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The Best Tablets for Taking Notes for School and Work (Plus the Best Deals Right Now)


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While shorthand and cursive are handy skills when it comes to hastily jotting ideas, there’s no denying that technology can offer the best of both digital and analog worlds when it comes to note-taking. More than just a glorified smartphone, the best tablets for taking notes also work with a stylus so you can quickly write things down, keep everything organized on a hard drive or cloud, and search through everything later — which is why they’re perfect for high schoolers, college students and professionals.

If you’re debating which note-taking tablet with stylus compatibility is right for you, consider whether you’re also using it for reading, web browsing, checking emails, watching videos and playing games in addition to writing, compiling lists or drawing. Generally speaking, a good tablet for multitasking should have at least three gigabytes (GB) of memory (RAM) and 128 GB of storage so you can play content, download files and create documents. Many devices also allow you to expand storage with an SD card, and today’s tech means you’ll also get decent front and back cameras for quickly snapping photos (like that whiteboard before it’s erased) and video calling.

Another factor to consider is security. Most devices now have secure authentication such as facial or fingerprint recognition in addition to a standard passcode, so your notes, files, email and other content stay safe if you ever lose your device. Seamless cloud backup is also important for the same reason.

Related: The Best Tablet Accessories, From Stylish Bluetooth Keyboards to Slim Cases

Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best tablets for note-taking at school or work, from the latest Apple and Microsoft releases to options for Android users. All of our selections are compatible with stylus pens and equipped with the above-recommended specs, and they’re also available in other options (say, more or less memory or storage) to adapt to your needs or budget and are compatible with most note-taking apps such as GoodNotes, Microsoft OneNote, Notability, Apple Notes and others.

And right now, all of the top note-taking tablets on our list are on sale, including the latest 2022 Apple iPad Air (from $551, reg. $599), Samsung’s Galaxy Tab devices and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 (it’s worth noting that the new Surface Pro 9 tablet was announced today and will be released Oct. 24). Check out our top productivity-friendly picks below, many of which make a great gift for students, gamers and techies.

The Best Tablets for Taking Notes at a Glance

1. 2021 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Wi-Fi, 128 GB


  • Screen size 12.9 inches (also available in 11-inch size)
  • Dimensions 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches
  • Operating system iPadOS 15
  • CPU & GPU Apple M1 8-core CPU chip with 8-core GPU and Neural Engine
  • Memory 8 GB RAM
  • Storage 128 GB (also available in 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB)
  • Cameras 12 MP wide rear / 10 MP ultra-wide front / LiDAR scanner
  • Security FaceID
  • Battery life Up to 10 hours
  • Port 1 Thunderbolt
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight 1.5 pounds

AMAZON DEAL: 2021 Apple iPad Pro with Wi-Fi and 256GB, $1,000 (reg. $1,199); more Apple deals on Amazon

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $999): Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line device that can handle note-taking and then some, Apple’s M1 chip-equipped 2021 iPad Pro with Wi-Fi is a great laptop alternative for college students and professionals seeking a speedy and powerful tablet. Even better — the 256 GB option is 17 percent off (bringing the price down to $1,000) and other models are six to nine percent off.

When paired with the second-generation Apple Pencil ($129), Magic Keyboard ($344) or Smart Keyboard Folio ($190, reg. $199), the fifth-gen iPad Pro is one of the best large-screen tablets for taking notes without any lag. It’s also among the slimmest at just .25 inches thick, 11 inches tall and 8.46 inches wide.

The tech giant’s built-in Notes app can recognize and index your handwriting, making it easier to search what you’ve jotted down. What’s great is you can also tap on your iPad’s lock screen with the Pencil to start taking notes without unlocking the device, and you can save it all on iCloud for seamless access across all of your Apple devices.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro features 5G connectivity and a vibrant Liquid Retina display with XDR for color-faithful viewing, while 12MP cameras and a LiDAR scanner (which can “mesh” objects and spaces) let you take visual notes or stunning HDR photos alike. The device’s True Tone (which adapts to your lighting), adaptive ProMotion refresh rate and next-level contrast ratio combine to perform for moviegoers, gamers, graphic designers and video editors seeking a powerful on-the-go experience.

