are tablet PCs worth it?

Discussion in 'Tech: Medical Apps, iOS, Android, medical devices' started by BoxingTheStars, May 16, 2008.

  1. BoxingTheStars

    BoxingTheStars chase this light with me
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    Just wondering, as I get the option to order a tablet pc or a regular laptop pc through my school. I just don't see why a tablet would be all that useful... but obviously I haven't begun school yet, so maybe someone could enlighten me to their benefits?
     
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  2. ZagDoc

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    You can write on the screen so you can take notes directly on the powerpoints for the lectures you are currently hearing.

    That being said, no one in my class has a tablet pc or has done anything like this.
     
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  3. MossPoh

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    I know the med students at FSU all have tablets since it is required. I have sat in on several lectures and I RARELY see people using the tablet functionality. Maybe it was just the classes I sat in on though. I messed around with them but just never liked the feel. I like the friction of a pen/pencil against paper and my handwriting is so crappy that the computers just make it tougher to read. I could see some usage when it comes to circling something or basic notes, but anything extended I'd rather type personally. I think tablets are like pda's. Everyone thinks they are going to use it for all sorts of cool stuff, and then slowly they realize the functionality is just so-so and they go back to what they are used to. (Always exceptions)
     
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  4. umz

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    I just got one the last few weeks of undergrad. I am a tech junkie though.. I have used it quite a bit, especially since I am one of those people who likes to write/type notes before tests. For things that are hard to type, like math, it was great. The program it comes with, OneNote, has really awesome organization, so I had a "notebook" divided into sections by chapter. I really liked that I didn't have to waste 10 pages of paper on scribbling notes that I would never use again.


    As far as writing on powerpoints and other docs, just a word of caution, DON'T get Vista 64 bit. This function does not work with 64 bit. It's really annoying. This version of Vista came with my laptop and I am going to have to down grade now, which is a pain in the *** (but worth it to get to write on powerpoints and pdfs, i think).
     
  5. Keg

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    I got one January of last year and used it for every class, every lecture this year. It's great, because all your notes are there and not in various binders/books. I'd recommend the tablet wholeheartedly.
     
  6. njbmd

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    Moving to the technology forum.
     
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  7. xanthomondo

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    I wish these threads wouldnt be moved to the technology forum - they're useful for pre-allo because people have questions about what they should get for ugrad/medical school. This thread received 4 good responses in a day, it's going to take a year before it gets another 4 posts.

    These types of threads are only as useful as the amount of people who can see it to respond: no one comes to the tech thread so the OPs question (which I am wondering about as well) won't ever get fully answered.
     
  8. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    When a thread is moved, there is a link that remains in the original forum.
     
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  9. AZhopeful

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    I have a tablet that I bought through my school, as do maybe 20 others in my class. It's awesome: while people truck around phone-book sized binders and lose papers etc, my entire semester of notes take up about a hundredth of my hard drive. I take notes directly onto PDF and Powerpoint presentations, my "pen" actually has an "eraser" on it just like a normal pencil, and I can always mosey on over to ESPN.com during lecture. Just kidding on that last one before I get flamed(kind of, but not really- especially in immunology).

    For me, I think my tablet is definitely worth it. A lot of the people in my class, including me, use it almost entirely as a paper substitute. One word of advice though: make sure that your school distributes all of its lecture notes online before the actual lectures. My school has really tried to implement the tablets and does a pretty good job of getting everything up, but without those electronic copies, your computer is pretty worthless unless you normally take notes freehand.
     
  10. xanthomondo

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    Do you have the HP tx2000?
     
  11. xanthomondo

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    ...which quickly sinks to the bottom of the forum
     
  12. umz

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    I do.
     
  13. AZhopeful

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    No, I have the Lenovo x61t Thinkpad (t for tablet version, and Lenovo is the new Chinese company that bought out IBM's laptop division).

