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Tablet suitable for university student?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by candroid11, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. candroid11

    candroid11 Well-Known Member
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    Due to a recent laptop issue that may or may not get resolved, I have considered buying a tab as a replacement for my MacBook. I will be clear in specifying that I do not run any advanced programs on my laptop. Any advanced program for school is done in a computer lab on campus. Therefore, my only concern is word processing. I will need to be writing huge university essays. I have been using Google docs for my word processing lately. I was thinking that if I just bought a keyboard for the tab it might be suitable. What do you guys think? I have heard that tablets do not like when you are rapidly typing with a keyboard because they have trouble keeping up, but I don't know how true this is. I am also unsure about how difficult formatting would be. I only need to perform the basics so I don't think it would be a huge issue, but I just don't have the experience to know for sure. I'd like to hear what your opinion is on this. Do you think a tablet is suitable for what I have described? Keep in mind that I will be doing lots of essay writing on my own time, and I have access to computers at school if I desperately needed one for something. But I need to know that a tablet can get me by with what I need.
     

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  2. candroid11

    candroid11 Well-Known Member
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    I apologize if the formatting of this post is sloppy. Because of the laptop issue I mentioned, I am writing all of this from my nexus s
     
  3. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    The Samsung Galaxy Tabs have a keyboard accessory and normally come with Office apps for docs, ppt and spreadsheets. You can also try out springpad or evernote for school notes.
     
  4. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    I second the transformer. The battery life is phenomenal (16+ hours of use with the keyboard dock! ) and it works great. Asus spent alot of time with this tab and most of the early issues have been worked out.
     
  5. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
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    You don't want to do word processing on a tablet. It's just not meant for that. If you're going to buy a keyboard, then I would advise just spending the $400 on a low end laptop. It's going to be much, much better suited for word processing.
     
  6. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    Why not? Polaris office is more than capable and the Google docs integration just keeps getting better.
     
  7. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy
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    Over there <points>
    It all depends on your price range, too. The Asus + keyboard dock is probably the best light laptop replacer, but it also is pricy. That keyboard dock runs $150 USD. The tablet itself runs around $400 USD. You can get a decent laptop for $550 USD, seeing how your concern is only word processing.

    If you want to go cheaper, it all depends on what you're willing to put up with. You can get a bluetooth keyboard and connect it to most tabs and it'll work just like a laptop with word processing. It just won't be as comfortable as a laptop because there is no structure. It will require a desk or a table. Unless you get the Asus Transformer with the keyboard dock.

    Google Docs and Polaris Office use all the standard Microsoft Office formats. Google Docs even uploads to the cloud, so you can print from any machine.

    But for the cheapest tablet, I think you'd be better off with an Acer Iconia A500. It has a USB port built in, so you can connect any USB keyboard to it and it'll recognize it. USB keyboards are a lot cheaper than bluetooth. The Iconia is fairly cheap and is as strong of a tablet as the rest.
     
  8. indybail

    indybail Well-Known Member
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    Can a tablet replace a laptop? Not quite yet although the gap is closing. Since you already have a smartphone and we are talking about approximately the same price point, I would go with a laptop.
     
  9. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Gap is closing if we're talking about netbooks. Depends on what kind of laptop we're talking about. Personally, between a netbook and a tablet, I'd go with a tablet.
     
  10. candroid11

    candroid11 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the replies so far. I am going to make a trip to the apple store soon and get them to hopefully fix my MacBook. I'm just worried about how much it might cost. Does anyone know if apple charges a lot for repairs?

    I think I want to get a tablet anyways for everything other than my school work. I may start shopping around for one. From what I know so far, the galaxy tab 10.1 is supposed to be spectacular.
     
  11. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
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    ASUS Transformer on Amazon - ~$400
    Keyboard dock for Transformer - ~120

    So, by the time you buy the Transfomer and the keyboard dock you're out about $500 or so. For $500 you can buy a full powered laptop that's has far more capabilities than a tablet. Heck, you can buy a Chromebook for $350 that integrates with Google docs and has the full keyboard as well.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on tablets. I've owned four of them this year and currently own two. I love my tablet. It's an awesome consumption device, but not so great at creating content. For the $500, a laptop is a better deal IMO because it integrates seamlessly with more stuff.
     