2021 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Courtesy of Amazon

2021 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi‑Fi, 128GB) – Space Gray



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2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Tablet, 128 GB


  • Screen size 11 inches
  • Dimensions 10 x 6.5 x 0.25 inches
  • Operating system Android 10
  • CPU & GPU Qualcomm Snapdragon8 Gen 1 Octa Core processor
  • Memory 6 GB RAM (also available in 8 GB RAM)
  • Storage 128 GB, SD card slot expandable up to 1 TB (also available in 256 GB and 512 GB storage)
  • Cameras Wide 13MP and ultra-wide 5 MP rear / 8 MP front
  • Security Fingerprint scanner
  • Battery life Up to 15 hours
  • Port USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Weight 1.1 pounds

AMAZON DEAL: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ with Wi-Fi, $813 (reg. $900 and up)

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $570, reg. $700 and up): Samsung | Amazon | Best Buy

Although Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 is also a great option, the Galaxy Tab S8 is one of the best tablets for Android users who want a display and speed that rivals the iPad. Larger options include the 12.4-inch S8+ (on sale for $744 on Amazon) or the 14.6-inch S8 Ultra (from $750 at Samsung). The S8 with Wi-Fi and 256GB storage is currently on sale for 19 percent off on Amazon.

Students, gamers and movie lovers alike can thank the 120Hz refresh rate and the incredibly fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that handles multitasking with ease. The impressive battery life, DeX (which lets users turn the tablet into a desktop with mouse, keyboard and monitor integration), Microsoft 365 and speedy Wi-Fi 6E compatibility round out this powerful device with productivity in mind.

The S8 tablet comes with the redesigned S Pen, which now has nine-millisecond latency for quick responsiveness, so you can take notes right after unboxing. The Samsung Note app lets you convert your handwriting into searchable text, sync your notes and voice recordings, manage all of your pages and organize files. You can use the included stylus to control presentations, and your files and content can be synced with other compatible Samsung devices.

If you prefer the functionality of a laptop without the extra weight, the tablet can be expanded with Samsung’s Bluetooth book cover keyboard also acts as a screen protector. For entertainment, the tablet boasts an edge-to-edge display and Dolby Atmos surround sound speakers for a cinematic viewing experience on the go.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Tablet

Courtesy of Amazon

SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S8 11” 128GB WiFi 6E Android Tablet w/ Large LCD Screen, Long Lasting Battery, S Pen Included, Ultra Wide Camera, US Version, Graphite



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3. 2022 Apple 10.9-inch iPad Air with Wi-Fi, 256 GB


  • Screen size 10.9 inches
  • Dimensions 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inches
  • Operating system iPadOS 15
  • CPU & GPU Apple M1 8-core chip, 8-core GPU and Neural Engine
  • Memory 8 GB RAM
  • Storage 256 GB (also available in 64 GB)
  • Cameras 12 MP wide rear / 12 MP ultra-wide front with Center Stage
  • Security Touch ID
  • Battery life Up to 10 hours
  • Port 1 USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight 1 pound

AMAZON DEAL: 2022 Apple iPad Air with Wi-Fi and 64GB, $551 (reg. $599)

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $679, reg. $749): Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart

One of the newest devices in Apple’s lineup, the 2022 Apple iPad Air weighs in at just one pound, making it among the best lightweight tablets for taking notes. The fifth-gen model works with the second-gen Pencil, which offers a responsive writing and drawing experience. Powered by an M1 8-core CPU chip and Neural Engine (which promises up to 60 percent faster performance), the 10.9-inch Liquid Retina screen has a 120Hz refresh rate that makes it a breeze to quickly jot down notes or doodle without any lag. If you prefer to type, you can connect the Smart Keyboard Folio or Magic Keyboard to turn the tablet into a laptop.

Like the iPad Pro, expect easy cross-device access to your documents on iCloud, convenient handwriting indexing on the Notes app, and compatibility with many other note-taking apps that let you add photos, links and more to your docs. Select colorways and storage options are on sale starting at nine percent off for the 128 GB model.

Apple 2022 iPad Air in Gold


2022 Apple iPad Air (10.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) – Purple (5th Generation)



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4. 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad with Wi-Fi, 256 GB


  • Screen size 10.2 inches
  • Dimensions 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches
  • Operating system iPadOS 15
  • CPU & GPU A13 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Memory 8 GB RAM
  • Storage 256 GB (also available in 64 GB)
  • Cameras 8 MP wide rear / 12 MP ultra-wide front with Center Stage / LiDAR scanner
  • Security Touch ID
  • Battery life Up to 10 hours
  • Port 1 Lightning
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight 1.07 pounds

AMAZON DEAL: 2021 Apple iPad with Wi-Fi and 64GB, $299 (reg. $329)

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $399, reg. $480): Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart

There are plenty of cheap tablets for note-taking that offer basic functionality, but Apple’s 2021 iPad (from $329) offers a major upgrade with the new A13 Bionic chip, which is 20 percent faster than its predecessor and lets you seamlessly switch between taking notes or playing games. The ninth generation of Apple’s tablet has a TrueTone screen that automatically adjusts to the color temperature of the room, making it easier on your eyes whether you’re taking notes in a giant lecture hall or outdoors. The new and improved rear camera takes better photos in low-light settings, so you can easily take visual notes.

