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 two of the best we’ve found for precise writing on tablets.
Adonit Switch ($24+)
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.
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Adonit Jot Pro ($20)
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 turquoise and bright red.
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Adonit Pixel ($73+)
Adonit is one of the best styli manufacturers in existence, one that recently added the Adonit Pixel to its already impressive lineup. While it’s true that the Apple Pencil is one of the most accurate styli that you can get, it’s only compatible with the iPad Pro. In contrast, 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. Unfortunately, however, it’s not compatible with the 9.7-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.
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Musemee Notier V2 ($12-$13)
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.
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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. On that note, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Tab S3 at Mobile World Congress 2017, and you won’t be disappointed drawing on the device’s 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 new 9.7-inch Pro is just a smaller — albeit, capable — alternative for budding artists.
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Update: We updated links and checked all prices.
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