New Computer for Vet School?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

Which iPad is better for vet school?

  • iPad Pro 2020

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • iPad Air 2019

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • IPad Pro 2018

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6

saltshaker007

Illinois c/o 2017!!
10+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
70
Reaction score
0
Hey guys,

I will be attending vet school in the fall, and I was wondering if anyone had any input or suggestions on types of computers to buy? During the information session at the University of Illinois, the tech guy said we should DEFINITELY buy a brand new computer for vet school (so it will last us the next four years and beyond)...he scoffed at the idea of using our old one from undergrad. So, two questions:

1. I bought the computer I have now a little over 4 years ago. There's nothing wrong with it (not that it's great or anything, but it does what it needs to) and I'm having a hard time justifying buying a completely new computer. Mine is a bit bulky and could use a new battery but otherwise works fine. Did anyone keep their "old" computer from undergrad? If so, how'd that work out for you?

2. If I buy a new computer, any recommendations on what kind? Touch screen? Apple? Tablet? I was looking into the kinds that have the detachable tablet screens...




Thanks! I apologize if there is a recent threads like this one out there, I tried to do a quick search and didn't find anything :)

Members don't see this ad.
 
I'll also be staring in the fall at Mizzou and I'm going to be buying a new Macbook. I have one that is 5 years old, going on 6 and it hardly has any memory left. A little slow at times, but seems to be working pretty well.
 
I'm planning on buying a new one, as mine is now six years old and not super reliable anymore. I think what kind you should get really depends on what you're looking for. What is your price range? Do you want to be able to carry it to class every day, or is it just for home use? Do you just want it for simple everyday stuff like internet and word processing, or are you someone who likes to play games in their spare time? Identify exactly what you need in a computer first, and that will help you decide which models to look more closely at.

I would advise against using a tablet as your only computer. Tablets are great and very handy, but they really can't compare to the functionality of a real laptop. I'm not sure about the tablet/laptop combos though, I haven't heard too much about them yet.
 
Members don't see this ad :)
Hey I know this is a Vet board but saw the thread and thought I would comment. The 1st two years of Vet and Med school are pretty similar... Honestly, if your computer can run word and powerpoints, open pdfs, and browse the web that is all you need. If you're happy with what you've got I would save the $$$, if it fails and you need to get a new one than no harm done.

Survivor DO
 
I legit bought a Mac today to replace my Sony Vaio that I bought in August.The Vaio didn't have anything wrong with it (other than it can't swim...) but I decided to make the change to a Mac since it has been something I've been thinking about for a while. I already love the darn thing. And I'm not one of those "you must use apple" people. I use the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet to take notes in class because I learn by handwriting and it's an easy way for me to have everything in one area instead of having a million sheets of paper.

My computer I use mainly for web browsing since it's way easier to multitask and obviously for any papers. I have a keyboard for my tablet (which I bought for the month when I didn't have a computer) but an actual laptop is still way easier to use.

Other than that, I think whether you go PC or Mac is personal preference. Just get something with a ton of RAM so you're computer will be faster on the quicker recalls. External harddrives are a good investment too. And I've learned accidental damage insurance is worth it too. Part of the only reason I have this computer now.
 
I think that U of I put a sheet of specs that the computer needed to have in the packet we recieved on interview day. It sounded like as long as the computer you get (or have) meets that, its fine. I got the feeling from the presentation that they were going to install software to make it compatable with the hospital's diagnostic programs when you got there.

I personally love my MacBook. just saying :) But I know there are lots of great PCs out there too.
 
I think that U of I put a sheet of specs that the computer needed to have in the packet we recieved on interview day. It sounded like as long as the computer you get (or have) meets that, its fine. I got the feeling from the presentation that they were going to install software to make it compatable with the hospital's diagnostic programs when you got there.

I personally love my MacBook. just saying :) But I know there are lots of great PCs out there too.

They definitely gave us a sheet with all of the required specs on it. If your computer meets that, then it shouldn't be a problem. HOWEVER, I think they were implying that even if your computer isn't giving you trouble now, it very possibly could at any point in the next 4 years and you would hate for that to happen right before exams. A new computer would, in theory, would be much less likely to just poop out on you unexpectedly. That was the impression I got from the spiel.
 
