If you are looking to buy the best tablet for annotating PDFs, this guide will help you make a good choice.

Our picks for the best tablets for annotating PDFs offer the best stylus performance and are perfect for highlighting and note-taking on PDFs.

Now, let’s look at the best tablets for reading and annotating PDFs in detail.

Best Tablets for Annotating PDFs at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Apple iPad Pro (2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Microsoft Surface Pro 6     Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus     Check Price on Amazon
4 Apple iPad Air (2020)  Check Price on Amazon
5 Microsoft Surface Go        Check Price on Amazon
6 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite     Check Price on Amazon
7 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Check Price on Amazon
8 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Check Price on Amazon

 

 

1. Apple iPad Pro (2020) 12.9-inch (Editors’ Choice)

best tablets for annotating pdfs

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The Apple iPad Pro is the best tablet for annotating PDFs and our Editors’ Choice.

You would not be laughed out of town for suggesting the Apple iPad Pro has been one of the best tablets on the market. If you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem, we strongly recommend the Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch).

With a 12.9-inch screen, and a 2048 x 2732 pixel display, its screen is beautiful, bright and super responsive with a 120Hz refresh rate.

It comes with 6 GB RAM which makes it exceptionally fast.

The iPad Pro’s whopping 1TB of internal storage space lets you store as many images, videos, and documents as possible. You may well buy models with lesser internal storage. Available internal storage includes 128 GB, 256 GB, 512GB and 1TB.

As you would expect, it runs one of Apple’s best operating systems: iPadOS 13.4. Because Apple is way ahead of the curve, you will almost never experience any lag when using the iPad Pro.

The Apple iPad Pro has been built to handle the power needs of a top-notch tablet thanks to its very outstanding long-lasting 9720 mAh battery.

Elsewhere, the iPad Pro speakers are superb and breathtaking! Using the Apple Pencil is a pure joy.

Another interesting thing to note is that transferring items from an iPhone or iPad to the new Apple iPad Pro is so, so fast and can be done effortlessly.  If you own a MacBook, syncing videos, images and other files is seamless. 

With its powerful hardware and beautiful display, the Apple iPad Pro remains the best tablet for annotating PDFs. If you believe in spending money on tools that make your tasks a lot easier, the Apple iPad Pro is worth considering.

PROS

  • Impressive display
  • Excellent audio
  • Fast operating system
  • Responsive Face ID
  • Incredible battery life
  • Excellent pen integration

CONS

  • No provision for external storage
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

Apple iPad Pro (2020) 12.9-inch Key Specifications

Display: 12.9-inch IPS display, 2048 x 2732 pixels
Chipset: Apple A12Z Bionic chip
OS: iPadOS 13.4
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, hotspot
Size: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches (280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm)
Weight: 1.41 pounds (641g)
Rear Camera: 12MP, 10MP
Front Camera: 7MP
Battery: 9720 mAh

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2. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

best tablets for annotating pdfs

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If you want all the functions of Windows 10 coupled with everything a tablet can do, go for the Surface Pro 6. It is well-suited for annotating PDFs, taking notes at meetings, conferences, and during lectures.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 comes with several internal storage variants depending on your budget and needs. It has 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB storage options. You can go for the 8 GB RAM with Core i5 or 16 GB RAM with Core i7. All versions come preinstalled with Windows 10 Home.

The display and performance are a lot better than that on the Surface Pro 4. Its display resolution – 2736 x 1824 pixels – is gorgeous and first-rate. You can get roughly 6 to 7 hours of battery life depending on the applications you are running. Using the battery save mode and the suggested brightness settings will make the battery last a day or more.

The Surface Pro 6 is very lightweight and slim, and the audio quality is better than what you would find on most tablets; it is pretty loud and very, very clear.  Despite the fact that the Surface Pro 6 has no built-in fan, it rarely gets warm even while running power-intensive applications.

It has four ports: a USB-A port, a headphone jack, a mini DisplayPort and a surface connect port. Surprisingly, the Surface Pro 6 has no USB-C port. It has a MicroSD slot concealed under the kickstand.

