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Creatives, professionals, and students take advantage of digital notepads on a daily base. But many wonder: are digital notepads worth it and what the best ones? If you are asking this question too, you have come to the right place.
When choosing the best digital notepad, it all comes down to your personal needs and preferences. For example, there are devices that are perfect for professionals who want to take notes during business meetings.
Also see: 8 Best Digital Writing Pads – These are slightly different from digital notepads and might suit you based on cost.
On the other hand, there are many digital notebooks that are specifically for drawing.
That’s why we researched, tested, and then selected the best digital notepads. In our test, we reviewed more than 11 devices in terms of design, price, features, and supported technologies.
At A Glance – Top Picks
Below are our top picks for the best Digital Notepads:
- Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook: Best cheap Digital notebooks for writing
- Royole RoWrite: Best Smart digital pad (Remarkable alternative)
- BOOX Air 2: Best Digital Notepads for Sketching
- Kindle Scribe: best eNotebook (Paper display)
- Sony Digital paper tablet: Most thin, lightweight notepad tablet
- Remarkable: Overall best Notebook tablet for handwritten notes
- BOOX Max Lumi 13.3: Best Premium Remarkable Pad alternative
- Wacom Sketchpad Pro: Best Digital Notebooks to use like pen and paper
- Qi Fast Digital note taking pad: A Budget Electronic notebook with pen
- iPad: Best Tablet to use as a digital notepad
- LCD Writing Tablet: Best for electronic writing
- Moleskine Pen+ Smart Writing Set: Best stylish smart notebook
- At A Glance – Top Picks
- Best Digital notepads
- 1. Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook: Best cheap Digital notebooks for writing
- 2. Royole RoWrite: Best Smart digital pad (Remarkable alternative)
- 3. BOOX Air 2: Best Digital Notepads for Sketching
- 4. Kindle Scribe: best eNotebook (Paper display)
- 5. Sony Digital paper tablet: Most thin, lightweight notepad tablet
- 6. Remarkable: Overall best Notebook tablet for handwritten notes
- 7. BOOX Max Lumi 13.3: Best Premium Remarkable Pad alternative
- 8. Wacom Sketchpad Pro: Best Digital Notebooks to use like pen and paper
- 9. Qi Fast Digital note taking pad: A Budget Electronic notebook with pen
- 10. iPad: Best Tablet to use as a digital notepad
- 11. LCD Writing Tablet: Best for electronic writing
- 12. Moleskine Pen+ Smart Writing Set: Best stylish smart notebook
- What is a Digital NotePad?
- How to Choose the Best Digital Notepad
- How to use a Digital notebook
- What is the best way to digitize math notes
- What is the best eWriter
- How we tested and rated our picks for the best Digital NotePad
- Electronic Notebooks vs Digital notepad
Which type of Digital Notepad is Best?
Choosing the best digital notepad on the market was not easy. In fact, many well-known brands have developed top-notch notepads to meet your daily needs. Remember that choosing a digital notepad always depends on your needs.
Before we present our top picks in detail, let us take a look at the features that make up the best digital notepad and what types are available.
Electronic Notepad: But what if you are a professional who needs a high-quality e-ink device? In that case, you can opt for the latest BOOX Note Air 2 or BOOX Note Air 2 Plus, Kindle Scribe or Supernote.
With a resolution of 300DPI in black and white (100DPI color ), a sleek design, and a premium display, this notepad has everything you need. So this is by far the best digital notepad for professionals.
Beginner Digital NotePads: Finally, there are also many reliable digital notepads for beginners or professionals on a budget.
For example, a paper tablet like Qi fast has everything you need to take notes right on your PC.
Digital Writing Pads: Certain digital notepads and Smartpads, for example, can be classified as digital writing pads.
There are also hybrid choices that double as a writing pad – such as Wacom Intuos and Wacom One, which are referred to by many as writing or drawing pads.
They are commonly called graphics tablets since they don’t have a screen. It is often referred to as a drawing pen tablet if the drawing tablet has a screen.
