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Best tablets for taking notes

What's bigger than a Moleskine but smaller than a MacBook? Any of these writer-friendly tablets.

I like to write. (I would hope so, since I do it for a living.)

When a nascent idea or perfect sentence begins bubbling inside of my head, an onscreen keyboard gets the job done in a pinch, but when it comes to actually hunkering down and having a writing session it falls short of a traditional keyboard or pen and paper.

If carrying around a laptop or notebook and pen isn't convenient for you (I always lose my pens, even the nice ones), here are the best tablet alternatives for cranking out those midterm papers or the last few chapters of your memoir.


The S Pen stylus is one of the best things about the Galaxy Tab S3.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

I can't decide what the Samsung S Pen's best feature is: the way its rubber tip smoothly glides across the Galaxy Tab S3's screen like a fish flowing in a stream, or the fact that it's free. Packaged with the stunningly sleek 9.7-inch tablet, the S Pen is one of the best things about it. It's also super low maintenance; you never have to charge or pair it. Samsung makes a keyboard for the Galaxy Tab S3, too, but trust me, the stylus is where it's at. The only downside is there's no place to store it on the tablet, so try not to lose it. (Replacements are available, but it'll cost you.)

Google Pixel C

The sturdiest keyboard in all the land.

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Google Pixel C

Often find yourself typing on your lap? The Google Pixel C has one of the sturdiest keyboards I've ever used. It attaches magnetically, but the magnets are so strong you can hold the tablet upside down and it won't budge. It's also one of the best Android tablets you can buy and, since it's a Google-branded device, it gets all the latest OS updates first.

A tablet with unique writing chops.

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Lenovo Yoga Book

The Lenovo Yoga Book is one of the coolest tablets I've seen in a long time. Its keyboard doubles as a Wacom tablet, meaning you can write on it with a stylus. And, if you prefer writing in a notebook (like myself), it comes with a (detachable) magnetic paper notepad that perfectly fits over the keyboard. You can write on it (just like a notebook) and all of your writing magically appears on the screen. Well, it's not magic, but it is one of the most innovative digital note-writing devices available.

Stylus included, but keyboard sold separately.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 4

If you want a laptop inside of a tablet's body, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the way to go. It comes with a stylus, but the keyboard is sold separately. You definitely want to pick one up to get the full Surface experience, though. The superslim keyboard magnetically attaches to the tablet and doubles as a cover when not in use. Aside from its impeccably compact design, it's also comfortable to use.

The Apple Pencil is a stylus made for artists, but writers can use it, too.

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Apple iPad Pro

The iPad is an obvious suggestion, right? But it's still worth mentioning, especially for those interested in using a stylus. The Apple iPad Pro comes in two sizes, a 9.7-inch model and a larger 12.9-inch version. Though the sold separately, Apple Pencil (it's not actually a pencil) is designed for artists and graphic designers -- anyone who simply wants a solid stylus should check it out. Not to mention, there's a bevy of keyboard accessories available for both models.