pdf annotation, reading, organization and others.

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by ulugeyik, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. ulugeyik

    ulugeyik Member

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    I am trying to choose a tablet specifically for storing hundreds of pdf files ranging from journal articles to PhD dissertations to presentations to books, reading them and most important annotating them by free hand writing as well as basic text type and highlighting. I should be able to store the output in a standard format and read it on any other pdf reader.

    Other specific things I would like to have include a nice software to take handwritten notes/drawings and save as pdf. Like a paper notebook replacement -- I note down a lot of equations, figures so typing is not a good solution --.

    Something like Xournal or journal for Android and a good tablet that works with it.

    I think wifi, skype enabled webcam, 3G etc are pretty standard so not worth mentioning.

    I have played with some random applications on a dell streak 7 and an acer iconia 500 and I have concluded that the choice is not easy and that I need a stylus (*). I simply could not do any of the annotation well using fingers. From what I read, stylus does not work so well there either.

    I think either 7" or 10" would be fine but a 7" one with a nice, smooth scrolling would be more convenient for me.

    I have been reading various reviews and comments online and ended up concentrating on HTC Flyer, HTC Jetstream and Lenovo Thinkpad tablet.

    HTC flyer has the right size. Good price but most reviews are from when it was released with Android 2.1 and I can't tell if the software is now much better or not --- pen thickness, the lack of continuous addition of new pages when taking notes -- so if anyone can update on this it would be great.

    HTC Jetstream appears to have solved some of the software issues but it is very expensive and bulky. I am not sure I need that. Although, I can consider it despite the price. I could not find good reviews or comments from users using it for this type of applications.

    Lenovo thinkpad tablet appears to be pretty nice except as far as I understand there is no evident software for this purpose. ezPDF does not seem to fare so well.


    New color e-ink devices from ectaco appear also promising and I have been a grayscale e-book reader but I am afraid for papers with images, figures, equations it won't fare good.

    Any suggestions, examples of usage would be very nice!

    Thanks.

    (*)I had installed linux and customized it on a Samsung Q1U slate computer in the past and used for this purpose. Except from battery life, lack of "instant-on" etc, it was fine)
     
  2. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok, I'll take a shot at answering your questions. First of all, I wouldn't say 3G is standard at all. Most Android tablets out these days have moved away from including cellular data. The good news is you can tether to a phone or use a hotspot such as MIFI for data.

    Capacitive screens are known to have short comings when it comes to taking notes and using a stylus. Resistive screens are much better for this purpose but lack the fluidity of use and finger friendly touch that capacitive brings.

    One of the better devices out right now that has data and accurate note taking abilities is the Samsung Galaxy Note but it only has a 5" screen. They will probably be bringing this technology into their next generation of full size tablets.

    Note taking, pdf creation, annotation and reading is all on the apps you use and doesn't really have anything to do with the tablet. There are many apps on the market to address these needs and a search of this site will lead to many suggestions for those sorts of apps (i.e. try searching pdf notation app or editable pdf app).

    Based on your post I would say you are probably looking more for a tablet pc (or possibly an iPad) than an Android tablet at the moment. In particular the new Windows 8 tablets that should be coming out soon sound like they would be much better for what you need.

    Current Android tablets tend more to the media consumption/toy side than the productivity/power user side. Again, a lot comes down to the apps you can find and use for your needs. The current hardware out is sufficient for the tasks you would like with the possible exception of the capacitive screen for use with a stylus. Try to search specifically for a tablet with good note taking reviews and also for a stylus that works well with capacitive screens (the stylus used can make a huge difference).

    Basically narrow your search to (a) a good apps for note taking and pdf, (b) a good stylus and (c) a tablet that has good reviews for use with stylus. Don't worry about the data connection because as mentioned you can connect in other ways. Other than that any of the newer tablets hardware should be fine (dual core and 1GB of RAM) and I would try and find a device that is either shipping with Android 4.0 or has been confirmed that it will updated to Android 4.0 since it is a good leap forward in the Android OS.

    JP
     
  3. ulugeyik

    ulugeyik Member

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    Hello,

    Thanks for your reply. I have some further comments/questions.



    "Capacitive screens are known to have short comings when it comes to taking notes and using a stylus. Resistive screens are much better for this purpose but lack the fluidity of use and finger friendly touch that capacitive brings."

    That is why I was interested in the HTC flyer and the thinkpad, they have two layers of screens and this is where I have an issue of the tablet selection and not just a matter of software. The devil turns out to be in the details. For example, the early HTC flyer software is unsatisfactory and at least some of the pdf annotation software (ezPDF etc) are not compatible with the stylus. Samsung Galaxy Note is also interesting and perhaps the answer to my question is that I need to wait a bit longer until this dual technology matures further.


    "Based on your post I would say you are probably looking more for a tablet pc (or possibly an iPad) than an Android tablet at the moment. In particular the new Windows 8 tablets that should be coming out soon sound like they would be much better for what you need."

    The standard tablet PCs lack the "instant on" and battery life capabilities. I was an early adopter and used various Lenovo tablet PCs and the samsung Q1 Ultra slate PC. iPad is not so good for scribbling the notes due to the screen type. You may be right that I need something with a different OS such as the windows ones (preferably not) or the Vivaldi KDE (Linux) tablet. But at least based on my experience with the two approaches, I so far prefer to find a good android based solution.

    Thanks so much. I would appreciate if someone who actually does this is around and chime in with some specific suggestions.
     

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