I started off with my undergrad laptop and pretty quickly upgraded to one that was smaller, lighter, better battery and had a touch screen. The tablet mode has been invaluable to me and it works much better than typing for some classes. Also the ability to draw lines on pictures, label diagrams, etc.

I still have the clunker, and it gets a lot of use around the house, but I could not have handled lugging that around school every day. Too big. too heavy. and it only gets like 2 hours of battery life on a good day. It's a powerhouse, for sure, but vet school meant that portability and the touch screen were much more important to me than the ability to have 9000 programs running and watch movies and play video games, all at the same time :laugh: I do find myself poking the screen of the non-touch screen clunker at times but that's my only issue with having two :)
 
I've been thinking the same thing lately. I have a Macbook that I love (couple years old) but like an idiot I spilled soda all over the keyboard a couple months ago and now it's been having issues. I'm finally taking in to Apple on Saturday to tell me how much it will cost to repair. I really don't want to have buy a new computer now if I don't have to. I would like to get a tablet to right on for class though (don't know anything about them right now).
 
They definitely gave us a sheet with all of the required specs on it. If your computer meets that, then it shouldn't be a problem. HOWEVER, I think they were implying that even if your computer isn't giving you trouble now, it very possibly could at any point in the next 4 years and you would hate for that to happen right before exams. A new computer would, in theory, would be much less likely to just poop out on you unexpectedly. That was the impression I got from the spiel.


That's why they invented external hard drives and cloud drives. I use both. Religiously. If my computer dies, I won't lose more than a days worth of notes. 500gb external hard drive - syncs EVERYTHING weekly. Dropbox syncs the current semester's folder daily. And most of my current/super important files are on both of my laptops, not just one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
That's why they invented external hard drives and cloud drives. I use both. Religiously. If my computer dies, I won't lose more than a days worth of notes. 500gb external hard drive - syncs EVERYTHING weekly. Dropbox syncs the current semester's folder daily. And most of my current/super important files are on both of my laptops, not just one.

I have a 2 TB external hard drive that I sync my computer to religiously. :) It just seemed that was what they were implying at the U of I interviews.
 
My computer falls right into this category, and I'm debating the same issue. One of my friends recommended holding out for the first part of the semester to see if it's really an inconvenient (i.e. too bulky, not enough battery life). If it is you can hit up some black Friday sales and you'll get something cheaper that you'll know is worth every penny. I've always been a pen and paper kind of note taker so I can't imagine spending the money to buy a computer that I won't use any more than the one I already have.
 
I had a techie person recommend the Lenovo Helix when it comes out this spring. It is a tablet, and a laptop, and who knows what else. It will be spendy, but it will be worth it to be able to handwrite notes on the tablet/screen. Docking it to the laptop part will extend the battery life.

I am looking into it for now.

Good luck to you.
dsoz
 
Members don't see this ad :)
That's why they invented external hard drives and cloud drives. I use both. Religiously. If my computer dies, I won't lose more than a days worth of notes. 500gb external hard drive - syncs EVERYTHING weekly. Dropbox syncs the current semester's folder daily. And most of my current/super important files are on both of my laptops, not just one.

Amen to external hard drives. After losing 6 years worth of pictures and documents when the hard drive on my family's PC crashed, my mom invested in an external hard drive that we both share. I back up my laptop every few months or so. It has already saved me multiple times. An external hard drive is definitely WELL worth the investment.
 
Memory is cheap these days; you can get a hefty external hard drive for nearly nothing. I'd also recommend getting a solid state external hard drive; they're faster, for one, but since they don't have any moving parts inside they're less susceptible to taking damage if jostled while they're writing data. Sometimes it's the little things. ;)

I kept my undergraduate computer just to have it flop over and die on me--thankfully during winter break, so I had time to buy another. But there is no good time for a computer to die in vet school. Once your semester gets rolling, it is always exam time, and you don't want the added stress of a questionably functional laptop weighing on your shoulders.

