5 Best Laptops for Note Taking 2021 – Price & Buyer’s Guide

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What are the best laptops for note taking? You may need to take notes not only in your class as a student but also in a business meeting or at a seminar. In such situations you may feel using a pen and paper to be a bit uncomfortable and using your tablet with touchscreen is much better.

It is true, but a laptop, the right one, will be much better than even a standalone tablet. And, how about a laptop that can also double as a tablet?

It will be good to have two separate devices in one, but with much more features and functionality. Well, there are a lot more reasons why people, students or not, find it more convenient to use a laptop.

If you too want to make a switch from traditional note taking on paper to laptops, first you will need to find the right device for it.

However, with so many different laptops out there in the market, finding the right one may be really tough.

If you are clueless about it, this article will help you a lot to find one of the best laptops for you.

These devices come with useful features and specs that will meet all your note-taking needs.

Laptops for Note Taking – Price

Benefits of Using a Laptop for Note Taking

Apart from keeping with the current trend, there are a lot of benefits in using a laptop for note taking than the traditional mode of pen and paper or a standalone tablet. These are certainly outdated in today’s fast-paced world.

Though all these methods will get your job done, you will have a much better experience when you use a laptop to take notes.

It will also make you look a lot more professional in your approach, and stylish as well.

There is also a far less chance of making errors while taking notes when you use a laptop than do it manually.

There are lots of tools and software that will make the necessary corrections and even point out the errors as you write.

This will save a lot of time in going through the enormous number of pages all over again.

Take a look at the usability spectrum as well as the convenience factor of using a laptop for note taking.

You can either use the keyboard built in the system or a stylus if you have a touchscreen. Things will be a lot quicker then.

As you write, you can use different tools to draw illustrations, add images and graphs in between, highlight the important text, and do a lot more.

The possibilities seem to be endless when you use a laptop while taking notes.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Note Taking

In order to use a laptop for note taking. It should come with at least an Intel Pentium or an equivalent processor or an ARM SoC with a base clock speed of 1 GHz and above.

The minimum system requirements also include 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. A 12-inch screen with 720p resolution and a good and efficient integrated graphics card will also be needed.

If your job involves much more than basic note taking on a daily basis, it will be prudent to go with a laptop that comes with much higher than the minimum configuration.

This will not only ensure a better and much faster performance overall but will also ensure that your system lasts long and can handle any of your computing needs in the future.

Minimum system requirements: Intel Core M3 6Y30 or higher AMD Ryzen processor| 4 GB of RAM | 32 GB eMMC or 256 GB SSD storage | Integrated Intel HD 515 or AMD Radeon graphics | 12.3 inches screen | 1366 x 768 pixels screen resolution

Recommended system requirements: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i5 or higher processor| 8 GB of RAM or higher | 512 GB SSD or larger storage | Integrated Intel UHD 620 or Intel Iris Plus Graphics | 14 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution

5 Best Laptops for Note Taking 2021:

1. Acer Spin 3 – Best Overall

Acer Spin 3
 

Bottom Line: The 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor will offer the best overall performance while taking note taking on this laptop. It also comes with other useful features that enhance its functionality even more. The keyboard, the screen, the audio system and other features of this laptop are worth noting.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 14 inches
  • Storage: 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB LPDDR4
  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i5 1035G4
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics

Pros 

  • The screen supports touch and looks bigger for its narrow bezels.
  • The keyboard comes with backlights.
  • There is a fingerprint reader to prevent unauthorized access.

Cons 

Right from the processor to the speakers, everything in this versatile convertible laptop is useful for note taking.

It looks amazing with its features and its functionality puts it on the top of the performance list.

It is sleek and stylish and lets you work and play in utmost comfort. The strong 360° dual-torque hinge will hold the screen firmly irrespective of the mode you use this device in. This hinge also improves the cooling efficiency of the device.

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This model features a powerful Intel Core i5 processor of the latest 10th generation that can process data at a speed at 1.0 GHz and up to 3.7 GHz.

It supports Intel Bluetooth 5.0 technology and wi-fi 6 which is very fast and reliable to meet your entertainment, performance, and connectivity needs.

There will be no dropouts in the wireless signal with the dual band MU-MIMO technology.

