When most people think about getting a tablet, it’s for reading and browsing. However, I’ve found that a tablet can be a super handy way to get some quality writing done—especially when I’m on the go.
Sometimes, I get my best work done when I’m traveling whether it be by car, train, plane, or boat. (And yes…I’ve used each of these modes of transportation with varying degrees of success). But carrying around my laptop—no matter how small it is—can still be cumbersome.
With a tablet, I can literally just pop it into my large purse and be on my way. But let’s face it. Not all tablets are created alike and finding the best one for writing can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
So, I’m going to go over my top 5 picks for best tablet for writing and help clue you in on some of the key criteria you should consider when shopping for one.
I want to preface this review by saying that this amazing option is very expensive—like most Apple products in general. However, it’s well-worth the investment. This tablet comes fully loaded with all the bells and whistles.
It boasts a 12.9 edge-to-edge screen display with Apple’s Liquid Retina display tech complete with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 Wide Color. Essentially, it’s one of the best tablet screens to do it. It’s bright, clear, and sharp enough for any task you’re performing, and it won’t hurt your eyes while doing it.
It also comes with three different pro quality cameras and LiDAR scanner which helps you augment all your photos and allow for the use of a FaceID security system. You can also easily hookup their Magic Keyboard and trackpad. As far as smaller keyboards are concerned, these are actually pretty awesome. Also, if you’re feeling old school, it works perfectly well with the Apple Pencil, so you can jot down anything that comes to mind.
And there’s really no need for you to ever worry about storage either. You can save either directly to the cloud or use the internal storage which can be up to 1 TB! If that’s not enough, Apple provides more than enough accessories such as stands, speakers, and more to help you make this your own.
While it is expensive, I feel like you can’t really get a better tablet—especially if you’re a Mac user.
Now if you’re a PC user, you’re going to preferably want a Windows powered tablet. This will allow you to have full synchroneity with your primary workstation. And there’s no better tablet on the market right now for that than the Microsoft Surface Pro 7.
It’s Microsoft’s latest rendition in their popular line of Surface tablets. The first thing that catches my attention when looking at this tab is its 8GB LPDDR4x RAM. This amount of RAM actually rivals most laptops and home desktops ensuring that you have a smooth, powerful machine.
I’m also a huge fan of the display. While it’s not as great as the iPad’s, it’s still rather impressive. When in its stand, the Surface Pro 7 is 12.3 inches tall giving you a full foot (and some change) of view.
Another giant pro to this machine is the number of ports that come with it. It’s got a USB Type C and A port, Headphone/Microphone input/output, Surface Connect Port, and a MicroSD card reader. And it’s fully equipped with Wi-fi 6 and Bluetooth. This is an ideal tablet for PC writers on the go.
Before I converted over to the Mac lifestyle, I was a very dedicated PC user. And most of my PC’s were HP. I might catch some flak for saying this, but…HP makes a pretty decent computer. Sure, they’re not the most powerful around. And you’re not going to get the best display. But you’re going to have a machine that runs well and makes you feel like you’re getting some real premium features on a budget.
This ideology has been passed down from their desktops and laptops to their tablets. They come with the same 8GB of RAM like the Surface Pro above with a 256 SSD drive standard storage. And it’s equipped with Windows 10 Pro.
Now, it’s only got two cameras. One front facing and another rear cam. But if you’re just using it for writing… There’s no need to really bother with those. It also includes some accessories such as the HP Active Pen and detachable keyboard–both of which you’ll need to purchase separately with the iPad.
And although it only has two processors, it still can get the job done. This is a seriously good little workhorse. It may not have all the bells and whistles like the iPad or Microsoft Surface, but I’d happily recommend this to anyone looking for versatility at an affordable price.
Android tablets can be rather polarizing. Often, you either love em… or not. And normally, I’m not a big fan. There’s just so much more that you can do on a dedicated Windows or iPadOS platform. However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is making reevaluate my beliefs. It’s equipped with Android 10 OS and it runs extraordinarily smooth. There’s few hiccups to the performance of the machine–thanks in part to 6 GBs of RAM and its Octa-core processing system.
