Tablet For College?

Posted Dec 05, 2012 at 5:58 pm in Threads > Smartphones & Tablets

I am thinking of getting my son a tablet for college to take notes, word processing, entertainment. He will be an engineering major and has a desktop for general schoolwork, but was looking for a more mobile solution for class, but he didnt want a carry a bulky laptop around.

Which tablet is the best for a college student who has to do word processing, take notes, give presentations, and perhaps even write term papers with?


Which tablets are your favorites?

  • samyeh

    the transformer or the prime. they have keyboard docks which would make typing in class a lot easier then using the touch screen.

    • nimslake

      I agree with @samyeh, this is a great small and portable choice. I’ve used it for accessing Google docs away from my Desktop and for access remote to work. It may be small but it it mighty. I so want one and have put in many hints to by BF. So until then I borrow it a lot.
      Also the battery life is phenom! So if he’s taking notes class to class and then pulling all nighters studying and writing this can’t be beat!

      • Tom

        Can’t agree more it is fairly powerful, the android version is solid but microsoft office would be a huge benefit for any student. Because his pc most likely runs windows I would recommend getting an asus transformer with windows rt.

  • Charlong666

    Definitely one of the Transformer. Maybe the Galaxy Note 10.1, because of the quick notes thing with the S Pen, if you can get a keyboard for it.

    But I’d go with a Transformer for Vanilla Android :).

  • CaptainDoug

    Hate to repeat it but the Transformer really is your best shot. It’s great for just being a tab but what happens when you need to write up a paper or do some serious internet research? You’ll want something more.

  • jamontoast1291

    Honestly I would suggest the Nexus 10. It can’t be beat in terms of price and specs and you could always connect a bluetooth keyboard to it for any extended typing.

    • CaptainDoug

      I somehow forgot about the N10. Great tablet. Especially with some sort of bluetooth keyboard. Great mention.

    • Charlong666

      How did I forget this? Oh yeah, it’s been out of stock since release day now (at least here in Canada).

      But if it’s available where the you are, I’d change my answer to the N10.

    • MagikalTrev

      Good choice but the N7 is not to be overlooked either with use of a blue tooth keyboard.

      • dharr18

        An excellent and cheap BT Keyboard is the Amazon Basics Bluetooth Keyboard. I picked one up for $20 over the holidays.

        It works great with the N7, it is also similar in size length wise to a 10 inch tablet. I keep it in a soft pouch I had for a 10 inch tablet with room for a BT mouse and my N7.

        Another option is a OTG cable with a usb mouse keyboard combo. I have used my unifying keyboard and mouse with the N7 quite a few times.

  • Nwemo

    Def the Transformer!

  • pliu.2014

    When it comes to it the windows rt did a closer job than some of the other android tablets but we are still a little ways from the full thing. Not all the capabilities of a computer are crammed into a tablet, but it is getting there

  • jcommaroto

    Has anyone here gotten their hands on a Nexus 10 yet? Curious how it is working out. Are the recommendations for it just based on specs or personal experience?

    • jamontoast1291

      My recommendation was based off of specs and reviews. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I haven’t had any hands on experience with the nexus 10. I’m interested in doing so though!

      • jcommaroto

        Cool thanks for the follow-up. Still looking to find someone who has played with it beyond media reviews.

  • titanium man

    I’m actually a college student myself, majoring in Electrical Engineering. To me a tablet like the Nexus 7, Nexus 10 (better and bigger display mostly), Nook HD+, or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 would make great tablets. You should get a bluetooth keyboard for the tablet as well. i’m getting a N7 myself. for price i would recommend a N7 or Nook HD/ HD+ especially since the Nook is supported by my college’s Barnes & Nobles.

    • MagikalTrev

      Although the Nook as a tablet is not the best, if there are benefits like you have through college then it might be fair to consider.

      • titanium man

        yeah also they let you rent their e-textbooks through the Nook for a very low price, actually less than half than renting a physical book.

        • epps720

          Can’t you just download the Nook app on any Android tablet and get the same benefit?

    • R_Leslie

      I would also say that its not just the tablet but the software you decide to put on it that makes it suitable. For instance having software that allows you to add text into the professor’s downloaded powerpoint slides so you can have them in sync with his lecture.

