Best Tablet for Annotating PDFs and Taking Notes in 2021

If you are looking for the best tablet for annotating PDFs then go through this buyer guide thoroughly. It has now become quite easy to annotate the PDFs or take/make handwritten notes. You could easily sketch, draw, or display any image or information while instructing to class or doing any personal activity. However, the top features of the tablets for reading pdfs are:

Design and Display: The recommended tablets are perfectly slim and light to carry with a high-resolution display touchscreen.

Performance: They all have excellent and robust performance as these are equipped with the latest and updated Intel Core and processors. Thus, these are the better latest models. 

Storage and RAM: The most important point that every buyer keeps in mind is about storage. These tablets have the best storage of up to 1 TB and 8GB RAM for taking handwritten notes. 

Battery: Above all, the battery is rechargeable and lasts for more than 10 to 11 hours with continuous web surfing, browsing, and video playback.

Do The Best Tablets for Annotating PDFs Really Matters?

A tablet is more than just watching videos ad playing games. A tablet device is easy to carry in libraries, offices, trains, planes, and other outdoor activities. Below are the great tablets for annotating PDFs.

1. Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus

Display: 10.3 inches, IPS LCD, 1200×1920 pixels FHD | OS: Android 9.0 (Pie) | Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM | Battery: 8+ hours | Weight: 0.7 pounds

  • Inexpensive
  • Solid performance
  • Premium metal body
  • Comes with a charging dock
  • Battery life is below average
  • Old OS

The first tablet for annotating pdfs we have is Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus. This editor’s pick laptop costs around 200 dollars on Amazon. It is considered a very appealing pick in this price range.

Although the Android OS 9.0 is older now, quality is never compromised.

This tablet for drafting PDFs is smarter as compared to Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1. Its metal body brings a high-end build quality. There are also strong plastic parts on the top and bottom of the body.

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus has a full HD resolution display which is good enough for watching movies, Netflix seasons, working in an office, and dealing with PDF books too.

This is also our best budget pick, luckily. Budget-conscious people will prefer this tab for reading and suggesting PDF drafts docs. This is a device with a vibrant, colourful display.

The Tab has a 5-megapixel top bezel camera and 8-megapixel back camera. Another big addition is its MediaTek Helio P22T octa-core processor whose performance is quite impressive in the Tab’s court. It offers the best environment for running emulators to play high rendering games. 

When it comes to connectivity and other body features, a USB type C port is there at the bottom.  You can use this port to charge the tablet or to connect the mouse and other accessories you like. There is a headphone jack at the top and power and volume controls on the sides. There is also a slot for a microSD card that you can insert.

The tablet is one of the best tablets for folks seeking a tablet for annotating PDFs.

2. SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab A

Display: 10.1 inches, 1200×800 pixels | OS: Android 8.1 | Memory: 64GB 2GB RAM | Battery: 13 hours | Weight: 0.8 pounds

  • High-end attractive design
  • Good build quality
  • Secure and fast performance
  • High resolution, sharp, solid LCD screen
  • Good battery life
  • Low RAM
  • Minor lag in graphics

Samsung Galaxy Tab A is another cheaper alternative tablet for annotating PDFs. It has basic but important specifications that sit in its price range of $149.99 (at the time of review).

Features don’t seem bad but fit the needs. The impact of low resolution and minor lags in graphics downgrade the visuals. So gaming performance is the only major issue. Therefore, you should not go for this tablet if you are a gaming buddy. There are other high-end gaming tabs available out there like Amazon Fire, but you have to spend more on them.

This PDF annotating tablet takes leads on the operating system it uses. Android 8.1 expands its wide access to many more games and apps via Google Play Store.

The tablet does not offer a fingerprint scanner or face unlock as other good tablets like Amazon Fire HD 10 offer. You can use a manual pin, password or pattern to secure the system.

Samsung developed this fancier tablet for midrange casual users. This is not specifically for gamers, artists and high-end graphic designers. As its thickness is 7.7mm and weighs only 0.8 pounds, it is a lot easier to carry in one hand.