It also comes with an 11-inch screen which is more than respectable when it comes to Android tablets. The bezels aren’t the greatest, but they’re definitely acceptable. You’ll have no problems being on this screen for hours as need be. The colors could pop a bit more, and black tones could be deeper. But it’s not a terrible display. And I do love the fact that there is a dedicated attachable keyboard and stylus for this machine. However, the keyboard is sold separately.
The biggest issue I have with this tablet (and Androids in general) is that it can be difficult to get full- featured writing platforms that are trusted and run smoothly. While MS Word will run on Android devices, it seems clunky and out of place. I find Google Docs to be much more forgiving on Android devices. However, this could just be my bias showing and I’m giving these “Android misgivings” the benefit of the doubt. If anyone has had better Android experiences than me, please share in the comments below.
Last on our list of the best tablet for writing is the Lenovo Flex 14. This is another Windows powered unit, so you can be rest assured that your favorite word processing platforms will be available. Also, it’s a tad bit more powerful than your standard tablet. That’s because it’s more of a laptop than an actual tablet. So why is it one this list? Because it’s built like a tablet with the exception of its non-detachable keyboard.
It comes equipped with 12GB of DDR4 RAM which is more than most desktop computers these days. This ensures that everything runs smoothly without any bumps or hiccups. However, it only comes with 256 GB of storage which can be a bit underwhelming after so much memory.
Another reason I like to compare it to tablets is because of its touchscreen technology. This isn’t your normal laptop. Not only is it touchscreen, but it comes with a sweet stylus as well to jot down quick notes and attach signatures. As far as pricing goes, the Flex lies in the middle of the pack. It’s not too expensive, but it’s not the cheapest option either. All-in-all, this machine is great for those looking for a mid-tier tablet with laptop capabilities.
Selecting the right tablet for you doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to know what to look for. However, this can be easier said than done depending on what your particular needs are.
My number one pick might not necessarily be yours due to a number of reasons while I’d want to steer clear of something meant for you.
So, to prevent that from happening, here are some of the factors you need to examine when purchasing the best tablet for writing for you.
Choosing the right operating system is crucial.
Some new quality tablets you’ll come across can operate on Windows 10. Simply put, they’ll be able to run most files and programs that operate within the Windows ecosystem—i.e., Word, Excel, Office, etc. And it’ll probably come standard with Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge—which you can then use to get Chrome or Firefox.
You’ll also generally be able to run Windows based writing programs on it as well such as Evernote and Scrivener. And if your primary working hub is a PC, getting a Windows powered tablet might be your best choice.
However, if you’re a Mac user, a Windows tablet isn’t going to synergize with your work as much as you’d probably like. That’s why you’ll need to opt for an iPad. They run on iPadOS which is specifically designed to fit right in with your suite of Apple products.
And while you can’t run Vellum on it (get hot on getting that started, Vellum. Please.), you can still run a bevy of other processors and tools that will easily sync up with your primary workstation.
For those on a budget, you’ll come across a ton of different selections for Android powered tablets. Now, Android has its definite pros with being cheaper and able to download tons of different applications, but they tend to be much more limited than the Windows or iPad powerhouses.
Google has also released a line of tablets that operate on a cloud-based OS. However, since their poor release, the line has been discontinued. So until Google comes out with something new and improved, I recommend steering clear of any used Google tablets.
Essentially what I’m getting at is this… If you’re a PC user, your best bet is a Windows tablet. And an iPad or Mac users. These are your two best options. However, if you’re on a budget and are just looking for a simple note taking machine and not a full-blown setup, Android tablets may suffice.
I don’t know about you, but my eyes fail me a little bit more each and every day. Honestly. My vision is terrible. And there’s no way I can imagine myself hunched over a tiny little screen and pumping out good quality work—especially if I’m having trouble reading my own writing.
That’s why I prefer a larger screen. Sure, larger screens take up more space physically. But even the largest tablet (outside of those used for scientific or animation) is still smaller than most laptops.
And yes, while size does matter in this case, it’s also about the quality of the screen as well. You can have the biggest screen in the world, and it isn’t going to mean jack if the resolution and pixel density sucks.
Fortunately, most new tablets boast resolutions such as Full HD, 2K, or even 4K. And that’s really great for those looking to play games, surf the web, and watch movies. However, for writing, you really need to pay attention to pixel density.