      • jcommaroto

        I have been trying to get the Nexus 7 into my work life, specifically PowerPoint, docs, doing research, note-taking and a screen for my notes when I am doing presentations.

        I like it and I can do a lot with it. The external keyboard seems like almost a necessity. So far it has been best as a device to augment what I am doing on a desktop or laptop, not as a replacement by any stretch. If I had to rely on this to get heavy lifting done, I am not so sure I could. I would probably want something with a bigger screen.

        I love how portable it is. It is great for note taking and meetings. But I don’t see it as being a primary device for productivity. I do run Quickoffice which is nice, but limiting. There might be something better.

        I haven’t even begun to look and see what I can use for coding, if anything.

        I haven’t used a Transformer but if I wanted something that was more laptop-like I would probably go for that and what I would recommend for a college student.

    • My2cents

      Keep in mind that the Nook HD from B&N can only use apps from the B&N app store. If you try Google Play, most apps won’t load properly or work.

  • lou2cool88

    I’d say go with a Transformer, it’s the most laptop-like while still being quite portable.

    Another option would be The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 with keyboard Student Edition is a pretty good option. It’s definitely portable! It’s available at Amazon here:

  • kelltrash14

    Personally I vote against tablets as useful academic devices for the most part currently. If it’s for note taking or such, maybe. Personally I have/would had several crippling issues interfacing with various stuff on an android tablet:

    -powerpoints looking weird after editing on various android office softwares…embarassing–and expand that to some other document types (new windows 8 docs seem to have no compatibility on android yet, or I haven’t had luck there…)
    -problems logging into some school systems (online tests and such)
    -inferior typing experience to a good laptop if it’s for typing up stuff

    That said, it can be a useful thing to have, but I envision it as more a thing to quickly look things up on the web or something to give myself music while studying, more than straightforward academia. Compatibility is king, even if it’s a old crap netbook or something (which I’ve unfortunately resorted to using at times for this reason)

    • aranea

      As a scientist I agree with kelltrash14. Tablets have their uses. I like them for quick reviews, reading papers etc but not as main tools. Unless rumors are true and MS brings office to android no solution is functional enough to give good presentations or quickly share and edit word documents.Besides most tablets (including my nexus10) require and adapter to be able to connect to a projector.

      For note taking I would suggest live scribe digital pens. They digitize everything you write and draw and can record sound. You can print the pages so you don’t have to buy their notebooks.

      An ultrabook will be a good one to carry around if office tools are required. If not a tablet and live scribe can do wonders. And a heavy duty laptop at the dorm to carry when needed.

  • hueson24

    I’m also an engineering major and I have the Asus Transformer Prime (TF201) and it’s great for taking notes and typing out reports. The keyboard dock isn’t your full standard size keyboard so it takes a bit of getting used to since the keys are slightly cramped. I don’t think it beats the good old pencil and paper method, but it certainly gives a valiant effort.
    You should honestly consider getting a netbook as well as one of your options. Some even run cheaper than tablets nowadays.
    Anyways if you want to see some of the note taking capabilities of the transformer prime check out this cool app that comes pre-installed:

    • SGB101

      Cool app , very powerful and so so handy. you younguns are spoilt , I’d of killed for a setup like that when at uni, I had to do with pen,paper and calculator. ;o)

    • jonstle

      That app almost makes me want to go back to college! I can leave the abacus in the closet. :)

      Based on what I have seen on this thread I think I need a Transformer Prime myself!

  • KingCrow02

    Transformer + Dock is the best bet

  • rshack

    Another vote for Transformer with dock… TF300 is best bang for buck, TF700 is top of the line, TF201 has issues with wireless due to design, TF101 is the original and can be current bargain but has less horsepower…. if it was me, I’d want the 700 but would be fine with 300 if finances dictated less cost…

  • sandy105

    i would wholeheartedly suggest a nexus 7 ,,its just the right size and form factor for portability without causing usage hindrance..
    its will run all of the apps,games and be updated to the latest os ..