Regarding tablets versus convertibles versus laptops -
Tablets are sleek but they aren't as powerful as a laptop are, in terms of processing capabilities, disk space, etc. I wouldn't rely on an iPad as my only computer, but lord knows they do make note-taking/organizing/searching (if only paper had a search function!) so much easier! If you feel your computer from undergrad has another 3-4 years left in it (and being that it's 4 years old right now, just be aware that it likely doesn't, so you'll probably be buying a new one in another year or so anyway), it may be worth it to just get a tablet for your notes and stuff.

(PS - Dropbox and GOogle Drive are two ridiculously powerful tools. I don't have a tablet but I use both on my netbook; save the day's notes to Dropbox so when I get home they're waiting on my computer at home. And if I need to pull something up on the run, I can pull it up from my phone. They're free and I highly recommend them even if you don't use a tablet!)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Thanks for all the helpful tips!

I definitely think that a smaller, more portable (and better battery life) computer would be worth it...as long as I'm not spending $1000+ again (as I did on this one) I think it would be doable. I could keep this one and use it for essay writing at home and things like that. I'm all about the touch screen to use for drawing on diagrams and stuff...though I have no experience with it, I think it would be great.

Any thoughts on note-taking programs? Right now I have a Windows computer and I use "One-Note". It's alright, definitely better than just using Microsoft Word, but I was wondering / hoping that there is another awesome one I just don't know about yet out there.
 
Hey, OneNote is the tits. I dunno what you want from a program to make it better.

$1000 and under for a tablet limits you to the Surface and its kin or the iPad type of tablet. Most legitimate PC tablets will set you back a bit more... I thought it was worth it, but that's a personal choice.
 
Hey, OneNote is the tits. I dunno what you want from a program to make it better.


I think it may have to do with my old / crappy computer. Runs slow for me, crashes most times I try to draw lines and make shapes. I admit that I haven't experimented with a lot of the features. Just wondering if there was something else out there.
 
I started off with my undergrad laptop and pretty quickly upgraded to one that was smaller, lighter, better battery and had a touch screen. The tablet mode has been invaluable to me and it works much better than typing for some classes. Also the ability to draw lines on pictures, label diagrams, etc.

I still have the clunker, and it gets a lot of use around the house, but I could not have handled lugging that around school every day. Too big. too heavy. and it only gets like 2 hours of battery life on a good day. It's a powerhouse, for sure, but vet school meant that portability and the touch screen were much more important to me than the ability to have 9000 programs running and watch movies and play video games, all at the same time :laugh: I do find myself poking the screen of the non-touch screen clunker at times but that's my only issue with having two :)

What kind of tablet do you have? Also contemplating getting one.

Sent from my HTC Glacier using SDN Mobile
 
I kept using my laptop (Sony Vaio) from undergrad (that I bought in Aug 2008), and I didn't replace it until this school year (Nov 2012). It still works but the battery doesn't charge anymore so it was annoying to always have to keep it plugged in.

Now I have a Lenovo Ideapad S405, it's an ultrabook so it's much lighter, prettier, faster etc and it was only $520.
 
for anyone that has a computer that still works well but is maybe just a bit slower, a reformat might be a great idea and easy way for you to save money.

i kept my '07 thinkpad (t series) for my 1st year of vet school because it still worked fantastic. the one and only reason i bought a new one this summer was that i was worried if something ever happened, i'd be on an island with little access to repair and no access to purchasing a new one. not good. i bought another lenovo thinkpad t series and i <3 it. i also have a netbook that i take to class
 
Hey, OneNote is the tits. I dunno what you want from a program to make it better.

$1000 and under for a tablet limits you to the Surface and its kin or the iPad type of tablet. Most legitimate PC tablets will set you back a bit more... I thought it was worth it, but that's a personal choice.

I got my x220T refurbed for juuusst a little over $1k - and it's pretty reasonably decked out, SSD, 6GB ram, i7 whatnot. I'd suggest getting the warranty and such on it that'd bump up the price a bit, but if you buy a generation back (there's an x230) and refurbed you can definitely get it for around that price.

I would have definitely paid more for mine, though, love my tablet very much.
 