Apart from all this tablet does not come with 4 GB RAM. It is in 2GB and 3GB RAM editions. 2GB RAM causes some occasional interface lags. But overall we are sure that both can perform very well while annotating PDF files and book drafts.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Display: 10.4 inches, 1200×2000 pixels | OS: Android 10 (Upgradable to Android 11) | Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM / 128GB 4GB RAM | Battery: 11+ hours | Weight: 1.02 pounds

  • S pen stylus available
  • Robust performance
  • High-end design and plenty of UI customization options
  • High-resolution display
  • Powerful stereo speakers for good quality audio
  • No keyboard attachments
  • The screen is not OLED

Although the tablet is called Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, it still has plenty to offer. As a productive tablet for annotating PDFs, I never realised that I am missing any features. It is solid in features and performance but lighter than the full-fledged S6 tab.

The 5 megapixels selfie camera and 8 megapixels rear camera are worth this budget. This tab comes in 2 categories; 64GB and 128GB of internal storage (4GB RAM in both). If you want more, then you can insert a microSD card in a dedicated slot. This would expand storage capacity up to 1TB.

The tablet has a super AMOLED display and high-quality speakers. It offers a pretty much satisfying experience while playing games, streaming videos, taking pictures, etc. Moreover, you can use a steam link setup too to play and livestream games.

Annotating PDFs is a lot easier and more productive. The tablet comes up with an S pen stylus. This pen takes the tablet navigation to the next level. You can easily use the tablet without touching the neat and clean screen.

With the stylus pen, you can write comments on the sides or highlight the text where you want to make changes later. Also, you can write notes on the scream even if it is locked. The built-in note app of the tablet offers this functionality and saves the notes and can turn them into texture later.

Because of Android OS 10.0, the tab has wide accessibility to Google Play Store apps and Galaxy App Store.

Go with this top-notch tablet if it fits your taste and needs.

4. New Apple iPad Pro

Display: 11 inches, 2388×1668 pixels | Memory: 128GB up to 1TB with 4GB RAM | Battery: 10+ hours | Weight: 1.04 pounds | Camera: 12MP with 4k video recordings

  • Apple 2nd generation pencil available
  • Fast and robust performance
  • High-end design and plenty of UI customization options
  • High-resolution retina display
  • A smart keyboard and Bluetooth keyboard compatibility
  • AppleCare+ for technical support and repair coverage
  • Multitasking is difficult
  • Still limited features

Apple has launched another top featured tablet for annotating PDFs. Not specifically dealing with PDFs but also has many advanced features for multipurpose use. It is of second generation available in silver colour. This Apple tab version is portable with a relative weight of 1.04 pounds. Hence, it has great feasibility. 

Likewise, it has an 11 inches retina display with multi true colors combinations. The brightness of this tablet can be adjusted for taking handwritten notes, reading pdfs, and so on. Its internal capacity is quite enough to run or store high GB games or software. Statistically, it has storage between 128GB up to 1 TB with 48GB RAM. So, a user needs not worry about insufficient spaces or software interruptions, or any disabilities. 

Furthermore, the performance is also quite impressive as it is equipped with an A12Z Bionic chip. This chip works with 64bit desktop-class architecture having a neural engine and embedded M12 coprocessor. Also, it has a USB-C connector and thus supports many devices.  Writers prefer to annotate pdfs using a Scrivener app. You can check out the best devices for running the Scrivener app.

As far as compatibility is concerned, it has wide compatibility with the Google Play store that enables it to install any app or software for annotating PDFs. One can use Adobe Acrobat Reader, Xodo, etc.

Likewise, it also supports Apple pencils of up to 2nd generation that has made it more convenient to use the touchscreen. It also supports both Bluetooth keyboard and smart keyboard Folio. Regarding the apps, it especially has a notes app for taking handwritten notes.  

It can record 4k videos up to 24 fps, 30 or 60 fps with the high-resolution camera of 12 and ultra-wide 10 megapixels cam. Also, the front camera has other multi-modes including portrait, portrait lighting, and Smart HDR. Moreover, this tablet is best for reading and annotating PDFs, web surfing, gaming, and much more with a battery life of a maximum of 10 hours. However, in the normal usage mode, its battery can last up to a couple of days.