  • MC_Android

    Okay guys, please don’t downvote me straight off the back. I’m an avid Android fan. Had the Nexus 1, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2, Nexus 7, Transformer Prime…etc. I’m not trolling by any means as I was in the same predicament last year, looking for a tablet to replace my tablet for school. Now here’s just a note to the OP: no tablets will REPLACE a laptop for school. None. At the end of the day, you’re going to do most of your homework (papers, design projects…etc) on your laptop. So prior to getting your son a tablet, he should first have a good reliable laptop. The tablet’s role is to do some QUICK/MINOR notes, read textbooks and pdf’s, and lastly, web browse; it’s a supplement tool to a laptop.

    I’m a second year Chemical Engineer so I’m not pulling this out of thin air. In first year, he will be likely programming (using Matlab, python, and/or VBA). No tablets can run that (with the exception of windows 8 PRO which really has no product line yet… and RT is crap, just dont get it).

    Anyway, I’m going to say an iPad. iPad 2/3 is good. He wont have time to game on his iPad too much anyway so the “upgrade” to 4 is quite pointless and a big hit to your wallet. I actually recommend getting a refurb 32gb iPad 3 from the Apple store…it’s pretty cheap (relatively to its original inflated price) and I think it’s worth it over the 2. It’s faster and the higher resolution of the screen IS easier on the eyes especially studying for over 4 hours straight at night.

    Now the reason why I’m STRONGLY recommending you to go with iPad 2/3 (a company that no longer innovates and hates competition):

    1) the 4:3 display ratio. This is probably the biggest thing. Most Android tablets are 16:9 rather than 4:3 and Apple has got it right on this one. Your son is probably going to be using the tablet to replace tons of print out pdfs, and several very heavy textbooks. PDF rendering is surprisingly faster on the iPad 3 (using GoodReader app, versus my Transformer Prime using almost every free/paid pdf reading apps). The difference is VERY noticeable when you’re trying to flip through a 400mb textbook. Each page took a good 3/4 seconds and this is frustrating when you’re trying to do this quickly. I am currently storing 5 textbooks on my iPad and you could actually flip through the pages rather than waiting for each page to load. Secondly, with that issue said, the 16:9 ratio actually requires you to zoom in to each page if you want to read it because the neither landscape or vertical orientations displays the pages well.

    2) There are just more educational apps catered to iOS (unfortunately). I know there are a lot of circuit design apps for electrical engineers (some friends of mine use them regularly) and statics apps which allow you to analyze forces in trusses…etc. Not much for chemE students though. If he ever decides to do electrical, civil or mechanical engineering the app base can help. Personally never used apps much besides dropbox, wolfram and a downloader app.

    That’s actually it for why I think the iPad 2/3 is better for SCHOOL. He won’t be using any tablets to take notes with because you can’t keep up with the class. The profs are all foreign and write very quick -stick it out with pen and paper; I tried roughing through a week of note taking with both the TF201 and iPad…lost a total of 2 weeks of notes lol The 4:3 ratio is really the only reason I went over to iOS …(sacrifices for an education :) )…If he’s dead-set on Android, a couple low-end tablets are 4:3 but the processors are really lacking; I personally wouldnt risk it.

    I tried the TF201 and the Nexus 7. The keyboard for the TF201 sounds nice in theory but in practice, he won’t really use it. Engineering won’t require him typing much and you cant do math via typing.

    The Nexus 7 is just too small. PDF’s (especially textbooks) will be even more awkwardly displayed the the transformer. Don’t even consider this as a legitimate studying tool.

    The 16:9 ratio is great for multimedia (movies esp) and the ability to expand your storage by >64gb (built in 32gb microsd + 32gb dock sd card slots) make the transformer line (personally) the best and most versatile android tablets (yes, even better the the Nexus 10).

    Hope this helps you! I really wish I had this info available when I was a first-year.

    Cheers :)

    • MC_Android

      “looking for a tablet to reply my laptop*”. There’s probably more typos; it’s late :P

    • SGB101

      iTunes U, is also a great educational tool, and the new Text books, will only get better.

      Android is getting better content wise, but it still has a long way to go.

      I’m no apple fan, it’s just how I see it.