It pairs with the 1st gen Apple Pencil ($95) and Bluetooth keyboards so you can write down your thoughts on the Scribble note-taking app, mark up PDFs and screenshots, highlight items, convert your handwriting into text, sketch illustrations and design logos. The 10.2-inch Retina display delivers vibrant details and colors for watching TV shows and movies, and the tablet weighs about one pound, making it a travel-friendly option for mobile entertainment.

2021 Apple iPad 10.2-Inch Tablet with 256 GB

Courtesy of Amazon

2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB) – Space Gray



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5. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Tablet, i7


  • Screen size 13 inches
  • Dimensions 11.3 x 8.2 0.37 inches
  • Operating system Windows 11
  • CPU Intel Core i7 (also available in i5)
  • GPU Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7
  • Memory 16 GB (also available in 32 GB, or 8GB with i5)
  • Storage 256 GB (also available in 512 GB and 1 TB); microSD card slot expandable up to 2 TB
  • Cameras 10 MP rear with 4K / 5 MP front
  • Security Face ID
  • Battery life Up to 16 hours
  • Port USB-C and Thunderbolt
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Weight 2 pounds

AMAZON DEAL: Microsoft Surface Pro 8 with i7 and 16GB RAM/1TB SSD, $1,800 (reg. $2,200)

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $800): Microsoft | Amazon | Best Buy | Target (i5, 8GB/128GB bundle) | Walmart (i5, 8GB/128GB bundle)

Though Microsoft today announced the latest Surface Pro 9 ($1,000 and up) and other new devices, its 13-inch Surface Pro 8 is still a worthy laptop-to-tablet contender. The sleek and lightweight tablet is just two pounds and was the first in Microsoft’s Surface lineup to feature the Intel Evo platform, which delivers high performance and up to 16 hours of battery life. Note-takers will get a pen-to-paper-like experience when they pair the tablet with the Slim Pen 2 (on sale for $97, reg. 130; sold separately), while the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard (on sale for $238 and bundled with the stylus) gives the device the functionality of a laptop, especially when the built-in Kickstand is in use.

Compared to its predecessor, the Surface Pro 8’s Intel Core i7 processor makes it a powerful mobile gaming station for casual players, a vibrant screen for watching movies and TV and a versatile device for multi-taskers who also want to create documents and edit photos. (The i5 CPU is also a good option for those on a budget.) The tablet supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth, and can be connected to external GPUs and 4K monitors.

It’s worth noting that the extra cost of accessories puts the tablet at essentially the same price as a traditional laptop, but with touchscreen capabilities. For note-takers and multi-taskers on a budget, the Surface Pro 7 (on sale for $730, reg. $899) might be a more appealing option that still delivers powerful performance and portability.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Tablet

Courtesy of Amazon

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Tablet

$1,300 and up

Buy now

6. Lenovo Tab P11 Plus Tablet, 128 GB


  • Screen size 11 inches
  • Max resolution 2000×1200
  • Dimensions 10.2 x 6.4 x 0.295 inches
  • Operating system Android 11
  • CPU MediaTek Helio G90T Tab Octa-Core processor
  • GPU ‎Mali-G76 MP4
  • Memory 4 GB RAM (also available in 6 GB)
  • Storage 128 GB (also available in 64 GB), microSD card slot expandable up to 256 GB
  • Cameras 13 MP auto-focus rear / 8 MP fixed-focus front
  • Security Face ID
  • Battery life Up to 15 hours
  • Port USB-C, 4-point Pogo pin
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight from 1.1 pounds

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $250): Lenovo | Amazon | Best Buy | Walmart

If you’re looking for a multi-tasking tablet built for note-taking, gaming and video streaming and that won’t break your budget, Lenovo’s Tab P11 Plus tablet is the way to go. (Note that the previous model on this list, the P11 Pro, is being discontinued.) Compatible with the Precision Pen 2 and , this family-friendly tablet is equipped with a MediaTek Helio G90T processor and 2K OLED screen, so it delivers seamless graphics on a vibrant 400-nit display. Speaking of portable entertainment, the Dolby Atmos-enhanced quad speakers round out your on-the-go experience. And for a limited time, you’ll get three free months of Amazon Music.

