Which is the best tablet with a stylus in 2018? There are a lot of choices with Android, Windows 10 and even iPads. I review almost every tablet. Scroll down to find the 10 best ones with pen support.
Pens for tablets haven’t been popular for a long time. However, that changed with the Microsoft Surface Pro and Samsung’s S-Pen tablets. By now, you can even get three iPads with an active stylus. And even though Apple is late to the game, they recently managed to release a great tablet with pen support that is cheaper than the competition.
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 Value Overall
Now, everybody has different needs. However, there are three tablets with an active pen that I can recommend for most. All of them are outstanding and I think they offer the best value for your money.
iPad 2018 with Apple Pencil
The 6th generation Apple iPad 2018 is the cheapest tablet with stylus support without having to make huge compromises. It is a very fast tablet with a great build quality and a lot of optimized apps. You have to buy the Apple Pencil separately, but the pen is widely supported in iOS. However, the display is not laminated. So, if you need to make very precise drawings, you should check out other tablets on this list. But I still think it is the best value for most.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 with S-Pen
I reviewed all Android tablets with Pen support and I think the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best out of all of them. That is mainly due to its very nice Super AMOLED screen, which unlike the iPad, is laminated. In addition to that, it offers a great performance and a lot of software features for its S-Pen. The S-Pen is comfortable to hold and supports 4096 pressure points. By the way, it is included with the Galaxy Tab S3.
Microsoft Surface Pro with Surface Pen
The Microsoft Surface Pro is the best Windows 10 tablet with a stylus. And, in my opinion, it is the best option for professional work. The hardware is fast enough to run full apps like Adobe Photoshop and the Microsoft Surface Pen is very precise. It supports 4096 pressure points but you have to buy it separately too. The Surface Pro is a premium device with a premium price tag. If you are looking for something cheaper, check out the Windows section below.
Best Android Tablets with Stylus
There actually are not many Android tablets with a solid pen out there. But you can get a couple of interesting ones. The best one, in my opinion, is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 that I mentioned above. However, there are two more worth mentioning.
Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro with M Pen
With the Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro, you get a 10.5-inch Android tablet with hardware that actually is a bit faster than the Galaxy Tab S3. At the same time, the screen offers a higher resolution. However, unlike the Samsung, it is not an AMOLED panel. That means it is not as nice to use outside. The M Pen stylus is included and offers a sensitivity of 4096 too. Because it features LTE out of the box, it might be a cheaper alternative if you need 4G.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S-Pen
If you’re looking for a much cheaper option, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S-Pen might be the right one for you. Be careful, you can get this tablet with and without the stylus. Make sure you get the right one. By now, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is quite old but it is one of the cheapest options with a stylus. However, the pen is very thin and not as comfortable to hold for a longer period.
Windows Tablets with Stylus
Windows tablets with a stylus have been around for a long time. In fact, the first ones were released over ten years ago. However, they haven’t been popular until Microsoft released the Surface Pro series. And, as you have read above, I think the Surface Pro is the best Windows tablet with a stylus out there. But if you are looking for something different or cheaper, check my recommendations below.
Lenovo MIIX 520 with Lenovo Active Pen 2
The Lenovo MIIX 520 does not have as a nice screen or as a nice premium build as the Surface. However, it is much cheaper. And it also is a bit more powerful thanks to Intel’s latest 8th generation Core i processors. The Lenovo Active Pen 2 supports 4096 pressure points as well and is included at no extra charge. While the Active Pen 2 worked great for my use, according to two artists I spoke with, it doesn’t feel as nice to them as the Surface Pen. But it should be good enough for most users.
Huawei MateBook with MatePen
The Huawei MateBook and its MateBook E successor are the most elegant Windows tablets out there. While they feature a great design and build quality, to be honest, I think most should go for the Surface Pro or MIIX 520. However, if you care about a great design and want a slim Windows tablet, the MatePen works great on the MateBook. Sometimes you can get them at a very good price.
Acer Aspire Switch 3 with Acer Active Stylus
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money and can make some compromises, the Acer Aspire Switch 3 is the best cheaper Windows tablet with stylus support. It is much slower than the Surface Pro or MIIX 520. But it is fast enough for simple tasks. You can get the Acer Active Pen separately. It is not as precise as the previous two but is certainly fine for beginners.
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. And as of recently, it even works with the simple 6th generation iPad 2018. I mentioned above that I think that one is the best and cheapest option for most. However, if you need a higher-end device you should check out an iPad Pro.
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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