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Pencil and Paper?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by nuevaburra, Mar 16, 2012.

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  1. nuevaburra

    nuevaburra Wisconsin c/o 2016!!

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    So, amidst all of the discussion of which tablet/notebook/software to use, wondering does anyone still use old fashioned pencil and paper to take notes in vet school? Or am I totally out of my mind to consider such a mad endeavour?
  2. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012

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    Very few people in my class took electronic notes. Most people just wrote on the handouts or their own paper.
  3. New Foundland

    New Foundland be seeing you

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    Reading this forum in the past, you'd get the impression that its hard to get by without a tablet in vet school..

    In reality, you don't really need any laptop at all.


    Hell, who needs to take notes anyway, pencil or typed? :laugh:
    Some do. I only really use my pen on tests. :cool:
  4. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    I started out using the tablet, ended up with paper and pencil.

    I couldn't read my own writing on the tablet, and spent too much time with it.
    I am faster and neater (well at least legible to me) with paper.
  5. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    We actually took an in-class test on our laptops once, so technically, we did need one. (And we take numerous online tests, but you could do those on your desktop at home.) And every radiology 'lab' was in our lecture hall and required a laptop (though I guess you could look on with a neighbor).

    In response to nuevaburra: a lot of people in my class take handwritten notes. It's not about what other people do, though, it's about finding the note-taking/study method that works best for you.
  6. New Foundland

    New Foundland be seeing you

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    Of course i was speaking about for general note-taking.. Kind of irrelevant that a handful of schools force you to get a laptop for whatever reason :p
  7. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    Lots of people in my class write notes instead of typing.
    At least at Penn I do not think you can get away with writing what is on the powerpoint slides AND what the person is saying. The pace is way too fast for that. You would do better to print out the slides and then write notes on them.
  8. scb44f

    scb44f MIZ c/o 2015

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    Last semester I just took a notebook with me to class and tried to pay attention and write main points that professors would say. Then I took them home and made my own note sets in OneNote, combining their powerpoints and figures with class notes. It was okay, but it took a lot of time to rewrite notes (I don't really learn from that as much so it wasn't really beneficial) and I found I would space off or start drawing random stuff.

    Our class is fairly evenly split between computers/tablets and printed notes (I don't know many [any?] others who tried my technique lol).

    I have been taking my iPad to class lately and for me personally it's much better. When I start to get frustrated or bored or I want to learn more about some specific detail they just said, I look it up online, so I try to keep learning. I think this works better for me, and in the time outside of class that I would have spent combining notes, I can now review and use my time more efficiently.

    You might find that different note-taking styles work well for different professors. One of ours is from Romania, so I just go into a mad typing frenzy now and I actually understand some of what he's saying (and I get the rest typed at least so I can figure it out later), whereas last semester with the hand-written stuff, it was awful and I learned nothing in his lectures and went home with a confusing pile of junk for notes.

    In other classes, with who teach off of powerpoints and don't add any outside info, I have started making notecards during class, or completing their objectives. I think it helps solidify the information, so it's useful to have my iPad handy.
  9. SnowyRox

    SnowyRox Pennwe c/o 2016

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  10. jmo1012

    jmo1012 SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!

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    me me me!! i was super concerned about possibly having to switch to electronic notes, and then i went to a vet school that (currently) prints out all notes for you :D It's kind of the best thing ever. unfortunately they're in the process of trying to do away with this, which makes all us vet students super sad (not sure if the med school cares that much, but we certainly do!!!). however, they're also working on an alternative for us (like having all notes sent to a local printing place here where we can buy them if we'd like). anyhow, i write because thats how i remember things, because if i used a computer i'd ultimately end up goofing off on the internet, and i don't want to stare at a computer screen for 18 hours a day.
  11. SocialStigma

    SocialStigma OVC c/o 2015

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    If you're a fast writer, then sure

    I'm an extremely slow writer (my hand starts cramping after about 15 mins), and I would end up taking 1/10th of the notes that I do with a laptop if I used pen and paper
  12. moosenanny

    moosenanny UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!

