While most writers prefer a full-size keyboard for their day-to-day work, that’s no reason why a writer needs to sacrifice the portability and convenience of a tablet.
In fact, for writers who want or need to write wherever life takes them, whether they are in a café, on a train or airplane, in the office or on the beach, a tablet can be a fantastic way to take your work anywhere you need to go.
Today’s tablets have many of the functions and features of laptops.
They can be fully-featured work machines for writers who need comfortable interfaces, fast research, comfortable typing, and intuitive multi-tasking — more than they need lightning-fast processors or huge amounts of onboard storage.
Here are some of the best tablets for writers:
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6
|HP 2018 Pavilion x2 Detachable 2-in-1 Laptop Tablet
What Writers Should Look for in a Tablet
The best writing tablets have what you need for writing away from home. Each of the different models described in this post have their own particular advantages, which is why it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a writers tablet.
Unless you know what to look for, shopping for a tablet can be overwhelming. What are the best tablets for word processing? And what makes them that way?
Consider the following features to help you identify the best tablets for writing on the go.
1. Long Battery Life
When you’re away from home, you don’t want to have to worry that your tablet will run out of battery power before you’re done. You can’t guarantee you’ll have access to an outlet, anyway. And who needs the hassle of bringing your charging cord everywhere?
Look for something that gives you at least 9 hours of battery life between charges, which is pretty standard for today’s tablets. Some even last as long as 15 hours, but 9 is a respectable minimum.
Keep in mind that some apps will drain your battery faster than others.
Your tablet shouldn’t be a strain on your budget. No matter how essential a tablet may be to your work as a writer, make sure the cost doesn’t weigh you down.
Fortunately, even high-quality tablets come in a range of prices, depending on the brand, the model size, and other features.
If you choose a more expensive model, many stores offer payment plans to make it easier to pay for it. But while cost isn’t the most important consideration, it’s still worth considering if you need to keep room in your budget for other, equally important writing expenses.
3. Large, Eye-Friendly Display
Chances are, if you’re a writer, you’ll spend some of your tablet time reading. So, make sure the display is easy on the eyes. Most tablets come with 7 inch, 8 inch, or 10 inch screens. The smallest — with the 7 inch screen — may be too small for comfortable reading.
As important as portability is, it’s not worth frequent headaches and eye strain. For writers and readers, the best option is to go with something with a 9- or 10-inch screen.
Check the product details and reviews to make sure it also has a high-quality, high-contrast display. Size isn’t everything.
4. Keyboard or Keyboard Connectivity
The tactile feedback of a regular keyboard — along with the soft clickety-click of the keys — is something you’re probably used to. It helps you get into the flow of writing.
Plus, full-sized keyboards are essential to typing at your usual speeds, which is crucial to your writing flow. We tend to think faster than we can type, so the least time wasted hunting and pecking, the better.
If the tablet you’re looking at doesn’t have a real keyboard of its own (and a lot of the best ones do), at least make sure it can connect to one you’ll enjoy using.
You want a tablet that will last and that does what it says it does. So, you’ll probably lean toward tablets from well-established and respected brands — like Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft.
Look at the reviews for the tablets you’re considering, as well as tech reviews on sites like CNet.com. While you still have to take affordability into account, an established record of customer satisfaction can give you the peace of mind to hit the “Buy” button.
It doesn’t have to come from one of the biggest names to be reliable, either. The ASUS ZenPad is one of the least expensive, but Amazon customers give it a high overall rating.
6. Compatibility with Writing Software
If you depend on a particular app that’s only available on Apple devices (or only on Androids), keep that in mind when you’re shopping for a new tablet.
Both Apple and Android devices typically have a generous selection of apps that are available on both platforms. But it pays to make sure your tablet’s operating system is compatible with the writing apps you use..
The Microsoft Surface 3, for example, has Windows 10 and enables you to easily use Microsoft Word. But if you’d prefer a different operating system, Microsoft’s Office 365 provides apps for both Android and Apple devices, too.
Best Tablets for Writers Reviews
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the ultimate in functionality and convenience, with a powerful, feature-loaded device that can go anywhere you go and do anything you need.
At just 9.7 inches and weighing just over 15 ounces, it won’t weigh you down. The included S Pen is precise, comfortable, pressure-sensitive, and never needs to be charged.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has a crystal-clear, 2048 x 1536 Super AMOLED display with High Dynamic Range, for great detail, vividness, and contrast.
The AKG-tuned quad speakers move with your movements, so on-screen action intuitively connects with the sound. The rear-facing camera has 13 MP, with autofocus, flash, and 8x optical zoom, while the front camera has 5MP.
It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor for excellent performance and lag-free multitasking as well as built-in 32GB of memory, expandable to 256GB, and 4GB of RAM.
Bluetooth allows for easy pairing of devices, and Samsung Flow rapidly connects to your Samsung phone to allow you to seamlessly share files and respond to notifications on your tablet.
It allows you to watch up to 12 hours of video on a single charge, and then has Adaptive Fast Charging that takes only 3 hours to recharge.
The Microsoft Surface combines the convenience of a tablet with the functionality of a laptop (provided you buy the accessories).
The innovative Surface has a hinged kickstand that supports the tablet in nearly 180 degrees of positioning, perfect for typing, sharing, or watching a movie.
It perfectly complements a Windows ecosystem with the familiar software and interface that are easy to use, and it boasts a quad-core 8th Gen Intel CPU for fantastic speeds.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is 11.5 x 7.9 inches, and only .33 inches thick, more similar in size to an ultra-compact laptop than a tablet, but that isn’t necessarily a drawback.
It weighs 1.7 pounds without a cover. It has a 12.3-inch display, with PixelSense technology for gorgeous color and contrast. It comes with 8 or 16GB of RAM, and 128GB solid-state drive expandable up to 1TB.