5. Microsoft Surface Go

Display: 10 inches LCD touchscreen, 1800×1200 pixels FHD | OS: Window 10 Home | Memory: 128GB 4/8GB RAM | Battery: 9+ hours | Weight: 1.15 pounds | Camera: 5MP front, 8MP autofocus rear facing

  • Excellent performance
  • 3 modes light design
  • Advance WiFi, Bluetooth, and LTE connectivity
  • Strong integrated graphics and high-resolution display
  • Budget-friendly and small in size
  • Supports surface S pen
  • Face recognition high definition camera
  • Less sharp and vibrant display
  • Limited accessories

Microsoft Surface Pro is another best tablet used for annotating PDFs, available at a cheap price. It is also among the top-featured tablets that have come up with back support, surface pen, and supportive keyboard. So, it can be used as a laptop mode, tablet mode, or studio mode. It is available in Platinum gold colour. 

It is mainly designed for business purposes so that a user can transform it into any mode. Likewise, it has a high resolution 10 inches LCD display along with the Windows 10 Home operating system and integrated graphics. Similarly, this touchscreen tablet is quite light with a weight of 1.15 lbs and thus it is ultra-portable that can be ported anywhere for reading PDFs. 

This tablet is best for taking handwritten notes as it supports the complete Microsoft latest version with many advanced features and trusted security features. Also, its HD touchscreen is perfect for working, watching, or browsing. Moreover, it can be paired with different surface Go signature covers and surface mobile mouses. 

Its internal storage is up to 128 GB along with 4 or 8GB RAM. Also, it supports external storage having an SD card slot. There is a USB-C port, charging surface connection, and headphone jack. Moreover, it has fast performance with a 1.6GHz platinum processor. 

This best tablet for annotating PDFs has a 1080 pixels high resolution 5MP front web camera and 8MP autofocus rear-facing camera. So, aside from reading PDFs, it is best for recording 4k videos or for taking selfies. Likewise, it supports a lithium-ion battery with a corded electric power source that lasts up to 9 hours with constant video playback or internet surfing. It also has an ambient light sensor for perfect brightness adjustments.

Best PDF Annotating Apps for Tablets and other Smart Devices

Best tablet apps for annotating pdfs

It has now become a trend or we can also say a need to keep your documents or files with you virtually anywhere. Also, it is quite convenient for people to make things updated, deliver lectures, prepare notes, etc. via their modest tablets – though best for annotating PDFs. For those tablets or studios there come the perfectly matching and diverse compatible applications. Hence, the best PDF annotation apps for tablets are:

PDF Element

PDF Element is a free app for PDF reading or annotation. With the PDF Element a user or instructor can highlight the main points, can draw images, or can also add further information to the already presented text. Thus, one can conveniently rename, delete, copy, paste, or move any pdf file. Also, a user would not need to learn it as it is quite easy to install and use. 

Xodo

Another best annotator app for PDF reading and editing is Xodo. Also, it has always been the top 5-star rated due to its beautiful interface and makes annotation of the PDFs easy. This app of the tablet is equipped with a large number of annotation tools for reading PDFs. Moreover, a user can have an online collaboration with his friends using the Xodo Connect app. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader

This app is best known for its fast performance and simplicity having three viewing modes. It is ideal for small devices not appropriately and has a fast search and zoom function. Moreover, it enables the users to make sticky notes, take handwritten notes, commenting, highlighting, and much more.

See What People Say about Annotating PDFs on Twitter

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Q: Can a separated keyboard be used for the tablets for PDF reading and annotation?

Yes, you could use a separate keyboard as well as the mouse but you will have to buy those. Sometimes keyboards are not included in the tab package. 

Q: Which version of Windows is required for the Microsoft tablets?

Microsoft Go comes up with Windows 10 S instead of Windows 10. However, a user can also switch to the simple Window 10 Home. In that case, you will not be able to redirect to Window 10 S as that would not be reapplied. 

Q: From where should I attach the HDMI cable to these Tablets? Is there any specific port?

Yes, you can attach an HDMI cable through the USB Type-C port. However, specifically, there is no labeled port for HDMI. 

Q: What is the method of annotating any PDF on the tablet?

First of all, open the specific document that you want to annotate. On the top toolbar there comes the Annotation Edit button. Then select the text that you want annotation of. If you want to change font type, size, color, drawing, commenting, editing, etc. it would be quite easy with a good tablet for annotating PDFs. 

Q: Which apps are the best for annotating pdfs?

There are several apps that are best and top-ranked. However, some most used applications having five-star reviews are mentioned above. 

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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