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    At Davis we are required to buy laptops and I think maybe 1 person out of 135 :laugh: takes hand notes, and the rest of us use our laptops (or a few use iPads as tablets). The VAST majority type using OneNote or Skim with the powerpoint slides that are uploaded onto a central website before class begins (sometimes a few hours before; sometimes a few days before)
  13. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    I don't take notes. :smuggrin:
  14. moosenanny

    moosenanny UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!

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    Well, you are just too cool for school :cool:

    I mean that in the nicest way possible :)
  15. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    If I try to write down all the crap people say in lecture* will def go into autopilot and not actually listen to any of it.

    *when I go to lecture....
  16. Armymutt25A

    Armymutt25A NCSU '15

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    The main reason I like the tablet is because a lot of professors change their slides the day of the lecture. If you print out the slides at home, you may not have the most current version. I also like the ability to carry everything with me and not have a 15lb backpack.
  17. moosenanny

    moosenanny UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!

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    Also, I am much more likely to look something up in my old notes as a refresher/reminder if I can do a quick computer keyword search, rather than go home and flip through thick heavy binders of fading hand-written notes.
  18. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    Ditto.

    And I have plenty of class mates on here that would attest to this.

    I would always bring a laptop to class. Rarely took notes on it, but it kept me from falling asleep every day. Much more effective than my attempts first year of sitting in the front row in hopes it would keep me from sleeping.

    In hindsight if I were a newbie first year I would probably buy an ipad and use that for my not taking. Can load all the powerpoints on it, and then edit then write on them as needed. Also makes them much more accesible than the boxes of course notes I have from the last 3 years.
  19. moosenanny

    moosenanny UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!

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    Freudian slip? :laugh:
  20. jtom

    jtom

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    I am considering whether to buy a tablet. I have narrowed it down to the lenovo x220 and the lenovo x220 tablet. I like the tablet concept but have never tried using one and am not sure if I will just end up using pencil and paper after a while. Do you guys feel the added tablet ability makes it worth while for the extra cost? I have also read reviews and it appears that the tablet battery life is much less than going with the standard x220. Do vet schools have alot of outlets so I dont run out of battery?

    Thanks!
  21. moosenanny

    moosenanny UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!

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    At Davis the lecture hall has an outlet for each individual student. But you might want to ask about the specific school(s) you are considering since I'm suspecting that won't be the case everywhere.
  22. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Lots of outlets here but as Moose said, individual schools may vary.

    In hindsight, I would not go with the tablet if I had to choose again. 3 of us in my class bought lenovo tablet, 1 of us loved it (blackat33), 1 of us hated it (fookiecat), and I am not enthusiastic though not hating it. . So there you are absolutely no help at all from us.
  23. breenie

    breenie Weenie 2015

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    I'm in Scb44f's class so I'm repeating most of what she said...

    But I would guess a slight majority prints and writes on the powerpoint slides. This works, I guess, if you don't mind sifting through 100000 pages of crap. I personally have to condense stuff down. I write my own notes on my laptop, and if I can't fit the concepts and import stuff from one lecture into less than a page typed, I fly into a wild rage.

    Just kidding. I just can't look through 50 slides from a lecture and learn crap. I've gotta boil it down.

    Lotsa folks use tablets, which seems to work out well for them, but honestly you can be very successful just writing stuff down. I wouldn't just bring in a notebook and do it that way, but if you're writing on the slides, you'll be fine.
  24. Firenze