    • gmaninvan

      I agree with most of your points, but not all.

      “He won’t be using any tablets to take notes with because you can’t keep up with the class”

      This isn’t true and is an area where the Nexus 7 excels. Because you can hold it with one hand comfortably, the combination of the Nexus 7 and either Swype, Swiftkey Flow, or the stock 4.2 keyboard allows you to just hammer through notes. I was typing faster with one hand on my 7 than that girl next to me was on an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard (I am also very quick with Swype, been using it a few years). The only downside with the seven is not having the ability to take a picture of something on the board unless you turn it around. Also, its low cost makes it less prohibitive as a tool.

      Would I recommend any tablet to replace your laptop at this point? No. But if you have a desktop or laptop already, the Nexus 7 makes a great companion device.

      The one area I STRONGLY disagree with you on is the main part of your point which is PDF’s. I just had to load a bunch on an iPad for a coworker and it is a royal PITA. On an android device, you plug it into your computer and it mounts like an external drive. Then, you just drag and drop the files and open them with the PDF reader of your choice (I personally haven’t experienced any of the lag you mentioned either). On the iPad, since you cannot access any part of the file system, you have to go through iTunes syncing which is terrible. How they try to market to business and students while having to load documents through music and general consumption software is mind boggling.

      This is from someone who owns a Nexus 7 and works with iPads daily since that is what my company chose to get for the field. They are the biggest PITA when it comes to loading content and it is a major deal breaker. Especially considering I work with drawings and frequently need to replace files with newer versions. On iTunes, the sync doesn’t allow you to remove anything on the computer end. You have to find and delete each individual file you intend to replace on the device itself, then resync it. If it were an android device, I would just drag and drop the files, sort by name, then delete or relocate the older revisions into another folder. Ten times quicker. I have recommended that the company by cheaper android tabs going forward for this very reason. They are also cheaper.

      • gmaninvan

        One other thing which I forgot. Once you have the pdf’s on the device they go into iBooks. There is no way to get the pdf library that you just loaded into the adobe reader app short of emailing it to yourself. This is where androids choose defaults feature is a massive advantage.

        iOS is a toy, Android is a tool.

        • MC_Android

          This thread is pretty damn old. I hope he bought his kid a tablet already lol

      • MC_Android

        Oh buddy I agree with you. Here’s just some things to consider:

        1) I’m sure with lots of practice, Swype will be viable but I’m tried using it on my N7 and my daily phone…couldn’t see much speed improvements after a 3 weeks or so. Also, it depends GREATLY on the types of courses you’re using the device for. The OP mentions his son is going to engineering, which is really not much actual writing. It’s copying the class examples (series of calculations and diagrams and other random ass formula bullshit you remember for a term then dump…then relearn…etc lol). I would never choose an ipad or Nexus 7 or even a laptop to those/majority of classes.

        2) I have had the iPad for about 6 months or so now and only connected it to the computer once to jailbreak it. I keep all my files synced through dropbox which also gives me the convenience of having it on my laptop when need be. iTunes is a pile of stinky shit. You can’t pay me to use it. But I see the advantage of Android tablets when trying to quickly transfer a gigabyte movie or mass amounts of media onto the tablet at once.

    • Brianna

      I have the galaxy tab 2 10.1 and its great I am also a college student and at first I didn’t think I could do my classes because I have online classes bc you cant have a fladh player but if you download the puffin application you can do anything that requires adobe or anything but I only use my laptop to type a paper

  • domnic

    A 10 inch Samsung note :)

    • dino13

      I’m all with you. But only if money plays no role. Otherwise either an Asus Transformer or Archos 101 XS.

  • Hakarune

    I would not go with the prime, instead go with the ASUS Infinity, the hardware and the OS are Superior and more reliable than the prime. I have the prime for school at university, but wish I’d had waited for the TF300 or TF600.

    I use Evernote, Google Docs and StudyBlue as my main apps for school

  • bdub

    I would also have to go with the Transformer line. I have the TF300, with the Dock and it gets great battery life, plenty of performance, and a keyboard with touchpad. Really is a useful device.

