Note taking tablet

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Tokekin, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Tokekin

    Tokekin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    Willing to spend $1000+ less is always better

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Yes

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    I believe so?

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    5 to7-inches
    7.1 to 10-inches
    10 to 13-inches
    Above 13-inches

    10 to 13 in.


    5. Which country do you intend to purchase from [where do you live]?

    USA

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?

    Not really, I'd prefer no iPad, but I already know the ipad wouldnt work for me

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?

    I'd love around 7, but that may not be possible

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)

    In order of priorities: 1) Notetaking. 2)General Web Browsing/ e-mail. 3) Reading e-books. 4) Word processing (Anything a college student might need to do.) 5) Gaming?

    9. Do you have an OS preference? For example, do you own an iPhone and a Mac, or are you a Windows fan? Do you own an Android device and use Google services frequently?

    I am a huge fan of Microsoft OneNote for note taking. I don't know of any alternative with comparable functionality, I'm open to suggestions if they're out there. I have a Droid 4 phone and a Mototrola Xoom that's on it's last legs. I use the google services all the time and I have a Windows Desktop PC.

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)

    OneNote and other MS Office apps. Light gaming would be nice but not necessary. Maybe Finale (music composition.) Watching movies. Google Books is the main other usage currently on my Xoom

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.

    Possibly, it would be nice to stick something like Diablo III on there, but it's not a deal breaker.

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?

    I will primarily do that with my PC, but it couldn't hurt

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?

    Prefer 1080p, but I'd settle for less
    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?

    Yes
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance


    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom or N-trig?

    Yes, pressure sensitivty is not a must. The extent of my artistic abilities is stick figures. Lots of note-taking. I want whichever pen is most reliable (more on that later.)
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?

    As big as possible. 64GB would prolly be fine, but I'd feel better about 128GB. Expandable is always nice.

    2. What sort of inputs do you require, if any? Would you like full-sized USB and SD card slots? Are microUSB and microSD ok? Do you require HDMI inputs?

    Micro inputs are just fine. More than one USB would be cool. HDMI is also a must

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some additional Background:

    I'm a PC nerd. I plan and build personal-use PCs for a living, I know a fair amount about the technical specifications in these things. Currently I'm considering the Samsung ATIV 500t, 700T and the Surface Pro. I believe I need a full Windows 8 Tablet for OneNote funtionality, but if someone can point me in a better direction that's great. I currently own a motorola xoom and I love it, except for it's note-taking ability (or lack thereof.) I'm also not a stranger to Tablets with Pen functionality. I still own a "working" Acer Travlemate C300 that I got back in 2004. I've put that thing through hell, but kept it alive by upgrading various pieces (and replacing the digitizer 5 times......) I want a Pen input that I don't have to worry about it dying every 1-2 years, and I have no clue if that's Wacom or N-trig. Size of the device is of no concern to me (the whole "look how thin we can make our phone" trend really bothers me, I could care less if I'm carrying around a 4lb brick. I need the exercise anyways.)

    In the end, I have a good idea what I want. I'm leaning towards the 700T, but given that the Surface Pro is coming soon and I'm not quite ready to shell out $1200 I thought I'd get this forums input. Looking forward to an interesting discussion. Cheers!

    -Matt
     
  2. Moshe

    Moshe Pen Pal - Newbie

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    While I'm not a PC nerd, I'm a doctor who loves being able to use the most up-to-date tech to help me care for my patients.

    I've used tablets for years, and I waited anxiously for the Win8 units because I love MS OneNote. I've used both N-trig and Wacom, and if digital inking is what you need, Wacom wins, hands down.

    I just bought the Samsung Ativ 500 about a week ago, and so far it's great. OneNote 2010 is working great. While it's not as optimized for touch as the 2013 version will be, the capacitive gestures work, so I can scroll with my finger and switch between notebooks easily. The Atom processor definitely takes getting used to (I have a core i7 on my desktop, and even my old Core Duo laptop seems snappier) but I wanted the extremely light weight and long battery life, not to mention the price point, which is why I went with the 500 vs. the 700.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Tokekin

    Tokekin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the input. The battery life vs. performance is my main sticking point in the 500t vs the 700t/surface pro. I will typically be around outlets in the classroom and I'm used to plugging in with my Acer C300. However I really want this tablet to be quick.. I don't want to wait for programs to come up or web pages to load. My C300 started seeming slow about 2 years after I got it, and I don't want this tablet to feel the same way. Getting 7-9 hrs of battery life like my xoom would be awesome, but I'd rather not give up noticeable performance for it. I've read some about these "laws of physics" that keep the more powerful tablets from the extended battery life of the optimized tablet processors.
     
