Tablet for student - Galaxy Note 10.1 or wait?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by srvs, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. srvs

    srvs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello,

    I'm looking for tablet; I will only use it to make digital notes during class. I've done some extensive searching and the Note 10.1 seems to be what I'm looking for -- multi-tasking, large screen to work on and a very sensitive pen whose input (regular text and most important of all: equations) is correctly "digitalized". However, a few questions:

    a) am I correct in these assumptions? I'm not asking for a lot, I just need a tablet that can flawlessly keep up with me, can convert my input correctly and can sync with some sort of application online.

    b) Would there be a note 10.1 2 in the near future? That is: less than 2 months. Summer for the new Wacom tablet is too long of a wait.

    c) Should I buy a note 8 instead? I prefer a 10 inch screen, but the 10.1 is already a year old and I am concerned I would be buying outdated hardware. One review says: " ... an 8-inch tablet that offers all the features of the Note 10.1 and ostensibly none of its issues. It has a faster processor, a newer version of Android". However, they point back to a 10.1 review in which Android 4 was used. I've read that 4.1 supposedly makes the 10.1 faster et cetera, but is that just marketing talk or is it really noticeable? I.e.: even though I prefer a 10 inch, should I buy the 8 because it is more recent and supposedly has less flaws than the 10.1?

    I have also considerd a Surface Pro but at 900$ that is too expensive. See my next post for the filled in template.
     
  2. srvs

    srvs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    400-500 euro.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    No.

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    No. It would be cool to play a movie on it, once in a while, but it is definately not a replacement notebook. First and foremost it is used to take notes.

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

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    The Netherlands.

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    No Apple, everything else is OK.

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    Min. of 4 hours.

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

    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?
    No preference.

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    Some sort of notetaking app -- I've researched but since forgotten.

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    No.

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?
    No.

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    No.

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    No.

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom or N-trig?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Yes. Sensitivity of pen/input is primary.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    16GB is fine.

    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?
    USB input would be cool, to attach an external optical drive or something -- but not really necessary. SD card would be cool to add extra hard drive space.

    Misc
    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    Speed of processor - it must be able to keep up with me during lectures.
     
  3. srvs

    srvs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    To add: (I would edit but that somehow doesn't seem possible?) I'm also very interested in experiences of fellow students using tablets to take notes. What I would want: something that allows me to immediately change written text in digital print and an app that allows me to add media to the notes. Like, I would have a web browser open at the same time and add a link to a biography of whoever we are discussing, or an applet that gives an interactive experience about some sort of theorem, stuff like that. I don't want just text - I'd just write on paper in that case, but now I rewrite the written text I have and add stuff to it; I want a tablet so I can do it all in once. Plus, something that allows me to easily navigate and sort notes. Sometimes my written ones go lost.

    Also very interested in anyone using the Note 10.1 on Android 4.1 -- all the reviews I've found are on Android 4.
     
  4. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hi srvs, for your concerns:

    a. GN10.1 indeed comes with S-Note with OCR support which "digitalises" your hand-writing.

    b. Not sure but I doubt that

    c. Hardware concern, there generally is no difference between the 8 and the 10 afaik. In regards to Android 4.0 and 4.1 (ICS and JB), there shouldn't be noticeable difference in performance as well unless the company released a horrible update. Anyway didn't you mention that you prefer 10in+

    I'm a maths student and have been taking lecture notes on a Thinkpad tablet for a while and really content with it, yet mind you that I don't use OCR at all. I'm also using a convertible with Onenote for few years but rarely find myself using OCR. Text recognition is good but it was troublesome to re-format the "digitalised" text and occasionally inaccurate when it comes to equations (If I want digital prints in the maths lectures, typing in latex is viable and surprisingly faster)

    I don't think S-Note on the GN has better OCR either, but Note 10.1 is still a good call. If you really fancy OCR, try looking up for Atom-based Windows tablets like ThinkPad tablet2 or Samsung Ativ 500t as well
     
  5. leaftye

    leaftye Old timer Super Moderator

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    I don't either. I find almost nothing good about it. It's a hassle to convert, and I recognize converted text slower than I do my own handwriting. I don't mind background OCR that maintains my handwriting though. That allows my handwritten notes to be searched, but it's still my own handwriting.
     
  6. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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  7. Aman

    Aman Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Above 13 inch ?????
    That's not available with a stylus as of now.(Was available 2-3 years back)
    For a student,I would recommend Motion Computing J3600 or Tablet Kiosk's around 12.2 inch Tablet PCs.(These have a decent processing speed,not the best processing power.)
    13.3 inches with very high processing Capabilities are available but I won't recomend for students,as they are bulky.

    Or try out PaceBlade "home and office series" Tablet PCs (around 12.2 inches).
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  8. srvs

    srvs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks all for your comments.