Also, if you need a top-notch pad that is ideal for transferring handwritten notes to your PC, The Best digital notepads for this use case includes the RocketBook, Boox Nova, and Rowrite. In our test, these three proved to be perfect all-rounders.
Since each digital notepad has its own advantages and disadvantages, we’ve included hybrid choices as well as individual top picks – let us examine them one by one.
Best Digital notepads
In this list below, the Digital notepads chosen are our top picks, but covered in great detail. These have the right type of technology that will allow you to make the switch to a digital notepad.
1. Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook: Best cheap Digital notebooks for writing
Rocketbook’s latest smart notebook has quickly become one of the most popular digital notepads on the market. With more than 50k positive reviews on Amazon, the latest Rocketbook needs no introduction.
It’s a reusable smart notebook that feels and acts like a traditional notebook. With fantastic looks and 36 reusable pages, Rocketbook immediately caught our attention.
One drawback: It’s not as advanced as the Kindle Scribe or the BOOX Air2; but it’s simplicity makes it very useful, gives it a minimalist feel, and is a very straightforward digital notepad.
Moreover, the device comes at a very affordable price and has a high-end app that lets you transfer your notes and drawings with ease.
In a few words, this is the best choice for those who love to draw and write on a traditional notebook. In fact, you will not even realise that you are writing on a digital notebook. If that’s what you need, Rocketbook is the device for you.
2. Royole RoWrite: Best Smart digital pad (Remarkable alternative)
If you liked the features of Remarkable but prefer to draw and take notes on a piece of paper, then the Royole RoWrite is the device for you. This is a budget-friendly digital notepad that is perfect for pretty much any task.
I tested 7 more reMarkable alternatives here
To be precise, unlike Remarkable, the RoWrite is a device that uses a regular pen with regular ink. With this, you can easily sketch and take notes. So what’s the difference between RoWrite and a traditional pen and paper combination?
Well, this device from Royole helps you digitally capture every pen movement in real time. The tab behind the paper automatically detects your drawing and transfers it to your PC. Plus, the RoWrite has one of the best digital notepad apps we have ever tested.
The device offers a live view so you can see exactly what you are writing or drawing on your computer screen. The only downside to the RoWrite is that it only works with official RoWrite paper or slates that have the same dimensions.
In short, this is a great device for students, professionals, and content creators who prefer to draw/write on paper.
3. BOOX Air 2: Best Digital Notepads for Sketching
If you’re looking for a premium digital notebook, there’s nothing better than the BOOX Air 2. The device is specially designed for professionals and creative people. However, it is also an ideal notepad for students who want to take notes.
First of all, the Air 2 is one of the lightest and most compact notepads on the market. The device has an amazing 7.8” display with a resolution of 300 DPI for notes and a resolution of 100 DPI for colored drawings.
Aside from the display, we really enjoyed using the BOOX app. Sharing books, notes, and files works without a hitch. However, the point where the Air 2 outperforms every other device in our selection is drawing.
The device is equipped with a premium active stylus that offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. For this reason, the Air 2 is one of the best digital notepads for digital artists and graphic designers.
See some alternative device types as well in our post on the 7 Best Digital Art Pads & Tablets for Beginner Artists.
4. Kindle Scribe: best eNotebook (Paper display)
The Kindle Scribe is a game-changer for anyone who loves to read and write on paper. The 10.2” 300 ppi glare-free Paperwhite display is the first of its kind, making it easy to read and write comfortably day or night.
The included Premium Pen is a great addition as it allows you to take notes within millions of titles in the Kindle Store. The notes are automatically organized by book in one place, making it easy to browse, review, and export them via email.
See how it stacks up against other fire devices: Fire HD vs Kindle Paperwhite: which is better for reading.
One of the most exciting features of the Kindle Scribe is its ability to create notebooks, journals, and lists. With a variety of included templates like lined paper, grid paper, checklists, and more, it’s easy to organize your thoughts and ideas.
Additionally, the Kindle Scribe allows you to review documents and take notes digitally, which is a great feature for students or professionals. I did find that the price was a bit expensive compared to the more simple devices I’ve tested, such as the Rocketbook mentioned earlier.
