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College Note-Taking: Asus Vivotab Note 8 vs Samsung Note 8

I've been looking into the best computer setup at college, and have settled on building a PC and pairing it with a tablet for notes/in-class needs. Originally, I was looking into a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) but budget constraints have pushed me to the 8 inch class. The Asus VivoTab Note 8 caught my eye, but during its transition from rumors to reality the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has dropped below it in price, especially if I was to take the refurbished route.

First, am I making a mistake in assuming that an 8 inch tablet will be adequate for notes and my in-class needs? I only have experience with my aged iPad 2 and I'm not sure how much the smaller screen would affect me.

Second, seeing as the tablets are fairly similar except for OS and app ecosystem, would it even be worth it to get a tablet with Windows? As long as I can back up and transfer my notes to my desktop, I ought to be okay, unless I'm overlooking something important.

Lastly (thanks for muddling through), are there other tablets in this price range with a Wacom or other suitable digitizer I have overlooked? Or if you believe a step up would be the best choice, what tablets would you recommend? My budget could stretch slightly, depending on scholarships and such.

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All Answers

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One minus for the Samsung.

In reply to: College Note-Taking: Asus Vivotab Note 8 vs Samsung Note 8

My neighbor picked one up and it would not stop asking him to "register" the tablet with Samsung. Samsung's servers were down for days so for me it was not a shock as he told me it was nice and all but after 3 days he worried that Samsung's penchant for tying the tablet use to their servers was one miss along with the fact they couldn't get it registered in days.

The Asus model of software looks to be more forgiving.

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Little worried about Samsung on tablets.

In reply to: One minus for the Samsung.

Besides my neighbor's issues you see too many reports of lockups on the Note 8. The internet is unkind and won't let such issues hide.

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Galaxy Note 8 User Chiming In

In reply to: College Note-Taking: Asus Vivotab Note 8 vs Samsung Note 8

I own a Galaxy note 8 and a few old pen based convertible notebooks. The one thing that you can't get in the Android ecosystem is the real version of Microsoft OneNote. OneNote is a great application for note gathering and organizing. One of the best features is that it allows you to search your handwritten notes. The mobile version available on Android lacks pen support, and is not to be confused with the version available for Windows. The Galaxy Note 8 does not hang up or crash in my experience... the hardware is very nice, and the pen integration is very well done. Where it falls short is with the S-Note application. It is ok for jotting down notes and doodling, but if you want to view or edit notes on your desktop or laptop later, you will be let down. It will also not allow you to search your handwritten notes like OneNote will.

All of that being said, Evernote recently added the ability to take notes by pen, and also makes handwriting (and images with text) searchable once they sync to the Evernote Servers. Once sync'd, the notes can be searched, viewed and edited from any device or web browser.

I can't comment on the VivoNote hardware, but for you I think the question comes down to software and what note taking app you prefer. The Microsoft online store sells the Asus hardware and has a liberal return policy. You might want to try it first (with OneNote and Evernote) to see if it works for you.

Good Luck!

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