While we know how much creatives love notepads, pencils and everything else that’s stationery-tastic, even if you’re a die-hard paper enthusiast, a tablet with a stylus is a fantastic thing to buy that can be a real asset to your creativity. Being able to carry around a tool to fully realise your ideas with is hugely useful, and before long you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
What’s best of all is that you absolutely do not need to spend a fortune on a tablet with a stylus. Whether you’re looking to work with an iOS, Android, Mac or Windows operating system, there are plenty of options available for knock-down prices. We’ve scoured the internet to suss out which are the best of the best, and present to you the best tablets with a stylus that money can buy right now, so that you can make the right decision for what you need. And if you’re after a bargain, we’ve included some bargain options too.
1. Apple iPad Pro 12.9
Apple’s 2018 iPad is utterly fantastic
Weight: 631g | Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm | OS: iOS 12.1 | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2732 x 2048 | CPU: Apple A12X Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/256/512GB/1TB
- Largest iPad screen available
- Liquid Retina display
- Costs as much as a high-end laptop
- Pencil an additional expense
The iPad Pro has received a big makeover for 2018, with a new edge-to-edge liquid retina LCD display, an A12X Bionic chip (which can outperform Intel-based laptops) and a new version of the Apple Pencil that attaches to the side of the iPad magnetically, with wireless charging. The result? Our pick for the best tablet with a stylus on the market right now.
The iPad Pro has dropped Apple’s Lightning connector for USB-C, meaning it now works with a range of peripherals, including external displays.
With the 12.9-inch screen, this is one of the largest tablets on the market, and that means it’s a brilliant digital canvas for you to sketch out your ideas, using one of the brilliant drawing apps for the iPad in the App Store.
So what’s the downside? Well, this laptop-like performance means laptop-like prices. You won’t see much change from £1000 for the smallest 64GB storage, and you’re certain to want more. Add on the additional expense of the Pencil and this is the most expensive iPad ever made by some margin.
02. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
The best tablet with stylus for Windows users
Weight: 771g | Dimensions: 292.1 x 201.4 x 8.5mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2736 x 1824 | CPU: Intel 8th Gen Core-5 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB-1TB
- Magnificent power on top model
- Gorgeous screen
- Lacks USB-C
The 2018 Surface Pro is a small update over the Pro 2017 model, with a slightly better screen and battery life, but it remains our top choice for a Windows tablet. Unlike Android or iOS devices, you’re getting a tablet that will run full-fat desktop software – so think Creative Cloud apps such as Photoshop CC without any compromise on features or performance – and use it with Microsoft’s excellent
In fact the Surface Pro has an Intel quad-core chip, of the same variety that you might find in a laptop. So you can expect it to sail swiftly through tricky filters and have no problem loading complex designs.
And being a Windows PC at its core, it will have no problem connecting to any peripheral you could think of. That said, Microsoft hasn’t yet bestowed a faster USB 3.1 Gen 2 port on the Surface, a missed opportunity for 2018.
03. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
The best Android tablet by a mile
OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64-256GB | Battery: 7,300mAh | Dimensions: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm | Weight: 482g
- S Pen stylus included
- Dazzling HDR-ready display
- DeX mode not as good as Surface
- Android design apps can be limited
If iOS leaves you cold, or you’re already heavily invested in Android software, then the Galaxy Tab S4 is a welcome update to Samsung’s tablet line, and brings in some great new features.
It has an upgraded 10.5-inch screen with a 2560 x 1600 resolution and thinner bezels. A new 2.1 lockable mode uses the DeX software to mimic a PC interface when connected to Samsung’s Book Keyboard Cover, complete with resizable windows and a task bar.
- 12 essential tools for graphic designers
Being free from Apple’s grasp, there are some advantages to going with Android over iOS. The Galaxy Tab S4 bundles a Samsung S Pen with the device, and it’ll set you back around $660/£600, making it much better value for money. And thank the heavens, you can expand the internal storage with SD cards.