    Firenze

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    I might have to use pen and paper, because I am SO EASILY DISTRACTABLE I know that I'd find myself drifting off during class if I had access to the internet. :p But I do take better notes using my laptop, so I might have to just disable my wireless during lecture.
  25. hopefulinva

    hopefulinva VMRCVM DVM/MPH c/o 2016

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    Most laptops these days allow you to turn off wifi functionality with the click of a button. =D I /have/ to do this or I will get distracted. And if I don't sit in the front row then everyone /else/ on Facebook distracts me, so...
  26. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    First semester of first year I did all my notes on just one notebook with a couple of pens. I'd just date the page at the top as well as what class it was for, and keep going. It worked out pretty well. But then after that I stopped going to class so naturally, the note taking ceased as well. Pathology type of courses tend to be more difficult to take notes with paper and pencil because they're very image heavy. And it's hard to capture that subtle slimy green sheen on tissue with pencil... And the further you go along in your curriculum, the more rote memorization heavy it gets, so if I were to go back to note-taking again, I'm not sure how effective paper and pencil would be at this point.
  27. SnowyRox

    SnowyRox Pennwe c/o 2016

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    Why Lenovo? I would decide whether you want a tablet first. You can buy a basic tablet PC from Fujitsu for the same price as a Lenovo x200.

    I have the Lenovo tablet from undergrad and have a love/hate relationship with it. If I had to do it again, I would buy a cheaper tablet. The features that sold me on Lenovo just didn't make a huge difference in my work.

    Definitely buy the extended, accidental warranty if you're anything like me. Gotten it fixed a few times from doing things like falling down the stairs and slamming it on the tile floor... it's actually at Lenovo right now b/c I broke the latch. 100% not Lenovo's fault, but they will still have it back to me in 6 days.
  28. zanydogz

    zanydogz Texas A&M c/o 2016!

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    This is a semi-related question...do profs allow you to record their lectures? I personally know that I can neither write nor type fast enough to get important notes down without making it look like chicken scratches. I have been fortunate to be able to record lectures in my undergrad institution, but was wondering if I could do the same for vet school...
  29. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    Probably depends on the school. All of our lectures at UCDavis are recorded for us and uploaded to the SVM's iTunesU page.
  30. that redhead

    that redhead MMXV

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    Professors provide all of our notes here, either in a booklet for the semester or printed out Powerpoints they bring to class. I write on those, but don't take extensive notes, just little blurbs here and there added on to what's already written. I took hand written notes in undergrad and I would not be able to do that in vet school - there is way too much information and they go so much faster. I started out taking notes on my iPad but when it's already in their booklet/powerpoint/website/what have you, it's not worth it. But I guess it depends on how you learn. Trying to keep up with what they're saying makes it so that I don't absorb anything at all. When I get home I review the notes given to us more thoroughly so I still get the information without the rush of having to write down every little thing they say.

    Zaney, you have to ask each professor but they let us record their lectures.
  31. Packen

    Packen Dick Vet c/o 2015

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    Most of our class takes notes on the handouts provided by the profs. At the beginning of each unit we get a book of notes/slides (depending on what the professor wants to give us). Some take notes on laptops and tablets too. I like writing my notes, but I have found that my current system is not going to be feasible much longer. I just don't have enough time to write out all my notes from each lecture. I did get a smart pen at the beginning of this year, and it really helps with revision. I know I am not using it to its fullest potential, but I am happy with it.
  32. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

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    I have and use the x220t. I love it. If you opt for the larger battery, it will last for 6 hours of use with no trouble at all.

    I would choose it again over the x220 because the tablet function is what really makes it for me. Some classes, sure - you write on the powerpoints just like you could write on the paper, or you could just use the ppt program and take notes in the little box. But then you get the professor that likes to draw lots of graphs. I watch the girl in front of me struggle to make lines with her touchpad and label things and keep up - it looks like it sucks. I just draw it. And for anatomy, coloring parts of diagrams, drawing in tendons, labeling pictures - no problemo. I never run out of colors. Even when I'm just highlighting a few things here and there... heck, it makes it so the people behind you can't see that you're actually on FB or etsy or whatever.

    And if you WANT a laptop, it's that too.

    It's expensive, so yes, weigh your options thoroughly and make sure it's what you want. HP has a tablet that you can buy from eBay etc. and a couple girls on here have it and love it. So yeah.

