and you can easily access them at your convenience, especially when you need them for reference.

A tablet for taking notes assures you of accessibility to your content no matter where you are. The most important thing is to have a backup the notes because even tablets do get lost.

Precision 

One of the most stressful things for most people even those who are working is trying to decipher another person’s handwriting and worse off, their own.

With a good tablet, you can take notes in your own handwriting and make corrections where necessary.

Your own handwriting should be easy to understand unless of course you write like your doctor. After all, a tablet guarantees you precision in relation to what you write.

A Tablet’s Size

When it comes to choosing a tablet that you’ll use to take handwritten as well as typed notes, decide upfront how much screen real estate you want.

To be clear:

This comes down to a personal decision.

Some people love big screens because they feel a larger real estate is better. If that’s the case for you, go with a 12-inch tablet.

If you don’t mind a standard-sized tablet, then anything between 7 and 10 inches should work well for you. 

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