Editor’s Note: At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, several companies announced new or improved tablets that comes with a stylus. For instance, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 tablet gets a bigger 13-inch IPS screen with a 3:2 screen ratio and a sturdier keyboard attachment. It should go on sale later this month for $1599. Announcements like this may have us rethinking our best picks in the months to come. Stay tuned!
A stylus-equipped tablet is the perfect alternative to a traditional paper notebook. Digital notes can be backed up to the cloud, so they’re safe and accessible from just about any device. With the right software, your digital notes can even be indexed and searched through using keywords. Here are the tablets with the best stylus support for 2018.
Best Tablets With Stylus
Apple’s iPad Pro was built for business, with productivity-boosting accessories such as an optional detachable keyboard cover and an optional Apple Pencil. The system also comes in a smaller, 10.5-inch model. Both models offer excellent stylus support, with full pressure sensitivity and reliable palm rejection. Just remember that the iPad Pro is a premium system and one of the pricier pen-equipped slates on the market.
In addition to having a higher base price, business users should keep in mind that the Apple iPad Pro doesn’t come with a keyboard or a stylus – both must be purchased separately, which will run you around $268 (if you buy Apple) for both.
Surface Pro (2017)
The Surface Pro (2017) is a great choice for business users who want a powerful tablet with an optional stylus and an optional detachable keyboard. The latest Surface Pro is available for preorder now, and it’s pricy: The entry level model is $799, but we recommend upgrading to the $999 model that comes with an Intel Core i5 processor. While previous i5 models came equipped with a stylus, but now all accessories are sold separately, so you should factor that into your budget before you buy.
What we like best about the Surface Pro is the fast performance, split screen multitasking, large display and low latency. Of all the tablets on our list, the Microsoft Surface Pro comes closest to being a true laptop killer.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 (2nd Generation)
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 comes in a variety of configurations, and depending where you purchase it, the stylus may or may not be included. When sold separately you can typically pick up an Active Pen for around $30.
If you require more horsepower under the hood, you can find configurations with up to an Intel Core i7 CPU. We recommend at least a Core i5 if you plan on using this tablet for heavy business use (or if you plan on using this tablet to replace your laptop). The main downside to this machine is the weak battery life, which clocks in at just over five hours.