Which is the best tablet with a stylus in 2018? There are a lot of choices with Android, Windows 10 and even iOS. Here are the 10 best ones.
For a long time, people didn’t want to use a stylus with their tablet. But times change and devices with an active pen have become very popular. It started with Microsofts Surface Pro and Samsungs tablets with an S-Pen. Now you can even get an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil.
There are a lot of other choices out there. I’ve tried most of them and here are the ten best I reviewed or used at a trade show.
Best Android Tablets with Stylus
There actually are not many Android tablets with a solid pen offer out there. But you can get a couple of interesting ones. Here are the three I can recommend.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 with S-Pen
In my opinion, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android tablet right now. It offers a great display, a good performance, and a very nice design. The S-Pen stylus is included and Samsung is offering a lot of nice software features for it. Compared to the Galaxy Note series the S-Pen is more comfortable to use for a long period of time and it supports 4096 pressure points now.
ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 with Z Stylus
The ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 is similar to the Galaxy Tab S3. While the performance is not as good it still offers an excellent build quality with a nice display. You can get the Z Stylus with it, an active pen that supports 1024 pressure points. While I did review the ZenPad 3S 10, I never tried the stylus though.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S-Pen
If you’re looking for a much cheaper option to the Galaxy Tab S3 the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 might be the one to go. Samsung is offering this one with an S-Pen as well, which is a lot thinner but mostly offers the same features – including the software ones. The performance is not as good but it is a very inexpensive alternative.
Windows Tablets with Stylus
You can get tablets with Windows and a stylus for a long time, yes for over 10 years now. But they haven’t been popular until Microsoft introduced their Surface lineup. Now, most competitors offer a pen and a lot of them are quite good. Let’s take a closer look at Windows tablets with a stylus.
Microsoft Surface Pro with Surface Pen
I don’t think anyone would argue with me – the new Microsoft Surface Pro is the best Windows 10 tablet with a stylus out there. It offers an excellent design with powerful hardware. With the newest generation, the Surface Pen is optional though but it has been improved to support 4096 pressure points.
Lenovo MIIX 520 with Lenovo Active Pen 2
The Lenovo MIIX 520 is one of the newest Windows tablets out there. It features the latest 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor, at least 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Unlike the Surface Pro, the keyboard cover and active stylus are included at no extra costs. The Lenovo Active Pen 2 supports 4096 pressure points – just like the Surface Pen and Samsung S Pen. I’m still in the process of reviewing the Lenovo MIIX 520, but so far, it seems to be a great option if you don’t want to pay a premium price.
Samsung Galaxy Book 10 + 12 with S-Pen
The Samsung Galaxy Book 10 and Book 12 are the first Windows devices from Samsung that are shipped with an S-Pen. This one works similar to the Surface Pen but has some features from its Android brothers like the Air Commands. I didn’t like the build quality as much but the S-Pen seemed very good when I played with it.
Acer Aspire Switch 3 with Acer Active Stylus
If you don’t want to spend around a thousand dollars the Acer Aspire Switch 3 might be an interesting alternative for you. It still has a 12-inch display and a Surface-style design but comes with the less powerful Intel Kaby Lake chip. You can get an optional stylus with the Switch 3 which is called Acer Active Pen.
ASUS Transformer Mini T103 with ASUS Pen
The ASUS Transformer Mini T103 is the cheapest Windows tablet with a stylus on this list. It has a nice design with a full aluminum body but is shipping with the lower end Intel Atom x5 processor. If you want to do a lot of Photoshop work this might not be the machine for you. For simple handwriting, it should be fine though.
iPads with Stylus
Apple didn’t want us to use a stylus with an iPad for a very long time. But this did change in the last couple of years. Now you can get the so-called Apple Pencil which works with all iPad Pro versions.
iPad Pro 10.5 inch
The iPad Pro 10.5 is the first tablet from Apple that comes with a new 10.5-inch Retina display and an improved, more powerful chip. Thanks to iOS 11 it’ll be an interesting alternative to a Windows tablet. You have to get the Apple Pencil separately though – it costs just under 100 USD.
iPad Pro 12.9 inch
The iPad Pro 12.9 is very similar to its smaller brother but has a very big display at 12.9 inches. It comes with the same high-end internal hardware and yes, you can use the Apple Pencil with this one as well.
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