You can use the Kindle app or desktop web browser to import documents and review and mark up PDF files or create sticky notes in Microsoft Word and other compatible documents. The ability to export documents and notes via email is also a great feature.
All in all, the Kindle Scribe is a fantastic tool for anyone who loves to read and write and wants to do so in a more convenient, organized, and efficient way.
5. Sony Digital paper tablet: Most thin, lightweight notepad tablet
Sony needs no introduction. The brand is known for its high-quality electronic devices, and its digital paper tablet is no exception. If you need a reliable and powerful business tool, the latest digital notebook DPT is for you.
First of all, this is the lightest and thinnest digital notepad on the market. Sony has managed to create a brilliant alternative to premium devices like the BOOX Nova3. The device is equipped with a large 13” display that offers high contrast and no glare.
This allows you to read, write and draw in the sunlight with ease. The Sony paper tablet also has one of the best batteries. In fact, the device offers an autonomy of up to 3 weeks.
In short, this is a top-notch (yet expensive) device for professionals who need a slim digital notepad with a large and comfortable screen.
6. Remarkable: Overall best Notebook tablet for handwritten notes
As the name suggests, this is a truly remarkable and innovative digital notepad. During our review, Remarkable provided us with many reasons why it should take the first place in our top picks. Although it is a relatively expensive notepad, it fully justifies its price.
Also see: Boox Note air 2 Plus vs ReMarkable 2
This is by far our favorite notepad with an integrated screen and pen. First of all, the newest Remarkable has a large (10.3”) screen that feels and behaves like a sheet of paper.
In fact, the Remarkable display uses high the CANVAS technology that makes drawing, note taking and reading extremely comfortable.
Since this is a digital notepad with memory, it can also be used to store PDFs and eBooks. We also had no problems connecting the Remarkable to a PC or laptop and converting our handwritten notes into typed text.
Finally, this device supports WiFi, which means you can easily connect it to the internet and share your notes or drawings via email or the cloud.
The only downside we could find is that the pen of the device is not pressure sensitive. Still, the drawing experience is more than pleasant. In a few words, the Remarkable justifies its excellent reviews.
7. BOOX Max Lumi 13.3: Best Premium Remarkable Pad alternative
If you liked the premium features of the BOOX Nova3 but want a bigger screen, we have the ultimate device. BOOM Max Lumi is much more than just a digital notepad. We can safely say that this is the most powerful (and of course the most expensive) device on our list.
The first thing we noticed when testing this device is the exceptional display. First of all, the 13” size gives you plenty of room for professional drawing and makes for an ultimately comfortable canva.
But that’s not all. Unlike other notepads, the Max Lumi has an integrated Android 10 OS, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage. So it’s the perfect solution for anyone who needs a standalone digital notebook that doubles as a powerful ereader.
In a few words, the Max Lumi fully justifies its high price. This is a top-notch device designed by professionals for professionals.
8. Wacom Sketchpad Pro: Best Digital Notebooks to use like pen and paper
If you are a graphic designer or digital artist, you have probably heard of Wacom. The brand is by far the most popular when it comes to drawing tablets, but this pick doubles as a digital notepad. Well, the Sketchpad Pro combines that technology with traditional drawing.
To be precise, the device has similar features to the Rowrite described above. It’s a lightweight and portable pad that allows you to automatically share your drawings and notes via email or simply by pressing a button.
In fact, the Sketcpad Pro connects seamlessly with all Android, iOS, macOS, Wacom (e.g. Wacom Cintiq) and Windows devices.
Finally, the device includes a great Finetip Pen that allows you to draw or take notes without any issues. In short, this is a great alternative for RoWrite and a perfect choice for creatives who have more than one Wacom device.
9. Qi Fast Digital note taking pad: A Budget Electronic notebook with pen
There are some occasions when you may need a simple wireless digital notepad for your laptop or desktop PC. If that’s the case, we have an ultimately affordable solution for you.