I had a techie person recommend the Lenovo Helix when it comes out this spring. It is a tablet, and a laptop, and who knows what else. It will be spendy, but it will be worth it to be able to handwrite notes on the tablet/screen. Docking it to the laptop part will extend the battery life.

I am looking into it for now.

Good luck to you.
dsoz

I was thinking about the yoga, that looks better. Lenovos are the tits. So is OneNote.
 
Any thoughts on note-taking programs? Right now I have a Windows computer and I use "One-Note". It's alright, definitely better than just using Microsoft Word, but I was wondering / hoping that there is another awesome one I just don't know about yet out there.

I didn't care for OneNote either, but maybe that's because I used it only very briefly for an animal nutrition project. All the vet school students rave about it, so I should probably take another look at it before school starts in the fall.

If you're an Apple person, Notability seems to be an excellent note taking app. From what I've seen, it's extremely versatile and allows you to type, hand write, draw, and record audio.

If you're using an Android device you can't use notability, but after a lot of digging I managed to find a program that is similar. It's called LectureNotes. Same idea, you can type, hand write, draw, and record. You can also completely customize your notebooks - title, cover color, paper type (lined, graph, blank, etc) and more. And you can organize all your notebooks into separate folders. I'm only running it on my phone right now, so I haven't been able to explore all the features yet, but it seems like it might work well for vet school. I'm going to have my tech-savvy older brother jailbreak my tablet for me this weekend and then I'll be able to run LectureNotes on there too, and that's what I'm planning on hopefully using for vet school classes.
 
If you're an Apple person, Notability seems to be an excellent note taking app. From what I've seen, it's extremely versatile and allows you to type, hand write, draw, and record audio.

Thanks for the info! I just got an iPad and I've been trying to find the best note-taking app while I'm on spring break right now. I also got a keyboard for the ipad which I actually really like. We'll see how it goes once classes start up again and I can use it for actual note-taking. I downloaded evernote (it was free) but I don't love it. I'm definitely going to try out notability tonight but if anyone else has a favorite apple app, I'd love to hear it!

I'm also trying to decide if a laptop is necessary. We have a crazy suped-up desktop at home so I'm wondering if that + the ipad would be enough. Has anyone here done vet school without a true laptop?

Edited to add - Does anyone have the iAnnotate PDF app? It looks like it would work well to markup textbooks and has good reviews but at $10 it's a bit spendy for an app.
 
Last edited:
I didn't care for OneNote either, but maybe that's because I used it only very briefly for an animal nutrition project. All the vet school students rave about it, so I should probably take another look at it before school starts in the fall.

If you're an Apple person, Notability seems to be an excellent note taking app. From what I've seen, it's extremely versatile and allows you to type, hand write, draw, and record audio.

If you're using an Android device you can't use notability, but after a lot of digging I managed to find a program that is similar. It's called LectureNotes. Same idea, you can type, hand write, draw, and record. You can also completely customize your notebooks - title, cover color, paper type (lined, graph, blank, etc) and more. And you can organize all your notebooks into separate folders. I'm only running it on my phone right now, so I haven't been able to explore all the features yet, but it seems like it might work well for vet school. I'm going to have my tech-savvy older brother jailbreak my tablet for me this weekend and then I'll be able to run LectureNotes on there too, and that's what I'm planning on hopefully using for vet school classes.


Haven't tried this one, but if you get the Galaxy Note tablet, it comes with an already precent program on it called S Note. I used that for classes and haven't really had any major issues with it.
 
Those of you that use a tablet or ipad for writing notes...

Do you find it pretty easy to write on them... I have a thing about touch screens and I am just not very good with them... I tend to rest my hand on them or something weird like that and then they stop working... I have thought about getting something like that for next year as it might be easier to organize things.. but we also get so many printed out notes as well that I have just stuck to hand writing notes...

Anyway, do any of you have a problem with writing on the tablet or ipad at all?
 
Those of you that use a tablet or ipad for writing notes...