    Pros: the most solidly-built computer I've ever had w/, I believe, some Mg reinforcement in the casing. This is especially important for tablets as they only have the one swivel point in the middle to hold the screen- definitely don't want a delicate computer. This one also came with a 3-year warranty in the deal through my school. It's small, it doesn't look fancy, and it's built like a tank, which is kind of par for the IBM/Lenovo laptop line.

    Really Big Pros: The surface feels a lot like writing with a pen on paper, only better, if that makes any sense. Someone on here commented previously that they didn't think they would like the feel, but the Thinkpad tablets are famous for giving a very similar feel to real paper. I say "better" because I think I can write faster and it's smoother/less taxing for my hand, which is important with all the notes we take.

    Cons: My particular build is slightly underpowered in terms of processor sppeed, but I don't miss it much. I also must have gotten one of the last x61s that didn't have one of those cool fingerprint reader thingies built in.

    Anyone can PM me if they want to know more...
     
  14. s1lver

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    The advantages outweigh the disadvantages 457x that it's one of the best 1200 bucks I've spent. I use the one I posted in this thread (plus OneNote).




    EDIT: Forgot to add that I back-up regularly onto a DVD-R. Takes about 5 minutes tops.
     
  15. xanthomondo

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    With all of this tablet talk Im making the plunge and ordering it on Sunday

    Gateway is having a sale for what looks like amazing tablets:

    http://www.gateway.com/systems/series/529597319.php

    14" inch screen, Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHZ, 3GB RAM, 250 GB Harddrive and an ATI 256 MB Graphics card for $1099. - Sale ends Monday

    They have a less beastly version for only $699
     
  16. medgator

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    I just bought my wife an HP tx2000z. They have them on sale from time to time at officemax and also at HP's website for under $1000.

    She seems to like it a lot. Whats nice about it is that it's a laptop and a tablet rather than a straight tablet like the Lenovos are. When you want to turn it into a tablet, you just swivel the screen 180 degrees and push it down. I dont think she has taken too many notes with it yet.
     
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  17. s1lver

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    Not bad... I like it! :thumbup:

    Btw, the source for all things TabletPC is http://www.tabletpcreview.com There are a TON of reviews/info there so be sure to read around a bit before spending $$$ on a TabletPC (and ask around on their helpful forums, too).
     
  18. AZhopeful

    AZhopeful Natural Killer Cell
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    uh... maybe that's some of the Lenovos, but mine is also a convertible laptop/tablet.
     
  19. Slaiby

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    All of the lenovo thinkpad tablets are convertible (screen flips around to make it a tablet, but still has layout of typical laptop). I'm about a day away from ordering a x61t, from all that I've read online they really seem to be the best convertible tablets out there.

    Just remember, tablets are not meant to replace a multimedia/gaming computer, they really focus on energy efficiency and doing the tablet thing the best they can. So if you need a computer that needs to handle games or movies primarily, don't get a tablet. Also be very careful of the tablets that advertise themselves for multimedia purposes, especially anything larger than 12" screen, you may find it too heavy and big to truly utilize as a tablet.
     
  20. ClockworkDoc

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    I just bought a Gateway C-142XL. I'll let you know what I think of it once it arrives.
     
  21. umz

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    yea.. when i got my hp tx 2000 i knew it wouldn't have the best graphic capabilities, but i love that it's only 12 inches! it's even lighter than my macbook. i know someone who has the 15 inch toshiba and he absolutely hates carrying it around.
     
  22. AZhopeful

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    Very true... a friend of mine has a tablet that is much bigger... bigger screen, probably more processor/RAM/hard disk, but not nearly as portable as mine! He always has his set on a table, and you never see him walking around and holding it like it's a piece of paper. Gotta stop talking about my tablet, I'll cross the line of geekdom...
     
  23. emcee

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    Wouldn't it be faster to type the notes instead of writing it down? It's been something I've been wondering for awhile!
     
