The 8 Best Note-Taking Tablets of 2020

Jot down reminders and to-do lists with ease

Image shows a dynamic GIF of a woman working on various types of tablets.

Image by Ashley Nicole DeLeon © The Balance 2019

We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.

Tablets are perfect for on-the-go computing, thanks to their light weight and touch-based input hardware. In fact, modern day tablets are 2-in-1 devices that can transform into laptops with accessories like detachable keyboards.

Today, most tablets come with stylus support and can be used for taking notes and other similar tasks. Students can use tablets to jot down notes during their classes, businesses can equip their employees with tablets to speed up overall workflow and enhance project collaboration; the possibilities are endless.

Choosing the right tablet for your note-taking needs isn't exactly easy, given the wide array of choices available in the market. To help you out, we've rounded up the best note-taking tablets. Read all about the features that they offer, and then decide which one(s) you like the most.

Best Overall: Microsoft Surface Pro

Ever since it was launched in 2013, Microsoft's Surface Pro lineup has completely redefined tablet computing. Now in its fifth generation, the Surface Pro isn't just the best note-taking tablet, but also a powerful 2-in-1 hybrid.

Powered by a seventh generation Intel Core i7 and 8GB of RAM, the Surface Pro comes with 256GB of on-board storage. It has a 12.3-inch PixelSense display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels and 10-point multitouch support. The new Surface Pen (sold separately) complements the high-resolution screen perfectly, allowing you to take notes, draw and do a lot more. The stylus feels as natural as pen on paper, having precision ink on one end and an eraser on the other. It has 4,096 pressure points for enhanced sensitivity. Microsoft Surface Pro has all major connectivity options, including USB 3.0, microSDXC, 3.5mm audio and Mini Display. There's Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1 as well. Having a 5MP front-facing shooter and an 8MP rear camera, Surface Pro also features dual microphones and 1.6W stereo speakers.

Microsoft Surface Pro runs Windows 10 Pro and has a battery life of up to 13.5 hours (video playback).

Best For Long Battery Life: HP Envy x2

If you have to jot down a lot of notes on a routine basis, you need a tablet that can go for long hours without needing to be plugged in. And that's exactly what HP's Envy x2 is.

The Envy x2 can go for an astounding 22 hours (video playback) on a single charge. Not just that, it has a connected standby time of more than 40 days. The reason behind the tablet's endurance is the SoC. Being an "always connected" PC, Envy x2 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (ARM architecture) chipset, as opposed to an Intel (x86 architecture) processor. There's also 4GB of RAM and 128GB of universal flash storage. HP Envy x2 features a 12.3-inch multitouch display, protected with a layer of Gorilla Glass and has a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels. The included HP Digital Pen takes care of all your note-taking needs and has Windows Ink support. Thanks to 4G LTE, the x2 allows you to always stay connected. Other connectivity options include USB Type-C, microSD and 3.5mm audio. There's a 13MP rear camera, as well as a 5MP front-facing snapper. Dual speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen are also included in the mix.

HP Envy x2 runs Windows 10 S out of the box but can be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro.

Best Splurge: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Having the right blend of stunning style and powerful performance, Microsoft's second-generation Surface Book is without a doubt, one of the best laptops money can buy. The fact that it also happens to be a premium note-taking tablet, only makes things better.

Delivering processing power to the Surface Book 2 is Intel's eighth generation Core i7 processor, paired with 16GB of RAM. There's also 1TB of storage and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU that can easily handle even the most demanding of games and apps. Gracing the facade of the Surface Book 2 is a 15-inch PixelSense display, with a resolution of 3240 x 2160 pixels and 10-point multitouch support. The 3:2 aspect ratio of the screen makes it ideal for productivity tasks, while the 1600:1 contrast ratio enables great looking visuals. The device fully supports Surface Pen, which lets you take notes and draw sans any efforts. With full inking support, you can draw in Paint 3D. Apart from Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 and Xbox Wireless, Microsoft Surface Book 2 has all the connectivity ports you could ask for, including USB Type-C and Surface Connect. There's also a whole gamut of sensors onboard, ranging from gyroscope to accelerometer.

Running Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft Surface Book 2 has a claimed battery life of up to 17 hours.

Best With iOS: Apple iPad Pro

There was a time when iPads only used to be good for content consumption, but that's no longer the case. For those who want an iOS-based note-taking tablet that's also good for productivity tasks, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the ideal choice.

