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Old 10-06-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
paaThaka
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Tablet PC - has anybody tried it

Has anybody used tablet pc type form factor for reading eBooks and esp. PDF papers?

What I'm after is something that helps in my research and reading workflow, but most ebook readers are nowhere near offering these:

- high res (1280x800 minimu, pref. higher)
- can make notes on PDF files and save those to PDFs (note layer)
- ability to "find inside PDFs" for all the PDFs on the device (i.e. contents indexed)
- ideally support for some reference management (like Zotero inside Firefox)
- djvu, epub, rtf, doc and html support a bonus
- a pen interface is a big plus

I can do all this on my laptop, but the scree is vertical, the weight is n. 2.5kg, it gets hot and runs out of battery very fast.

Also, if I do this on my desktop computer, I have all the power, but no freedom to move and I'm tied to my desk.

Out of the current ones shipping, Panasonic Let's Note CF-C1 has most of these and weighs 1.5kg. Sure, it's heavy, but at least it's a tablet with a pen and doesn't weigh 3kg and the battery is rated at 10hrs (I'm guessing 8 would be doable, which is enough).

However, at 2300EUR it's a bit too steep to mail order and just try it out, if it works or not.

So, has anybody tried going this route, using a tablet pc for research reading and note taking?

Also, if anybody knows of tablet pcs still being manufactured / sold that have a slightly higher resolution, I'd love to get some links on those.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:06 PM   #2
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Have a look at this thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73724
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:29 PM   #4
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Go on ebay & look at Fujitsu Stylistic pc's. I bought a 2032 for $250 and it has a 12 inch screen and I put a 320gb hd and win7 on it. It's pen based and you can rotate the screen. since it's Windows I've installed about every ereader software I can find. They make an extended battery that lasts about 8 or 9 hours. It might fit what you need.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:13 PM   #5
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I have owned several tablet pcs, and now have a definite bias which is based on my experience with several.... I strongly prefer the tablet pc devices which use a touch pen interface as opposed to an electronic pen one. What this means is that you can use your device with the pen which came with the tablet; any other stylus object; your fingernail; or any other object which will not damage the screen. The electronic pen tablets are designed to be used only with the pen which came with the system, since it is based on communication between the pen and the screen surface.

For my work style, I have found that my devices which are touch based are far easier to use. I also end-up using the pen much more than the keyboard.

When the tablet pc form factor was first released, the majority of devices utilized the electronic pen. I believe that might be one reason the sales were so low and the public didn't adopt it like Microsoft had hoped.

I am sure there are people who have the exact opposite opinion to what I am sharing. I suggest that you not spend much money on a tablet pc until you have an opportunity to try both types of pen input and decide which works best for you.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:47 AM   #6
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Go on ebay & look at Fujitsu Stylistic pc's. I bought a 2032 for $250 and it has a 12 inch screen and I put a 320gb hd and win7 on it. It's pen based and you can rotate the screen. since it's Windows I've installed about every ereader software I can find. They make an extended battery that lasts about 8 or 9 hours. It might fit what you need.
I've been searching for one for some time, but they're never showing up. At least, not when I have the money to buy one... (there's one now, but prices over €400, including S&H).
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:33 PM   #7
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Yup. I've noticed the price of used tablet pc's, esp. slate models have gone up-up-up since the tablet hysteria began this year.

Even really used and old models are going for $400USD and up.

Time for the indstry to start really shipping new and improved units in 2011...
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:54 PM   #8
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Yup. I've noticed the price of used tablet pc's, esp. slate models have gone up-up-up since the tablet hysteria began this year.

Even really used and old models are going for $400USD and up.

Time for the indstry to start really shipping new and improved units in 2011...
Yes, and not for €1200...
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:53 AM   #9
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Quite interesting.

Does anyone remember all the big news items and video footage from ten years ago of Bill Gates demonstrating the latest and greatest tablet pc. He was convinced this was the computer wave of the future. All of the big hardware companies released models for a couple of years. Unfortunately, sales were not what anyone expected and tablet pc's more-or-less fizzled and disappeared (except for a small contingent of units).

Going back even more years than that, we had companies like Panasonic with their toughbook, Fujitsu with their stylistic, and a few others which tried to promote the device... far before Bill Gates made an attempt!

Also, far before the year 2000, Microsoft and many hardware manufacturers tried to sell the HPC devices... both with keyboards and those without. The majority of the public didn't even know they existed but those who saw them were quite fascinated by the form factor.