    I would never go back. I don't want to carry all the damn papers, I don't want to have to elbow my way to the printer every morning to get my notes printed, and I never have to worry about forgetting something as long as I have the computer.

    Plus, if I get really bored, I can draw pictures of cats. :)
  33. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    I can't write as fast as I can type, and also using the ancient pencil/pen tends to make my hand hurt after a while.

    I changed over to a lap top back in 2008 or something because alot of my lecture notes were really hard to read because I'd be falling asleep and the writing would just turn to squiggles... so at least on a lap top I can't squiggle my notes. :idea:
  34. jtom

    jtom

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    Can you get a digital pen for an ipad? I am not sure how difficult it is to take notes on a tablet (not a tablet pc), are you using the touchscreen keyboard for notes? I saw that Lenovo also has a tablet (not pc) and you can get it with a pen so I am considering that as well.
  35. Foxhunter

    Foxhunter Year 2 of 7 (or 8?9?) Gold Donor

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    Anyone seen the Lenovo Yoga that's coming out with Windows 8? WANT
  36. GreenMouse

    GreenMouse Illinois VetMed C/O 2015

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    I have a Lenovo X220 tablet and love it. I type most of my notes because I type faster than I write, but the tablet feature is great for drawing. A lot of lectures involve diagrams, and the drawing features has been particularly useful for histology. All of our histo slides are digital, so I view them in Aperio, then take a screen shot and paste specific pieces into OneNote. Then I can draw on the slides to my heart's content. This also applies to radiographs as all of ours are digital.

    Another benefit of digital notes versus hand-written that I don't think anyone has brought up is search-ability. I have all of my notes in OneNote. I can then search both professor notes and my written notes. This is amazingly valuable when studying. I frequently come across a concept in lecture that I vaguely remember us covering *somewhere* but I have no idea when. I just search - and boom - there it is! I think this one function makes it all worth while. This obviously does not require a tablet, just digital notes.

    Anyway, that's just my experience. A few people in my class take hand-written notes, but the vast majority go digital.

    Also, as far as outlets - at Illinois each student has one.

    Finally: lecture recordings. They record all lectures here, but I know at some schools they do not, or certain professors don't want to be recorded. It all depends on your school.
  37. nuevaburra

    nuevaburra Wisconsin c/o 2016!!

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    That is every set of my notes sophomore year. :laugh: Honestly I only take notes to try and stay focused/awake. I've almost never gone back to review them. I've used a laptop before, but after the chunk of change I dropped on my current laptop (with all the processing power I need for bioinformatics programs for my Masters) I'm reluctant to get a tablet as well. Though it would be a fun toy....
  38. jemappellejane

    jemappellejane #stinkasaurus

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    I'm seeing a lot of you going for Lenovo over iPad. Why?
  39. PetPony

    PetPony Rawr :*

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    Maybe the Lenovo is just easier to write on? My writing is always really messy on the iPad, but maybe it's because of the programs I have..
  40. GreenMouse

    GreenMouse Illinois VetMed C/O 2015

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    Lenovo used to be IBM, so they have a really good reputation. They kept the ThinkPad tablet pretty much the same from those days. Really reliable. Great reviews. I have heard from *many* students who have had horrible experiences with Toshiba and Fujitsu (those used to be the required computers for Illinois - they have now gotten rid of any requirement except for minimum hardware specs).

    Why not the iPad? Because it isn't a full-blown computer. A lot of software won't run on it, and it isn't powerful enough for a lot of uses. The maximum hard drive is only 64GB. I am a first year, and I take as much as possible off of my laptop after the end of a semester, and I STILL currently have 110+ GB used up (no music or movies - just LOTS of histo slides and powerpoint/pdf notes).

    That's just my reasons for going with the Lenovo - however the final decision is obviously up to you and what YOU need out of a computer.
  41. moosenanny

    moosenanny UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!

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    Regarding the above post . . .

    I think an iPad is a great gadget if someone already has a laptop (like an older-ish one from undergrad), but wants something new/faster for vet school - plus the added tablet functionality. That way, notes can be hand-written or typed in class on the iPad, and then transferred to the laptop which mostly stays at home.

