Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Android tablets with pen-based input (N-Trig DuoSense)

There are currently only a few Android tablets that allow you to write on the screen using an active digitizer pen made by N-Trig (Dual-mode pen and capacitive multi-touch interface).  These tablets are also capable of capacitive multi-touch, so it's nice to have the ability to switch between handwriting recognition input with a pen vs. tapping with your finger.

The DuoSense® battery-powered Digital Pencil is a wireless electronic stylus that enables direct on-screen digital input. Utilizing inherent pen capabilities, the Digital Pencil complements DuoSense true multi-touch functionality for a more interactive and creative approach to computing that cannot be achieved by touch alone.

If you're looking for a 10" tablet that uses a pen, here are your current options:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet (running Android) - with Wi-Fi or with optional Gobi 3G
  • HTC Jetstream from AT&T (The first 4G LTE tablet from AT&T)
  • Motorola Xyboard (10" model only) from Verizon on the 4G LTE network

If you'd prefer a smaller 7" tablet that uses a pen, then you can get the same HTC tablet either with 4G on Sprint, or Wi-Fi only:

  • HTC EVO View 4G on Sprint (4G LTE network)
  • HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi only)

Surprisingly, Samsung, Asus, or Acer do not have an Android tablet that uses this type of active pen-based input. Also, Apple doesn't have an iPad that uses a digital pen that's coupled with true handwriting recognition software.

Over the next week or so, I'll be testing the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, so stay tuned as I take that device for a spin. I have a MiFi and I can tether using my smartphone, so I really don't need a 4G tablet. A Wi-Fi tablet is sufficient for me.

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