Do you find it pretty easy to write on them... I have a thing about touch screens and I am just not very good with them... I tend to rest my hand on them or something weird like that and then they stop working... I have though

I don't have any major issues. Occasionally, my screen my accidentally zoom in but that's about it. My note taking app has a feature where I can turn off it's ability to recognized my fingers, so I think that helps cut down on a lot of issues.
 
I don't have any major issues. Occasionally, my screen my accidentally zoom in but that's about it. My note taking app has a feature where I can turn off it's ability to recognized my fingers, so I think that helps cut down on a lot of issues.

That is good to know...

Still debating the tablet/ipad thing... I don't really want to use those as a substitute for a computer.. and I have a feeling this computer isn't going to last too much longer... I hope it does but it has been having minor issues... so I don't think I could afford a tablet/ipad and a new laptop when the time comes for needing one...

Just trying to decide if the tablet/ipad is worth the money or not... has anyone found that they are not really that helpful or useful?
 
If you're an Apple person, Notability seems to be an excellent note taking app. From what I've seen, it's extremely versatile and allows you to type, hand write, draw, and record audio.

I've not used Notability on a Mac (and I take my notes on a PC), but a number of our Mac users here use Growly Notes. So, at least, it's something to check out.

I'm a big fan of OneNote. It took me a bit to really settle on how I like to do things. Figuring out how to slice up PDFs (most ppt presentations are distributed to us as pdfs, not ppts; I use PDF Scissors to chop them into individual slides) was a minor hurdle. But I love the concept of notebooks, tabs, and pages....

So the way I set it up is this: I use a "Notebook" for each semester (Notebooks are the 'high level') called Y1S1, Y1S2, etc. (that's over on the left). In each Notebook I have a tab for each class (those are across the top). In each class I put whatever pages are appropriate (those are on the right). I usually have a page for the syllabus, and then a page for every day's lecture. If professors provide written notes in addition to the presentation, I throw that in under the day's lecture notes as well.

I've attached two pics of my setup. One of them shows the organizational layout. That's not how I typically take notes because I hide much of the paneling to get more real estate to take notes in. So the second shows how I actually use it. Sorry they're so small - it's SDN size limitations. :( But if you think over the hierarchy as going from top level (left - the semester) to mid level (middle/above - the class) to lowest level (right - the lecture), you get the idea.
 

Attachments

  • onenote layout.jpg
    onenote layout.jpg
    91.3 KB · Views: 241
  • onenote layout 2.jpg
    onenote layout 2.jpg
    93.1 KB · Views: 206
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
I've not used Notability on a Mac (and I take my notes on a PC), but a number of our Mac users here use Growly Notes. So, at least, it's something to check out.

I'm a big fan of OneNote. It took me a bit to really settle on how I like to do things. Figuring out how to slice up PDFs (most ppt presentations are distributed to us as pdfs, not ppts; I use PDF Scissors to chop them into individual slides) was a minor hurdle. But I love the concept of notebooks, tabs, and pages....

So the way I set it up is this: I use a "Notebook" for each semester (Notebooks are the 'high level') called Y1S1, Y1S2, etc. (that's over on the left). In each Notebook I have a tab for each class (those are across the top). In each class I put whatever pages are appropriate (those are on the right). I usually have a page for the syllabus, and then a page for every day's lecture. If professors provide written notes in addition to the presentation, I throw that in under the day's lecture notes as well.

I've attached two pics of my setup. One of them shows the organizational layout. That's not how I typically take notes because I hide much of the paneling to get more real estate to take notes in. So the second shows how I actually use it. Sorry they're so small - it's SDN size limitations. :( But if you think over the hierarchy as going from top level (left - the semester) to mid level (middle/above - the class) to lowest level (right - the lecture), you get the idea.

I had no idea I actually had OneNote on my computer until I saw these images and was like "hey, that's familiar!" My laptop's on its way out so a bit slow running it, but how did I not know this program existed?! :laugh: I was a hand writer through undergrad but OneNote seems epic for when I'm going to have to take notes on a computer and hand-outs to keep up.
 
Just trying to decide if the tablet/ipad is worth the money or not... has anyone found that they are not really that helpful or useful?

