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05:04 pm: Tablet advice

If you were going to use a light tablet sized thing for writing, what would you buy?

 

In particular, for wrtiing notes while away from home.

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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[User Picture]
From:annafirtree
Date:June 14th, 2012 12:12 am (UTC)
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My kids had an ipad. I found that using it for serious writing (such as lengthy emails) was really frustrating, because the touchscreen interface did not allow for my usual speed-typing-by-touch. You can't *feel* what you are typing on a touchscreen, so you have to *look* all the time. (Although it is possible that with enough time/practice, this may have become less of a problem).

That was a big part of the reason that I eventually bought myself a Macbook Air. Ridiculously expensive, but it is a full computer, has a keyboard, and is almost (but not quite) as portable as a tablet.

The Kindle Fire is probably the cheapest tablet, but it is also one of the smaller ones, I think, which would make typing more difficult. The ipad won't fit in your purse as well, but the screen may be big enough to do a two-handed type instead of a one-handed hunt-and-peck. If, on the other hand, you are already a one-handed hunt-and-peck typer, then maybe the Kindle Fire is for you. Mostly, I would recommend going into Best Buy or someplace that will have various tablets and try typing out a couple sentences on each kind that they have, to compare them.

... Whichever tablet you go with, I highly recommend that you use the free Evernote program to coordinate your notes between your tablet and your PC.

[User Picture]
From:annafirtree
Date:June 14th, 2012 12:14 am (UTC)
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Or, if your tablet can handle it, use Dropbox.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:June 14th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
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I want something for taking notes.
[User Picture]
From:catholicteacher
Date:June 14th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)

Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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I was quite happy with the portability of my netbook, even though I have found that a full sized laptop meets more of my needs, which include a built-in dvd drive.

When I passed the questions on to Will, he pointed out a few questions that would shape the answer:

Do you have budget concerns? The Galaxy Tab is probably the cheapest full tablet currently on the market, but it only has a 7 inch screen and cannot be fit to a docking station at all.

He has found that he prefers a minimum of a 10 inch screen, so that is something to consider once you start the shopping in person phase of the procedure. Larger tablets also have the option of accessories like docking stations and other external devices. Once you start adding multiple devices to you system, the price it going to climb. We started looking at a tablet for me and found that everything I wanted in my system would wind up costing notably more than a laptop that does everything I want.

If you are able to spend the money on exactly what you want, try checking out the Asus Transformer. It seems to be the device that has the guys excited lately.

He also mentioned that there are downsides to using Evernote. It requires use of the internet while you are taking your notes. His office does not use it because of the questionable security issues that brings up. He does recommend Drop Box very highly though.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:June 14th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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I want it to take notes during roleplaying games...especially for the Rachel game, so I can remember what happens.

I don't really want it for anything else.
[User Picture]
From:annafirtree
Date:June 14th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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How lengthy are the notes that you want to take? (one or two sentences an hour? a paragraph every 10 minutes?) Will it bother you to type up your notes in a hunt-and-peck fashion, or is that fine?

Have you thought of just buying a small notebook and writing in that?
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:June 14th, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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I want somthing light and quick and easy to use. Currently, I'm considering either a small notebook or an Ipad with a separate keyboard, which is what a friend uses.

Lots of notes. Not just a few.
[User Picture]
From:annafirtree
Date:June 14th, 2012 04:37 am (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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If it is lots of notes, then you definitely want a keyboard. The iPad with a separate keyboard should work pretty well for that. A notebook is obviously a lot cheaper.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:June 14th, 2012 12:10 pm (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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Where do you get notebooks that are cheeper? The notebooks at Dell are more expensive than an Ipad.
[User Picture]
From:annafirtree
Date:June 14th, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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Oh, I thought you meant an actual writing-pad notebook. Pen and paper is MUCH cheaper than an iPad. There are paper notebooks that are about the same size as an iPad, so it would be just as portable. If you type faster than you write, it would be slower... so the question would be whether the expense of the iPad is worth being able to take notes faster than you write.

As for computer notebooks, a Google shopping search turns up a couple that may be a bit cheaper than an iPad (but not much); I would go with the iPad/keyboard combo instead, because I think it will offer you greater durability than a notebook.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:June 14th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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I have a paper notebook. I don't write nearly as fast as I type and my handwriting is nigh unreadable. I am trying to fix this situation--the situation of taking notes and not being able to read them later--by getting something to type on.

;-)
[User Picture]
From:catholicteacher
Date:June 14th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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At last look, a 7 inch Galaxy Tab was the cheapest thing out there and $250. It cannot take a keyboard and is very small. Anything with a keyboard docking station will wind up close to $500-$600 dollars or more.

Sorry, I keep forgetting to log in before I respond. I think I have just fixed that though.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:June 14th, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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I am torn between a cheep laptop and an Ipad with a bluetooth keyboard.
[User Picture]
From:annafirtree
Date:June 14th, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)

Re: Advice from husband, the computer guy:

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On my laptop, Evernote only needs the internet to sync; I take offline notes all the time. But it didn't seem likely that Evernote would download all your notes to a mobile device (especially a phone), so I wondered if maybe they required an internet connection to run it there. Apparently so.

If you are using Dropbox on a mobile device, and you want to open one of the files in it, (let's say it's a simple text document that opens with the Pages app)... do you go to the Dropbox app to open the file, or do you go to the Pages app to open it?
[User Picture]
From:justjohn
Date:June 15th, 2012 01:47 pm (UTC)
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A clipboard and paper.

Generally, I prefer keyboards to the whole pad concept.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:June 15th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
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The clipboard and paper thing just hasn't been working for me for 25 years now.

I went to see an Ipad and bluetooth keyboard today. Excellent option for me!!!
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