Tablets forum


Tablet for note-taking, with USB port

by yehudamishpacha / November 21, 2012 3:28 PM PST

As a journalist, I'm used to taking notes on the fly. Until now I have been sticking to paper, but I would like to take the tablet plunge. I need a machine that will work for note-taking and will not get me stuck in the middle of sentences while it converts to text, but will allow me to convert all of my handwritten notes into text once I'm done with an interview.
Since I use a netstick for connectivity in different parts of the world, I would also need a USB slot for the netstick.
Anyone have experience with a specific tablet that would meet all these requirements?
I would like to spend up to $500, but can stretch if necessary.

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All Answers

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That netstick.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 22, 2012 1:21 AM PST

Not many tablets use those sticks. However TRAVEL ROUTERS can use those and provide a WiFi link to the other devices.

I have too many tablets to play with here at the office and can check a few things out but first, note taking on tablets is still not a strong point.

Next week the office adds an Asus Transformer with the dock and keyboard which looks to be a far better solution to notetaking.

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Transformer in the office for a few days.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 4, 2012 5:53 AM PST
In reply to: That netstick.

Cheaper than an 8 RT tablet and without MSFT's restrictions on apps.

It's really a nice tablet and the keyboard battery pack lets it run over a day. I paired up a bluetooth mouse and the note taking software is interesting but just like all the others I can type faster than I can with just the screen input.

Those that ask about note taking really need to try this out. So far I don't see why there is such attraction to note taking given the speed issues.

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Windows RT tablet
by Joliet Eddie / December 4, 2012 2:40 AM PST

I just acquired the Asus Vivo 600T tablet with Windows RT. It can read/write to USB flash drives. Seems pretty well-made, but I've only had it for a couple of days. It has Office 2013 already installed which makes it actually useful. I'm testing it for running interactive Powerpoint files that use hyperlinks including videos. So far, so good. Got a pretty good deal on it, too, at your price limit and that included the keyboard dock for free (usually $179 to $199 extra), although the onscreen keyboard is not too bad and should work for you just using the tablet screen alone.

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Now that I have a few tablets.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 6, 2012 12:12 AM PST
In reply to: The Samsung Note 10.1

Note taking is laughable in so many ways. I can't imagine how long folk will put up with that as it's speed is slower than pen and paper in what I've seen others use it. It's slower because you don't just write but you have to check the computer got it plus on most you have to write in big letters then the software does a nice trick of picking that up and sizing it to a note.

I think the attraction is for those that don't want to use a keyboard or never learned to type.

Good idea but appears to fail in practice. That is, if I was in a class I would be at a disadvantage as I would be distracted by this work of notetaking over pen and paper.

Here's my thought on this. Maybe it's a good thing that such folk do this and pay the price in so many ways. Those that are smart enough to see the issues will get better grades.

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You missed the point
by yehudamishpacha / December 19, 2012 3:21 PM PST

Your somewhat cynical post displays a total lack of understanding journalism. Yes, in the classroom a keyboard would work, but when interviewing people, you need to make a personal connection that's automatically severed when you're pounding out notes on your keyboard.
Pen and paper -- and hopefully a tablet replacement of those tools -- allow you to maintain eye contact with your subject and relate to them, while jotting down the pertinent details of what they're telling you.

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I do this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 19, 2012 11:39 PM PST
In reply to: You missed the point

I'm writing from not only first hand use and experience but from students that tried it. Some seem OK with it and that's fine but they are still lagging behind the pen and paper folk as to speed.

As to your interview scenario I have a very nice recorder for such work. Do you? We have a few at our disposal at the office but my favorite is a Sanyo ICR-XPS01M.

Sorry if I sound cynical but I'm writing from experience. I find many folk have not used such things so I share experiences from both students and my own use.

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I have the tablet 4 u
by Gypht / December 25, 2012 1:31 PM PST
In reply to: You missed the point

I use the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet. It is a very nice tablet, I take notes with it all the time (tho I am not a journalist). I really like the ability to write on the tablet, my only issue was with the screen protector. When writing I could tell I was writing on glass and not paper, there was no drag so it just felt difficult. I picked up a new screen protector (armorsuit) and it works great. Has fantastic drag, and it is very nice.

You should be able to pick one of these up for around $400. I bought mine off ebay for $219 used with a dock and the pen. If you would like you may contact me at I have a few people from these forums emailing me with questions about tablets and my experiences. I would be glad to help if I can.

Best of luck!

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