The best stylus-compatible tablets for notetakers and artists

ByTiana Crump

Whether you’re trying to get things done or stay entertained while on the go, one of the best tablets with a stylus can make work and play easier. These portable smart devices are lighter than most laptops, making them convenient to take with you anywhere. Plus, when they come with a stylus, you get more functionality like writing and drawing with precision.

When you’re shopping around, there are a few things you should consider. The first is the display size. Most tablets screens vary from 7 to 10 inches in size. If you’ll be using it to watch Netflix, you’ll want a larger display with a high-resolution screen for the best viewing experience. Bigger tablets are ideal for drawing, too. However, a smaller model can be easier to tuck into a bag or backpack.

For writing, emailing, and note-taking, you might want to add accessories like a keyboard or a kickstand. If you decide those things would benefit you, be sure to pick a tablet model with a lot of compatible choices. If you plan on downloading a lot of documents, videos or music, you’ll likely want a minimum of 32 gigabytes of internal space or with an option like a MicroSD card slot to upgrade storage.

To help you pick the perfect device for your needs, here’s my roundup of the best tablets with stylus. These top-rated tablets have all the features to make watching, browsing, listening, writing, and drawing super easy.


The Best Overall

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 with an S Pen is one of the best-rated Android tablets around. With its 10.5-inch high-resolution OLED display and Dolby Atmos surround sound, you get a cinematic experience streaming your favorite movies, shows, or video. There’s a taskbar with split-screen option, making creating PowerPoint presentations, writing documents, and browsing the web just as easy as if you’re using a PC.

Weighing just over 1 pound, this Android tablet has plenty of complementary accessories available on the market, but it comes equipped with the S Pen, so you can take notes, sketch, and edit on the go. The built-in microphone lets you control the tablet from afar via Google Assistant. This tablet is available with 64 or 256 gigabytes of internal memory with the option to expand it even more with the purchase of a MicroSD card. Plus, the battery life lasts up 16 hours between charges, giving you plenty of power to get things done.

What fans say: “I am so happy with my purchase of this tablet. I've always wanted a tablet I could actually write notes on. The drawing part is a huge bonus. The other night I was watching a YouTube video on sewing machines. It was so nice to be able to hit the pen icon, open up a notepad and take notes alongside of the video while the video played. This is exactly the type of device I've long been wanting.”


The Best Tablet For Drawing

If you want to sketch and draw on the go, consider the Simbans PicassoTab drawing tablet with stylus pen. This tablet includes pre-installed Autodesk Sketchbook so you can immediately start drawing. At less than 1 pound, it's the lightest of all of these and also the least expensive.

However, it still has 32 gigabytes of internal storage (and a microSD card slot for more) and a quad-core processor gives it versatility. You can browse the internet, play games, or watch movies on Netflix, too. It's an Android tablet, so you can download more apps from the Google Play store. The 10-inch tablet even has a micro HDMI port allowing you to connect it to your TV or larger display. The battery however, only lasts an estimated five hours, so a little bit less than the other choices.

What fans say: "I love it. It's so much easier to draw on it than what I have now. The pen moves smoothly across the screen protector and it's easy to navigate.”


The Best Two-In-One Tablet And Laptop (Stylus Sold Separately)

For the capabilities of a laptop with the ease of a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a great option. This tablet is compatible with the Microsoft Surface Pen, Type Cover, and Surface Arc Mouse to accessorize ⁠— but you have to buy them all separately, including the stylus. The tablet has a built-in kickstand for ease while writing or reading, and comes with your choice of Intel Core i5 or i7 processor for fast computing.

It's available with 128 or 256 gigabytes of storage your files, apps, and images. You can also use a MicroSD card. And this tablet has a battery life of up to 13.5 hours of video playback. The 12.3-inch PixelSense screen is great for watching shows, but this tablet and laptop in one is a little bigger than the other choices on this list, so decide if you are OK with the extra size for travel. (It's still smaller than most laptops on the market). It's also a little heavier than the other two options, weighing in at 3.5 pounds.

What fans say: “Its like having a desktop size of a tablet! Does everything a desktop can do and more! The screen writing feature makes filling out and signing forms amazing! work from anywhere!”


Also Great: The Apple Pencil (For iPads Only)

For Mac users, the Apple Pencil is a popular stylus option. Compatible with the iPad, it instantly transforms your smart device into a mobile canvas or notepad. The tip design provides accurate precision when tapping and a natural flow during writing. Just push harder for a wider line.

It has roughly the same amount of battery life as the iPad, lasting about 10 hours between charges, according to reviewers. However, it doesn’t stick to your iPad well, so you might want to add a Magnetic Sleeve holder for additional security.

What fans say: “You can draw lines so thin and small they are barely visible to painting with a brush with hundreds of painting special effects. The sensitivity of the screen to the touch of the pencil is amazing and it allows very precise control of your apps and artwork.”

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