Basic tasks like using Microsoft Office related programs, surfing the web, taking notes, streaming videos and more importantly programs like Photoshop and Revit can be done on Surface Pro 6. It is also great for light gaming.

Face recognition for unlocking the device is fast and responsive.

Aside from annotating PDFs and taking notes, if you’d like to draw on the Surface Pro 6, then we recommend getting a stylus.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has no USB-C port. We don’t see this as a big issue. You could get a USB-C to USB-A adapter if you must connect your USB-C devices to the tablet.

If the absence of a USB-C port does not give you pause, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is absolutely worth owning. It is indeed one of the best tablets for annotating PDFs.

PROS

  • Impressive display
  • Excellent performance
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Pricey
  • No USB-C

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Key Specifications

Display: 12.3-inch LCD screen, 2736 x 1824 pixels
Chipset: Intel Core i5 or i7 (8th Gen)
OS: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 8GB/16GB
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292 x 201 x 8.5 mm)
Weight: 1.70 pounds (770 g), or 1.73 pounds (784 g)
Rear Camera: 8MP
Front Camera:  5MP
Battery: 5940 mAh

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3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

best tablets for annotating pdfs

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Right now, our absolute favorite Android tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which is also one of the best tablets for annotating PDFs.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is one of Samsung’s best tablets you can buy now. It packs as much oomph as the Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch).

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’ screen is a nice, large, 12.4-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate, bolstering its gaming credentials. Its Super AMOLED display is super responsive, amazingly bright, colorful to boot and delivers a stunning picture quality thanks to its HDR10+ feature. You won’t have problems using it in direct sunlight.

The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’ credentials are further established with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, which is complemented by 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

Samsung has made available three storage/RAM variants on the Tab S7: 128GB/6GB, 256GB/8GB, or 512GB/8GB.

What’s more, it supports 5G connectivity.

As for the sacrifices one has to make, the optional book cover keyboard case isn’t a chart-topper, however, it makes the Tab S7 Plus a viable laptop replacement.

Looking for a tablet that can last all day? This is it.

But overall, this is one of the best tablets money can buy for those willing to pay a premium and one of the best tablets for annotating PDFs by and large.  

PROS

  • Beautiful super AMOLED 120Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Stunning display
  • Very good build quality
  • 5G Connectivity option
  • Fast performance
  • Thin and Portable
  • Excellent audio

CONS

  • Limited port offerings
  • Pricey

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Key Specifications

Display: 12-inch, Super AMOLED, 1752 x 2800 pixels
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
OS: Android 10, upgradable to Android 11
RAM: 6GB/8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Size: 11.22 x 7.28 x 0.22 inches (285 x 185 x 5.7 mm)
Weight: 1.27 pounds (575 g)
Rear Camera: 13MP, 5MP
Front Camera: 8MP
Battery: 10090 mAh

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4. Apple iPad Air (2020)

best tablets for annotating pdfs

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Another good tablet for annotating PDFs worth mentioning is the Apple iPad Air.

It is lightweight, thin and comes in handy for simple tasks.

The Apple iPad Air can boast the same battery life as Pro iPads. It is also super fast as it utilizes Apple’s A14 processor.

As for storage, the iPad Air has more than enough memory: 64 GB or 256 GB storage space. The choice is yours.

Good price, speed, excellent performance, decent screen, and portability are some of the hallmarks of the iPad Air.

One minor drawback is the touch ID on the power button which takes some getting used to.

We recommend the Apple iPad Air as one of the best tablets for annotating PDFs and it is worth considering.

PROS

  • Cutting-edge display
  • Very fast performance
  • Responsive OS

CONS

  • Finger print scanner could be better

Apple iPad Air (2020) Key Specifications             

Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD display, 1640 x 2360 pixels
Chipset: Apple A14 Bionic chip
OS: iPadOS 14.1
Storage: 64GB/256GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
Size: 9.75 x 7.03 x 0.24 inches (247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm)
Weight: 1.0 pounds (458 g)
Rear Camera: 12MP
Front Camera: 7MP
Battery: 28.6Wh

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5.
Microsoft Surface Go

best tablets for annotating pdfs

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With the Microsoft Surface Go, you get most of the features present in the Surface Pro. The Surface Go is cheaper than the Surface Pro. It is perfect for annotating PDFs.

