Are Android Tablets good for note-taking?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Rommie2k6, May 4, 2012.

  1. Rommie2k6

    Rommie2k6 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I've been using a convertible Tablet PC since 2006, and I've moved to a normal laptop recently cause my work requires much more horsepower on the laptop.

    Are the recent flood of "tablets" based on Android as good as the classical Windows Tablet PC convertible for note-taking?

    There's a few problems that I can think of:
    1) Software. Windows Table PC had OneNote and Windows Journal... is there anything comparable in terms of software?
    2) Inking. All Android Tablets come with capacitive screen, and those don't seem to be very ink capable. I want as good a inking experience as I had with a Wacom digitzer on my old Fujitsu T2010. Are Android tablets up to the standard?


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Atm, you might give a go with HTC Flyer (7"), HTC JetStream or Thinkpad Tablet (10") but they all use N-Trig digitizer.

    I'm currently using a Thinkpad Tablet with a decent app called LectureNotes for taking lecture notes instead of my bulky Thinkpad X201T, and find it surprisingly great. The slate is much lighter, inking capable and has longer battery life. As for the app, it comes with highly-customised pens, marker, eraser and paper; drawing and selection tool; exporting to pdf and importing picture; and layers. Pen button can be assigned to eraser, a customised pen or selection tool. Long story shorts, it's comparable to Journal, it doesn't have in-text searching and recording tool like OneNote though

    However, the infamous issue of power button not being soldered firmly enough makes me hesitant to recommend the TPT though I haven't faced one. Or you might wait for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note which is also a 10" Android-based device and has Wacom digitizer.
     
  3. KLF

    KLF Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I had my hands briefly on the Thinkpad android tablet and writing with it was annoying because it would take my hand as a screen press. I didn't have time to practise writing techniques so with that experience only I wouldn't use it myself. If it would have had some kind of palm check thing, I might have bought one for myself when it was released.

    I've been looking at the HTC Flyer too but I haven't had chance to get my hands on it. It is so much smaller that it might be possible to write with hand resting on the table instead.
     
  4. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You need to disable touch in apps' setting, I'm not sure the stock app has this option but all of the other note-taking apps that I have tried do have one. Sadly, palm-resistant is not a global feature though.
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Both software and hardware is missing on Android.
    I would wait for the Galaxy Note 10.1, it's a powerful Android tablet with a Wacom pen. Samsung has some pen experience with the Galaxy Note smartphone and seems to keep pushing pen with custom written software, specifically for the Galaxy Note smartphone with the Ice Cream Sandwich update. So I expect that the Galaxy Note 10.1 will have some usable Samsung specific software to take some notes.
    It won't be as feature rich as OneNote, but maybe enough for normal use. If this tablet is not enough, then you have to wait further, maybe at the end of this year a few Windows 8 based Wacom enabled slates will get released.

    Or get a current Windows 7 slate like one from ASUS or Samsung.
     
  6. Cads

    Cads Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Most users I think can do without the full power of onenote when it comes to inking. The usage scenario where onenote becomes absolutely essential is in the case where your ink gets archived to be used and referred to in perpetuity. In that case, your library of notes grows into the GB range where searchability and organization become paramount.

    Making onenote more portable and shareable is really something that microsoft has dropped the ball on unfortunately. The mobile application on android and iOS is crippled by the fact that it does not display ink, and the web browser application doesn't display mathML or pressure sensitivity. It would be pretty awesome for example if android users could ink into a stripped down version of onenote to be viewed and managed later in a feature rich desktop/laptop environment, which is only possible now with workarounds like inserting PDF printouts.

    In the end, if you need onenote, you're stuck with windows, which microsoft probably doesn't want to change.
     
  7. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    W8 for ARM will come with Office built-in. I suspect that all of your criticisms will be addressed at that time. It will likely be a game changer for users of Arm devices.
     
  8. Rommie2k6

    Rommie2k6 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I thought W8 for ARM will be an Android-ified version Windows 8 (i.e. neutered and featureless). I've read that will not be able to install x86 apps (i.e. normal Windows 7 software) unless the software has been specifically rewritten for it. Also, I've read that Microsoft is locking down W8 on ARM like Android/OS, so installing your own software will all have to go through their app store, and so for people like me we will be dependent on the hackers and custom ROM makers to improve the functionality.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but don't see how A8 for ARM will be game changer, since it's basically following the Android/iOS model. A game changer would be the ability to install normal Windows 7 x86 programs on a tablet that weighs 1-2 pounds and cost $200-300, which has Wacom/N-trig functionality.
     
  9. Rommie2k6

    Rommie2k6 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    In another related note, are stylus-enabled tablet like the HTC Flyer and the Samsung Galaxy Note based on capacitive screen or some other technology (Wacom, N-trig, others?). For example, if I were to purchase the stylus for the Note, would I be able to use on the ASUS Transformer or even my phone Samsung Galaxy S?
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    X86 compiled software without some type of Virtualization or Emulation have no way of running natively on the ARM Architecture, emulation and Virtualization would negatively effect battery life and performance so it is understandable that the programs will need to be recompiled. Windows 8 will support some level of Side Loading, how that plays out on Windows RT is yet to be seen.

    Windows RT fills the companion or consumer role. Intel Clover Trail SOC based tablets will offer comparable battery life as ARM SOC tablets but will have the ability for running Win32 based applications as they will run Windows 8 and not Windows RT.
     
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