With a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels and a pixel density of 264ppi, the iPad Pro's LED-backlit multitouch display is great for everything from playing games to streaming TV shows. The Apple Pencil (sold separately) features enhanced precision and lets you take down notes, draw, mark up e-mails and more. It works best with iOS's Notes app, allowing you to add handwritten notes and drawings. You can even markup screenshots. Apple iPad Pro is powered by an A10x Fusion chip with an embedded M10 coprocessor. There is 64GB of internal storage, four-speaker audio, as well as dual microphones for calls, video and audio recording. For connectivity, the iPad Pro features Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, a Lightning port and a 3.5mm audio port. With Touch ID, you can not only unlock the tablet but also secure personal data within the apps. Siri, Apple's virtual digital assistant, lets you use your voice to send text messages, search for information, identify songs and that's just scratching the surface.

The 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro can be upgraded to the upcoming iOS 12 release. The tablet has a claimed battery life of up to 10 hours.

Best With Android: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Thanks to its hugely-successful Galaxy S lineup of smartphones, Samsung has almost become synonymous with top of the line Android devices. That said, the chaebol also makes tablets, and its Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android-based note-taking tablet out there.

Featuring an all-glass construction, the Galaxy Tab S3 looks and feels as premium as it is. Its 9.7-inch sAMOLED display features rich contrast levels and HDR video playback capabilities. With a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, it's plenty sharp, too. The new and redesigned S Pen makes taking notes a joy. With a tip that's just 0.7mm thick and 4096 levels of pressure, it feels and writes just like a regular ballpoint pen. The S Pen works great with a lot of other apps such as Samsung Notes and Soundcamp. The Galaxy Tab S3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, paired with 4GB of RAM. There is 32GB of internal storage, along with support for microSD cards of up to 256GB in size. For connectivity, Galaxy Tab S3 has Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio and USB Type-C 3.1. A total of four speakers provide an immersive audio experience. For imaging duties, the tablet features a 13MP (f/1.9) rear camera and a 5MP (f/2.2) front-facing snapper.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has a 6,000mAh battery that can go up to 12 hours on a single charge. It runs Android Nougat.

Best With Chrome OS: Acer Chromebook Tab 10

Between iOS, Android and Windows note-taking tablets, there are a lot of options for you to choose from. However, if none of them sound exciting, you may want to take a look at Acer Chromebook Tab 10.

As the name suggests, the Chromebook Tab 10 runs Chrome OS. This makes it the first tablet to be powered by Google's browser-based operating system. Powered by a 2GHz Rockchip OP1 processor, the tablet has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Acer Chromebook Tab 10 comes with a 9.7-inch multitouch display and has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. Taking notes on that screen is a cakewalk, thanks to the included Wacom stylus pen. The stylus utilizes Electro-Magnetic Resonance technology for measuring signal strength at several points along the display's sensor and performing on-the-fly calculations to determine precisely where the pen is located on the screen, as well as how hard the pen tip is pressed down. This leads to enhanced accuracy and responsiveness. Since it runs Chrome OS, the Chromebook Tab 10 has access to the full range of apps from the Google Play Store. From Wi-Fi 802.11ac to Bluetooth 4.1, the tablet has all the connectivity options.

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 has a claimed battery life of up to nine hours on a single charge.

Best for Everyday: M.Way Writing Tablet

Thanks to a 10.5-inch pressure sensitive LCD panel, writing on the M.Way feels just like writing on paper. Due to its matte finish, the LCD doesn't cause any glare, and the included stylus enables high-precision writings and drawings. You can use it to write notes, to-do lists, memos and more. As a matter of fact, it can single-handedly replace all the notepads and scrap paper at your home and office, helping you save the environment in the process. The tablet has a button that lets you instantly erase all the content on the LCD, giving you a blank surface to write on again. The screen can be erased up to 100,000 times, and there's even a lock key that prevents content from getting deleted accidentally. If you lose the stylus, you can use a similar object (even your fingernail) to write on the tablet. How awesome is that?

M.Way Writing Tablet uses a simple coin battery, which can power it for three years before needing to be replaced.

Best With Dual-Boot Functionality: Chuwi Hi10 Pro

Both Android and Windows platforms have their own advantages, so choosing between the two can be extremely hard. That's where Chuwi's Hi10Pro comes to the rescue, giving you the best of both worlds.

A dual-boot note-taking tablet, the Hi10 Pro runs both Android 5.1 and Windows 10. You can choose which OS to use during startup and easily switch between the two. Chuwi Hi10 Pro is powered by an Intel Atom-X5 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. There's also support for microSD cards of up to 128GB in size. The tablet has a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, which makes it ideal for not just note-taking, but also basic computing tasks and media consumption. The included magnetic keyboard lets you switch between laptop and tablet modes with ease.

Connectivity ports include USB Type-A, USB Type-C (for charging), microUSB, Mini HDMI and 3.5mm audio. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are there as well, as are two (one each on the front and the back) 2MP cameras.