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Tablet 128 GB


The device comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office apps, and you can connect Lenovo’s Precision Pen 2 ($70, sold separately) and wireless keyboard ($90, sold separately) for easy note-taking in class or at the office. The stylus has 4,096 levels of pressure and tilt detection — so artists and note-takers alike can get an accurate writing or drawing experience — and the P11 Pro comes with Bamboo Paper and Squid illustration apps. Whether you’re a college student or an executive, you can easily jot your thoughts on OneNote, write papers on Word and organize your files, among other productivity tasks.

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro TB-J706F ZA7C0031US Tablet – 11.5



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7. Microsoft Surface Go 3 Tablet, 128 GB


  • Screen size 10.5 inches
  • Max resolution 1920×1280
  • Dimensions 7.9 x 10.8 x 1.9 inches
  • Operating system Windows 11 Home
  • CPU 1.1 GHz Pentium
  • GPU ‎Intel UHD Graphics 615
  • Memory 8 GB RAM (also available in 4 GB)
  • Storage 128 GB (also available in 64 GB), plus microSD card slot
  • Cameras 8 MP rear / 5 MP front
  • Security Face ID
  • Battery life Up to 11 hours
  • Port USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight 1.2 pounds

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $375): Microsoft | Amazon | Best Buy | Walmart

Windows users will have no problem adapting to Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 (reg. $400 and up), which is now equipped with Bluetooth and a brighter screen. Just like its predecessor, it’s compatible with the brand’s Surface Pen ($89, sold separately) that writes as smoothly as a regular writing tool on paper and includes a natural-feeling “eraser,” which is why it’s a favorite among digital artists. Clocking in at just 1.2 pounds, the Surface Go 3 isn’t going to replace your desktop computer or laptop — but it’s one of the best note-taking tablets for anyone seeking a lightweight device that can also handle lighter tasks such as answering emails, streaming videos and browsing the internet.

As far as writing things down, the tablet is equipped with the latest version of Microsoft’s OneNote app, which lets you create and edit Word documents, convert your handwriting to text, search notes and more. With the Surface Pen, you can also take notes on web pages using Microsoft Edge and even write reminders to yourself directly into Cortana.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 Tablet

Courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Go 3, 128 GB

$400 and up

Buy now

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Tablet, 128GB


  • Screen size 10.4 inches
  • Max resolution 2000×1200
  • Dimensions 9.63 x 6.07 x 0.28 inches
  • Operating system Android
  • CPU Exynos 9611 Octa Core
  • Memory 4 GB RAM
  • Storage 128 GB (also available in 64 GB); microSD card slot expandable up to 1 TB
  • Cameras 8 MP rear / 5 MP front
  • Security Face ID
  • Battery life Up to 13 hours
  • Port USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight 1.02 pounds

AMAZON DEALS: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, 64GB for $320 or 128GB for $344

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $299): Samsung | Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart

Released in May, the 2022 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite ($350 and up) is one of the best lightweight tablets for users who want productivity, entertainment and minimalism in one device. We like that the tablet includes the S Pen, so you don’t need to buy a separate accessory for note-taking. Perfect for schoolwork, the device’s Samsung Notes app lets you take notes effortlessly as well as organize your writing, convert it to text, rearrange pages and more.

This is also one of the best tablets for younger students, as the unit also comes with Kids Mode, which lets parents set usage limits and control access to certain content and apps. For entertainment, the crystal-clear TFT LCD display and dual Dolby Atmos surround-sound speakers offer a vibrant and engaging viewing experience (the 3.5mm headphone jack lets you plug in, too), and you can also use the unit as a hotspot or share content to other devices.