There is also a fully functional and versatile USB Type C port with Thunderbolt 3 support.

You can use this port for charging, transferring data at a high speed of up to 40 Gbps, and for connecting more than one 4k display externally.

Apart from that, there are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports of high speed of which one allows power-off charging.

The 14-inch touchscreen supports Acer Active stylus which will make it much easier while you take notes or draw on the screen to unleash your creativity.

You will experience the natural feel and comfort of writing with a pen on a piece of paper.

This screen comes with a 3 mm thin bezel all around which offers a larger screen real estate.

It is protected with a Corning Gorilla Glass to prevent any damages and scratches when you use the system outdoors.

The DTS technology of the good quality speakers will amplify the audio to produce a clear, loud, and more immersive sound when you enjoy any multimedia content. Check out Acer Spin 3 Review.

2. HP Pavilion x360 – Runner Up

HP Pavilion x360
 

Bottom Line: The 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor makes this laptop a noteworthy runner up in the list but it does not hinder its performance. The security features, the fair enough screen with multi-touch support, inclusion of an SD media card reader along with other ports make it a good performer.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 14 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i5 8265U
  • OS: Windows 10
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620

Pros 

  • There is a fingerprint reader in the system.
  • The screen has narrow bezels and supports multitouch.
  • The keyboard comes with backlights.

Cons 

  • The graphics card is integrated.
  • The keyboard does not have a dedicated number pad.
  • There is no DVD/CD driver in this laptop.

This is another convertible laptop that is good for note taking. It comes with a 14-inch full HD IPS display with a micro-edge that makes it look bigger.

The WLED-backlit screen supports multitouch and saves a lot of energy in the process to add on to the battery life while displaying the crisp and clear images at 1920 x 1080 pixels.

The Intel Core i5 processor is powerful enough to deal with the set of instructions with its 6 MB cache and four cores at a speed ranging between 1.6 GHz at the base frequency and up to 3.9 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology.

The imagery of the system is well supported by the integrated Intel UHD graphics 620.

The 256 GB storage is as per the standard of today but the best thing is that this M.2 SSD is a PCIe NVMe variant and is much faster than any traditional SSDs.

The 8 GB of DDR4 SDRAM, on the other hand, will support multitasking with its relatively high 2400 MHz bandwidth.

The system comes with one multi-format SD media card reader, one USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 port only for data transfer at 5 Gbps signaling rate, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports for data transfer at the same speed, one HDMI port and one headphone/microphone combo jack.

As for the wireless connectivity you will get Bluetooth 4.2 and Realtek 802.11b/g/n/a/ac combo connection.

There is a Wide Vision HD camera for making better video calls along with a dual array digital microphone integrated in it and a set of two stereo Bang & Olufsen speakers that comes with HP Audio Boost technology for a more immersive audio experience. Check out HP Pavilion x360 Review.

3. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – Long Battery Life and Portability

Microsoft Surface Pro 6
 

Bottom Line: This laptop for note taking has a pretty long battery life of 13.5 hours which will allow the users to stay productive the whole day. They can carry this system anywhere and start working or make a presentation because this slim and compact machine is highly portable, weighing just 1.7 pounds.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 12.3 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i5
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620

Pros

  • The screen of this laptop supports touch.
  • The battery life is good.
  • It comes with an SD card reader.

Cons 

  • The screen is small.
  • The keyboard does not have a separate numeric keypad.
  • It has limited ports with no USB C or Thunderbolt 3.

This newest version of Surface laptop is powered by a powerful Intel Core i5 processor of the 8th generation, 8 GB of DDR3 SDRAM with a bandwidth of 1866 MHz, and 256 GB storage. You can easily multitask while taking notes on this computer.

If you do not want to use the Microsoft Surface Pro type cover, you can easily take notes directly on the screen that supports touch.

It also supports a Surface Pen which will ensure that you draw, sketch, or take notes naturally and more comfortably on the screen directly when you use it in tablet mode.

Though a bit small in size, this screen is of good quality. Having a native resolution of 2736 ×1824 pixels, this screen with its multitouch capabilities will prove to be easiest to write on it as well as read and edit those notes most comfortably.