  24. umz

    umz paní doktorka
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    In OneNote, you can have notebooks that you write manually in as if it were a real notebook. You can also type in it.. or make tables, or insert powerpoints/pdfs/pictures/etc. So if you need to type, you do, but if you want to draw a biological process, or something not easily typed, you can do that too. I wasn't in bio this last semester, but I used it to write down equations and such for a math class. I think it would be awesome for things like organic chem too. You could draw out all the synthesis problems and stuff, and then when you wanted to include a description or something you can switch over to typing and type right under it.
     
  25. xanthomondo

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    haha i just ordered mine today, its slated to come this Friday
     
  26. ClockworkDoc

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    Now I'm jealous. I wish I would have gotten express delivery. I don't get mine until May 29. Of course, that is if Gateway doesn't have an order delay like they are famous for.

    Edit: Just got a shipping update - it will be here on May 22!
     
  27. xanthomondo

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    haha strange, i just looked at my shipping status and its sooner than the gateway people thought as well

    should come tomorrow
     
  28. xanthomondo

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    so i just got the computer today - its flatout amazing

    the case they give you is sweet too
     
  29. ClockworkDoc

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    Too bad there will not be anyone at my house when FedEx stops by to drop mine off tomorrow. :-/
     
  30. ClockworkDoc

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    Nice, my girlfriend was there to get my computer. She came home from work to pull it in from the rain. So for, I am my happy. Hopefully inking will get better as I use this program . In all, I am happy (except for my dead pixel...)
     
  31. xanthomondo

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    dead pixel? ouch...are they sending you a new one or do you have to return yours first?

    inking is easier if you calibrate the pen - and you need to do it in all four directions
     
  32. ClockworkDoc

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    I called them immediately. they said they would send someone out to me with a new screen. Inking is fun, but it seems like you need to have the word in your dictionary for it to recognize it. Not all that useful for med school were 90% of the words are not in the standard dictionary.
     
  33. TMP-SMX

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    I'll take my pen, highlighter, and paper any day considering we have a syllabus preprinted for us at Wayne.
     
  34. xanthomondo

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    If you use onenote you dont really need the handwriting-text feature - you can just take handwritten notes on the screen and leave them that way
     
  35. xanthomondo

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    I don't know if anyone else reads this thread, but Office Depot is offering the HP TX2000Z for $599 after mail in rebates
     
  36. MrMunkily

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    I bought an old Toshiba Portege M200 for about $350 this past fall and used it thoughout second year. It was clutch for inking up pathology slides. It's nice to only have to carry one thing, to be able to search for anything at a moments notice and have it come up complete with your own notes.

    It came without any software or anything, so I put Ubuntu Linux on it and used it for the whole year... definitely NOT something I would recommend though (Linux) for anyone who doesn't like messing with stuff for the sake of messing with stuff, which, obviously, I do. I have a list of things I had to do to it to make it work properly that is as long as my arm.

    So the tablet is worth it if your school uses PowerPoint extensively and distributes the slideshows to you in advance of the class.
     
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  37. DrJosephKim

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    If you get a nice tablet, I think you'll love it. I use mine all the time and it really helps to have a convertible machine that opens up to be a regular laptop. I suggest Thinkpads.
     
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  38. TheRealMD

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    Normal notebook + USB Wacom tablet is a better investment I'd think. It takes a little getting used to since you won't actively see what you're writing (you should take notes by typing anyway), but the real advantage of a tablet anyway is marking stuff on slides and what not. And it's also a much better cost value since most people have decent laptops already. No need to buy a brand new one.
     
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  39. sella turcica

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    People at my school have 1.8ghz lenovo x61 tablets with 2 gigs of ram ~$2k. A lot of people love the flexibility they offer, but almost everyone I know has a lot of glitches and slowness/frustration with them. It's a real tradeoff. I'm picky and want things to run correctly so I bought a regular laptop. Still, I should have bought a mac. Oh well.
     
  40. ClockworkDoc

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    Schools always rip people off on laptops. You are better off buying one on your own.
     
    #39 ClockworkDoc, Jul 1, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  41. DrJosephKim

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  42. WinterLights

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    I am thinking about buying this computer. Did it come wireless ready?