    In regards to the OCR: if I understand correctly, OCR does not necessarily mean that your handwritten text is transformed in digital text; it just means your computer "understands" what is written, e.g. allowing you to search through your handwritten notes, correct? If so: I had not considered that, actually, and thinking about it now I don't really think it's so important to me. I mean, it's just for sorting purposes probably?

    Most of all I was interested in something that transforms your handwriting to digital text -- but you mention that is too inaccurate? Because then that sort of disappointing; it's one of the reasons I would change from pen and paper. Can you expand on your comment on Latex? Right now I am making handwritten notes and converting them in Latex on my laptop. It might be relatively fast but my hopes for the tablet is that I don't have to take a sidestep (handwriting) and just have it in Latex while in the lecture -- but then not by typing (I would just bring my laptop and it's way too slow to keep up), but by writing by hand and have the computer convert it. You're both saying that conversion is too inaccurate to be viable and you prefer to create handwritten notes on your tablet?

    Cleft: would you be so kind as to run me through one of your notetaking sessions? :) (also a math student myself, hey!) So you have the tablet in front of you and you're writing in some sort of application -- do you just write or do you also add media to your notes? (Or in other words, is it viable to have a browser open at the same time and add a link to biography or perhaps embed a java applet with an interactive example? I know reviews mention it's possible to do, but there's a difference between possible and viable; it needs to be fast enough to keep up with the prof :) ). Do you think it's a big improvement over pen and paper?
     
  9. srvs

    srvs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Anyway, I've had a look at the ThinkPad tablet2 and Samsung Ativ 500t. The latter does not support OneNote 2013 (from another thread) so I suppose that's out? The ThinkPad looks really good and I've had good experiences with their laptop line -- I'm just concerned it's not worth the extra 400$ (if being a refurbished Note 10.1; Bronsky) for me. It has a better screen and runs Windows 8 but eh - do I need that? The ThinkPad seems more like a mini-PC, but I just want something to take notes on -- and the Note seems to be more bang for the buck in that case. The biggest concern would then be Windows 8 over Android, I suppose. I've read OneNote is unmatched in usability and every Android app is inferior. Is it truly much better than e.g. Evernote?
     
  10. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    It really depends. If you need searchable hand-written notes, it is in a class by itself. One other thing to look at. I purchased the Fuji I have in my sig for $340 on the Fujitsu store on ebay. It is a refurbished Q552 with a dual core N2600 Atom running W7. Nobody really knows if it can be upgraded to W8 due to a lack of driver support for the Intel GMA 3600 IGPU. This thread might help if you're interested. http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/fujitsu/51851-q552-10.html I love the display on mine. The Atom is okay if not stellar (I do miss my Surface Pro but that's another story).
     
  11. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I own a Note 10.1 and maybe because I've been spoiled by Windows tablets so long, but I think Android tablets aren't good enough to compete with Windows tablets for note taking and other student related things.

    1, The multitasking Samsung implemented only goes for certain Samsung apps.
    2, The ARM processor in it (quad core 1.5GHz A9) struggles to keep up with the Wacom digitizer, so smooth and fast penmenship is out of question.
    3. Not enough pen enabled apps.

    Persnally, I would love to sell my Note 10.1 towards Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2. I'm very jealous of my friend's unit. It's fast enough to keep up with Wacom digitizer in OneNote, Sketchbook Pro, Journal etc., It's light as iPad, it's got 10 hr battery life, it's gorgeous, and not too badly priced. It's way more useful than my Note 10.1 is, I can tell you that much...
     
  12. DoubtingThomas

    DoubtingThomas Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm glad to hear the thinkpad 2 keeps up with OneNote. I'm fairly convinced that I will purchase one of those soon, although I am giving until later in the summer to make the final decision.
     
  13. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great to see some math fellow here :D

    Indeed. I find OCR useful when looking up for some texts but I hardly even need to do that.

    Sadly it is that inaccurate, it cannot even read a gamma function properly. I mentioned Latex just to emphasize that it is faster and much more reliable to get accurate input than relying on the conversion. (but heck, a guy in my class did type in Latex in the lectures and rarely fell behind, what a guy!)

    Hope you find it of help https://www.dropbox.com/s/83qmzrneszmxaxl/Regression.pdf
    I purely just write in lectures, might add some pics or audio note when revise later, and yes I can have a browser floating beside for references. There are decent apps for my purposes, yet I've never thought of adding an applet since I doubt that it can even run on Android!? My needs for a digital note are not demanding anyway, so I'm quite content. The best part is not to deal with notes missing for revision ever again, and archiving!
     
  14. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Don't expect big OneNote files to fly on the Thinkpad Tablet 2. All I'm saying is that the handwriting portion works great.
     