Moreover, with its sharper contrast ratio as compared with the previous models along with more vibrant colors and deeper blacks, this screen is an ideal choice for taking notes.

It is also good for performing a few other creative tasks on it or simply for watching movies.

You can stay productive and work on this computer all day due to the exceptional life of 13.5 hours of its powerful lithium-ion battery. However, this may vary according to your usage.

The system is fast to boot up and operate and will also adapt to your working style in an instant.

You can use this laptop in different modes by opening, lowering and closing the strong kickstand according to your convenience.

The Windows 10 Home operating system will allow you to do more and be creative with its useful and familiar features. It allows a fast login without needing to type in the password every time.

It also comes with a personal voice assistant Cortana which is intelligent and responsive to take on your commands instantly.

All the specs and features of this device will allow you to run different apps and software that you need most smoothly on it all day.

The system will allow you to edit documents, create sketches, and add creative visuals to make your 3D models more impactful. This will help you to take your creations to the next higher level.

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The device also allows you to personalize it for added comfort in usage by using a Surface Arc Mouse and Surface Dial for a better and faster interaction on the screen.

You can carry this ultra slim and portable machine weighing just 1.7 pounds anywhere you feel like to make a perfect presentation to your clients, collaborate on projects, manage your mails, and stream a video as well.

Whether you use it in your office or at home, in school or in a conference hall, the system will do its best to ensure that you have a faster and smoother multitasking experience.

It comes with innovative sensors like ambient light sensor, Accelerometer and Gyroscope.

The powerful integrated graphics will ensure that the images produced are seamless, fast, and have higher color accuracy. Check out Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Review.

4. Samsung Chromebook Pro – Value for Money

Samsung Chromebook Pro
 

Bottom Line: The convertible design of this laptop which allows using it as a tablet or as a laptop makes it an ideal device for note taking. Apart from that, the screen with multi-touch support, the spill resistant and durable keyboard, the cloud storage support, and good connectivity adds to the value for money.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 12.3 inches
  • Storage: 32 GB eMMC
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: Intel Core M3 6Y30
  • OS: Chrome OS
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 515

Pros 

  • The display is good and supports touch.
  • The keyboard is spill resistant.
  • The strong hinge allows rotating the screen up to 360 degrees.

Cons 

  • The screen is small.
  • The graphics card is integrated.
  • The RAM and storage both are low.

If you want a device for taking notes which is light in weight and can be used both as a laptop and a tablet, then this Samsung Chromebook Pro is another good choice.

Apart from the benefits of a convertible design, the system also offers a good and responsive touchscreen display.

Though it is a bit small in size, the fact that it comes with multi-touch abilities and its good quality and features make it more functional.

The system comes with a very strong hinge that lets you flip the screen to 360 degrees.

This enhances the usability of the screen which delivers images with crisp details at 2400 x 1600 pixels, 3:2 aspect ratio and at 400-nits brightness.

Talking about its uncompromising touch ability, you can also use a stylus for a more natural feel when you write or draw anything on the screen directly.

This system however runs on Chrome OS and not on Windows operating system.

This means that you will be able to use this great mid-range device for carrying out usual and basic computing tasks apart from taking notes such as checking your mails, creating illustrations, editing documents and others.

You can carry this light machine all day anywhere you go and work on it without worrying about the battery letting you down.

This powerful lithium polymer battery will provide you with the required power for 8 to 10 hours on a single charge. The lightweight aluminum casing also ensures durability of the machine.

This laptop promotes using cloud storage which means that you should not worry about the small internal storage space of this system.

The RAM amount is also low but will be capable enough to handle a moderate multitasking with a fair number of apps and tabs being used at the same time in the background.

Apart from these, the other features of this device will be able to meet all your note taking needs.

The Intel Core m3 processor has a speed of 2.2 GHz and can handle any given data string most efficiently.

The integrated graphics chip is also good enough to ensure that the images reproduced are seamless and have vivid colors.

It also supports both Bluetooth 4.1 technology as well as wi-fi 802.11g standard.

The ports in this system include a USB Type C port and a Micro SD card reader slot on the left along with a headset jack.

On the right, there is another USB Type C port as well as a slot to hold the included stylus.

The keyboard of this system, though not backlit or with a distinct number pad, is good enough to type on due to its strong keys with good travel distance.

