Best tablet for reading academic papers and keeping notes on them.

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by tevang, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Even more than that! :)
     
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  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I wonder if this new two-foot crop of white beard has anything to do with it. (Yaaaaaawn. smack smack.) What year is it?
     
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  3. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Haha. You goin' the full Letterman Retired? :D
     
  4. tevang

    tevang Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Guys, I think I will compromise with a smaller screen (e.g. 7.x inches) just to go for e-Ink, cause from what you said what I read on the web that's the proper technology for my purpose. I am thinking about the following devices. What do you think? Did I miss any good one?

    * Onyx Boox Nova Pro
    * Boyue Likebook Muses
    * Ratta Supernote A6
     
  5. gerg

    gerg Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I have the Onyx Boox Note 2 (10.3") and the Boox Max 2 Pro (13.3"). Have tried PDFs on a Sony PRS-T1 (6") and a couple of Windows 8 tablets (8" LCD) and found them wanting. The Onyx machines really work well for PDFs. This is because of the higher resolution E-Ink screens, faster multi-core processors and greater amounts of RAM and storage. Also, Onyx has continued to update the reading, navigation, note-taking and other software features. The software is generally equivalent between the Max 3, Note 2 and Nova Pro from what I can tell.

    Really the Note 2 is what I prefer because the size is easier to hold and the front light is great. Didn't think that the smaller 7.8" could do as well, but here is a YouTube comparison of the Note Pro (Note 2 10.3" predecessor) and the Nova Pro 7.8":



    After watching that, I have to say the Nova Pro looks and performs just as well as the larger devices; of course the smaller screen size could be a bit harder to read depending on the source content. EDIT: Seems the Nova 2 is the successor to the Nova Pro.

    With Android and the Google Play store you can install Dropbox and OneDrive. Also, any machine with USB-C OTG can accept a MicroSD card reader if you want to keep your documents on external storage.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  6. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    The problem with Onyx is that they don't update their firmware or Android version very often. New versions of Google Play Store will suddenly not run and then installed apps will stall. While I agree that Onyx makes great hardware they don't seem to understand how the echo system works.

    Like the rest in this thread though I would also endorse using an e-ink device. Obviously, if you are very dependent on color it is a no go, but if you are primarily text based it is not only better for your eyes, but you get incredible battery life, so you don't run the risk of the device going down on you during a lecture (should that happen a ten minute charge with a battery pack and you can run it while charging and continue when disconnecting). Also the pen to screen feeling reminds you much more of writing on paper.

    However, if you scan your text books and use them as PDFs in you device I'd suggest a minimum of 10" and would say that 13" is preferably. Refresh rates are poor compared to LCD/OLED devices so you want to avoid having to enlarge areas on your page (it gets old fast).
     
  7. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Wow, that's something I didn't realize could happen. Makes sense! I thought the lack of updates mostly had security implications, didn't think about compatibility. Upside, the basic functionality is probably not impacted by this.

    Unrelated, for those here who don't already know: there is another e-ink discussion on this forum here. It was supposed to be a list of devices, but then the OP got lazy and it turned into a running discussion. :D
     
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  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It's definitely best to go with a non-Android eInk system. I had one of the somewhat deceptively named Good e-Reader tablets, and it had all the right bells and whistles on paper, but it was missing one of the primary benefits of e-Ink. Battery life!

    The Android version it shipped with, even with every option toggled in the right direction, would drain the battery in about a day even when it was sleeping. By contrast, a native OS written by the OEM for their device, you'd get weeks of battery life, and it would only drain power every time you turned a page. I might take several days on and off the device to read a book, and having to recharge the darned thing two or three times was a drag. Completely shutting it down and rebooting between uses would save the battery, but not by much, since the device would actively drain on Android brain function while you're reading through a static page, plus rebooting could take up to a minute, completely negating the ease of use factor you'd otherwise find in something like a Kindle or a Kobo.

    Right now, I'm using a Kobo:

    [​IMG]
    This is a fantastic device! The screen refreshes very quickly, it's very comfortable to hold with the forward and back buttons right where you want them, plus the touch screen is actually useful; unlike my first Sony e-Reader whose touch screen was more like a mine field you'd have to constantly worry about accidentally activating.

    Coupled with Calibre's opensource media management software, it's easy to convert and load pretty much any text file you want into the tablet. -If you buy a Kindle edition, for instance, you're not locked onto Amazon's proprietary platform.

    Still, there is one big drawback to any digital reader regardless of the technology behind it...

    Random access sucks. Nothing is faster than paper when searching for a page you remember reading but can't exactly recall the location of. Really! Flipping with your thumb through three hundred pages to find the right spot is much, much faster and satisfying than even the most creative, advanced tablet solution. Our bodies and brains and eyes are extremely efficient at that sort of task. Even more detrimental to search on eInk tablets is that the processors are slooooooow. When I'm looking for specific data in a digital document and decide to use a search function, more often than not, I'll just give up on the tablet and head to my proper sit-down computer and perform my searches there, where the processor speed is up to the task, the keyboard isn't a torture device and text selection is mouseable.

    But other than that, the e-Ink device is great for all the other obvious reasons. I prefer them for fiction novels, where there isn't much searching involved, where the size and convenience of the device, and its ability to hold entire bookshelves on a memory chip are simply amazing features which remind you, "Yes sir! You are living in the Future!"
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
  9. crashnburn

    crashnburn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Following this thread.. Note taking, annotation while reading/ studying/ researching.. Still no perfect solve.
     
  10. crashnburn

    crashnburn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    What did you end up choosing?
     
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