  4. swidwaks

    swidwaks Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm also a student and have used an HP tm2 to take notes for the past 4 years (with onenote). It has been a nearly perfect device for me, because it had a switchable gpu. When it was running on battery, I got around 6 hours of use (intel gpu). The biggest downside for me was the screen, which was difficult to see indoors and impossible to see outside. Even reading on it is not particularly pleasant.

    I just purchased the Asus Vivo Tab, and even with all of its current problems (driver related, I expect they will be resolved) it is everything I could ever have hoped for for a student laptop. I got my mine shipped from B&H for about $980 with dock and believe it is well worth the cost. For my purposes I would say it is sufficiently snappy and could see it lasting upwards of 6-8 years.

    3 years in the only real things I do not like about my tm2 are its size/weight, its battery life, and its screen. All of these things are vastly improved upon by the Vivo Tab. Promised 19 hrs of battery life with dock, 600 nit brightness, Wacom, extremely light and thin. I recommend browsing through the Vivo tab subforum. As I mentioned, I couldn't be happier. With this device, its really all about the amazingly bright screen and the long battery life. For my needs, that's all that really matters.

    The only thing you might notice is less than stellar gaming performance. I have tried and been impressed with Sim City, Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, and Railroad Tycoon 3. WoW and Civilization 5 are unplayable. Civilization 4 is barely playable.
     
  5. fella1

    fella1 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I went with the 700t and have been very happy with it. I've used it for about 3 weeks so far and have been very impressed with it's performance. It has performed flawlessly for me so far. No keyboard disconnect issues. The battery life isn't the greatest though, getting about 5 hours with it. I really wanted the performance increase over the 500T though. Also I will have access to an outlet for most of the day when I use it at work, so I should be able to work with the battery life pretty easily. I just need to get a second power adapter that I can leave at work. Hopefully the haswell systems will bring both the power and battery life later this year. I have used microsoft's 2010 office suite on it and everything works great. Really looking forward to the release of the 2013 suite for the added touch functionality.

    I do like to game also and have found that the machine is quite capable with setting adjustments. I play Civ 5 on it at full resolution with low to meduim settings. I've also played psychonauts on it at full resolution and low settings. I've bought quite a few games that I want to try on it during the steam holiday sale. I have found that when plugged in the game settings can be turned up some. I have currently added a 64gb microsd card to it and might change the hard drive out to a 256gb drive if I find that I need more space. I'm going to try and get by without doing that at first though.
     
  6. Tokekin

    Tokekin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I went ahead and got the 700T. It really came down to it or the Surface Pro and the forums believe the 700T will have the better battery life of the two. On top of that, school starts on Monday for me, and it'll be nice to have the tablet then rather than a month(?) after school starts. I'll report back on how much I like it after I play around on it some. Cheers!
     
  7. Tokekin

    Tokekin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey all, I returned the 700T a few weeks ago. It had a few minor problems that made it (for me) not worth $1200. It was a good piece of machinery, but the combination of Windows 8 + Samsung bugs (that I believe will be addressed eventually,) made it not worth the cost. I also think it was overkill for my needs, and that was my bad. I'm looking into the VivoTab, 500T, Thinkpad 2, Latitude 10, and the surface pro now.

    If the mods wanna move my post to the samsung forums it might be better there.

    Here's my long-winded review from Amazon:

    A Little Background: I owned the 700t for about 2 and a half weeks. I am a college student and I've been looking for a solid note-taking tablet with OneNote for about 3 months. I considered the 700T, 500T, waiting for the Surface Pro, a few random convertibles, the Asus Vivo Tab 11.6, and the Lenovo Thinkpad 2. I went with the 700T because A) I didn't want to wait for the Surface Pro. The 700T allowed me to have a tablet for the first few weeks of class. B)The better hardware than the atom-based tablets. The primary programs I used with it were: Microsoft OneNote, the rest of Microsoft Office, reading google books off of chrome (there was no app available :/ watching netflix, and listening to music.

    A key thing to note is that I was looking for a wacom-enabled tablet FIRST and a keyboard/laptop replacement SECOND. I returned the ATIV 700T because of a host of minor issues, not any large glaring problem. Also, I will attempt to give a comprehensive review. It is tough for me to seperate which issues were Windows 8 and which were Samsung's. Keep in mind I'm still giving it 4/5 so I'm attempting to base my rating on the 700T alone. Finally, it should also be noted that I updated the device frequently.