I have a 7" Kindle Fire HD. It is definitely not the tablet I would have picked out for myself, but it was a graduation gift from my aunt and uncle so I can't complain. It's nowhere near as powerful and functional as other tablets, and you're limited to apps in the Amazon store only (much more limited than the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store), you can only use Silk as your internet browser, and you're stuck with Amazon's layout which is designed to shove advertising in your face constantly. As I mentioned before, I plan on jail breaking mine (which is somewhat questionable ethically . . . ) to get more functionality out of it, but if you're looking at tablets I'd recommend going for the more expensive but more versatile options like Galaxy or iPad.

That said, the Fire is a nice little toy to have. It's great for browsing the internet because it's fast and portable. It has awesome battery life, so I can charge it overnight and then use it all day without plugging it in if I want to. The video and sound quality are both outstanding. And I have access to any book I could possibly want to read, anywhere I go. I bought a Bluetooth keyboard for it and plan on bringing it to class with me instead of carrying a full laptop around every day. I think tablets are a great tool and they're definitely very useful, but I definitely would not recommend using a tablet as your only computer. You're much better off getting a lightweight, portable laptop and skipping the tablet if you want to save money.
 
I used 2008 apple desktop computer for undergrad and during my tour of WSU a vet student in the class ahead of me said everyone pretty much has a newer laptop. I dont think your computer would be too old to use, as long as you think it will last the next 4 years. You could back up your work on an external hard drive just in case.

I just bought a new laptop with my tax return. :) I got the apple macbook pro retina. I only got apple because then I can back mine up with the desktop and I didnt have a laptop to begin with. :) The vet students said professors email notes/slides sometimes and people just open them up on their computers to follow along. There was one girl who did everything pen/paper. :)
 
Memory is cheap these days; you can get a hefty external hard drive for nearly nothing. I'd also recommend getting a solid state external hard drive; they're faster, for one, but since they don't have any moving parts inside they're less susceptible to taking damage if jostled while they're writing data. Sometimes it's the little things. ;)

Solid State drives are actually horribly unreliable compared to standard hard disk drives. They are great for laptop use, but are a very poor choice for backup solutions.

I concur that dropbox is hugely helpful and keep all my documents in it.
 
Ugh, I know nothing about computers but I know I need something new for vet school. My laptop is literally falling apart (a bunch of the screws fell out) and it crashes all the time. I don't have anything backed up either. I don't even know where to start looking for something new though.
 
Those of you who take notes on a tablet or touch screen: what kind of stylus do you use? I just have a cheap Marware stylus right now, so I'm thinking I will probably have to get something with a fine point tip if I want to be able to take notes legibly.
 
Those of you who take notes on a tablet or touch screen: what kind of stylus do you use? I just have a cheap Marware stylus right now, so I'm thinking I will probably have to get something with a fine point tip if I want to be able to take notes legibly.

I just got the Adonit jot pro for my ipad and I really like it. If I'm going to take a ton of notes I prefer using the keyboard I got for it and then using the stylus for diagrams.

(http://adonit.net/jot/pro/)
 
I got my x220T refurbed for juuusst a little over $1k - and it's pretty reasonably decked out, SSD, 6GB ram, i7 whatnot. I'd suggest getting the warranty and such on it that'd bump up the price a bit, but if you buy a generation back (there's an x230) and refurbed you can definitely get it for around that price.

I would have definitely paid more for mine, though, love my tablet very much.

I paid about $2,200 - it's the only thing I have taken out extra loans for. It was pretty new still. I got it with the core i7 and all the bells and whistles, plus a warranty through June of 2015.

One of my classmates with an HP was talking about how she was glad to have the warranty because she had to send it in again because this or that messed up. I pointed out that if mine broke, Lenovo would send someone to fix it... like, someone would come to me, no mailing my computer in and going without one for weeks... and if they can't fix, they will replace...

She didn't quite think that was fair. But yanno.

Those of you that use a tablet or ipad for writing notes...

Do you find it pretty easy to write on them... I have a thing about touch screens and I am just not very good with them... I tend to rest my hand on them or something weird like that and then they stop working... I have thought about getting something like that for next year as it might be easier to organize things.. but we also get so many printed out notes as well that I have just stuck to hand writing notes...