The battery sustains over 13 hours of video playback, and it comes with the Windows 10 operating system. It has a Surface Connect Port, a USB 3.0 type-A port, a Mini Display Port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a micro SD card reader. The rear camera is 8MP, and the front camera is 5MP.
Again, it’s not required to operate the device, but makes it much easier and simpler to use, and there are some apps that don’t make sense to use with a mouse.
Let’s take a moment for a quick breakdown of iPad versions:
Currently on the 7th generation: 10.2 inch 2160 x 1620 Apple Retina display, Bluetooth 4.2, 8MP + 1080p rear camera, 1.2MP 720p front camera, lightning port, Apple Pencil. 32 – 128GB memory, 3GB RAM
Currently on the 3rd generation: 10.5 inch 2224 x 1668 multi-touch display with fingerprint, scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, wide color True Tone display, 8MP 1080p rear camera, 7MP 1080p front camera, lightning connector, Bluetooth 5.0, 64-256 GB memory, 3GB RAM
Currently on the 5th generation: 7.9 inch 1048 x 1536 multi-touch display with fingerprint, scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, wide color True Tone display, 64 or 256 GB memory, 3GB RAM, 8MP 1080p rear camera, 7MP 1080p front camera, Bluetooth 5.0, lightning connector
Currently on the 4th generation (comes in multiple sizes): 8 core GPU, 6GB RAM, Liquid Retina display with oleophobic, scratch-resistant, wide color, True Tone display with anti-reflective coating, 12MP 4K smart HDR rear camera, 7MP smart HDR 1080p front camera, Bluetooth 5.0, LiDAR scanner for Augmented Reality, support for Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, USB-C port.
So which iPad is best for writers?
iPad: For the writer who just wants a tablet that is simple and convenient for casual, versatile use: iPad. You could even save some money by purchasing a previous model.
The basic iPad 6 has a gorgeous 9.7-inch Retina display, support for a wide range of Bluetooth accessories as well as the Apple Pencil, LiDAR sensors for augmented reality apps, 10 hours of battery life, and can connect with Wi-Fi or cellular networks.
It’s got plenty of speed and memory for all your productivity needs, and high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. The iPad 6 is a versatile, reliable tablet computer that a writer can use anywhere.
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It’s perfect for the writer who wants a travel-friendly tablet
The iPad Mini is just 8 x 5.3 inches, easy to take anywhere, but with the features and functionality that make it a pocket-sized productivity machine.
It has the 7.9-inch Retina display with scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coating that makes it a great choice to read or write indoors or at your favorite park or cafe, connecting by Wi-Fi or cellular networks.
10 hours of battery life means you can use it all day, and high quality front- and rear-facing cameras make it great to talk, shoot pictures, or make movies from your tablet.
It supports a wide range of Bluetooth accessories and Apple Pencil, supports augmented reality apps, and has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor for added security.
This is a good option for the writer who wants a productivity tablet.
The iPad Pro has a larger, 10.2 inch Retina display that makes multitasking easier. It supports the Smart Keyboard (or any Bluetooth keyboard) for a full-size typing experience that is ergonomically better for long-term use, as well as the Apple Pencil.
It has up to 10 hours of battery life, high-quality cameras, and an A10 fusion chip for fast processing power. It also has the scratch-resistant, anti-glare coating for protection and productivity indoors or out.
The HP Pavilion X2 is an attractive, affordable alternative to the Microsoft Surface, for people who want a 2-in-1 Windows tablet that is incredibly convenient, portable, and affordable.
The HP 2018 Pavilion x2 Detachable 2-in-1 Laptop Tablet has a 10.1 inch 1280 x 800 display, which is anti-glare, multitouch enabled, and driven by Intel HD graphics.
It has an HP TrueVision HD front-facing webcam with dual microphones, and a 5MP rear-facing Wide Vision camera. It has a 4-core Intel Atom x5 processor, with 2GB of RAM and 32GB SSD onboard memory.
It comes with a detachable keyboard cover, for true dual laptop/tablet functionality without an additional cost. The slender keyboard cover is nearly full size, at 91%, and comfortable for long writing sessions.
Speaking of long writing sessions, the HP Pavilion X2 has over 10 hours of battery life. It has Bluetooth 4.0, and 1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0 ports, along with a microHDMI port and microSD slot. It comes with the Windows 10 Home operating system.
Best Tablet Computer for Writers: Our Top Choice
Despite the confusion between models and versions, our top pick for a tablet for writers is the iPad.
The iPad has been the market and industry leader for so long, and is still the tablet to beat.
We love how simple and intuitive it is to use and the huge range of fantastic apps that expand the capabilities of the device.
It has an unbeatable display, with vivid color, deep contrast, and incredible clarity that make it great for entertainment as well as productivity.
And the anti-scratch, anti-glare coated display is absolutely necessary, whether you are traveling, working outside, or have kids that want to use the tablet.
While the lack of ports is a big drawback, it’s a simply beautiful, reliable, versatile tablet computer.
For writers who don’t like the MacOS, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is a fantastic alternative.
It has a great display, long battery life and rapid charging, and the powerful quad speakers that make it a fantastic tablet for work and play. We love that it comes with the S Pen and how the pen unlocks a whole new way to interact with apps and devices.
And the Galaxy Tab pairs beautifully and seamlessly, either with Bluetooth keyboards and accessories, with a Samsung Galaxy Tab keyboard, or with other Samsung devices you own. It’s a great choice for a reliable tablet with the Android operating system.
Today’s tablet computers are fast, powerful, and versatile. Paired with a keyboard cover or with your own preferred keyboard, they have everything a writer needs to work and play anywhere life takes them.