When charging, the tablet screen displays your calendar, the weather or your music, so you can stay productive even when the unit is docked.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Tablet


SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4



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9. 2021 Apple iPad Mini, 256 GB


  • Screen size 8.3 inches
  • Max resolution 2266×1488
  • Dimensions 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches
  • Operating system iPadOS 15
  • CPU & GPU A15 Bionic Chip, 6-core CPU, 5-core graphics, 16-core Neural engine
  • Memory 4 GB RAM
  • Storage 256 GB (also available in 64 GB)
  • Cameras 12 MP wide rear / 10 MP ultra-wide front with Center Stage
  • Security Touch ID
  • Battery life Up to 10 hours
  • Port 1 USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G, Wi-Fi 6
  • Weight 0.65 pounds

AMAZON DEAL: 2021 Apple iPad Mini with Wi-Fi and 256GB, $550 (reg. $649)

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from $400, reg. $500 and up): Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart

Compatible with the second-gen Apple Pencil, the latest 2021 iPad Mini has a Liquid Retina screen size of 8.3 inches and weighs under one pound, making it one of the best travel-friendly note-taking tablets that’s also powerful enough to edit and watch content, play games and snap photos. The 500 nits of brightness and IPS LED display delivers vibrant images and video, and the TrueTone adaptive display that adjusts to your environment’s lighting. The combination of the A15 Bionic chip and battery life lets you play or work for up to 10 hours.

Rounding out the sixth-gen iPad Mini’s features are 12MP front and back camera and 4K video recording. Eco-minded users will like that the tablet is made of 100 percent recycled aluminum enclosure, rare earth elements in the speaker and magnets and tin in the main logic board.

2021 Apple iPad Mini in Space Gray

Courtesy of Amazon

2021 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 256GB) – Space Gray



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10. Amazon Fire HD 10 Pro Tablet, 64 GB


  • Screen size 10.1 inches
  • Max resolution 1920×1200
  • Dimensions 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches
  • Operating system Fire OS
  • CPU Octa-Core 2.0 GHz
  • GPU Mediatek MT8183 Helio P60T
  • Memory 4 GB RAM
  • Storage 64 GB (also available in 32 GB); microSD card slot expandable up to 1 TB
  • Cameras 5 MP rear / 2 MP front
  • Security Passcode
  • Battery life Up to 12 hours
  • Port 1 USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G, Wi-Fi 6
  • Weight 1.03 pounds

AMAZON DEAL: Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus, $180

If you’re fully immersed in Amazon’s Alexa-powered world and you prefer to take notes with a keyboard only, then the e-comm giant’s 11th gen Fire HD 10 Plus tablet (available with or without lock screen ads, and in a Microsoft 365 productivity bundle) is worth considering. At $180 and up, the price is hard to beat — but one downside is that Amazon doesn’t make an accompanying stylus for its Fire tablets. Some of the thicker silicone-tipped third-party styluses (we like this Heyday one) work fine for doodling, but we’ve noticed that the screen can’t really pick up some of the finer-tip pens such as the Apple Pencil or Samsung’s S Pen.

However, the Fire HD 10 Plus connects seamlessly with most Bluetooth keyboards, and we found it easy to type and attach photos to note pages in Microsoft OneNote. (Dropbox and Microsoft Office are also available in the Amazon app store.) If you plan on using this for watching movies and taking video calls, you’ll appreciate the value in this 10.1-inch tablet, which has a 1080p full HD display that’s 10 percent brighter than the previous model. The split screen feature lets you view compatible apps (such as Facebook Messenger and Prime Video) for multi-tasking.

We like the wireless charging feature and the option to pop in a microSD card and expand storage up to 1 TB. And of course, Alexa is at the ready for you to add items to your Amazon shopping cart, turn on smart lights and set reminders, among many other voice commands.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus Tablet





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11. ReMarkable 2 Tablet


  • Screen size 10.3 inches
  • Max resolution 1872×1404
  • Operating system Codex
  • Memory 1 GB RAM
  • Storage 8 GB
  • Cameras None
  • Security Passcode
  • Battery life Up to two weeks
  • Port USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight 0.88 pounds

Prefer the feel of paper but want the perks of technology without the digital distractions? Named Time‘s Best Invention of 2020, the ReMarkable 2 ($399) features a monochrome digital display that lets you turn your handwritten notes into searchable text, organize your notes across devices, review documents and write directly onto PDFs. And that’s it. No distracting bells and whistles, such as social media notifications or email chimes.

At just .2 inches thick, the e-paper device is the thinnest tablet out there, and the 8 GB internal storage can accommodate about 100,000 pages. The device also works on 5G, and you can sync files between ReMarkable’s apps for Android, iOS, MacOS and Windows 7 and newer.

ReMarkable E-Paper Tablet


ReMarkable 2 Reusable Tablet


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This story was originally published Aug. 3, 2021, and has been updated with additional products and pricing.

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