Having a high PPI (pixel per inch) is super important for writers because that will determine how sharp text will appear on screen. Essentially the higher the PPI, the clearer the text. Lately, Apple’s been winning this battle with their Retina tech which actually displays more pixels than your eye can actually see. This gives you the sharpest possible text you can get.
You can pick up a tablet without considering its battery life. Wouldn’t it just be terrible if you could only get in a scant hour or two of writing without having to plugin? Even the best tablets can be crippled by poor battery life. And that’s on a tablet trait any on-the-go writer needs.
But there is some good news. Most quality tablets have longer battery life than that of your laptop. And if you’ll be using basic word processing tools or other light programs, you should get more than enough time during your day of use before having to recharge.
This doesn’t tend to be too much of a problem for writers because text documents take up very little space. In fact, even the largest text doc won’t even make a dent in most tablet storages. However, pictures and videos do.
If your writing has pictures and illustrations, you’re going to find yourself running out of space much faster than you would imagine. And if you’re using videos for online blogging…storage is going to become a primary concern very quickly.
Thankfully, most tablets have different connective ports where you can insert an SD card or USB external hard drive. However, be warned. The cheaper the tablet, the more likely you’re going to need extra storage.
One easy workaround is to use online cloud storage. But this requires you to have WIFI or a cellular signal to operate. Which brings me to my next point…
Your tablet should easily be able to connect to WIFI and through cellular data. This won’t just help with storage, but with sending emails, performing research, transferring files, consolidating data, and so much more!
Look, I understand the importance of pen and paper. And I manually write down way more things than I should. But we’re in the Information Age now, and we should at least ensure that our working devices have the capability to access it.
If you’re planning on doing some heavy-duty writing, you should at least consider using an external keyboard. On-screen touch keyboards are becoming better and better with each generation of tablet, but they still can’t hold a candle to a physical keyboard—especially for dedicated writing.
Almost every tablet worth its microprocessors has Bluetooth capabilities. It might behoove you to pick up a Bluetooth travel keyboard (and mouse) and use it them in conjunction with your tablet.
There’s no way you can be a tablet writer without having a quality word processor. And as far as this is concerned, there’s three main options (outside of specialty programs like Scrivener).
Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Apple Pages.
Microsoft Word has been around for what seems like forever, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And that’s because it’s one of the best word processors around. Period. As a matter of fact, I use it on a daily basis. And I’m a converted-to Mac user. It’s super-intuitive and has a full stock of options, inserts, and doodads you need to create your masterpiece. However, it can be a bit heavy for some tablets. But if you can stick with a Windows tablet or iPad, you should be able to run it just fine.
Google Docs is another excellent platform. Now, it’s not as in-depth as Microsoft Word, but it more than gets the job done. It’s also very easy to use—if not more so than Word—and can provide in-depth sharing options for co-authors or writing agencies. However, it requires internet connectivity to be at its best. And if you’re out adventuring, that may be difficult to find.
While Apple and Mac lead the way in several different aspects, their word processor isn’t one of those areas. They’ve still got a long way to go IMHO to be able to truly compete with Word and Google Docs. It’s still rather clunky on an iMac; however, Apple has been able to streamline it as an app which bolsters its usability. If you do take the iPad approach, I recommend just downloading MS Word from the App Store. You’ll thank me later.
If you’re going to pinpoint the best writing tablet for you, the number one place to start is the OS. While I don’t want to discourage free market competition, you should really stick to one of the big 2 companies: Windows or Mac. And it’s best to choose the option that best fits in with your primary workspace. Now, if this tablet will be your primary, then feel free to choose whichever.
Screen size and quality is the next big issue you should solve. How big can you handle? And what is the best quality for your budget? You’re going to be staring at this screen quite a bit, so you’ll need to get comfortable with it.
The next major issue to address is connect-ability. Can the tablet logon to a WIFI signal or access cellular data easily? If not, move on to the next option.
While storage and on-screen keyboards are important, they can always be adjusted through external means so they’re not as critical as the criteria mentioned above. But if the tablet you’re looking at doesn’t have any option to upgrade…again, move along to another option.
Finding the right writing tablet for you can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. Hopefully, I’ve been able to shed some light into this buying process and point you in the right direction.