visually impaired: could i use a tablet?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by noeyewar, Feb 10, 2009.

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  1. noeyewar

    noeyewar Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey. Here comes a few questions your probably don't see every day, but hope someone can help giving some answers.

    I am studying software engineering at a university in Denmark, and i
    have a very poor vision (about 5%)

    the last 7-8 years i have been using my laptop, with a screen magnifier called zoomtext http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6hrfRCW67U , to everything school related, from math to note taking. But i find it harder and harder to rely only on the computer taken notes. Especially
    in math and in construction of algorithms and so on i finds it nessasary to be able to make drawings. There are off cause the old pen and paper way, but i can only read/write notes by hand, when using special magnifying equipment, so i would like to keep all notes electronic.
    so i have fallen in love with the idea of using an tablet pc to write notes, but i see a whole bunch of potential problems.

    first off, i would like to use my tablet under a video magnifier:
    http://images.google.dk/images?rlz=...ideomatic Lux&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=da&tab=wi

    as your can see this consists of a x-y plate that can be moved. a camera is looking down on this plate magnifying and sending the image to a monitor.

    how do your think the tablet screen would work under such a camera? i am mostly concerned about the powerful light (that can't be turned off) i am nerves that it totally gonna kill the contrast of the screen, but what do your think?

    i also have access to a 24" inch monitor. i could hook the tablet up to this, and just write on the tablet while looking at the big screen but i need some way of knowing where "my pen is" without looking at the tablet, is it possible to get a visible mouse pointer while hovering over the screen with the pen?
    or is it possible maybe to get the mousepointer by touching it slightly and only writing while pressing harder/hold down a key?

    that was the business end, now to the more fun parts.
    i would like to be able to read news and websites, and maybe pdf/ebooks, in my bed and on the bus.

    only option is using zoomtext, but to be able to move around the zoomed area i need to be able to control the mouse pointer with my finger/pen, not just tabbing, i need to move the mouse visible mouse pointer.

    is it possible with any tablet?

    I have been looking at two different models. lenovo x61t and dell latitude xt.
    the single most important part is the screen, and the latitude xt seams to have a better screen (led) but is there really that big of a difference?

    i am sorry for the long post, and knows this probably seems a bit odd, but i always try to find new and better ways to make my life easier and make myself less dependent on others (i don't want to run around scanning others notes) so really hope someone here could help with some information

    thanks.
    kenneth brodersen.
     
  2. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    You should be able to put a tablet "in" such a video magnifier. it should fit.
    But I would be more concerned about the pixels. Everything will look grainy. Just look through a magnifying glass on a LCD and you will probably see every pixel. I don't know if this will disturb you, because you have such a poor vision it's also possible that it's negligible. Just try it.
    The external light source will be a problem and you will have to turn it off and your display brightness to the highest setting. You should be able to turn it off, just unplug the connector inside the machine (maybe you have to open it once) or completely remove the light bulb (should be replaceable)


    With any tablet PC which uses an active digitizer like the Wacom or N-Trig you'll be able to hover with your pen above the display and move the mouse courser. You can use a tablet PC just like tablet artists use. They are also able to move the mouse cursor by hovering the pen above the tablet.
    So you can write with the pen on the tablet PC, which is connected to an external display, and you don't have to look down on your tablet PC to see where the mouse cursor is. But then you can also buy a normal notebook or desktop PC and buy a seperate graphical tablet, like a Wacomm Bamboo or Intuos, maybe this is not as expensive as buying a whole tablet PC.

    So when you hover the pen above the tablet display or over a normal external Wacom tablet the mouse cursor starts to follow your pen, then you tap on the screen with the pen nib which performs a left mouse click.

    A LED screen is often brighter than a not LED display (CCFL backlit). Because you want to put a tablet PC below a video magnifier I would chose a tablet PC with a bright LED backlit display, like a Fujitsu T2010/T2020/T5010 or Lenovo X200t. The Dell XT also has a LED backlit display, but I don't think that it is as bright as the others. The DLV option gives you an even brighter display. But also keep in mind that the Dell XT has its digitizer in front of the display, so it's possible that you can see parts of the digitizer when you put the tablet below such a video magnifier, but I don't know it, never used such a thing :)
     
  3. noeyewar

    noeyewar Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thanks a lot. the video magnifier wan't even be nessasary when i can hover the pen over the tablet and see where the mouse is on a large screen.

    that is actually perfect

    also the reason why i took a look at the x61 tablet and dell latitude xt is because it is possible to find them used or refurbished to a low price. x200t is to expensive.

    but i think i will take the chance and buy one :)
     
  4. atom

    atom Pen Pro - Atomic Member

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    Get a tablet with XGA resolution for the love of god. Just do it. If you are even slightly visually impaired, staring at small text will only further deteriorate your eyesight.

    Either that, or get a WXGA one, install Windows 7 and turn up the DPI way up (it has much better control of this)
     
  5. jonlumpkin

    jonlumpkin Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Lower resolution (and consequently lower DPI) is definitely something to look for. Also LED should be something you look for (it is much brighter), this would be the only reason I would avoid the x61T (it has a relatively dim, albeit very high quality, CCFL display).
     
  6. JuniorD

    JuniorD Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I would recommend since your going to look at a alternate screen anyways, a Wacom (pronounced wackem) Tablet. Much cheaper and it hooks up to your initial laptop. I believe the cheapest one for your needs is 99.00. It is called the "Bamboo". Take note that this thing does not have a LED Screen. Just a big black space that picks up your pen strokes. I thought you would probably want that because you can store stuff on your current computer and still use everything as normal.

    Note: I have a friend who is visually impaired also who uses zoomtext as well. He finds that they work pretty well.

    You can still hover and write like regular tablets. Just that you can't see what your writing on except by looking at your current display.
     
  7. noeyewar

    noeyewar Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thanks for the answers.

    i have found a few affordable latitude xt's. so now the big question is, should i buy one with the led or the dlv screen?

    i know the dlv screen has higher brightness, but it also adds more weight and thickness and that could be a problem (it needs to be in my backpack together with my lenovo t500, books and so on).

    but really, do your think the extra brightness is worth it?
     
  8. noeyewar

    noeyewar Pen Pal - Newbie

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    anyone with a x61t or latitude xt that can tell me if it is possible to move the mouse cursor with the finger? (and not the pen)

    thanks again for the great answers.
     
  9. noeyewar

    noeyewar Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thanks, that was also a possibility, i will take a look at that.
     
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