The best stylus for note-takers and artists

Touchscreens have changed the way we interact with devices. While you can accomplish a lot by tapping or swiping with your fingertips, a stylus will give you more control over how you interact with a touchscreen, and it’s a must-have accessory if you need to write or draw on a tablet. Styluses are appealing because they allow you to use digital tools in an analog way, experience increased efficiency with a traditional operation, and come in handy for signing documents.

When buying a stylus for your device, we recommend paying attention to the nib and grip of a stylus to determine if it’s a good fit for your needs. You should also pick a stylus designed for digital art or taking notes, depending on how you will use your touchscreen device. Before you invest in a stylus, it is a good idea to learn about them so you can make the best choice. To help you choose, our list includes an explanation of the best styluses for tablets and their top features. 

RENAISSER Stylus for Surface

Renaisser Stylus

Best for Microsoft Surface artists on a budget

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Logitech Crayon Digital Pencil

Logitech Crayon Digital Pencil

Best Apple Pencil alternative for note-taking

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Adonit Switch 2-in-1 Stylus Pen for iPad, iPhone, and Android - Silver

Adonit Switch

Best budget all-in-one stylus and pen for note-taking

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Adonit Pro 4

Adonit Pro 4

Best versatile fine point stylus for note-taking

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Elzo 3-in-1 stylus

Elzo 3-in-1 Stylus

Best budget note-taking stylus for iOS and Android

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apple pencil no longer for graphic designers 2Apple Pencil (2nd generation) Best for iPad artists

Pros

  • Classy, comfortable design
  • Magnetic charging is cool
  • Works great with iPadOS 14
  • Useful for more than art now

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not compatible with base iPad

The original Apple Pencil debuted toward the end of 2015, and it set a new stylus standard. Not content to rest on its laurels, Apple launched a new generation of the Pencil in 2018 alongside an updated iPad Pro. The most recent incarnation of the Apple Pencil is similar to the previous generation, using the iPad Pro’s pressure-sensitive screen to produce incredibly fine lines with pressure-based variations. The side of the tip creates wider strokes, which is great for shading, and the tip can also offer a fine point when you need it. The stylus now clips magnetically to the side of the iPad Pro and iPad Air to charge wirelessly, eschewing the awkward charging method of the original Pencil.

Before you jump in to buy it, make sure you have the correct iPad to use with the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil 2 only works with certain iPads — which includes newer models of the iPad Pro and iPad Air. If you own an older Pencil-compatible iPad (including older generations of the iPad Pro, the sixth-generation iPad, the iPad Mini 5, or the Apple iPad 10.2-inch 2019), then you’ll have to stick with the original Apple Pencil, which is still a great product.

Apple Pencil 2nd Generation

Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Best for iPad artists

Using Microsoft Surface Pen on a Microsoft Surface tablet.Microsoft Surface Pen Best for Microsoft Surface artists

Pros

  • Best stylus for the Microsoft Surface series
  • Excellent precision
  • Tilt-to-shade for realistic sketching and shading

Cons

  • Not compatible with other tablets and touchscreen devices

If you use the Microsoft Surface series, the Microsoft Surface Pen is hands-down the best option for you. It feels like a natural drawing and writing tool, helping you get the job done effortlessly. You’ll get excellent precision with the Surface Pen with 4,096 pressure points. Plus, it offers a great tilt-to-shade function so you can sketch and shade like you would on real paper.

The Surface Pen is compatible with nearly all devices from the Microsoft Surface series, so you can switch up your use if you own more than one device. But it could also be a downside, as you can’t use the Surface Pen with other tablets and touchscreen devices. Overall, it’s an excellent option for Microsoft users who want a fancy but functional and precise stylus.

Microsoft Surface Pen

Microsoft Surface Pen

Best for Microsoft Surface artists

Renaisser Stylus in black.Renaisser Stylus Best for Microsoft Surface artists on a budget

Pros

  • Great budget choice for Microsoft Surface Series
  • Excellent precision
  • Tilt-to-shade function for realistic sketching
  • Lightweight and streamlined
  • Attaches magnetically to Surface tablet

Cons

  • May not be compatible with other devices

If you’re an owner of a Microsoft Surface series tablet but don’t want to spend over $50 on a new stylus, the Renaisser Stylus is an excellent buy for under $35. Using it feels like drawing on real paper, with 4,096 pressure points, a tilt-to-shade function, and MPP 2.0 technology for precise shading and sketching.

The Renaisser Stylus weighs just 40 grams and has an aluminum alloy body and streamlined design, measuring just 9.2mm in diameter. It features erase and right-click hotkeys and attaches magnetically to the left side of your Microsoft Surface tablet. It’s compatible with nearly all Microsoft Surface series devices including the latest Surface Pro 8. It’s the perfect choice for Microsoft users looking for a more affordable alternative to the Surface Pen.

RENAISSER Stylus for Surface

Renaisser Stylus

Best for Microsoft Surface artists on a budget

Using the Meko Universal Stylus on a tablet screen.Meko Universal Stylus Best all-purpose artists’ stylus

Pros

  • Wide range of compatible devices
  • Replaceable tips
  • Replacement tips and discs included

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer as many advanced features as some more expensive options

The Meko Universal Stylus is an all-purpose tool made of stainless steel and aluminum that has a genuine pen-like feeling. It is compatible with a wide range of touchscreen devices, including Apple iPhones and iPads, Kindles, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, and more. At 5.5 inches long, the tube is about 9mm ac

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