Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Medical students can take notes during class using a tablet if they...

Medical students can take notes using a tablet if they use a tablet that accepts pen-based input. Traditionally, Windows tablet PC used Wacom technology and Penabled digitizer pens that allowed you to draw and write directly on the screen of your tablet. Your "inking" could also get converted into text if your handwriting was somewhat legible.

Today, we live in an era of capacitive touch-based computing and many people have said "bye bye digitizer pen (or stylus if you prefer)." Those of us who lived in the era of traditional tablet PCs often miss our pens and we feel drawn to tablets that have pen-input technology.

Today, we're left with a few options if you want a touch-based tablet that also allows you to take notes using a pen. N-trig has filled the void with its DuoSense digitizer that lets you switch from capacitive touch to pen-based input. If you want the best of both worlds, you can choose between tablets like the Lenovo ThinkPad (running Android), the HTC EVO View 4G from Sprint (running Android), or the HTC Flyer (running Android).

Notice a theme here? All of these devices are powered by Android. I didn't mention the Windows tablet PCs running Microsoft Windows 7, but you also have a number of those computers as well.

Will Apple release a tablet that also incorporates pen-based input? Right now, some medical schools are equipping medical students with iPads, but is this the right digital device for students who are constantly taking notes? Or, should medical students get a portable slate tablet that also allows them to take notes during class?

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