Aside from annotating PDFs and taking notes, you can watch Netflix, surf the web and more importantly carry out all MS Office-related tasks on the surface Go.

It can handle any light task than can be done on a typical Windows 10 PC. Because it utilizes Windows OS, apps can be installed from the Windows store facilitated by the preinstalled Windows S which can be updated to Windows 10 or Windows 10 Pro.

The Surface Go is a portable and sturdy tablet which can also double as a PC with a keyboard attached. You can write and draw on its surface. Be ready to download a few updates when you first use the device.

The display is excellent for the price – don’t expect an Apple iPad Pro-like screen!

With regard to speed and performance, this tablet is just OK. However, it is not as lightening fast as the Apple iPad Pro 12.9, Apple iPad, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.

You can play games (light games, of course) on the device, but it is best suited for small tasks like annotating PDFs, note-taking, surfing the web, reading ebooks, checking mails, and editing tasks on the go as the name suggests.

It has a USB-C port and a port for speakers and headphones. It is shipped with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB or 64 GB of internal storage.

The bezels are just perfect for holding the tab when the keyboard isn’t there. You don’t want to worry about accidentally tapping something on the screen.

Like some reasonably priced tablets out there, the Microsoft Surface Go battery will not last the whole day if you are constantly streaming videos and playing music. To get the most from the battery each day, we recommend using its battery saving mode and setting the screen brightness to its darkest.

If you’ve always wanted a productive, flexible tablet for annotating PDFs, the Microsoft Surface Go is easily the way to go. It remains one of the best tablets for annotating PDFs without a problem.

PROS

  • Excellent display
  • Good design
  • Affordable price
  • Decent performance and speed

CONS

  • Not as good as Apple tablets
  • Average battery life

Microsoft Surface Go Key Specifications  

Display: 10-inch display, 1800 x 1200 pixels
Chipset: Intel Pentium 4415Y
OS: Windows 10
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Size: 9.65 x 6.89 x 0.33 inches (245 x 175 x 8.3 mm)
Weight: 1.15 pounds (522 g)
Rear Camera: 8 MP
Front Camera: 5 MP
Battery: 3411 mAh

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6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

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You should also consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite when looking to buy a tablet for annotating PDFs.

It sports a 10.4-inch display, which is large and bright enough for viewing images and gaming without straining your eyes.

Its internals are nothing to scoff at – given its price point, that is. Tucked inside the tablet are the Exynos 9611 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage and Android 10 OS.

As far as performance goes, the Samsung S6 Lite can hold its own against the mid-range models. Apps load quickly and run smoothly, but not as snappy as they do on an iPad.

For the physical build, the tablet is thin and light. Weighing in at a scant 1.02 pounds (0.46kg), you won’t have problems slipping the Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite (9.6 x 6.1 x 0.3 inches) into your tote, going to and from work or school.

The tablet comes in three delightful colours – Oxford Gray, Angora Blue and Chiffon Pink – each of which has a unique look and feel.

On another important front, the Tab S6 Lite’s camera gets the job done at the lowest-possible level. There are two cameras, including an 8MP on the back and a 5MP on the front.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is arguably one of the reasonably priced Samsung tablets that ships with a pen.  It is worth mentioning, though, that the S Pen isn’t as good a stylus as you’ll find on the Apple iPad Pro.  That said, the S Pen does a decent job when it comes to note-taking.

You may consider using the Tabs S6 Lite’s Dark Mode which reduces eye strain.

Next is battery life – it is pretty solid. The Tab S6 Lite will stay powered up for an entire workday.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite isn’t a perfect tablet. Its One UI isn’t as cutting-edge as the iPadOS. Plus, palm rejection could use some improvements.

The minor drawback aside, using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a joy. It is a good tablet for annotating PDFs.

