What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

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jaqenhghar
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What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by jaqenhghar »

I recently learned about e-ink tablets, particularly this Remarkable 2 tablet (https://remarkable.com/store/remarkable-2) that "feels like paper" and is supposedly great for digitally handwriting notes.

Reddit has mixed reviews on Remarkable 2, and I'm wondering if anyone here has any recommendations for e-ink tablets/digital paper tablets. I haven't come across any in our local stores (all appear to be only sold online), so any personal experiences would be greatly recommended!
onourway
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by onourway »

I've been using tablets for handwriting for close to 10 years now. IMO, nothing compares to an iPad and Apple Pencil. Does it feel exactly like paper? No. But at this point when I go back to paper, I find myself preferring writing on the iPad. The Pencil is consistently accurate and easy to use, and the ecosystem of high quality apps that take advantage is second to none (Goodnotes, Notability, Procreate, Apple Notes, etc.)
NYCaviator
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by NYCaviator »

E-ink is kind of a niche technology, and I'd be skeptical how well those tablets work and how long they'll be supported. Another option would be the Livescribe pen. I've never used one, but some people swear by them. You write notes on special paper, but the pen transcribes what you write and saves it digitally.

I've tried the iPad (original Apple Pencil), but the writing was always really large; I could never get the detail and small text that you get with a ballpoint pen on paper.
onourway
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by onourway »

NYCaviator wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:45 pm I've tried the iPad (original Apple Pencil), but the writing was always really large; I could never get the detail and small text that you get with a ballpoint pen on paper.
I think this is dependent on the app you use, your experience with the medium, and the size of your iPad and which orientation you work in. Using Goodnotes, I have thousands of pages of notes and journals written about as small as one can practically read the text (at 100% zoom) on the screen. It was actually a pet-peeve of mine for years that basically every tablet handwriting reviewer only tested writing in huge text that wasn't representative whatsoever of how I wanted to use the device.
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Sandtrap
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by Sandtrap »

Also
Paper tablet IE: steno pad
#2 or mechanical pencil.

Have tried the IPad and also cell phone apps. Went back to hard copy.
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Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wings5
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by Wings5 »

iPad with Apple Pencil and Evernote has been my go to for years.
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nimo956
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by nimo956 »

I love my iPad Pro with Apple Pencil + GoodNotes/Notability app. I study maths in my spare time and use it for all my notes, exercises, and marking up textbooks. Everything is automatically saved to the cloud. I think that the iPad/App Store ecosystem will be around longer than various e-ink devices. Plus, the benefit of the iPad is that it has many other uses as well.
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smackboy1
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by smackboy1 »

I don't use them, but there are matte plastic screen protectors that make the glass iPad screen feel more like paper.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Tamales
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by Tamales »

jaqenhghar wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:18 pm I recently learned about e-ink tablets, particularly this Remarkable 2 tablet (https://remarkable.com/store/remarkable-2) that "feels like paper" and is supposedly great for digitally handwriting notes.

Reddit has mixed reviews on Remarkable 2, and I'm wondering if anyone here has any recommendations for e-ink tablets/digital paper tablets. I haven't come across any in our local stores (all appear to be only sold online), so any personal experiences would be greatly recommended!
Did you end up getting the Remarkable-2, or other?
Topic Author
jaqenhghar
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by jaqenhghar »

Tamales wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:47 pm
jaqenhghar wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:18 pm I recently learned about e-ink tablets, particularly this Remarkable 2 tablet (https://remarkable.com/store/remarkable-2) that "feels like paper" and is supposedly great for digitally handwriting notes.

Reddit has mixed reviews on Remarkable 2, and I'm wondering if anyone here has any recommendations for e-ink tablets/digital paper tablets. I haven't come across any in our local stores (all appear to be only sold online), so any personal experiences would be greatly recommended!
Did you end up getting the Remarkable-2, or other?
Still debating, haven't pulled the trigger on getting it yet.
jfave33
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by jfave33 »

onourway wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:42 pm I've been using tablets for handwriting for close to 10 years now. IMO, nothing compares to an iPad and Apple Pencil. Does it feel exactly like paper? No. But at this point when I go back to paper, I find myself preferring writing on the iPad. The Pencil is consistently accurate and easy to use, and the ecosystem of high quality apps that take advantage is second to none (Goodnotes, Notability, Procreate, Apple Notes, etc.)
You can't beat a wacom emr pen for consumer tablets. Mainly found on the samsung galaxy tablet line these days though some windows tablets have them and the windows onenote program is second to none. But each to their own. If you like the ipad and pencil that is good you enjoy using it.