It is spill resistant and can repel up to 60 cc of liquid. Therefore, you can take down the notes while sipping your coffee.

5. Lenovo Flex 5 – Privacy and Security

Lenovo Flex 5

Bottom Line: Apart from the performance of this laptop for note taking, it is the privacy and security option that it offers makes it a good system. The physical shutter on the webcam ensures privacy of the users. It will prevent other people of the world from seeing the user when they do not want them to.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 14 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • OS: Windows 10
  • GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon graphics

Pros 

  • This 2-in-1 laptop comes with a touchscreen and narrow bezel all around.
  • The battery life is pretty good.
  • There is a fingerprint reader for safe login.

Cons 

  • The backlit keyboard does not have a separate numeric keypad.
  • The brightness and color accuracy of the screen could have been better.
  • The graphics card is integrated.

This traditional 2-in-1 laptop has got everything right in it. You can use this system in several different orientations such as a regular laptop and as a tablet.

The innovative design allows you to use the keyboard part of the device as a stand.

The laptop will ensure productivity and the tablet will ensure you have the most comfortable and pleasurable note-taking experience using its touchscreen.

Your note taking job will be more comfortable with the use of the stylus that works perfectly.

The system offers more flexibility with its powerful AMD Ryzen 5 4500U mobile processor. It comes along with an AMD Radeon graphics chip integrated in it.

Both working in unison are as good as any Intel Core i5 processor with an integrated graphics chip.

This device will not only meet with your note taking needs but will also support a large variety of other advanced computing tasks and running intensive apps as well such as gaming and graphic designing.

It is all due to the 16 GB of DDR4 SDRAM, that is not user upgradable being soldered onto the motherboard, which is more than enough to deal with anything you throw at it.

The 256 GB of SSD storage will also provide adequate support to the system to ensure a snappier performance.

The 14-inch IPS panel displays images at 1920 x 1080 pixels which looks stunning on the touchscreen that comes with very narrow bezels.

The viewing experience will be as good as in other laptops with a larger screen size.

Moreover, the portability of this machine and the fact that the images are displayed at 250 nits make it a good system to use outdoors, which is also partly due to the fact that this screen is not glossy.

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In spite of its small size and lightweight, this system comes with a decent selection of ports such as two USB Type A ports, one USB Type C port, one HDMI port, one SD card reader, one separate charging port, and a headphone jack.

In addition to that, it also comes with a host of other good features such as a good quality webcam which is useful while making video calls.

The solid backlit keyboard which is easy to type on and has two adjustable brightness levels, and a fingerprint scanner to prevent unauthorized access to it.

The best part is that there is a physical shutter over the webcam that will prevent spying eyes from encroaching on your privacy when you are not using the camera.

You will get a battery life of 8 to 10 hours on a single charge allowing you to take this lightweight machine anywhere and start working.

When dead, you can recharge the battery from 0 to 80% in just about an hour, thanks to its fast-charging ability. Check out Lenovo Flex 5 Review. 

Things to Look for Before Buying Best Laptops for Note Taking

Typically, the laptops for taking notes should be very portable and also come with interactive displays and preferably a convertible design.

In addition to that, there are a few other requirements that make a good laptop for note taking.

Here are those specific aspects that you should look for while shopping.

Processor

Start with the processor because that is the core component of any computer.

Well, for a laptop for taking notes you will not need record-breaking speeds in the processor, but that does not mean you should ignore this important part of the laptop.

Just make sure that it boots fast and enables you to browse seamlessly when you need to do some quick research.

It should also be good enough to run all the necessary programs and software such as MS Word, MS Excel, Gmail, and PowerPoint smoothly. These are the basic programs required for note taking.

Your final choice will also depend on the amount of work you do and need to deal with. Ideally, you should not choose anything less than an Intel Core i5 processor of the 6th generation.

However, if your job involves much more than simple note taking, you should aim for processors with higher specs.

Make it a point that you do not go beyond an Intel Core i7 or its equivalent for the sake of portability.

This will be enough for basic jobs like reading, browsing, listening to music, watching or shooting videos, apart from taking notes.

RAM

Next, focus on the RAM. You will need a good amount of RAM in your laptop if you are into hardcore tasks.

