The best stylus for note-takers and artists

The pen is mightier than the finger: The best stylus for all your needs

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Best styli for notetakers and best tablets for styli

Best styli for notetakers

There are almost as many styli for note taking as there are for drawing. Although there are scads of fine-tipped styli for taking notes, these are four of the best we’ve found for precise writing on tablets.

Adonit Switch ($30)

While the Adonit Switch may have a low price tag, it certainly doesn’t mean it lacks in style or usefulness. That’s right, the Switch doubles as a stylus and an actual pen. Roll the striped grip-end, and you’ll find a ball-point pen sliding out. Rotate to take off the cap on the other side, and voilà, you have a precision stylus.

The precision stylus has a disk at the end, allowing for more precise marks on your tablet. It feels and weighs about the same as a normal pen, and can easily be mistaken for one. It can be used to draw, but you’re better off sticking with writing notes with the Adonit Switch. The ball-point pen writes fairly well and adds an immensely useful function if you happen to always carry a stylus around.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Adonit

Adonit Jot Pro ($30)


Adonit probably offers the most precise and fine stylus tips of any manufacturer. Although the Jot Script is well-liked for its extra fine tip, it only works with iOS devices, which limits its reach. The benefit if the Adonit Jot Pro, is that it works on most touchscreen devices, including both iPads and Android tablets. It will probably also work on Windows tablets, too, but we haven’t tested that theory.

The Jot Pro has a very fine point, which makes it perfect for taking notes. When precision is the order of the day, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Jot Pro looks and feels like a regular ballpoint pen, with the addition of a small plastic disc on the tip to protect the screen. It even comes in several different colors, including a nice rose gold and midnight blue.

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Adonit Pixel ($75)

adonit pixel stylus

Adonit is one of the best styli manufacturers in existence, one that recently added the Adonit Pixel to its already impressive lineup. The Pixel stylus is compatible with iPhone 5 and higher, third and fourth-gen iPads, all iPad Minis, the iPad Air, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Like Adonit’s other wears, the Pixel has a 1.9-millimeter tip instead of a disc, allowing for easy drawing and sketching. The stylus’ tip has improved drag performance as well, to make it feel like you’re writing on paper. A USB dongle also allows you to charge the stylus via your computer, while a host of programmable buttons let you perform a variety of customized actions on the fly. If you’re looking for a blue-ribbon stylus that touts solid functionality across the board, you can’t go wrong with the Pixel.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Adonit

Musemee Notier V2 ($12-$13)

Musemee Notier V2o

If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to some of the premium offerings on our roundup, then look no further than the Musemee Notier V2. The stylus touts a fine disc tip, one that is both durable and replaceable. The V2 has also undergone a set of rigorous bend tests and features an ergonomic design that is flexible enough that you can hold the pen at any angle, much like you would a traditional pen. One of its best features is its compatibility, however, which allows you to use the stylus with a multitude of iOS and Android devices. It works with all touch-capacitive displays, meaning it’s compatible with iPads, iPhones, Samsung devices, HTC devices, Motorola devices, and a host of others.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Musemee

Best tablets for styli

As laptop-tablet hybrids grow increasingly popular — just take a look at the numbers for both the iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface lineup — so does the use of styli as an accessory. Samsung’s alternative is the Galaxy Tab S3 which boasts a 10-inch, HDR-ready AMOLED. The device as big as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, so the screen size makes it a great canvas to work with. Samsung also offers the S Pen as an accessory, which offers decent performance when it comes to taking notes.

However, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 also comes with a stylus, and it delivers on performance. The Surface Pen is four times as pressure sensitive as the Surface Pro 3’s stylus. It also comes with an eraser, can handle fine lines easily, and boasts a variety of special features. You can activate Cortana with the pen, for example, or open a note with the press of a button. It looks and feels like a regular pen, too, and though it may not be the best for drawing, it certainly works.

Our last recommendation, the iPad Pro, needs no introduction. The tablet’s massive display is a beauty to draw on, and the Apple Pencil is the perfect accessory for it, due to its pressure-sensitive screen. The 9.7-inch Pro is just a smaller — albeit, capable — alternative for budding artists.

Buy one now:

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 iPad Pro 12.9-inch iPad Pro 9.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

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