    EDIT: Nevermind. I am going to search for another computer. I found out that the ATI Mobility X2300 does not support directx 10. It will probably be obselete within the next year. Still, that is a good price for a tablet with those specs.
     
    #41 WinterLights, Jul 6, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  43. TheRealMD

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    DirectX 10 requires Windows Vista. If you're thinking about gaming, get a desktop dude.
     
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  44. WinterLights

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    Who doesn't hate desktops? Anyways, I've decided to go ahead and take the plunge with this computer. It seems like this is the best deal that you will find out there. Only paying 1,329.00 total with overnight shipping. I'll let you all know what I think of it once I get it.
     
    #43 WinterLights, Jul 8, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  45. ClockworkDoc

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    What computer did you go with?
     
  46. WinterLights

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    The Gateway C-142XL. I was also considering a medium grade Gateway P-Series laptop, but it would have cost a couple hundred more (about $300.00 more.) In comparison to the the C-142XL, the P-series I was looking at had a slightly slower processor (2.2GHz vs 2.4Ghz), less hard drive space (200GB vs 250GB), 1GB more RAM (4GB vs 3GB), A better graphics card (512MB Nvidia card--DX-10 compatible vs 256MB ATI mobility card--not DX 10 compatible.) I came to the decision that not having a top of the line graphics card is not a big deal. I tend to play the graphics heavy games on my Xbox 360 anyways. I plan on playing MMO games on it though. I will let you guys know what I think of it when it arrives.
     
  47. menardst

    menardst Junior Member
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    Hello all,

    I have the HP tx1000 which I used since last year. I have also experienced the IBM tablet (by the grace of ShyRem). I believe that the IBM model is quite awesome but expensive. The HP I have has been great. It came with Vista (which I enjoy) and all the other bells and whistles for about $1200. I like the finger print option for logging on, I have used the memory stick slots to download pictures often and it was super easy. Wireless capabilities are great and convenient. Battery life is good. I really have no complaints. You can use your finger to move the cursor if you have to. Unlike the IBM, the screen is pressure sensitive and does not require a special pen for writing.

    Now, when you all get a tablet, be sure to download the extra tablet software that I think MS has. You will have a program that allows you to make flashcards right in class and share with other students that have the program (only tablet). Also, the OneNote program is the best. Not only can you save the PPT lectures and add notes to them and flag them for later study, I also use this program for other materials, like guitar tabs that I download and any other thing that you want to print. In the print screen, just change the device from the printer to OneNote and it will send your print to the program to be saved. For myself, I would only buy a tablet after having one and will never go back to a regular laptop. Hope this helps. Any other question, feel free to ask. Good luck.
     
  48. WinterLights

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    Thanks for the input. I am excited to be making the transition from traditional laptop to tablet.
     
  49. ClockworkDoc

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    You paid ~$150 too much, you should have haggled on the phone or on their chat room. In any case, I have the C-142XL right now and I really like it. Powerful, stylish, and portable. I bought a Targus bag, which works very well for transporting the computer. If you are interested in the bag, I'll look up the product number when I get home.
     
  50. WinterLights

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    The overnight shipping cost $100.00. The carrying case I bought cost $50.00. Hence the extra $150.00. It should arrive tomorrow. I will likely be playing my MMO of choice all day tomorrow so I don't know if I'll be back on here by then :D. I will try to post a full review by next week.
     
  51. TamarMD

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    YES YES a million times yes. I purchased a tablet pc last summer and I am happy with my purchase. My sister suggested I get a used one off of eBay instead of getting a brand new one outright. I purchased a Toshiba Satellite R20. I used it in all of my classes that required note-taking. For my philosophy and american society class I typed my notes, which was better because I type faster than I write so I was able to copy a lot more of what the professor was saying. I used the tablet function in my science classes. This way I was able to draw diagrams and do math problems if I needed to. The con to my tablet is that being a Toshiba, especially an older version, it is rather bulky.
     
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