  • Martyac

    I would say the Note 10.1 or if you want to go all out get the Lenovo Yoga. I had the TF201, I replaced it with the Note 10.1 and never looked back. The Yoga is pricey and a little bit unique but if I was going to replace my laptop thats where i would go. Just dont get anything with windows RT.

  • chestont

    My first instinct is going to be a Transformer of some kind. I’m currently a law student and I use my Nexus 7 for a lot of my school work but there are some things such as printing on campus or using the proprietary exam software that I am not able to do with it. On-campus computers solve most of those problems for me.

    If you are also considering cost, portability, and general functionality, the Nexus 7 with a bluetooth keyboard is worth a look (Amazon basics keyboard is 30 bucks, well worth it). I also think the Nexus 10 with a bluetooth keyboard would probably be an excellent option.

  • samyeh

    another thing i love is that when you dock it, it gives you more battery life.

  • Nicole

    DON’T get anything smaller than a 10 inch screen. I’m an electrical/ computer engineering dual major. Writing out complex equations and diagrams on a tiny screen is hell. Calculus equations can span pages and if he has to keep scrolling to see the whole problem, he will get frustrated. He will definitely want to hand write notes. It’s impossible to type math equations while still keeping up with the prof. If he’s going to be typing anything longer than a couple paragraphs, most likely in general ed classes, he might want an external keyboard, although together they would be just as bulky as a laptop. He could always buy it later if he decides he needs it. I doubt he’d want to type a term paper or lab reports even on a 10 in screen. Too small in my opinion.
    Anyways, for lecture note taking and filling the void between classes, I’d say a Note 10.1 because of the superior handwriting capabilities (Wacom screen) for all the crazy math he’s about to be writing. Transformer or Nexus 10 are good alternatives but have capacitive screens so handwriting notes is done with a finger or fat tip stylus. Not as sexy or precise.
    On a side note, I go to a pretty big engineering university. 90% of students in my classes so far still take notes with pen and paper (not me). About 50% of those paper users have laptops in front of them but they are only checking Facebook and playing games. A couple of my engineering profs even banned laptops because no one was playing attention.

  • marcus1518

    How is using the tablet for presentations?

  • ldouglas64

    If you don’t mind adding a BT mouse & keyboard the ACER Iconia A700 wouldn’t be a bad choice. Plenty of memory, ability to add more sd memory and you can use a regular USB jumpdrive to save your files. I use mine at work (hospital setting) almost daily with plenty of note taking / documenting. It hasn’t let me down yet.

  • pmrich

    I haven’t used my transformer prime for presentations but it has Polaris Office pre-installed which supports MS office docs, speadsheets and powerpoint presentations. I don’t have the dock but it would definitely be alot easier to use for that application.

  • jaysond

    I’d suggest wait for it an ipad only because the amount of well tuned stable apps and they hardly ever crash just solid and reliable IMO or an asus transformer there a lil better than ipads

  • VBurns

    My son is a Sophomore in college majoring in Business. He uses a laptop, but wants something more portable for notes. He has dysgraphia (inability to write) and dyslexia, as well as speech problems. He can type really well, though. (Strange how the brain works). What do you recommend for him? Is there an app or program for recording lecture? He is an auditory learner and a slow reader. He has worked hard to overcome his disability. He is on Deans List and graduated in top 10% of HS taking AP classes. He even has the “cool” factor that makes him popular with his peers. I want to help him have it a little easier since he works hard. Money is a factor. Tablet, or netbook? What do you recommend for him?

    • MC_Android

      Typing. Definitely get a laptop. You could record lectures with a laptop/netbook and type while he’s at it. Tablets are nice to carry digital notes/textbooks

    • Katie Askren

      There’s a great site that has an app called Learning Ally. They have tons of books, including school books, that you can download and listen to in audio format with a real human voice. If they don’t have the book you need, you can send in your books and have them read and recorded. My son had Dyslexia and it is GREAT for him. He can put the app on his Ipod and take it with him anywhere. And just about any smart phone, or Ipod can record the teachers lecture if you put the right app on it or get a microphone.

