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Old 04-04-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
BananaSlug
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College "e writer"?

Hello guys/gals,

Over the last week I have been doing a lot of research, and still have not made a decision. I'm weary because if I'm gonna spend 200-500 dollars on something, it had better do everything I need it to do.

Let me tell you what I'm looking for, tell you what I've looked at, then let you know my questions for each one.

What I want:
  • eink
  • Must be able to take free hand lecture notes on, just like a normal piece of paper
  • Be able to convert said writing into some usable format on my computer
  • Be able to read/write on PDF's
  • Something that would be really nice is being able to record lectures while taking notes
  • I would prefer something with WiFi so I can connect to SSH, dropbox, & download PDF's from professors web pages.

What I have looked at:

Asus eee note ea800:
I like this because it is much more inexpensive then other things, my biggest concern is in actually purchasing one.
Does anyone know if they are sold in Korea?
Can you record lectures while writing on one?
I heard about some issues in syncing notes to computers.
Onyx Boox M92
I have been most interested in this recently. However the price is a litte high for a college student. I was wondering how does the note taking side compare to the Asus eee note ea800? The ea800 has that 64 different depths things.
Also, how much ram does this have, I read that it had 256 mb, that just seems like it would not be able to keep up with my quick pace note taking.
Ectaco jetBook
This seemed pretty cool. Except I don't really need all the features it had. Also I had some questions about weather you could even write notes on it at all.

Is there anything else I am missing?

I would just love to hear personal experience of these items. Along with if possible answering these questions:

Does it have WiFi?
How are the hand written notes on it?
Can it record lectures?


sorry for the wall of text, it's my first post on this forum.

Thanks,

BananaSlug
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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I don't know of any eInk device with recording facilities, I'm afraid.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #3
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Well that sucks, but at least it was not one of my high priority items. I more looking for a convenient replacement to paper.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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You'd perhaps be better off with a 10" Android tablet, because of the ability to loads lots of different apps onto it. eInk devices tend to be specialised readers, rather than general-purpose devices, such as you're probably after.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Actually after doing some more research I discovered the ASUS eee note ea800 can record lectures while taking notes. This makes me very excited, however buying one of these seems to be a big hassel.

My problem with an android Tablet is that I am not looking for a bigger phone. I'm already around LCD screens most of my life, I want to give my eyes a break. Also I know myself a little too well. If the device I own can play angry birds, then that's what I'm gonna do instead of my homework.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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I have exactly the same needs as you. I have been doing some research lately and - IMHO - the best device for our purposes is clearly the Asus EEE Note. I do not know if you can take notes at all in Ectaco Jetbook. The Asus was clearly built for note taking and combines the best of an ereader and of a tablet.

You can order if from Taiwan and it is supposedly safe. Google some info on the subject and you'll quickly find some links of people who have managed to buy the asus albeit not without hassle.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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Asus eee note ea800 is not e-ink. But for your purposes is the best choice. e-ink is slow for writing and no recording on the most of them.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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Only slight problem with EA800 that it is quite hard to find one for sale.

ASUS seems to have abandoned plans for international release. I think the best option is to find someone in Taiwan or possibly Italy with one for sale.

You know it's bad, when there are none available on eBay...
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:25 AM   #9
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I would strongly recommend you get a tablet. I started out looking for e-ink readers to read and annotate pdfs, but they are really not suitable for that purpose, or for taking hand written notes or recording lectures.

On my iPad I use Notability for taking notes and recording, and iAnnotate for reading and annotating pdfs. There are other good apps around, but these are the ones I rate the highest.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
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Get the new iPad... seriously. I am a dedicated e-ink advocate, but the new iPad's high ppi display is worth the price of device + apps for your purposes, which is very close to my uses. I do lots of research on the road, read/annotate pdf (with PDF Expert), use dropbox & ssh, and record talks/seminars/meetings/lectures and take notes as well (testing btwn Notability and SoundNote). My Sony T1 is the best for reading linear texts like novels, but that's it. So either get the new iPad or wait until the Android tablet manufacturers catch up... the rumors say that we will see some Android high-ppi tablets around the end of this year or early next year.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:55 AM   #11
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Just want an e-writer

I have to concur with the original poster and re-iterate that I want a *writer*. I do NOT want a tablet. Capacitive touch screens are great for finger input, but I want a paper replacement I can write on with a stylus for jotting down everyday notes. I've used tablets and they're not good for this, no matter what stylus I try to use.

The EA800 comes the closest to what I want, which would be an e-ink based e-writer with a long battery life, Evernote integration, and preferably Wacom pen input. Is there even anything else on the horizon that fits the bill? I haven't come up with anything.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:28 AM   #12
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You would think that there is a large market for devices like these. It is a shame that manufacturers do not make them.

To the OP, have you considered a digital pen like the livescribe? It uses paper, but transforms your writing into a digital file. It can also make audio recordings.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:06 AM   #13
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The Eee Note comes closest to matching your wishlist, but you'll have to import it and it will drive up the cost. I think the Netherlands Asus store still has some in stock, but they do go in and out of stock.

But honestly, it's not a "flashy" machine when you compare it to tablets out there, and some will just find it clunky and archaic. I think some people will be better off spending their money on a good scanner (Fujitsu ScanSnap is top of the line), OCR software (or uploading to GoogleDrive that apparently will OCR pdfs for you) and just scanning their paper notes. It does take a special kind of user to appreciate a black and white, menu-driven device in this day and age.

I have just about every machine there is that could possibly fill this need, and none of them are perfect. But, I do love the Eee Note as a dedicated note-taking device.

There's a one-button "upload to evernote" option, so it's easy to get your notes off of the device. It does have a recording feature, and people have said it works fine, but I haven't tried it. (And I do question the value of recording lectures anyway.)

Getting pdfs ON to the device can be a bit trickier, since the built in basic browser doesn't play nicely with all sites. I have my own cloud storage and I pull from there. So if you have some kind of content management system used by the profs at school, you may want to access those files from a computer first, put them somewhere you know the Eee Note can download them, then get them that way.

If you do go with the Eee Note, make sure to visit this forum to get the most out of it: forum.tabletpcreview.com/asus-eee-line/ You might even be able to find someone selling a used one there.

The only other device worth mentioning right now that you haven't would be the Samsung Galaxy Note. If you also happened to be in the market for a phone, the 5.3" screen is actually large enough to take notes on. It uses a wacom pen and there are some dedicated apps that register only pen movement, not your finger/hand.

I know it's not really your ideal device, but it could conceivably do what you want it to do. There's a very handy app I use called "Soonr" that syncs with a desktop folder on my mac. So as soon as I've marked up a pdf (signed a document or whatever), it instantly shows up in a folder on my laptop. I can open any pdf (and other kinds of files) with Soonr, and I can drop files into my Soonr folder on my mac to open them on my phone. If this device looks at all interesting but you really need a full-page size, then you can follow the progress of the 10" Galaxy Note that's not out yet, but is in the works. It will give you a better stylus experience than the iPad and be just as full-featured, making it perhaps a more useful overall device than the Eee note.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:33 PM   #14
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Although the JBC does not record audio, it does have the hardware to do so.
However, just about ANY ereader recording audio, would run out of battery quite fast!
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by petrucci View Post
To the OP, have you considered a digital pen like the livescribe? It uses paper, but transforms your writing into a digital file. It can also make audio recordings.
I use one at work for meetings. It's great.
It would be awesome to one day have one that was wifi-enabled, and didn't require special paper (and one that had a handwriting recognition option that could figure out my chicken scratch).

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