Slate PC - note taking

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by stevenham, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. stevenham

    stevenham Pen Pal - Newbie

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    1. What is your budget?
    ~$1000 USD
    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    3. Do you prefer a Slate, Convertible or Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)?
    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    Small and light ~ 5" to 8.9"
    Compact ~ 10"
    Mainstream ~ 12.1"
    Large ~ 13.3"
    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from?
    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    3+ hours
    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    Note taking, occasional surfing
    9. Do you have an OS preference?
    Preferably Windows 7
    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    Office if a windows OS
    10. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.

    Screen Specifics

    1. What resolution do you prefer?
    XGA - 1024x768 ~ large and easy to read text and graphic icons but you fit less on the screen.
    SXGA - 1400x1050 ~ Small text and graphic icons which require good vision but the gain is a much larger screen. (no longer available new, must look for used or refurbished machines)
    WXGA - 1280x768 ~ has a wider usable area than XGA, ideal for viewing Spreadsheets and other programs that require desktop space. The mainly used resolution for new tablet PCs since 2008.
    No preference
    2. Do you require the screen to be readable in sunlight?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Not a necessity
    3. Do you prefer your display to be glossy or matte?
    No preference
    4. Do you require Touch? (without pressure sensitivity) (Which one: resistive or capacitive)
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Capacitive...I'm actually not really sure which would be better for my needs
    5. Do you require a Pen? (with pressure sensitivity) (Which one: Wacom or N-Trig)
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Yes, which ever is better for inking

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require?
    Doesn't matter, but a SSD would be nice
    2. Do you require an Optical (CD/DVD) Drive to be built in?
    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)?

    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?
    Ideally, I'd like a slate that works great for taking notes with onenote. It would be best if there was some sort of palm rejection. I've been looking around and it seems that the hp 500 and asus 121 are the better slate pcs around today. I've seen someone mention that the hp 500 is like a netbook whereas the asus is more like a laptop in specs. I'm guessing the hp 500 should be enough hardware for my needs. Just as a side note, can someone tell me a bit more about the android os's? Should I even consider getting an android os? Will there be programs like onenote? Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2015
  2. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Just hold out for the Eee Slate EP121 if you want a new slate. It's looking like the best option at the moment.

    No Android slate-for that matter, no non-Windows slate (except, perhaps, the Kno) will be viable for note-taking because they lack that crucial Wacom Penabled or N-trig DuoSense digitizer. Even if they had one, you'd still have to be using something other than OneNote.
  3. stevenham

    stevenham Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm just wondering if the ep121 will be overkill (hardware-wise) for my needs. I use a desktop at home, so I'm not in need for a powerful machine. Just enough to browse the web and take notes on the go. Battery life on the 121 might also become a pain at time. To my knowledge, the HP slate 500 uses an active digitizer, so I'm curious if the inking experience will pretty much be the same with the 2 machines. Do people generally like the inking experience of the 500?
  4. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    You can take a look at the ASUS EEE Note. it is a small device with a high quality grayscale screen, has long battery life, light weight, has Wi-Fi, has a Wacom Active digitizer (considerably better than N-trig digitizers), and runs a specialized Lunux OS. and it is CHEAP

    It does internet browsing as well as note taking and a bunch of other stuff (you'll have to ask around to see what it is capable of)

    EDIT: I forgot to say that this is a device that is ONLY for a small number of tasks (it isn't a "full computer" as most Tablet PC's are)
  5. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    You seem to have a fairly good grasp on what is available. The two best units ATM are the Asus 121 and the HP 500. I have the HP 500 and could not be more pleased with it. But, I use it as a yellowpad, rather than my primary unit. I have a very powerful 13" notebook that has an equally powerful GPU that permits me to run models on my notebook and edit videos, which I do in the course of my work.

    I use the slate for note-taking, editing documents and annotating PDFs. I also use the slate as my primary travel notebook, replacing my old Acer 1410T Core-2-Duo 11.6" notebook. I travel with a bluetooth keyboard and docking station in-case I need to do some serious tying on the road. Honestly though, the inking is so good on the slate that I prefer to sit with the slate in my lap and hand write documents if I have the time.

    I understand that the Asus 121 has a better digitizer but I have not been able to compare the two yet. Once my local Bestbuy gets the 121, I'll be able to do that. For my purposes, however, the slate inking is fine.

    The Slate is very quiet and the Z540 atom does everything I need it to do. But, then again, I run any demanding programs I need to use on my Acer. The I5-470UM is not powerful enough to handle my Matlab and simulation software and the HD 500 IGPU is far too anemic to handle the Aerial Images I routinely edit and display. On the other hand, the Slate runs the PDF annotator, Wordprocessor and similar programs without a stutter. I am able to OC the CPU a bit, running it at 2.2ghz. The extra power of the 121 is lost on me, as I don't have the type of need that could properly utilize it.

    I also like the silence of the Slate. The 121 is fan cooled AFAIK. That is a real negative for note taking in meetings.

    The biggest disadvantage of the slate ATM is the significant delay from order to shipping. Delays have been running a couple of months. I think the lower spec 121 is available now.

    Hope this helps.


    Edit: I completely forgot about the EEE note. A grayscale device would not work for me.

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