  • impromark

    How many people are using a non-Transformer tablet plus a bluetooth keyboard of some kind? I just ordered a generic BT keyboard to go with my Acer A700. Tab alone is jsut fine for the casual browsing, media consumption, etc. but if I want to write more than a Tweet or Facebook update or the briefest of posts (like this one), I feel like I should wait until I’m home or in my office to write it. Having a keyboard (at home anyway – kinda pointless to bring it with the tab when I’m out with it and not carrying anything else) seems to be the right choice…


  • qwertyman44

    go for note 10.1

  • Puzzled by Choice

    I’m an old school Transformer 101 former user. It’s a great product for most tablet and laptop web surfing, apps and note taking.

    If the MS Office programs are going to be heavily utilized then you’re going to meet with some heavy limitations. None of the Android office apps are perfect. I had to use multiple office apps to “get by” and still ran into formatting issues from time to time. In the end I was driven back to my laptop for work productivity.

    I can vouch for the Asus Supernote Program. It’s even more slick than the video reveals. It was great for meetings and note taking and I even used that app for some of my work inspections because it was easier to use than the office apps for general notes with pictures of issues I found.

    If MS ever puts out a smooth and comparable Office app for android… it will finally be time to ditch my laptop. But until then… I’d recommend a small netbook. If you must go tablet, then go with an Asus Transformer product. Those bluetooth keyboards cannot compare with the physical snap in, extra battery life keyboards that Asus Transformers have. They are just a great combination.

    Good luck!

  • PrePharmCat

    Ive been looking for a tablet to use while at school. I live about 30 minutes from school & have 10-30 mins between classes. The only reason I havent already purchased a tablet is bc I have yet to see ANY tablet say it supports FULL version Microsoft Office. Do ANY of these tablets have this capability? I know there is an app to view Office Docs but what about the ability to create one? Needing something ASAP bc the spring semester is starting soon & hate the thought of lugging around a laptop & books when I can save time & money & my back by purchasing books via tablet.

    • dharr18

      I use OfficeSuite Pro for most of my needs on my tablet when it comes to MS office documents. It isn’t perfect, but it is quite usable with 90% of the functionality I need.

    • G$

      Microsoft Surface RT and PRo does!

    • gmaninvan

      You really don’t need full blown office. You can either use apps like Libre Office, Polaris Office, QuickOffice, etc.

      What I personally do is use google docs, then just download what I need in office format as a docx. You don’t really lose anything unless you are using the more advanced features in excel like macros etc. The best part about it is that my documents are instantly available on all of my devices.

  • dharr18

    As for the original post, I would look at some of the lower end UltraBooks if you are looking for MS Office support. Newegg has a few i3 that are close to the same price range as the higher end 10 inch tablets. i tend to lean towards Asus and Samsung in the UltraBook arena. Although the Lenovo Yoga is a nice entry as well, kind of a UltraBooklet.

  • gmaninvan

    Depends. Are you going for something to take notes or something to supplant the need for a laptop.

    I’ll put it this way.

    If you are using it for notes, task management, etc.

    Get a Nexus 7. It is portable and the swipe keyboard introduced in 4.2 makes note taking a breeze. Couple that with evernote and you are laughing.

    If you want to use it for productivity, as in an inexpensive laptop, get a transformer prime or even a chromebook would be a good idea due to their low cost.

    Hope that helps

  • mardroid

    I have the same question but I am also trying to figure out what Tablet would be great as well for video recording the lecture. Any idea?

  • Fidm2011

    I want to buy an affordable tablet for college but I can’t decide between the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7″, Nexus 7, or the Samsung Galaxy 7″. Which is best?

    - I basically want it to use it at school (some notes, wifi, books), home to use Internet, some apps, and email.

    • SGB101

      Out of the 3 the nexus would be my guess, but a tablet would not surface for school work, if your budget is tight, a chrome book would be a better option.

      If you really want an android tablet, the note tab 10″ or even the 8″ would be a good choice, the spen would be great for note taking.

      If money is no object and it doesn’t have to be android, a Dell xps12, would be the best option, a great laptop (i5)running full windows 8, that transforms into a nice tablet.

