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Most important criteria: that the stylus is not too thick (and that the writing pad can record things from a thin stylus). Superscripts and subscripts are impossible with most current styluses

I'd prefer one that's integrated with a computer - I have severe neck pain issues, so looking downwards is enough to cause pain.

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I tend to use Wacom tablets - from A3 to A5 sizes - and I have them to the right of the keyboard next to the mouse. I am not sure what you mean by integrated though - you shouldn't need to look down as the position of the stylus is shown by the cursor on the screen.

One of these tablets uses a very thin stylus (it is the least usable), the others use ones that are the same size and shape as pens.

I don't understand what you mean by "Superscripts and subscripts are impossible with most current styluses" - these should be possible with all styluses. It will just depend on what point size you want to use with your tablet.

For detail artwork I use my A3 tablet, but even the A5 one I use every day will happily cope with superscript and subscript.

Have you looked at the Wacom Intuos range?

disclaimer - I don't work for or endorse Wacom, but for me they have proved to be the most dependable and usable over the last 18 years.

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Oh okay - do you know where I could buy a super-thin stylus? Thanks! I do have a Wacom tablet, but my stylus is too fat for math. – InquilineKea Feb 1 '12 at 5:00
I don't understand this bit - my styluses range from the size of the ones you get with a Nintendo DS (way too thin) to the size of a normal pen. They are all suitable for writing equations, drawing complex figures etc. I feel the issue can't be your stylus - are you running at too low a resolution, perhaps. – Rory Alsop Feb 1 '12 at 8:31
@InquilineKea Do you have a capacitive stylus, like the one Wacom makes for iPad, or a resistance stylus, like the ones Wacom makes for its own drawing tablets? Capacitive styluses are notoriously thicker than resistance ones. – Belisama Jun 11 '12 at 1:03
Ah good points. Well, I finally got a Lenovo ThinkPad tablet, and while it has a capacitive stylus, it's actually still incredibly good for math/physics equations, perhaps due to the large size of the screen. I don't think any tablet is better for it, now that I'm using it. – InquilineKea Jun 11 '12 at 3:53

This isn't a tablet recommendation, but for inputting equations quickly and easily I sometimes use the Daum Equation Editor extension for Chrome Browser to graphically produce LaTeX math code. As fun as hand-coding LaTeX is, it's hard to produce error free code on the fly while taking notes. The WYSIWYG Daum Editor has taken a lot of the pain out of typesetting mathematics.

You might want to check it out if you're doing a lot of equation editing on computers in addition to whatever tablet setup you end up using.

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Drawing equations as you would draw a doodle is not the best idea. Try using applications that transform line arts to equations: This one outputs both MathML and LaTeX and is free for now.

I personally use paper and pen and later type it in using TeX/LaTeX.

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