  12. JoePT

    JoePT Well-Known Member
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    I think you're fishing for a reason to get a tablet since it sounds like you want one anyways. I wouldn't word process with one like others have said.

    As far as the Mac repair, if it's through Apple and you don't have a care warranty through them, yeah, you'll probably pay more. Try going to their website and finding a local authorized place that fixes Macs.
     
  13. cds0699

    cds0699 Android Expert
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  14. Shocky

    Shocky On Probation
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    Asus Transformer with keyboard dock is good enough for basic word processing and battery life is much longer than a budget laptop.

    But obviously it's not as good for word processing as a laptop with office installed but I think you already know this, choice is yours.


    In the UK if you buy them together the price is reduced somewhat, is there nothing simalar in the US?
     
  15. candroid11

    candroid11 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks again everyone. I have decided that a tab will probably not be as convenient for my school work so I am going to try getting this laptop repaired, but I think a tablet may be something I want in the near future anyways. Does anyone know if writing handwritten notes on a tablet works well. I never use my laptop to take notes in school, I've always been a pen and paper type of guy, but I could see a tablet being good for taking hand written notes with a stylus. Has anyone done this before and are there good apps to allow this?
     
  16. MrHawley

    MrHawley Newbie
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    candroid11,
    Sounds like you already made up your mind but I'm going to chime in anyway because I have some comments to make that stem from a different viewpoint.

    I'm not dissing those who have voiced their opinions above, but my viewpoint comes from a solid two months using a tablet in an actual business (manufacturing and manufacturing support) environment. No theory here, this is a real-world, at-work, my paycheck depends on this, situation where the tablet has had to "measure up" to my requirements or it would have been gone.

    Specifically I'm using a Verizon branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 7" with 3G and for my specific situation I have found it to be a nearly ideal combination of physical size, screen real estate, battery life, and reliability. I also have the keyboard dock for this unit which has seen a higher-than-initially-anticipated amount of use revising and updating technical documentation and procedures which are stored in a cloud environment (plus assorted google docs).

    Prior to this I was using a nice little netbook that worked fairly well but had no 3G access so at my current position I frequently found myself "cut off" from all of my "cloud based" resources so something had to change.

    The tablet has completely taken the place of the netbook. It's battery will hold out for nearly two full days of my typical use (frequent but short duration), standby to on and back is nearly instantaneous, I can access the web for information, I can access my "cloud resources" for work data, and I can take fast voice notes, or even type pretty rapidly on the device itself and then fill out the details when I've docked to the keyboard (which I admit stays at my desk). All this from something smaller than an old Franklin day-planner.

    I thought that any "real heavy lifting" would get done at my desktop but I am amazed at how little I actually wind up needing my desktop at work since everything is always at my fingertips with my tablet.

    In short what I'm saying is that the current generation of tablets are far more capable of being real "work horses" than most give them credit for. The trick is finding the right apps to work with your style.

    I did a writeup on the initial phase of this project here. (I will be doing some updating sometime this week if time permits)
     
  17. candroid11

    candroid11 Well-Known Member
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  18. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
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    I don't know for sure, but I would imagine there is somewhere. Even if you can get both for $400, you can still get a better powered laptop for the same price.
     
  19. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Handrite and FreeNote are pretty nice handwriting apps. They work pretty well on a Galaxy S, I'd imagine more so on a tablet.
     
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  20. candroid11

    candroid11 Well-Known Member
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    Is there any way to save the notes in different file formats, such as PDF? That would be convenient for possible sharing and printing.
     
  21. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    I've stopped using FreeNote as I preferred Handrite's interface. There is a share function in the app itself, but AFAIK it shares as a png file and are only editable within app or using a photo-editing program. I've only tried sharing to dropbox, evernote and springpad.

    EDIT: Almost forgot, there is MobileNoter, havent tried it, but its a OneNote app for Android. Since you're using a Mac, you probably dont know what OneNote is exactly. Its like Growly Notes on your Mac, or its alternatives, but better.
     

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