PROS

  • Beautiful display
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Good audio
  • Robust design
  • Ships with S Pen

CONS

  • Some apps could use some improvements

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Key Specifications

Display: 10.4-inch screen, 2000 x 1200 pixels
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 9611
OS: Android 10
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB/128GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Size: 9.6 x 6.1 x 0.3 inches (243.8 x 154.9 x 7.6 mm)
Weight: 1.02 pound (462.7 g)
Rear Camera: 8MP
Front Camera: 5MP
Battery: 7040 mAh

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7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

best tablets for annotating pdfs

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a decent 2-in-1 with pretty good specs. It is well-suited for annotating PDFs. It can serve as a laptop and tablet.

Its touchscreen display is as impressive as what the previous models produced by the Redmond manufacturer parade.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 now has a USB-C port, which is a good addition, nonetheless, it is not Thunderbolt 3. There is a USB-A port on the Pro 7.

With regard to CPU, three models are available: Core i3, i5, and i7. The Core i7 variant has a faster processing speed than the Core i3 and i5 models.

The base configuration (that is Core i3), comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. If you prefer more RAM, you could go for the 8GB (Core i5) or 16GB (Core i7) model.

For more storage options, pick up the Core i5 version (256GB) or the Core i7 (256GB/512GB/1TB). Remember, you’ll pay more to get the models with more storage and RAM combinations.

The Pro 7’s stylus works great.

Given its decent specs and responsive stylus, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 remains one of the best tablets for annotating PDFs.

PROS

  • Excellent display
  • Good design
  • Improved processing power
  • USB-A and USB-C ports

CONS

  • Almost the same as the Pro 6
  • Battery life could be better
  • Bezels are rather thick

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Key Specifications  

Display: 12.3-inch display, 2736 x 1824 pixels
Chipset: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7
OS: Windows 10 Home
RAM: Up to 16GB LPDDR4x (non-upgradable)
Storage: Up to 1TB SSD
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax
Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292 x 201 x 8.5 mm)
Weight: Core i3 and i5: 1.7 pounds (775 g); Core i7: 1.74 pounds (790g)
Rear Camera: 8 MP
Front Camera:  5 MP
Battery: 5702 mAh

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8. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

best tablets for annotating pdfs

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Another good Android tablet for annotating PDFs deserving of note is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7.

It’s juiced up with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.

There‘s another spin on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7: You could opt for the model with 8GB of RAM. There are variants with 256GB or 512GB of storage. The model with 6GB of RAM is adequate for annotating PDFs .

Mystic Black, Mystic Silver and Mystic Bronze are colour options you can choose from.

As far as the design and build quality are concerned, Samsung nailed it. The Galaxy Tab S7 sports a design similar to the iPad Pro.

At 9.9 inches and 1.1 pounds, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a lightweight and easy travel companion.

Aside from annotating PDFs, the tablet allows you to do many other things effortlessly.

Given its Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset and 6GB of RAM, the Galaxy Tab S7 can handle multiple tabs running simultaneously without any sign of slowdown.

As far as sound goes, what comes out of the tablet speakers is actually decent.

Battery life is reasonable, allowing for a full day’s work.

A minor but is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7’s DeX mode. It still has room to grow.

There’s no getting around the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 remains an excellent tablet, and one of the best tablets for annotating PDFs.

PROS

  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good design
  • Fast performance
  • Thin and Portable

CONS

  • DeX-mode could be improved
  • Pricey

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Key Specifications

Display: 11-inch, IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1600 x 2560 pixels
Chipset: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+
OS: Android 10
RAM: 6GB/8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Size: 9.99 x 6.51 x 0.25 inches (253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3 mm)
Weight: 1.10 pounds (498 g)
Rear Camera: 13MP, 5MP
Front Camera: 8MP
Battery: 8000 mAh

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No. Item  
1 Apple iPad Pro (2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Microsoft Surface Pro 6     Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus     Check Price on Amazon
4 Apple iPad Air (2020)  Check Price on Amazon
5 Microsoft Surface Go        Check Price on Amazon
6 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite     Check Price on Amazon
7 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Check Price on Amazon
8 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Check Price on Amazon
 

 

Bottom Line

The tablets we’ve reviewed are perfect for annotating PDFs without a problem. These tablets are fast, durable, portable, and ship with good internals.

Our picks for the best tablets for annotating PDFs provide the best bang for your buck and are highly recommended.