Decisions and Compromise
I really wish I was born 2 or 3 years later.
So I've just started my final year at high school (I'm in Australia), and I want something for school. But, looking at my options, I'm really not sure what to get. At the moment, the market is a jumbled mess and I don't know what I want.
If I were to get a tablet primarily for textbooks, it'd be the Nexus 10, iPad, Galaxy Note 10.1, or Surface RT. They're all priced close(ish). Android is my preferred platform, but my Nexus 7 has taught me that PDF reading on Android is terrible (nobody seems to have figured out how to have a smooth, quick-rendering PDF reader). The iPad renders textbooks well, and the aspect ratio is great for books, but after using my parents' iPads, I'd feel limited, especially on the productivity front. The Note 10.1. Don't think I'd be able to bear the screen resolution, but S-Note seems to work pretty well (other than the fact that moving something I've placed is stupidly hard). And finally, I've heard the Surface RT has performance issues. The only thing that makes me consider it is that it's super pretty, and it comes with Office.
So there are two tablets which are good for textbooks, one for note-taking and one for productivity. They excel at specific tasks, but are lacking in other areas - especially get Surface RT. Get it? Excel. Harhar.
ANYWAY. The next viable options are quite a bit more expensive. The Surface Pro vs Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. I think a ThinkPad Tablet 2 with the bluetooth keyboard and wacom digitizer ends up at about the same price as the Surface Pro. Now this is a straight up compromise between performance and battery life. Great performance, terrible battery life vs decent performance, great battery life. I'm not sure that a Surface Pro would last an entire school day if I were to use it for note-taking, without me having to charge it at some point. But I'm not sure that the ThinkPad Tablet 2 would satisfy me, performance-wise.
But then I ask myself whether or not I'd actually use the note-taking capabilities. I hate reading handwritten notes and it'd be great if all my notes could be typed up, and the maths + sciencey things could be transcribed. I find digital notes to be a lot more accessible, and less of a chore to go through. If anyone has tried going digital only, I'd love to hear your opinion.
If only there was something fully-featured, and at a decent price point. But it's early days, and we're currently undergoing a paradigm shift. It's actually really exciting where all this technology is leading. But I need something now, for this year, and it's not really a great time to be buying a tablet.