  • peeps86

    I know engineering is a little more intense, but I am a grad student who uses a lot of statistics programs and I ran into similar issues that have been mentioned. I needed heavy duty processing power and various utilities to handle my school work that a tablet wasn’t up to, but I was tired of lugging my laptop around on twelve hour days at school with books and other supplies. My solution was to get a tablet as a supplement to a solid desktop. This has been pretty ideal for me for a few reasons.

    -Convenience: Obviously, I had the issue of the size and weight of my laptop, so the much lighter and smaller tablet was a welcome relief. Plus, I was able to rid myself of my external mouse and a bulky power cord. My tablet lasts longer than my laptop ever could. I switched to a desktop when it was time to retire my laptop and found that I was able to purchase a good PC and tablet for not too much more than I had paid for my laptop.

    -Productivity: Between all my apps, I am able to handle my appointments/calendar, keep track of my assignments and projects, doing reading, take notes, and work on documents and projects, among other things. I know there are occasionally issues with compatibility or ease of use, but that can be solved by thoroughly researching and test driving the apps. You may find that you like how an app works with a text document, but you prefer another for your PDFs. Use them both. And while there are some apps that are obviously better than others, subjective preference is going to weigh heavily into determining which one you think is the best. After you determine which apps are consistently recommended for your needs, you should try a few of them and see which one you like. Its gonna take some research and time to find your ideal setup, but it’s worth it.

    -Note taking: When sitting at desks, I usually didn’t have a whole lot of room. A laptop would take all the space and I wouldn’t have room for my mouse (this forced me to use the clunkier touch pad mouse to perform my constant edits to my lecture notes… usually made me have issues with the less-than-linear professors) or my textbook/readings. I tried out smaller netbooks, but I found I couldn’t deal with the cramped keyboards that I have encountered. I found that using a tablet with a good handwriting recognition OCR note taking app was my solution. I understand that this a issue of preference and I even use different apps when I want to do different things. I personally prefer this method because handwriting your notes is a superior method of encoding the information and I can utilize the OCR for general notes while still being able to use drawings, side notes, and shapes to supplement them when needed.

    I know that the tablet cannot handle everything I need to do; I usually work on the heavier stuff at home. And if the situation arises where I need to do something my tablet cannot handle while I am out of the house, I find a remote desktop client to be a great solution. This also helps me save memory and keep my cloud storage uncluttered.

    Most of the tablets recommended such as the Note 10.1, the Asus transformers and nexus, and the tab 2 are all excellent. I prefer the bigger ones for ease of writing and reading. However, spend some time before you go out and purchase one to research each ones specs and pros/cons; even more importantly take the time to study yourself. Keep track of what programs and apps you use the most. What things do you find you enjoy about your current hardware and what things bother you. Try and get a ball park idea of what you will really need as far as specs go (Google will help you figure out how to determine that if you don’t have a willing techie friend), and be honest with the things you can do without… Plus, look into alternative options for some issues (do you really need that extra internal storage when a larger SD card will do for much cheaper). Its okay to splurge sometimes, just don’t think the extras you want are necessary.

    *I know this thread is old, but I found it very helpful in my quest for a new tablet. I did feel that there was too much emphasis on the hardware capabilities alone (though they are important), rather than them in the context of user preference and ability to customize and shore up weaknesses with apps and other alternatives. I was a little surprised at how many people complained about things such as changes in document formats and stuff (just use the tablet to get a working document set up and then check formatting in the program you are going to use before you use it). I run into the same issue when using a different version of Word than the one I created my doc in, so I don’t find that to be a big negative against tablets. I don’t believe that some students would be able to get by without ever using a laptop/desktop, but I think its very plausible for most to get by with a tablet for almost everything and occasionally accessing open use school or library machines to do a little cleanup or double checking things without it being an issue.

    • Medo

      Gr8 Thaaaanks for your post!

  • Jazz

    I’m also a college student studying electronic engineering and computing and I’m currently checking the market for a tablet with laptop capabilities mainly for typing word documents, PowerPoint presentations and general surfing of the net. I’m thinking of ordering a windows surface RT today as its a decent size has a keyboard/cover in one and I don’t have to pay extra for Microsoft office.
    Anyone have one of these or know of anything with office and better within the same price range ??