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Samsung has a truly premium Android tablet available in the Galaxy Tab S4. And, unlike many other devices that support a quality stylus, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4 comes with the S Pen stylus included — no pricy separate purchase necessary. When considering that Microsoft and Apple offer their styluses as an expensive extra, the value offering of the Galaxy Tab S4 is off to a good start.
That offer improves when you start to consider everything else the Galaxy Tab S4 packs in. The models can offer Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity if you need the extra on-the-go functionality. Storage options are 64GB or 256GB, and a microSD slot can greatly expand your capacity. The Android Oreo experience is powered by a speedy octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM.
The S Pen is pressure- and angle-sensitive, making it extra handy for creative workloads. Of course, it’s equally well suited for taking notes on documents. And, the 2560x1600-pixel Super AMOLED display measures 10.5 inches for a decently-sized workspace. When you need to step up your productivity, a keyboard and Samsung’s DeX can make for a laptop-like experience as well.
The iPad Pro models that Apple introduced in 2018 are the latest and greatest, making them the premier tablet for iOS. And, with support for Apple’s own stylus, the Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro is great for both creativity and productivity. This device comes in an 11-inch and a 12.9-inch variety, both offering either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. Storage capacities range from 64GB to 1TB.
Both iPad Pro models offer sharp displays with 264 pixels per inch. And, with an antireflective coating on the screen and 600 nits of brightness, you’ll have an easy time seeing the screen in almost any environment, which is great for productivity on the go.
Apple’s A12X Bionic chip offers speedy performance for the iPad Pro, and support for a keyboard can give you a laptop-like experience. Most importantly, the Apple Pencil offers superior stylus performance for drafting and marking up documents.
The Surface Go from Microsoft offers an affordable 2-in-1 tablet option for those that want the flexibility, portability, and support for the Surface Pen stylus without the extra power or size.
The Surface Go starts at a fraction of the price of its bigger siblings, but it can still pair with a Type Cover for laptop functionality and runs the full version of Windows 10, so you won’t be held back by a mobile operating system. Thanks to the 10-inch display, the Surface Go is extra portable but still has a great-looking screen. It can also be configured with LTE connectivity.
Inside the Surface Go, you get an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor that’s capable of light workloads, and you have a choice between a model with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB eMMC drive or model with 8GB of RAM and a higher-performance 128GB SSD.
Apple’s premium iPad Pro is no longer the only model that offers support for the incredibly capable Apple Pencil. The new iPad 9.7-inch delivers an affordable tablet experience with the latest from iOS, a solid budget option with support for the Apple Pencil. This means that if you don’t need the higher performance of the iPad Pro but want the capability of the Apple Pencil, you can get it at a fraction of the price with the 9.7-inch iPad.
This iPad uses an older A10 Fusion chip, but that’s plenty enough power for most tasks you’re likely to be tackling on the go. Whether you’re checking your email, sorting through documents, or preparing presentations, the internals of this iPad can handle it. And, with the Apple Pencil, you’ll be able to handle creative tasks and mark up documents with ease.
The smaller size of the iPad makes it a handy portable device, and the built-in, front-facing camera make it a capable teleconferencing device. With the option for cellular connectivity, it can even keep you connected on the go.
The ThinkPad line has long been known for its excellence in the business environment, and that’s held true even through Lenovo’s acquisition of the brand from IBM. The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 tablet is a powerful example.
The ThinkPad X1 Tablet (3rd Gen) comes with an 8th-Generation Intel Core i5-8520U processor and 8GB of RAM. It runs Windows 10 and offers 256GB of super-fast PCIe storage inside. If that’s not enough space, the two Thunderbolt 3 ports offer incredible speed even from external storage drives.
The 13-inch display on the ThinkPad X1 Tablet (3rd Gen) offers a sharp 3000x2000 resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass protection. You'll also be able to draw up concepts or write down notes on the screen with the included ThinkPad Pen Pro. A ThinkPad keyboard is also included, and the whole package is built sturdy, so you can safely take this tablet on the go.
If most of the work you do can be handled in a web browser, then a Chromebook is an affordable and versatile option. HP’s Chromebook x2 has a 2-in-1 design that gives you the convenience and portability of a tablet with the expanded functionality of a laptop whenever you need it.
The HP Chromebook x2 runs Chrome OS on a low-power Intel Core M3 processor and 4GB of RAM. It won’t be the speediest, but if most of your work is with documents, it should do the job just fine. That processor can also help extend the battery life, so you’re able to stay productive on the go. The compact size, with a 12.3-inch display, also adds to its travel-ready capabilities.
The screen is clear and sharp, with a 2400x1600 resolution. If you’re taking pictures or video conferencing for work, the 13MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera will be up to the task. The HP Chromebook x2 also includes an Active Pen stylus in the box, so you can have that functionality at no extra cost.
If you’re looking for a stylus-ready tablet with a full operating system and high-powered internals, then Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 is a great splurge. The Surface Pro 6 has a 12.3-inch display with a sharp 2736x1824 resolution, housed in a magnesium unibody chassis. It can be paired with Microsoft’s Type Cover keyboard for a full laptop experience.
Microsoft’s Surface Pen (sold separately) supports advanced pressure sensitivity for fine control with 4096 pressure points. Whether you need the stylus to handle marking up documents or drafting prototypes, the Surface Pen and Surface Pro 6 will be a fitting pair for the task.
You can get the Surface Pro 6 fitted with an 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and internal SSD storage from 128GB up to 1TB. With capable hardware, a quality screen, advanced versatility, and the option to buy an excellent stylus, it's a truly premium package.
The Surface Book 2 from Microsoft offers some incredible performance internals along with the flexibility of a detachable 2-in-1. It's more expensive than most of the devices on this list, but the 15-inch model of the Surface Book 2 offers the most high-end options, delivering a 3240 x 2160-resolution display for a dense 260ppi that will appear dazzlingly clear while you work. Inside, it packs in an 8th-Generation Intel Core i7-8650U processor with four cores and 16GB of RAM for plenty of multitasking capabilities. Storage options range from 256GB to 1TB in an extra-fast PCIe SSD. The Surface Book 2 also readily covers professional needs with multiple USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a USB-C port, and an SD card reader.
For creative work, the Surface Pen stylus (sold separately) offers fine sensitivity and excellent responsiveness on the display. The dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM can help with graphics-intensive workloads.