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Which tablet for college use? Reading books, viewing PDF's, taking notes, etc.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I need a tablet recommendation for college use. I'll be viewing PDF's and PowerPoint slideshows, reading some books (which I have yet to purchase), watching some movies, and taking notes. I can spend $500 at most.

I'm fine with the iPad, Android tablets, like the TF700T or Acer's new tablet, or maybe even the Microsoft Surface if its cheap enough.

However, I want to purchase the unit within 2 weeks from now, but if the Surface is going to be extremely amazing, then I guess I can wait.

A good book and online app store is also highly important to me. Although the books I'll be reading will be popular books so they should be released on Google Play or Apple's online store quickly.

So which tablet would you guys recommend?
post #2 of 13
I personally used my Asus transformer prime (tf201) the majority of the time I was in college, had Polaris office with it giving me access to make and edit all my word/excel/power point documents. Beyond that mostly used it for lab pdf's and for textbooks now and then.
Boiling down to your question though I would say grab the newest version of the transformer line, it's more then enough and will handle everything nicely. I would also try out a 7" tablet see if it's big enough for you if so grab the nexus 7.

As for books the play books app is fairly decent not sure on your preferences for reading but I never ran into an issue of not finding something I liked besides my my textbooks.

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post #3 of 13
While I don't own one, I've gotten the chance to play around with a Nexus 7 a little bit. I think they're pretty awesome. What I didn't realize at first is that they're made by ASUS. That was definitely a plus for me. You should definitely check them out.
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post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeNF View Post

I need a tablet recommendation for college use. I'll be viewing PDF's and PowerPoint slideshows, reading some books (which I have yet to purchase), watching some movies, and taking notes. I can spend $500 at most.

I'm fine with the iPad, Android tablets, like the TF700T or Acer's new tablet, or maybe even the Microsoft Surface if its cheap enough.

However, I want to purchase the unit within 2 weeks from now, but if the Surface is going to be extremely amazing, then I guess I can wait.

A good book and online app store is also highly important to me. Although the books I'll be reading will be popular books so they should be released on Google Play or Apple's online store quickly.

So which tablet would you guys recommend?
The Nexus 7 is a bargain at $199 if you're into Android, but the screen may be too small for you. I'd go with the $399 16GB iPad 2 -- you can view PDFs in iBooks or Adobe Acrobat, and you can create or watch slideshows in Keynote ($10). Any slate with a 16:9 aspect ratio will be better suited for movies as you'll see less black bars most of the time and the iPad's aspect ratio is 4:3. What kind of notes? Typed or handwritten? If the former, you should grab a keyboard regardless of what tablet you choose if you intend to do a lot of writing.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbom View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeNF View Post

I need a tablet recommendation for college use. I'll be viewing PDF's and PowerPoint slideshows, reading some books (which I have yet to purchase), watching some movies, and taking notes. I can spend $500 at most.

I'm fine with the iPad, Android tablets, like the TF700T or Acer's new tablet, or maybe even the Microsoft Surface if its cheap enough.

However, I want to purchase the unit within 2 weeks from now, but if the Surface is going to be extremely amazing, then I guess I can wait.

A good book and online app store is also highly important to me. Although the books I'll be reading will be popular books so they should be released on Google Play or Apple's online store quickly.

So which tablet would you guys recommend?
The Nexus 7 is a bargain at $199 if you're into Android, but the screen may be too small for you. I'd go with the $399 16GB iPad 2 -- you can view PDFs in iBooks or Adobe Acrobat, and you can create or watch slideshows in Keynote ($10). Any slate with a 16:9 aspect ratio will be better suited for movies as you'll see less black bars most of the time and the iPad's aspect ratio is 4:3. What kind of notes? Typed or handwritten? If the former, you should grab a keyboard regardless of what tablet you choose if you intend to do a lot of writing.

While I have never owned and will never buy an iPad, I'll have to agree with steelbom here. A 7" sucks for reading pdfs and textbooks, regardless of what most owners say (I'm willing to bet most have never read a textbook on a tablet). A friend of mine let me play around with her Nexus 7 for the last week and it has been a major pain scrolling around textbooks on that tiny screen. I've owned an HP TouchPad for a year now and while it doesn't have the textbook ecosystem of apple (I've been running Android 4.0 on it over the spring semester), the identical screen format to the iPad 2 has been great for reading textbooks, both browser based and especially pdf format textbooks, scientific articles, and PowerPoint presentations (it has been a presentation companion for me a few times). I can't comment on the note taking ability of tablets as I prefer to take handwritten notes, though I can't help but think that the software available on laptop ecosystem (mac, windows, or linux) would be more efficient for it. Typing papers in android/webos (with a bt keyboard) vs windows runs along the lines of notepad vs Word; to me, it's just a novelty with current software. Personally, I'm waiting for the Surface and first run of other OEM to make a move on a second tablet and determine if I can replace my 5-year-old laptop with a windows tablet (especially as I have my rig for heavy lifting). If you really need a tablet now as a school tool, I'm with the iPad (and maybe the current gen; I was in the Verizon store yesterday looking at the s3 as a possible 4s replacement and got a chance to look at the new display and it was definitely very nice, I'm sure a benefit for high resolution pictures in textbooks and pdfs as well as text rendering).
Edited by Infinite Jest - 8/12/12 at 6:45am
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Jest View Post

While I have never owned and will never buy an iPad, I'll have to agree with steelbom here. A 7" sucks for reading pdfs and textbooks, regardless of what most owners say (I'm willing to bet most have never read a textbook on a tablet). A friend of mine let me play around with her Nexus 7 for the last week and it has been a major pain scrolling around textbooks on that tiny screen. I've owned an HP TouchPad for a year now and while it doesn't have the textbook ecosystem of apple (I've been running Android 4.0 on it over the spring semester), the identical screen format to the iPad 2 has been great for reading textbooks, both browser based and especially pdf format textbooks, scientific articles, and PowerPoint presentations (it has been a presentation companion for me a few times). I can't comment on the note taking ability of tablets as I prefer to take handwritten notes, though I can't help but think that the software available on laptop ecosystem (mac, windows, or linux) would be more efficient for it. Typing papers in android/webos (with a bt keyboard) vs windows runs along the lines of notepad vs Word; to me, it's just a novelty with current software. Personally, I'm waiting for the Surface and first run of other OEM to make a move on a second tablet and determine if I can replace my 5-year-old laptop with a windows tablet (especially as I have my rig for heavy lifting). If you really need a tablet now as a school tool, I'm with the iPad (and maybe the current gen; I was in the Verizon store yesterday looking at the s3 as a possible 4s replacement and got a chance to look at the new display and it was definitely very nice, I'm sure a benefit for high resolution pictures in textbooks and pdfs as well as text rendering).
The higher resolution does benefit reading a lot. I do a lot of proof reading and on a PDF with lots of graphics, images and text, I can clearly read it fully zoomed out on my iPad 3, but on my mum's iPad 2 I need to zoom in to see more clearly. My only complaint is the loading time (the PDFs have a lot of layers and stuff to render, etc.) -- in Adobe Reader it can take a minute to load it all up. It's quicker in iBooks and Safari but it doesn't render it as accurately (colours are off, etc.). Probably not a problem for most sort of school stuff though.
post #7 of 13
I'll have to agree with an iPad 2. In addition to all the points mentioned, the iPad 2,4 has the best battery life w/ the 32nm SoC.
 
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post #8 of 13
I'd go for an ultrabook, personally...
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamdox View Post

I'd go for an ultrabook, personally...

I already have one. This thread is specifically about a tablet.
post #10 of 13
iPad 3.
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