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I'm a medical student and want to buy a tablet, basically for videos, note taking, and PDF annotation. Which tablet is the best?
A good stylus for making diagrams is an active stylus not a capacitive stylus. This limits your choice to a Windows-based or an Android-based tablet. As far as I know Apple does not have a tablet equipped with an active stylus, but this may change under Tim Cook's leadership. So between a Windows tablet and an Android tablet which one would you pick? I had experience using two old Android tablets (Asus Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab first gen) and three Windows tablets (Asus, Dell Latitude 10, Dell Venue Pro 7) but only the Dell Venue Pro supports an active stylus. It's fine but it could be better. The choice depends on your answer to a few questions. 1. What's your (or your parents') budget? Most large screen (10" or more) tablets that have good active stylus support will cost >$500 and perhaps close to $1,000 if you pick one with 128GB SSD and faster CPUs. Right now it will be a toss up between Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (SGN) and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (SP3). I'm not aware of any Android tablet with active pen that can match the SGN10 but there are Win-based tablets from third parties that just as good or better than SP3. 2. What size is right for you? 7-8" or 10-11" or 12-13" or >13". It's hard to find an Android tablet > 11". There are more options on the Windows side. My son uses a Sony VAIO duo hybrid (13") but most tablet manufacturers can offer you the size you want, including Lenovo, Dell, HP, Acer, and Asus. 3. Do you prefer a particular pen recognition mechanism? I have a bias towards Wacom-based pens. Note that Asus just relased a cheap 7-inch tablet with Wacom support. The Dell Venue Pro (the one I have) and the Sony Vaio Duo 13 (my son's hybrid) use the N-Trig pens, I think. SP3 is also not Wacom. A few models are coming out 1-2 months that are Wacom based. HP is due to release a 13" and 15" hybrid (tablet/laptop convertible) in a few weeks (see picture below). 4. Will you use the tablet for other tasks besides note-taking? Do you want a tablet that can also serve as a laptop and/or a desktop PC (with or without a docking station)? Or do you prefer a separate tablet/desktop PC? I have a bias towards hybrids since I've been using them for a while now. You can still get a tablet only and buy a separate Bluetooth keyboard. But IMO, Bluetooth devices are always problematic. 5. Are you tied up to a particular suite or ecosystem? MS Office and OneNote is now available in all platforms, so this is not much of a deal breaker. However, the soon-to-be released or announced touch-version of MS Office will be optimized more for-- you guessed it-- Windows 8.1 or higher. ---------------- Here's the next hybrid that makes me drool-- the HP Envy 15.5" hybrid, though I would definitely wait for reviews to come in before spending $1000. I read that Apple will release new iPads in a few weeks. I was hoping t start supporting active pens. If t do, then you may want to consider them as well. Hope this answer is helpful. All the best.
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