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Best tablets for note-taking in 2024

Heavy backpack days overloaded with books are over. Instead, you can use a single lightweight tablet to replace fat paper notebooks. If you've been looking for the best tablet for note-taking, by the end of this article, you will find the right one.

A tablet for notes does not need to be as powerful as a gaming tablet. However, it must have an excellent high-resolution display, a good stylus, and sufficient storage space for all your documents. You should also seek handwriting recognition and cloud storage compatibility for some quality-of-life bonuses.

Best tablets for note-taking mark all of the above, and we have 7 options worthy of your attention. Let's take a look!

Top 5 note-taking tablets – shortlist

How to choose the best tablet for taking notes?

The best note-taking tablets should have at least a 10-inch screen diagonally with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution support. Below are 6 crucial attributes you should examine before purchasing:

  • Stylus compatibility. Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo dominate the tablet market, and some devices support only brand-compatible styluses. For example, an Apple Pencil works best for iPad Air, and you should get a Lenovo Digital Pen for Lenovo note-taking devices.
  • Screen size. Best tablets for note-taking should have a minimum 10-inch screen size diagonally. Anything less than that will limit the available space for your commentaries.
  • Battery life. An 8 to 10 hours battery life lets you jot down notes throughout the day without draining it. Some models, like Amazon Fire Max 11, go further with a 14-hour battery life.
  • Operating system. Windows or macOS? Android or iOS? Your chosen note-taking tablet must run an operating system you are most comfortable with. Remember, Samsung tablets use the Android operating system, Apple's use iPadOS, and Lenovo tablets can run on Windows.
  • Storage capacity. You can take pictures or record lectures instead of writing everything down. A 64GB storage capacity tablet is best for light notes. Meanwhile, the OnePlus Pad offers 128GB or even 256GB options sufficient for audio and video file storage.
  • Display quality. Choose a high-resolution display with a minimum 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution for discernible text. The best tablets for taking notes may include anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.

7 best note-taking tablets – our detailed list

We tested dozens of tablets' display quality, stylus comfort, and battery life to pick the best tablet for note-taking. Below are 7 options that will not leave you asking for more.

1. Apple iPad Air (5th generation) – powerful tablet for note-taking and video-editing

Display size:10.9 inch
Storage capacity:64GB or 256GB
Battery life:10 hours
Operating system:iPadOS 16

Apple iPad Air (5th generation) is the best tablet for note-taking, with a powerful M1 chip for video editing and gaming.

Screen quality. Apple's iPad Air (5th generation) uses a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display that supports 2360 by 1640 pixels resolution. It also applies anti-reflective and fingerprint-resistant coatings and is compatible with 2nd generation Apple pencil.

Hardware. This model uses the powerful 8-core Apple M1 chip. 8GB of RAM is sufficient for multi-tasking without stuttering. The only downside is that you must pay extra for 256GB storage instead of the limited 64GB.

Portability. The device is only 0.24 inch (6.1mm) thin and weighs 1 pound (458 grams). It is a bit too large for tiny backpacks, but sufficient display size combined with powerful hardware lets you perform any tasks on the go.

Operating system and apps. This tablet runs on the iPadOS 15 operating system. You will find dozens of valuable apps for taking notes in the Apple App Store. It comes with a pre-installed Notes app with the Quick Notes feature.

2. OnePlus Pad – tablet for taking notes with a 7:5 aspect ratio

Display size:11.6 inch
Storage capacity:128GB
Battery life:13 hours
Operating system:OxygenOS 14 (Android 14 version)

OnePlus Pad is the best tablet for taking notes with a unique 7:5 aspect ratio but requires purchasing a stylus separately to make the best of it.

Screen quality. The large 11.6-inch display supports 2800 x 2000 pixels resolution with a unique 7:5 aspect ratio optimized for reading books and taking notes. Beware that this model does not include a stylus.

Hardware. The OnePlus Pad uses a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 processor more than enough for taking notes, editing videos, and other resource-demanding tasks. You can choose between 8GB or 12GB RAM and 128GB and 256GB storage space models.