    Also, as far as smaller hard drive storage space, I think most people get around that by storing notes using DropBox or a similar platform. DropBox also facilitates sharing notes between devices (iPad and laptop).
  42. jmo1012

    jmo1012 SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!

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    if you're planning on buying something new for school in the fall, hold out for a few months-we're in the middle of potentially making some major changes that might affect your purchase (i'll let you know when we hear officially!)
  43. jemappellejane

    jemappellejane #stinkasaurus

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    Thanks for the warning jmo! I have a 3 year old MacBook that I love, but the ease of a tablet is intriguing. What do you think they are planning over there???
  44. jmo1012

    jmo1012 SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!

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    we're in a trying to go paperless and let's make exams electronic war right now. paperless would be a huge pain (particularly for the vet school as quite a few of our professors are technically challenged/don't want to/can't post their presentations online. the current scenario is that we get all notes printed for us for "free" by the school. the school however wants to end this completely. one of their proposed solutions is to out source all printing and students can choose to buy notes if they want them, or the school pays half the bill and students pay the other half to get notes from outsourcing. if we were in the US, i wouldnt care at all because printing costs are relatively cheap. however, having a personal printer here is ridiculous and not very practical. paper and ink are very marked up in price (it's really quite absurd). thus, since provided notes are what make up our exams and are what we're expected to know, it is very annoying that they're trying to really mess with the current system.

    the computerized exam thing is a big debate and something we just found out about sort of unofficially. we're really displeased about this. it will require you to have a computer that meets their system requirements (i.e. a tablet [not tablet pc] could potentially be a terrible investment because you're going to have something well functioning for exams). hopefully we'll have some answers by May. it's extremely annoying. i don't care so much that they want to switch to electronic exams, i just think it's a terrible idea with a lot of glitches and bugs that i dont really feel like putting up with.
  45. jemappellejane

    jemappellejane #stinkasaurus

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    Ugh, it sounds so annoying! At first I was like, oh having a printer would be great to have down there... And then I remembered the only way there is by plane. Lol! Duhhhh. Wow. Well I hope they decide on something concrete before I get down there. And then we'll get to deal with all of the issues associated with switching systems! Hooray!
  46. jmo1012

    jmo1012 SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!

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    funny part is that it wouldnt necessarily be getting the printer here that would be the issue, it would be the ink/paper costs! you get a $125 printing credit each semester ($.25 per black page, $.50 per color) for misc printing needs
  47. jemappellejane

    jemappellejane #stinkasaurus

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    Can't you just bring a bunch of ink with you? And have paper shipped?
  48. jmo1012

    jmo1012 SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!

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    sure, definitely. it would be easier to bring a bunch of ink. shipping paper? probably just as expensive if not more. i am also of the "ship NOTHING" camp. i've brought everything i need with me both terms (i swear it can be done without going over the weight limits too!). i've purchased a couple of extra things here just because it was nice to have them around, but not necessary. i also refuse to have people send things to me because i have no interest in spending an absurd amount on taxes
  49. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

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    This, and also - the stylus for an iPad is NOT the same as for a tablet computer like the Lenovo. You can write with it, but not as well. With practice, you may become quite proficient, but from what I've seen from classmates, not everyone gets to that point.

    Here is an iPad stylus:

    [​IMG]

    This is the front of the stylus that you write with. It's admittedly finger-like, given that's how the iPad works.

    And here is the one that comes with the Lenovo:

    [​IMG]

    The latter is like writing with a pen, though a bit different... writing on glass feels a bit different, but it's easy to adjust to.

    AND the back end of it erases. Which is both cute and useful. And no battery - it's like, magnetic or something.
  50. PetPony

    PetPony Rawr :*

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    AFter a while it gets easier with the iPad pen, but it's still messy and not too great. Can you use another pen (such as the lenovo one) with the iPad though or would it mess it up?

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