Look at the samsung tab s7, s7+ or s7 fe.
acegolfer
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by acegolfer »

If you are Apple guy, iPad + Apple pencil.
If you are windows guy, surface pro + surface pen.

My favorite app is MSFT OneNote for its organization + cloud sync.
bondsr4me
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by bondsr4me »

acegolfer wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:31 am If you are Apple guy, iPad + Apple pencil.
If you are windows guy, surface pro + surface pen.

My favorite app is MSFT OneNote for its organization + cloud sync.
+1….agree with the above.

I find my SurfacePro 6, surface pen and OneNote to be a little better than my iPadPro and Apple pencil.
But, that’s just me.
Both are very good and you can’t go wrong with either one.
Freefun
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by Freefun »

I love my iPad with Apple Pencil. If you want a Paper feel then you can get a product such as paperlike which covers the screen.
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Tamales
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by Tamales »

jfave33 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:53 am You can't beat a wacom emr pen for consumer tablets. Mainly found on the samsung galaxy tablet line these days though some windows tablets have them and the windows onenote program is second to none. But each to their own. If you like the ipad and pencil that is good you enjoy using it.

Look at the samsung tab s7, s7+ or s7 fe.
As far as black friday discounts go, that looks like the way to go. $150 off the 64 GB S7 FE = $429.99 and that includes the pencil (which is an extra cost for Apple products).
cjcerny
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by cjcerny »

The iPad and Pencil are probably your best bet. That is where most of the software development and attention is currently focused in that niche market.

If possible, suggest iPad Air as a splurge over the base iPad if using the Pencil is your focus. The iPad Air (and the Pro too) has a much smaller gap between the glass and the display, so it feels like the tip of the Pencil is much closer to the surface you are writing on than the base iPad does. You would never notice this difference if you didn’t try both side by side, but it is difficult to “unsee” the difference once you have.
onourway
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by onourway »

jfave33 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:53 am
You can't beat a wacom emr pen for consumer tablets. Mainly found on the samsung galaxy tablet line these days though some windows tablets have them and the windows onenote program is second to none. But each to their own. If you like the ipad and pencil that is good you enjoy using it.

Look at the samsung tab s7, s7+ or s7 fe.
Eh, I gotta disagree. I've experienced far more offset and edge issues with Wacom pens than with the Apple Pencil (none) and Samsung/Android tablets are truly awful. Terrible performance right out of the box and even worse long term support. I've been a heavy OneNote user for well over a decade, including deploying and managing it as a collaborative tool in an office environment. It's a great program in many ways, but Microsoft has never put much effort into the handwriting engine, and thus it lags far behind the best software for handwriting available on the iPad (due to the highly competitive and lucrative market). Owned several Surface Pros over the years as well and even there, running native Windows on Microsoft hardware - nothing close to the iPad.
Tamales
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Re: What is the best tablet for handwritten notes?

Post by Tamales »

onourway wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:12 pm Eh, I gotta disagree. I've experienced far more offset and edge issues with Wacom pens than with the Apple Pencil (none) and Samsung/Android tablets are truly awful. Terrible performance right out of the box and even worse long term support. [...]
Perhaps what you said was true several generations back but there are literally dozens of Youtube video reviews and device comparisons of the S7-FE/S7/S7+ individually and to Apple devices that show otherwise for current generation products.

None of these devices are perfect in every way and they all have pros and cons. It comes down to the main purpose a buyer wants the device for, and emphasizing those aspects of the device's relative performance in making the choice (along with price for the full package of device plus accessories). Apparently it would surprise you to find out that the Samsung devices offer a better value proposition for some use cases (note-taking included), even without considering their greater black friday discounts compared to Apple.

The OP is interested primarily in a digital note taking device, and that's my main interest as well. There are video reviews specifically on the note taking experience on the various devices. For the input device, most of the reviews seem to favor the current Samsung S-Pen over the Apple pencil 2, but you probably can't go wrong with either. If a person is already captive to the Apple ecosystem, that influences the choice too. Since I'm not, I don't have any reason to be predisposed to Apple. The various note-taking applications play a role too, and there are lots of reviews on those (on both Samsung and Apple devices), but even the native note taking apps are now quite good for both platforms according to all the video reviews).

So you probably can't go wrong with either platform, but if a person has no predisposition toward Apple, the Samsung Tab S7 series is a very competitive offering. I think it's good news for consumers that they've reached a level of parity. It forces both companies to innovate and/or catch-up going forward. Maybe it's the case that Apple has been coasting a bit, if prior generations of tablets from Samsung weren't competitive, while Samsung improved at a more rapid pace.

PS, not meaning to leave the Microsoft Surface out of the competitive offering comparison, I just didn't look at it. I don't feel like I need more Microsoft in my life ;o).
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