Nomodo’s latest Qi notepad is proving to be the perfect choice for students. Let us explain why. First of all, the device is very light and slim, so you can easily carry it in your backpack. Also, the Qi has a built-in pen that is perfect for taking notes.
The device is wireless and allows you to draw, write or navigate on your PC. Aside from being a multi-use mouse pad, the other side of the device serves as an erasable notepad. You can use it to make lists, take notes, or even play games like Tik Tac Toe with friends.
In conclusion, this is a handy tool for you, but also a great gift for your loved ones.
10. iPad: Best Tablet to use as a digital notepad
When it comes to using a tablet as a digital notepad, nothing beats the latest iPad. The device is slim, light, has a fantastic screen and is reasonably priced. The standard iPad can easily be combined with a stylus to serve as a digital notepad for taking notes.
As for performance, the iPad has a fast A13 Bionic chip, 64GB (or 256GB) of storage, and a great battery (up to 10 hours). This hardware can easily handle all daily tasks like surfing the web, streaming, taking notes or drawing. Paired with the apple pencil 2, it’s tough to beat for the price.
In fact, this is a great tablet that can easily be used as a digital notebook for onenote. Also, the iPad has a great 10.2” display with vibrant colors and impressive blacks.
In conclusion, this is the best device for anyone who needs a reliable and fast Apple tablet that can also be used as a digital notepad.
11. LCD Writing Tablet: Best for electronic writing
Our final choice is a simple LCD electronic notepad from the brand Cimetech. This device is the perfect gift for your kids or beginners who want to experiment with digital drawing. The 12” display fits easily on any backpack, but is large enough to draw or take notes.
Of course, you can not transfer your drawings to a PC with this device. However, it’s a great solution if you need a reusable writing tablet to make your shopping list, write a reminder and so on.
Summing up, we recommend this notepad if you are going on a trip with kids soon and do not feel like taking numerous crayons, markers and stacks of paper with you.
12. Moleskine Pen+ Smart Writing Set: Best stylish smart notebook
Moleskine has long been synonymous with elegance and sophistication in the world of notebooks. With the Pen+ Smart Writing Set, they’ve seamlessly merged the tactile pleasure of traditional note-taking with the convenience of modern technology.
The first thing you’ll notice is the iconic Moleskine design. The notebook retains the classic look, but with a twist: it’s a “paper tablet”. This means that while it feels and looks like a regular notebook, it’s embedded with Ncoded technology. This tech marvel allows the smart pen to detect its position on the page, ensuring that every stroke, doodle, or note you make is captured digitally in real-time.
The real magic happens when you pair the notebook with the Moleskine Notes app. Your handwritten notes are not just digitized; they come alive. Share them effortlessly with platforms like Google Drive or Evernote, or even add an audio dimension to your notes, making your note-taking sessions more dynamic and multi-faceted.
In conclusion, the Moleskine Pen+ Smart Writing Set is more than just a digital notepad; it’s a bridge between the analog and digital worlds. It’s perfect for those who cherish the art of writing but want the advantages that digitalization brings. Whether you’re a professional, an artist, or someone who simply loves to jot down thoughts, this stylish smart notebook is a worthy addition to your collection.
What is a Digital NotePad?
A digital note pad, also known as a smart notebook, is a device that allows you to take and organize digital notes in a similar way to writing on paper.
With a digital note pad, you can easily keep all your notes in one place with practically unlimited pages and folders, never lose track of your notes again and use tags to bookmark key topics or important files so you can easily find them again later.
These devices come in many forms, including tablets, laptops, and even paper that has technology that enables you to transfer handwritten notes to the device.
Who typically uses a Digital notepad?
Digital notepads are designed to make it easy for students, professionals, artists, and journalists to take notes, read and review documents, and even take notes directly on PDFs.
One of the key features of a digital note pad is the ability to digitize handwritten notes.
Related: See our post on the 10 Best Tablets for Reading PDF files
Advantages of a digital notepad
This means that you can convert your handwritten notes into text, making it easy to reuse in emails, reports, or presentations.
Additionally, many digital note pads come with features that allow you to keep all your notes organized and accessible on all devices.