Portability. Choose this tablet for note-taking if you don't mind carrying a bigger device in your backpack. The OnePlus Pad weighs 1.3 pounds (602 grams), going over 2 (over 1kg) pounds with an additional carrying case.

Operating system and apps. This tablet runs on the OxygenOS 14 operating system, a version of Android 14 customized for OnePlus devices. It lets you use Google Keep, Evernote, and other note-taking apps on the Google Play Store.

3. Amazon Fire Max 11 – excellent Amazon tablet with handwriting recognition

Display size:11 inches
Storage capacity:64GB or 128GB
Battery life:14 hours
Operating system:Amazon Fire OS

The Fire Max 11 is Amazon’s best note-taking tablet with handwriting recognition using its proprietary stylus.

Screen quality. The Fire Max 11 has a large 11-inch screen that supports 2000 x 1200 pixels resolution. You can use it with Universal Stylus Interface (USI) 1.0 compatible styluses but should expect the best results with Amazon Stylus Pen (purchased separately.)

Hardware. The hardware details are great within the price range, but you should not expect anything ground-breaking. This tablet packs 4GB of RAM, a mid-range MediaTek MT8188J processor, and 64GB or 128GB storage space options.

Portability. Amazon Fire Max 11 weighs 1.5 pounds (680 grams) and is 0.38 inch (9.7 mm) thick with a large screen size, so there are more portable options like its compact Kindle Scribe note-taking device.

Operating system and apps. This device uses the Fire OS to promote Amazon's ecosystem. Although you cannot use apps from Google Play or Apple Store, you can find note-taking app alternatives on Amazon Appstore, like Squid and Evernote.

4. Lenovo Tab P11 (2nd generation) – mid-range tablet with microSD support

Display size:11.5 inch
Storage capacity:128GB
Battery life:10 hours
Operating system:Android 12L

Lenovo Tab P11 (2nd generation) is among the best tablets for note-taking that can replace a laptop.

Screen quality. This tablet has an 11.5-inch display that supports 2000 x 1200 pixel resolution. Additionally, it uses Corning Gorilla Glass to protect it from scratches and environmental damage.

Hardware. The Lenovo Tab P11 tablet for writing notes cannot boast outstanding computing power but is more than enough to jot down commentaries. It offers 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage space, and a mid-range processor.

Portability. This model weighs 1.54 pounds (700 grams). You can get it with a pen and keyboard to replace a laptop. Lenovo Tab P11 2nd gen uses enhanced quad speakers to watch movies or make conference calls.

Operating system and apps. This tablet runs on Android 12L operating system with a promise to support Android 14 in the future. Currently, this OS is optimized for larger-than-smartphone screens and can run all apps on the Google Play Store.

5. Microsoft Surface Go 2 – excellent choice for Windows fans

Display size:10.5 inch
Storage capacity:64GB or 128GB
Battery life:10 hours
Operating system:Windows 10

Microsoft Surface Go 2 is the best tablet for note-taking that runs on Windows 10 or 11 operating systems.

Screen quality. This device has a compact 10.5-inch screen with sufficient 1920 x 1280 pixels resolution. However, it uses the Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP) for stylus interaction, so most third-party styluses will not work.

Hardware. A more affordable Microsoft Surface Go 2 option offers 4GB RAM and 64GB storage space. However, you can get an 8GB RAM and 128GB storage space model if you have extra funds for Microsoft's best note-taking device.

Portability. This tablet weighs only 1.2 pounds (544 grams) with a durable magnesium alloy base material. A compact design fits into a small backpack with sufficient battery life for the whole day of use.

Operating system and apps. Primarily, this model used Windows 10 Home and Pro versions. However, newer devices have pre-installed Windows 11 with a free upgrade on previous models.