    The first thing that I did was put the 700T on the charger while I looked over the manual. At first I thought the cord didn't fit in the tablet very well. It would fall out with the slightest movement, BUT it turned out the opposite was true! I just had to push harder than I expected and it firmly clicked into place. I say this only because I saw other reviews that complained about this connection.

    After charging the device I ran through the setup and update process. It took me all of 3 minutes of using the device before I was frustrated with the on-screen keyboard. As others have noted, it doesn't pop-up automatically about 80% of the time. I know this is strictly a Win8 issue and has nothing to do with Samsung. However, I cannot believe this simple issue got past Microsoft.. I imagine/hope it will be fixed very soon, but it made the tablet very diffcult to use at times. (There were moments when I had chrome in full-screen and I couldn't get the digital keyboard to pop-up. I actually had to get my bluetooth keyboard out just to navigate the web...)

    The first thing I checked after the updates was the keyboard dock. Blessedly, mine connected wonderfully and I never had a problem with it. The weight of it is very awkward though. A) The keyboard was HEAVY. for some reason it *felt* heavier than the tablet even though I knew it wasn't. B) On top of that, the keyboard is back-heavy while the tablet is top-heavy, so tipping was an issue. I don't know why Samsung didn't move some of the weight to the front of the keyboard, or toss a battery in there to make it more stable.

    OneNote experience: OneNote usage was almost everything I wanted it to be. The pen input was great. The only issue I had was about a centimeter jump on the left side of the screen (in portrait.) It made clicking a file tab into a little dance with the stylus, this happened with a variety of programs, not just onenote. Calibration did not fix the problem. Importing and annotating powerpoints and PDFs was quick and easy.

    The Screen: The 1080p screen was gorgeous! vivid colors, netflix looked great. It was one of the best things about this tablet (and not really a huge factor when I decided to buy it.) My main complaint is the size of some of the buttons. Trying to click the close button, or the maximize button with a finger was...difficult at best. For my next tablet, I'm gonna try a 720p one just to see if that helps this issue. I did have the windows enlarged icons setting enabled, but that seemed to only do that for desktop icons. It didn't help with the super-small icons and links in webpages.

    Web-browsing: Here was another place I ran into some issues. Aside from the on-screen keyboard and small icons. The tablet (or windows 8, I'm not sure.) wouldn't handle the pop-up java-like windows. I'm taking 3 online courses, and I couldn't send e-mails or submit assignments with the online service my school uses. (The window would pop-up but the 'send' or 'submit' buttons would be off-screen.. Also one of my main uses for this tablet was reading my book library from Google. There wasn't an app in the windows store, so I had to do it through google chrome. This worked fine with the pen or a bluetooth mouse, but anytime I tried to turn a page with my finger, it would go 2 pages.

    Some general positives: The battery-life/boot time. Was the battery-life great? No. I had a long day of homework and I eeked out 5 hrs before I needed the power cord. That being said, the boot-up time was super-fast, and the sleep-state allowed the tablet to easily last a full day of classes because it wasn't in constant use. I'm still gonna see if I enjoy the atom-based battery life more.

    The Straws that Broke the Camel's Back: I had a whole bunch of little isolated problems that led me to return this device. 1) Wi-fi was fishy. I had 0 problems on my home network. At school however it would erratically connect and disconnect, or not connect at all. It was so random there was no way to troubleshoot.. 2)Similar issues with bluetooth. It connected to my keyboard and mouse initially fine. After that first time though I would have to make it forget the bluetooth device and re-detect it. Sometimes it would do this, sometimes it wouldn't (sometimes it wouldn't even be able to forget the device for some reason.) I found that I could circumvent this by leaving the bluetooth devices on all the time, I didn't like it, but it worked. 3) The device would randomly shut off. Over the 2.5 weeks I owned it I probably had this happen about 10 times. It wasn't the end of the world because the thing boots in about 6 seconds, but there was no warning, and I lost what I was working on. 4) The auto-rotate would stop working. Yes, I know about the autorotate button, it didn't help. The only way I could fix it was a restart.