Typically, it will be handy and enough if you go with at least 8 GB of RAM while taking notes on your computer.

However, if you are on a budget, you may go for 4 GB of RAM as well.

A higher amount of RAM will not hinder the performance of the laptop and therefore you can go for it, especially knowing that RAM does not cost much.

It will ensure that your laptop runs efficiently and will store a lot of data and the programs currently running that the processor can access easily, helping in booting up the system fast.

This will allow you to take notes seamlessly, at fast speed, and without any issues. However, anything above 8 GB will be overkill for a laptop for note taking.

Weight

It is important that your laptop for note taking is light in weight. Usually, the best laptops for note taking are usually convertibles which are, in most of the cases, light in weight and portable.

However, if you do not want to go with these 2-in-1 models, for some reason, you should choose a laptop that is fairly light in weight, preferably within 3 to 4 pounds.

The reason behind choosing a lightweight and portable device is that, while taking notes, most of the time, you will be holding the laptop on your hand instead of keeping it on a desk.

A portable laptop is good especially in a business meeting or a seminar, where there may not be any desks at all to keep your laptop on.

A portable and lightweight laptop will also be easy to carry all day without causing any pain to the back and neck.

Design

You will be much better off if you go for a convertible or a 2-in-1 laptop for note taking. These are more convenient and easier to use because you can use them as a tablet.

There are even laptops of different brands that come with a detachable keyboard allowing you to carry the touchscreen only. This is a flexible and useful way to use a device for note taking.

Display

Since you will be looking at the screen of your laptop while taking notes for long hours, you should make sure that you do not end up damaging your eyes.

Therefore, you must make sure that the display you choose is softer to your eyes and is of good quality.

You must stick to at least an HD display, if not a full HD display. Higher resolutions will enable you to see the images more clearly but it is pointless to go for those 4K and higher resolutions simply for taking notes.

Rather, invest that saved money on a display that comes with an IPS panel and anti-glare property. As for the size of the screen, stick to anything between 13 to 15 inches.

If you go for touchscreen convertibles, make sure that it comes with stylus support. This will make things easier.

Ensure that it is compatible because, more often than not, the third-party styluses are not as compatible as the bundled ones.

Battery life

Depending on how long you will use the laptop away from a power outlet, you should choose the battery life of your device.

If you are a student, anything between 6 to 8 hours of battery life will be good enough.

For business owners and other executives attending seminars and business meetings a battery life of 8 to 10 hours is enough.

Yes, there are systems that come with all day battery life, literally, but remember, the longer the battery life, the heavier the laptop will be.

Once again, a convertible will have lighter batteries with more life and therefore you should aim for one, if possible.

Ports and durability

The ports of the laptop should be enough to suffice all your needs.

Apart from different types and generations of USB ports, find out whether you need an HDMI port, Thunderbolt 3 port, a media card reader slot and make your decisions accordingly.

If you need to use your laptop on the move most of the time, you should go for a durable machine.

Ideally, a metal casing will be much better than a plastic case. Make sure that it has properly reinforced corners and edges and rubber guards to enhance its durability.

FAQs:

If I choose a touchscreen laptop for note taking, should I go for active or passive stylus support?

It depends on your preference. A passive stylus is cheaper, needs no batteries and compatible with any capacitive touchscreen but the big tip will block the lines below. It will not support palm rejection or be sensitive to different pressure levels.

Are laptops for note taking different from any ordinary laptop?

No, not really. You can use any standard laptop for taking notes. It all depends on what other additional jobs you want to do on and with it. A touch screen laptop with pen support is better but not mandatory.

Can I use a gaming laptop for note taking, being a gamer?

If you are a gamer then a gaming laptop will be your obvious and first choice. However, even for a non-gamer, a gaming laptop is better to have just for the high-end specs, but then affordability is what matters.

How more RAM in a laptop can help in note taking?

Most of the laptops today come with 8 GB of RAM which is enough for the basic and most of the complex computing tasks. However, if you have to multitask often with several tabs and apps open, 16 GB of RAM will be a more realistic and prudent investment.

Can I go with a smaller SSD laptop for note taking?

Yes, of course, provided your files are not very large and you do not need to store a humongous number of files, images, and other things in your hard drive.