  15. srvs

    srvs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    That's very interesting. Especially 2) is worrisome. Are you sure it's not a case of the grass being greener...?

    That's perfect, thanks! It looks a lot better than I had expected, especially tiny subscripts. Alright, I'm pretty sure I'm going for a Thinkpad 2 then :)
     
  16. meow9th

    meow9th Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Guess I'm coming in a bit late to the discussion, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents as well.

    OneNote vs EverNote
    I use OneNote on my computer and EverNote on my phone. I can tell you that I do all my heavy duty notetaking in OneNote, more than anything else for its superior ability to organize (notebooks, section groups, sections, pages, subpages - you don't have to use all of them, but I do). EverNote I use for ephemeral notes, like shopping lists.

    Multimedia
    OneNote does support multimedia - you can add audio and video directly to your notes (you can record, for example, the lecture directly using the mic on your computer), and you can add screenshots of webpages, etc. However, the most I ever insert into my notes is lecture notes printed from pdf or ppt. Warning: adding multimedia to your notes is not a good idea on an Atom tablet (like the TPT2). You will not see smooth or good performance anymore. Like I said, I don't do anything except print images to OneNote, and the Atom I had couldn't even handle that - scrolling was horribly choppy and slow, although once you get to the place where you want to be, taking notes on that portion is fine.

    OCR
    Like the others, I do not use OneNote to convert my handwriting to text. I've been in applied math type fields my whole university life, so the inaccuracy when it comes to mathematical notation is simply not worth the hassle. I knew somebody else who could type notes in LaTeX real-time - if you want beautiful, typeset notes, I really think that's the way to go. Not converting later - it'll just take you too much time to correct. I tried out the Math Input Panel recently, and while it was fine at handling simple little equations (the stuff you see pop up in equation editor for 'insert an equation'), as soon as I put in a Fourier series it failed utterly. I rarely even read my notes later, so making them beautiful is at the bottom of my priority list. When making a 'cheatsheet' - a very condensed version of the notes - to study for exams, I use LaTeX.

    That being said, I do have OCR turned on, so I can search my notes. It is much more useful and less painful than converting your handwriting to text.
     
  17. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    It's the case of me having used and owned tablets since 2005 and know the difference in feeling of the pen due to power.

    Even with it's pathetically slow 1.33 GHz Pentium 3M, Toshiba 3503 back in 2005 handled Wacom digitizer better than Note 10.1 does. Now am I saying that a single core 1.33 GHz Pentium M is faster and more powerful than a 1.5 GHz quad core A9 ARM processor? No. What I'm saying is that the apps are not written to take advantage of the quad core A9 for their brush characteristics. They probably use single core ARM 11 as their baseline, thus they stripped all the nuance and the advanced smoothing features of the brushes. See Sketchbook Pro on Android vs X86/X64 for best example.

    When there are apps that does try to push the quad core A9 with it's brush characteristics, then the problem becomes that those calculations overwhelm the quad core A9 and you get slowdown with large canvas and brushes, just like the old 1.33 GHz Pentium 3M.
     
  18. srvs

    srvs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Oh wow, okay, Note is definitely off the table. I was actually just about to purchase the Thinkpad 2 when I noticed I had been looking at the version without the stylus -- the one which includes it is priced at 800, just 100 less than a Surface Pro, so I think I will wait and buy that one. I was aiming for something cheaper but eh, I should hope a surface will last me 3 to 4 years :) thank you everyone for your comments.
     
  19. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi

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    I own a note 10.1 as well, an I'm extremely happy with it.

    I also own a Samsung 7S with win 8. The intention was that I was going to use the Note 10.1 for home leisure time to surf, Facebook, Twitter, Tapatalk, light sketching, etc. And I was going to use the 7S for business meetings, presentations to take notes and Mark my pdfs, handle my Excel sheets, etc.

    I found out that ezPDF on my 10.1 is way more powerful and feature full than any of the marking pdf apps from the Windows store, I didn't need all the power on onenote so I use S Note on my 10.1 fir my meetings and presentations. My 7S gives me at best 5hrs battery use, I get at least 2 days on my note. Si I found myself using the Windows slate only when I needed Excel. For a student I believe the 10.1 should meet needs and budget more appropriate. But that just me.

    And by the way, the Note 8 and note 2 and note 10.1 have the very same specs: 1.4Ghz Exynos 4412 quad with 2GB of ram. The note 8 has a 4600 mAh battery where the 10.1 had a 7000 one so the 10.1 lasts longer. The OS is the same on all 3; Android 4.1.2

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2
     
  20. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    1. Windows 8 store apps are garbage from Android and iOS land. You use real legacy apps on the S7.

    2. Battery life of Atom W8 slates are as good or better than the Note 10.1
     
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