    Conclusion: Samsung's ATIV 700T is a powerful piece of machinery. Especially if you're looking for a tablet and not a laptop-replacement. For my current demands, I actually found the hardware to be a little bit overkill, and I hope I don't regret passing up the power in 2 years. The final deal-breaker for me was the price. at $1200, I expect a nearly-flawless tablet experience, and I didn't get that from the 700T. Whether it was Microsoft issues or Samsung issues; they come as a full package so I couldn't just ignore Windows 8 problems. At this price-point it's either a very expensive tablet, or an inexpensive ultrabook. I absolutely would have kept the 700T if I had only paid $800-900 for it. At that price, I could overlook those issues that would probably be fixed eventually. For now, I'm trying to decide between the 500T, the Asus VivoTab 11.6, or the Surface Pro.

    I hope my long-winded review is helpful to some of you. I'll check back occasionally to answer any comments. Cheers!
     
  8. ColoKaren

    ColoKaren Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you for your detailed review!

    I'm also looking for a hand-writing note tool for college, and have looked at the 700t as well. If money was growing on trees, I'd hold out for the Kupa x15. It's a high end boutique slate, supposedly uses Wacom, with a swappable battery, 8gb ram, i5/i7, up to 128gb SSD, extra battery in the keyboard dock, etc. Price starts at $1099 + shipping, goes up from there.

    Only problem for me is waiting until March, when it's supposed to be released, the fact that no one knows anything about Kupa, and it only offers 3G with no hints if that includes Verizon (for more $$$). Dynamism - KUPA Ultranote X15 is the site that sells it.

    The site states that the digitizer is pressure-sensitive (1024 levels), ram is upgradable, and I read somewhere that it boasts 6 hours + another 6 hours with the docking keyboard. Unfortunately, the keyboard battery doesn't seem to charge the slate's battery, but you could at least carry an extra one, which the Surface cannot do (that I know of).

    Since I probably won't wait 'til March, like you, I'm looking at the Surface Pro. But then, typing the cool things I've read about the Kupa here makes me want that slate. Unfortunately, I haven't found a real hands-on review, only a few with the prototype.

    Cheers!
     
  9. ColoKaren

    ColoKaren Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well darn. Scrap the Kupa for me; just read that the Wacom claim appears to be mistaken, and that it's N-Trig after all. No thanks--back to drooling over the Surface.
     
  10. Tokekin

    Tokekin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    If you get the Surface, let me know what you think. I'm slightly concerned about the battery life. On the 700T I was impressed, and I realized I rarely use a tablet for 5 hours straight without the opprtunity to charge. However, one of the nice things on my Xoom was it usually didn't need nightly charging and the 700T did if I used it for more than an hour. If the Surface performs to my high standards, I would be able to deal with the battery life. Just like the 700T, at $1000, I expect a nearly flawless tablet experience.

    I just ordered the Asus VivoTab t810 for $775. I'll be sure to report back on that one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  11. triet

    triet Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi, what is your opinion about the ASUS VivoTab t810? As far as I know, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the best fit to your/our criteria. However, I don't like Galaxy because it is not stable after one or two years. So I am still searching and waiting for a better tablet. Please share your opinion about the VivoTab. ASUS is always good but the Wacom stylus pen and the S-note is appealing me. I feel very convenient to take note with S-note app. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
     
  12. triet

    triet Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi Tokekin, can you share your opinion about the Asus VivoTab t810? In my opinion, for a good note taking tablet, Galaxy note 10.1 is the best. The S-pen and S-note is really appealing. I felt very convenient to take note using this app and this pen. However, the only thing I don't like Galaxy Note is that it is not stable after one or two years. Thus, I am still waiting and searching for a better one. Asus is always a good brand but I don't know if we can use the Wacom stylus pen as in the case of Galaxy Note. Hope to hear from you soon. Cheers.
     
  13. locx

    locx Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi triet, few weeks ago I was in your place also, wanting a tablet for note taking and thinking Galaxy Note 10.1 would be virtually only option.

    Now I've learned that there are many other, possibly and probably better choices than Note. The handwriting experience has much to do with the software. Also regardless of the device, Wacom is always Wacom. So all those tablets are pretty equal on that perspective. Then the application, while S Note seems good it certainly is not the only one. Here's a video I found that shows different apps on Samsung Ativ Smart PC, a tablet also mentioned in this very thread: Using the Samsung ATIV for taking digital Notes with a stylus - YouTube
    Since it's a Samsung product there's also S Note introduced. See how you like it. I personally think OneNote seems best in that video, most of the users here seem to agree. Smart PC is a tablet that I might buy in the near future. Other pretty equivalent tablets are Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2, Dell Latitude 10 and the Asus Tf810 you mentioned. Good luck deciding!
     
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