Compatibility with softwares
This includes the ability to easily import Microsoft Office files and web articles, and integrate with popular cloud storage apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive.
Another important aspect of a digital note pad is the paper-like writing and reading experience. For example, reMarkable offers a texturized surface and virtually instant response time, making for an unprecedented writing experience.
How do digital notepads work?
A digital note pad allows you to create sketches and notes in a variety of ways. With a digital note pad, you can easily keep all your notes organized and accessible on all devices.
For example, you can use a digital pen to take handwritten notes, just like you would with a traditional pen and paper.
The digital pen is designed to mimic the feel of writing on paper and many digital note pads have a texturized surface to make the experience even more realistic.
Another way to create sketches and notes on a digital note pad is by using the built-in drawing and sketching tools.
Many digital note pads come with a variety of brushes and pencils, allowing you to create detailed drawings and illustrations.
Lastly, can also take notes directly on PDFs and use it to review documents (annotation). This feature allows you to add notes, highlights and comments to a PDF document, making it easy to review and make changes.
How to Choose the Best Digital Notepad
For you to choose the best digital notepad, you should first think about your needs. For example, if you need a simple digital notepad for Mac or Windows PC, you could opt for a simple notepad like the Qi fast.
On the other hand, if you prefer to write/draw on paper, you could opt for the RoWrite or the Wacom Sketchbook Pro. Finally, if you are a professional and need a premium digital notepad, you should go for one of the Sony DPT and the BOOX Max Lumi.
How to use a Digital notebook
Smart or digital notebooks are specifically designed to allow you to transfer your notes or drawings to your PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Using a digital notepad is very easy.
All you have to do is take notes or draw on the notebook with a traditional (or included ) pen. When you are satisfied with the result, the device will automatically transfer your notes/drawing to the connected device.
Note that some digital notebooks have a button that you need to press to authorize this data transfer.
What is the best way to digitize math notes
There are many ways to digitize your handwritten math notes:
- Use one of the digital notepads reviewed above
- Take photos of your class notes and organize your notes in a cloud storage platform like Google Drive
- Use a note-taking app like Evernote or OneNote
What is the best eWriter
Although it depends on your needs and preferences, we think the Remarkable 2 is the best eWriter on the market. The device is the perfect all-rounder. It has a large screen, great battery and all the drawing and note-taking features that a professional or a beginner needs.
How we tested and rated our picks for the best Digital NotePad
Our evaluations were based on a number of factors including the ability to digitize handwritten notes, the organization and accessibility of digital notes across all devices, and the overall paper-like writing and reading experience.
Digital notepads that had paper-like writing and reading experience, combined with the ability to digitize handwritten notes and keep them organized and accessible on all devices, were ranked as a top choice for those in need of a digital note pad.
Electronic Notebooks vs Digital notepad
Electronic notebooks and digital notepads are similar in that they both allow users to take and organize digital notes, but they have some key differences. Let’s dive into how the two compare and what specific features each have.
How are Electronic notebooks different from digital notepads
An electronic notebook is a broad term that refers to any device that is used for electronic note-taking, this can range from digital writing pads and notepads like the Remarkable or Rocketbook, all the way to 2-in-1 note-taking tablets like the surface pro.
These devices have a wide range of features and capabilities, and are generally designed for a variety of purposes such as typing, browsing the internet, and running various applications.
They can also be used to take notes and store them digitally, but they may not have the capability to digitize handwritten notes the same way a digital notepad does (using sensors on traditional paper to digitize the notes).
What makes digital notepads unique?
A digital notepad, on the other hand, is specifically designed for digital note-taking.
hese devices are often smaller and more portable than electronic notebooks, and are designed to mimic the experience of writing on paper.
Digital notepads have special pens that allow users to take handwritten notes and digitize them, it also can convert the notes into text.
They also often have a textured surface that simulates the feel of writing on paper. Many digital notepads also have the ability to organize, access, and share notes across multiple devices, and the ability to integrate with popular cloud storage apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive.
What is the best type of Digital notepad for business?