6. Amazon Kindle Scribe – note-taking device with E Ink display

Display size:10.2 inch
Storage capacity:16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
Battery life:Up to 12 weeks
Operating system:Undisclosed

Amazon Kindle Scribe is a hybrid of an e-reader and a tablet for note-taking with an E Ink (electronic paper) display.

Screen quality. This is the only device on the list that uses an E-Ink display to mimic traditional paper to reduce eye strain and light reflection. The 10.2-inch display supports 300 pixels per inch resolution for clearly visible text.

Hardware. Amazon does not disclose exact hardware details. However, the Kindle Scribe supports 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB storage space to take light notes but cannot replace a laptop or a powerful tablet, like the OnePlus Pad.

Portability. It weighs barely 0.95 pounds (433 grams) and includes a pen. It's the most lightweight and comfortable note-taking tablet with a pen if you don't need video editing or gaming.

Operating system and apps. Amazon Kindle Scribe has very limited app compatibility because it runs on a proprietary operating system made for ebooks. It is a viable choice for reading and taking notes, but not much else.

7. Boogie Board Blackboard – superb digital notepad to save paper

Display size:~14 inch
Storage capacity:None
Battery life:Several months
Operating system:None

The Boogie Board Blackboard is not a tablet but an environmentally-friendly note-taking device you can use instead of paper.

Screen quality. This digital notebook uses Liquid Crystal Paper technology to imitate paper. It includes a digital pen to jot down notes, but the surface also responds well to finger movement.

Hardware. This is a simplistic digital notebook that has a screen, a stylus, and a replaceable battery.

Portability. This digital blackboard is made out of lightweight but durable plastic and weighs up to 1 pound (453 grams.)

Operating system and apps. This device does not use an operating system and is not compatible with software applications.

Comparison of top 5 tablets for taking notes

Apple iPad Air (5th gen)OnePlus PadAmazon Fire Max 11Lenovo Tab P11 (2nd gen)Microsoft Surface Go 2
Display size10.9 inch11.6 inch11 inches11.5 inch10.5 inch
Storage capacity64GB or 256GB128GB64GB or 128GB128GB64GB or 128GB
Battery life10 hours13 hours14 hours10 hours10 hours
Operating systemiPadOS 16OxygenOS 14 (Android 14 version)Amazon Fire OSAndroid 12LWindows 10

How we selected these tablets for taking notes?

Display quality. The best note-taking devices must support the 1080p display quality for clearly visible letters. Furthermore, at least a 10-inch diagonal screen size lets you jot down notes without worrying about space limits.

Battery life. We searched for models that support 8 hours of active use. The best note-taking tablets, like Amazon Fire Max 11, let you jot notes for up to 14 hours before draining out.

Portability. Models like the OnePlus Pad are more laptop-like. Meanwhile, Amazon Kindle Scribe is a compact ebook reader with note-taking features. We compiled this list considering size and functionality depending on your needs.

Operating system and apps. Like smartphones, note-taking tablets run on a specific software. We included brands that use the most popular operating systems you will have no trouble adapting to. Simultaneously, they support apps from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store or can run on Windows.

Is it worth getting a tablet for note-taking?

Yes, using a tablet to jot down notes has many benefits. Firstly, the best note-taking tablets store hundreds of books you don't have to carry anymore. It's good for your back and the environment, making it a real win-win situation.

They also offer significant quality-of-life improvements. You can categorize your notes and search for information using keywords instead of wasting time flipping through sheets of paper. Lastly, you can always make a video or audio recording and share it with your group.

Do you need a tablet with a stylus for note-taking?

Although you can use tablets without a dedicated stylus, you may encounter some difficulties. A good tablet for note taking with a stylus mimics pen and paper, familiar with a natural writing experience. Furthermore, a proprietary stylus, like the Apple Pencil, lets you utilize handwriting recognition to save and copy notes.

Remember that most tablets have proprietary styluses. For example, the Lenovo stylus uses palm rejection technology to prevent mistypes and pressure sensitivity to enhance outlining or sketching. However, it is not fully compatible with Apple or Amazon tablets that have styluses optimized for their displays and operating systems.


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