Anyway, do any of you have a problem with writing on the tablet or ipad at all?

I hate. Hatehatehate writing in the iPad. A word here or there is fine, but notes? No fuggin way. Maybe I'm just used to writing with the Leno, but yeah.

If you're an Apple person, Notability seems to be an excellent note taking app. From what I've seen, it's extremely versatile and allows you to type, hand write, draw, and record audio.

I have Notability and I like it. I only wish it had a way to search for terms within the documents. That's the big thing with OneNote - you can search text in slides, in images, and (if you have a tablet) in your handwriting. And it does a good job! Give me a minute and I'll post a screen capture of what it's like to use OneNote + tablet computer.


Those of you who take notes on a tablet or touch screen: what kind of stylus do you use? I just have a cheap Marware stylus right now, so I'm thinking I will probably have to get something with a fine point tip if I want to be able to take notes legibly.

There is no such thing as a fine point tip if you are using a touch screen tablet like the iPad. This is what you get:

5431672220_7a9af90c4a_z.jpg


Which is why I hate it so much. It will never feel completely normal, and you can never be 'precise' - only enough to be legible.

This is my Lenovo pen:

CNET-YYS1-1716684.jpg


It is almost like writing with a real pen - the weirdest part is writing on 'glass' which is strange, but you get used to it.
 
Last edited:
There is no such thing as a fine point tip if you are using a touch screen tablet like the iPad.

I beg to differ! Check out the Adonit jot pro. Writes just like a pen, I don't notice the clear disk at all. :)

Feature_37.png
 
I beg to differ! Check out the Adonit jot pro. Writes just like a pen, I don't notice the clear disk at all. :)

Feature_37.png

I saw that! It seems mighty strange to have to worry about the positioning of an eraser-sized plastic disc as you write. I'll take your word for it working well, but it's weird.

Here is the screen shot of OneNote I promised earlier. No critique of the handwriting - it is what it is. Sorry for the size - I wanted it to be legible - and for the missing 'r' on rotation. That happens sometimes.

onenote.jpg
 
Which is why I hate it so much. It will never feel completely normal, and you can never be 'precise' - only enough to be legible.

This is my Lenovo pen:

CNET-YYS1-1716684.jpg


It is almost like writing with a real pen - the weirdest part is writing on 'glass' which is strange, but you get used to it.


One of the reasons I love my Galaxy Note. The stylus it comes with is fine tipped like that. All my friends and bf use the stylus like you posted for the iPad and I tried to use it on my tablet once and it was horrible. I can even change the tip on my stylus to being rubber tipped or just plastic. It's rubber tipped at the moment, so it gives you a little more friction. I also have a screen protector on my tablet and don't have any problems with my stylus being recognized.
 
This weekend I went to Best Buy to try handwriting on the Dell XPS 12. It was pretty awful! I used one of those giant stylus' (similar to twelvetigers' post above) and that meant I was writing ridiculously large and then when I briefly rested my hand on the screen it got angry with me and wrote a line across the screen.

Is this a common problem? There seems to be a lot of Lenovo love here, do they exhibit similar issues? Or what about just a tablet (vs. laptop/tablet convertible)?
 
This weekend I went to Best Buy to try handwriting on the Dell XPS 12. It was pretty awful! I used one of those giant stylus' (similar to twelvetigers' post above) and that meant I was writing ridiculously large and then when I briefly rested my hand on the screen it got angry with me and wrote a line across the screen.

Is this a common problem? There seems to be a lot of Lenovo love here, do they exhibit similar issues? Or what about just a tablet (vs. laptop/tablet convertible)?

As mentioned earlier, I have a Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. I love it. It's a bit slower than iPad when it comes to uploading documents to take notes on them (comes with S Note which works well) but I just upload them the night before and it isn't an issue.

The stylus is super nice and resembles the Lenovo one that TT posted. The tablet also already has a little hidey slot for it built into the tablet so you don't have to worry about losing it. It locks in nice and tightly. You actually have to push the stylus in a bit to get it to unlock. I don't have major issues with drawing extra lines on the screen with my hand because the S Note program has a feature where you can turn off the screens responsiveness to your hand except for when you want to zoom in/out. And that's the only time it's sometimes a problem. Occasionally my wrist rests/touches in a way that causes the screen to zoom in. It doesn't happen often enough to make me not want to use the tablet.