If you add all the pocket-pc's (symbian, newton, palm, ppc, etc) and all of the industrial touchscreens, you have this "tablet" form factor going-back many decades... without generating very much public support.

Finally... in 2010 does the public finally become interested. Perhaps it's taken the technology this long to catch-up with the concept; perhaps it's taken a top-notch media-master like Steve Jobs to convince us that this is what we really want. Who knows?

For those of us who have been promoting write-on-screen tablets for some twenty years, all we can say is, "Finally! It's about time!"
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:48 PM   #10
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Finally... in 2010 does the public finally become interested. Perhaps it's taken the technology this long to catch-up with the concept; perhaps it's taken a top-notch media-master like Steve Jobs to convince us that this is what we really want. Who knows?

For those of us who have been promoting write-on-screen tablets for some twenty years, all we can say is, "Finally! It's about time!"
I think what it really took was a touch friendly OS and accompanying applications; whether that be iOS, or Android or something else.

Gates tried making XP and Win7 touch friendly with more or less success, but the applications remain somewhat less than friendly. The phone apps are built from the ground up with large menus and buttons just for use with fingers.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:25 PM   #11
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Well there are some re-sellers who still have stock on Tablet PCs:

http://www.jksalesinc.com/catalog/pr...roducts_id=314

(no commercial affiliation beyond being a long-term satisfied customer)

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Old 10-13-2010, 04:07 PM   #12
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Well there are some re-sellers who still have stock on Tablet PCs:

http://www.jksalesinc.com/catalog/pr...roducts_id=314

William
I had owned that same HP Compaq TC1100 for several years. I consider the $267 price to be at the top-end of what to pay for this machine. It's not a bad computer, but computer prices have dropped quite a bit since it's initial release.

If I were buying an older tablet, I would try to keep it under $200. If ebay prices have suddenly jumped, just wait a while and they will fall back to where they should be.

Last edited by pphilipp; 10-13-2010 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:05 AM   #13
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Has anybody used tablet pc type form factor for reading eBooks and esp. PDF papers?
Yes - I've used a convertable tablet pc as a lab notebook replacement and document reader for four years now. Initially this was in a work context but I also quickly adopted it instead of paper for hobbies etc. The key aspect for me was the availablity of Microsoft OneNote which supports note-taking, interlinking and PDF import/annotation.

At work I had to read and review a lot of documents. This application lets me print any document or import a PDF as a OneNote file so I can then mark it up and highlight/edit using the tablet pen. Finally I could publish the result as a PDF and send back to the author. Material can be entered as handwriting and left as-is or converted to text, but either form can be searched for.

A tablet pc also makes a difference in meetings. At work it had got to the point that almost everyone was talking to others while looking down at their keyboards & screens for most of the time. With the tablet I spent more of my time looking at the person I was talking to.

For me the key to note-taking, diagramming etc is a pen interface with the resolution and responsiveness or pen and paper. I find the touch based interfaces completely inadequate for such tasks having tried out my daughter's iPad.

So, while the iPad is of no value to me in this kind of application I hope it will prompt a price reduction and wider range of slate pc's (ie no permanent keyboard) which offer a pen interface of similar resolution and responsiveness as my current device.

BTW I've found the 1024x768 display on the X61 perfectly adequate for the majority of work, the only time I have found the display wanting was for photography where the screen didn't have the level of clarity I needed compared to desktop displays.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:36 PM   #14
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The reason these tablets never sold when Gates hyped em in the early 2000's was because they wre $2000!! I love the form factor but no way was I going to pay that much for a laptop with no keyboard. Now since most of them are under $500 people have become a lot more intereted.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:47 AM   #15
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The reason these tablets never sold when Gates hyped em in the early 2000's was because they wre $2000!! I love the form factor but no way was I going to pay that much for a laptop with no keyboard. Now since most of them are under $500 people have become a lot more intereted.
Quite true!

Not only were the tablet pc's overpriced, but $600 pdas, $1500 HPCs, $300 ebook readers, and all the other touchscreen computers were far overpriced. Many of us could only buy these devices when they were offered on ebay or in CompUSA's bargain bin.

Every touchscreen computer I ever owned (maybe a dozen) were purchased used-second-hand, except the latest two. This indicates that the price was the only thing holding me back from buying new, but now that prices have fallen I now buy new. Some complainers even feel that $500 is too much to pay for an ipad... perhaps it is. We should find out in the next year or two if price is the main factor holding people back from purchasing.
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