The best type of Digital notepad for business depends on the specific needs and preferences of the individual or organization. However, a digital notepad can be a great option for business use, as it offers a number of benefits over traditional paper notepads.
For business the Microsoft Surface Pro models or other note taking tablets works well in most cases as it can run windows apps (it’s not limited to iOS).
One of the main advantages of a digital notepad for business is the ability to digitize handwritten notes. This means that notes can be easily converted into text, which can then be edited, searched, and shared with others.
This can be particularly useful in meetings or during presentations, where notes need to be shared with a team or clients. Digital notepads typically come with built-in organizational tools, such as folders and tags, which can help keep notes and documents organized and easily accessible.
Keep in mind, there are also powerful Smartboards that business & classrooms use. The functionality of these devices can be described as a digital whiteboard and work differently than many other touch screen devices.
It can also be used on the go, during business trips, or while working remotely. With the ability to access and share notes across multiple devices, a digital notepad can help keep team members connected and productive, even when they’re not in the same location.
What is the best type of digital notepad for sketching?
When it comes to sketching, the best digital notepad is one that offers a high level of precision and responsiveness when using a digital pen as well as the ability to recognize when you tilt your digital pen.
A Good digital notepad will come with a stylus that has reliable pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition, which allows for a natural and precise sketching experience.
The display may also optionally have a wide color gamut and a high resolution, which makes it great for detailed drawings and illustration. Some users prefer to sketch in black and white, but this comes down to preference and overall use case.
What is the best type of digital notepad for college lectures?
A digital notepad is an excellent choice for college lectures as it’s lightweight, portable and easy to use, so the Remarkable or Rocketbook may not be as useful as a iPad and Apple Pencil for college. This is because you’ll need to also access a web browser as well as several other apps required for education.
This means that notes can be easily converted into text, which can then be edited, searched, and shared with others. This can be particularly useful for students who need to share notes with classmates or review them later on.
See our post on the best digital writing pads for online teaching if you’re looking for an alternate device that works particularly well in the classroom to share ideas with notes.
Can a digital notebook be hacked?
digital notepad, like any other connected device, can potentially be hacked. The security of a digital notepad depends on a number of factors, including the device’s operating system, the software it runs, and the security measures that have been implemented by the manufacturer.
If you’re using a Apple iPad or microsoft surface pro in to take notes digitally, then you’ll want to update software regularly and use a strong password to protect your device.
Also… you should be aware of any potential security vulnerabilities that may exist in the software or hardware of the specific device you choose as each has individual separate connections and app vulnerabilities.
Are traditional notepads becoming outdated?
The idea of writing on a regular notepad may seem like a thing of the past, as technology advances and digital notepads become more prevalent.
However, many people still prefer the traditional pen and paper method of writing notes for class, sketching for class, and making diagrams. The psychological benefits of writing by hand, such as improved cognitive skills and mental health, are well-documented.
Research has shown that regions of the brain that are associated with learning are more active when we complete a task by writing than when it’s completed on a keyboard.
Studies also suggest that students who write their notes by hand are more likely to listen and analyze them for important content, and are better able to answer conceptual questions about the lecture than those who typed their notes.
Sharing ideas quicker than ever before is possible with a digital notepad
A digital notepad allows you to share your ideas quicker than a traditional notepad; which is essential in todays world.
However, digital notepads also have advanced features that can promote handwriting and help record and share ideas. There are also apps that help you convert handwriting to text, if you’re using the iPad to convert handwriting, there’s also specific iOS apps that do this.
For example, they have the ability to digitize handwritten notes, organize and share notes across multiple devices, and use it in a variety of situations such as during meetings, for sketches and for brainstorming ideas. They also include built-in productivity tools that can help students and professionals stay on top of their schedule and tasks.
In conclusion, writing on a regular notepad may not be a thing of the past, as many people still prefer the traditional pen and paper method. However, digital notepads also have advanced features that can promote handwriting and help record and share ideas. While technology has made it easier to share ideas and thoughts, it’s still important to consider the psychological benefits of writing by hand.