My mom has an ancient HP convertible lap top which has been good handwriting recognition but that particular one definitely isn't made anymore. I got a chance to test out the Lenovo ones.
 
This weekend I went to Best Buy to try handwriting on the Dell XPS 12. It was pretty awful! I used one of those giant stylus' (similar to twelvetigers' post above) and that meant I was writing ridiculously large and then when I briefly rested my hand on the screen it got angry with me and wrote a line across the screen.

Is this a common problem? There seems to be a lot of Lenovo love here, do they exhibit similar issues? Or what about just a tablet (vs. laptop/tablet convertible)?

When the tip of the stylus is near, the screen ignores any other touch signals, so you can rest your hand however you like. It's not 100% foolproof - it still does weird line things or jumps around - but it at least lets you write normally.

And I definitely like having the keyboard for when I want it, like right now. Incidentally (and I'm sure it would be different for everyone) it is my favorite keyboard ever. The keys are very springy and raised but not too raised, so it's very tactile and nice.
 
I beg to differ! Check out the Adonit jot pro. Writes just like a pen, I don't notice the clear disk at all. :)

Feature_37.png

Have you had any problems with this one? It sounds like exactly what I'm looking for, but a lot of the reviews I found complained about it scratching the screen of the device or the plastic disc breaking off.
 
Another example from a lenovo X220. It was from a talk where I didn't have the powerpoint, but I usually work like TT doing notes on the side... I just have sucked at paying attention/taking notes recently.

Really have no complaints about my computer at all.

sC2yUrb.png
 
I've been using the HP tm2t. I don't think they make this particular model anymore, and I'm not sure if they have a similar one out now. I love it though. The pen writes a lot like the Lenovo one. I can rest my hand on the screen with no problem. Only time I have an issue is if my wrist accidently taps on the scroll bar, but that happens very very rarely.

I'm still thinking I might get an ipad mini or something for clinics, but this thing is a bit of a clunker. It's small but heavy.

It's been a life saver for classroom work though. I am not capable of taking notes on paper (AKA, I lose the papers almost instantly) and if I'm typing I zone out too easily sometimes. This thing gives me the best of both worlds and I can decide what works best for each class/professor


 
Have you had any problems with this one? It sounds like exactly what I'm looking for, but a lot of the reviews I found complained about it scratching the screen of the device or the plastic disc breaking off.

No problems so far but I'm taking it to my physics class tomorrow so we'll see how it fares there. The plastic tip is made to be replaceable but I haven't had an issues with it falling off by itself. I also haven't noticed any scratching (and I am not good at keeping my screen clean) and it glides pretty smoothly. When you're writing you really forget that the disk is there at all. I'm really pleased with it!
 
I wanted to thank those who recommended Drop Box. I downloaded it over Easter and have now had a chance to play with it a bit, and I think it's fabulous. I don't need to think about it or DO anything, which is the best way to keep me on track lol.
 
I've been using the HP tm2t. I don't think they make this particular model anymore, and I'm not sure if they have a similar one out now. I love it though. The pen writes a lot like the Lenovo one. I can rest my hand on the screen with no problem. Only time I have an issue is if my wrist accidently taps on the scroll bar, but that happens very very rarely.

I'm still thinking I might get an ipad mini or something for clinics, but this thing is a bit of a clunker. It's small but heavy.

It's been a life saver for classroom work though. I am not capable of taking notes on paper (AKA, I lose the papers almost instantly) and if I'm typing I zone out too easily sometimes. This thing gives me the best of both worlds and I can decide what works best for each class/professor



They don't make it anymore. It is very similar but the husband always complains about the screen... but he is using it outside so that's a whole nother can of tomatoes.

Lemme know if you want to piddle around with my iPad mini sometime. I usually have it with me.

It doesn't *quite* fit in a white coat pocket, unfortunately. At least not mine.
 
Top