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Looking for a thing

posted by apenpaap on - last edited - Viewed by 503 users

Hello, people who are more tech-savvy than me, I need your help. You see, I've been thinking it would be very handy to be able to write anywhere, instead of just at home, at my computer. So I'm looking for a kind of portable device that will let me write anywhere (but not a laptop, I'd rather keep it a bit cheaper than that). Since I've never had much time for portable technology, apart from my MP3-player, I don't know if this exists, though I'm guessing in this age of drunk jockeys and chocolate-covered ants, someone must must invented it. I know iPhones and iPads can do this, but I´d really rather get something simpler and cheaper. And don't get smart and suggest a notebook and pencil, please.

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  • Sounds to me like you might be interested in a netbook. It's basically a small, low-powered laptop that's cheaper than an iPad or Android tablet.

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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    HOW ABOUT A NOTEPAD AND... oh ok.

    I concur with Guru on the netbook thing, they're basically MADE for working on documents and emails with some light web browsing thrown in. You should be able to get a 10" netbook for around €200, far cheaper than an iPhone by my reckoning.

    If you don't want to spend even that much money, you might want to look into digital pens. They're pretty cheap compared to phones and netbooks and the like - I've seen a basic model for little more than £50 (€60).

    From my point of view the pens aren't that great though. You write on regular paper just as you would with a regular pen, but the digital pen contains gadgetry and software to capture everything electronically as well. This means you can upload it to a PC later, then use a handwriting recognition program to get it into a typed format. You'd obviously have to carry a notepad around as well as the pen, and buy ink refills from time to time. Personally I'd skip the hassle and go for a little netbook and the convenience of a screen and keyboard.

  • Depending on the size of your hands, a 10" netbook's keyboard may be too cramped for you. I know personally I can't type on anything in that form factor. My hands are pretty large though, so you may want to just try out the keyboards of various form factors in a store at some point to see what you can deal with. Try typing out a few sample sentences and whatnot. I prefer the 12" form factor myself, though that tends to be more expensive.

  • Sometimes you can get used laptops as well, which can be cheap when they're from people who have upgraded and don't know what to do with their old system. If all you're doing is writing and simple Internet stuff, you don't need much. Check the classified ads or used computer stores in your area. Be sure whatever you look at works, before you buy it.

  • Why not try the trusty Amstrad PDA600 the stickiest PDA to ever grace the early 90's.

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    divisionten Moderator

    @puzzlebox said: HOW ABOUT A NOTEPAD AND... oh ok.

    I concur with Guru on the netbook thing, they're basically MADE for working on documents and emails with some light web browsing thrown in. You should be able to get a 10" netbook for around €200, far cheaper than an iPhone by my reckoning.

    If you don't want to spend even that much money, you might want to look into digital pens. They're pretty cheap compared to phones and netbooks and the like - I've seen a basic model for little more than £50 (€60).

    From my point of view the pens aren't that great though. You write on regular paper just as you would with a regular pen, but the digital pen contains gadgetry and software to capture everything electronically as well. This means you can upload it to a PC later, then use a handwriting recognition program to get it into a typed format. You'd obviously have to carry a notepad around as well as the pen, and buy ink refills from time to time. Personally I'd skip the hassle and go for a little netbook and the convenience of a screen and keyboard.

    I use a digital pen. It's faster for me two write than type, and all the info gets stored on my computer for later. The main disadvantage is you have to use matrix paper. You don't have to buy theirs, as you can make your own for free (put it does use up your yellow and blue inks in the printer), but you can't use untreated paper.

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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    @divisionten said: The main disadvantage is you have to use matrix paper. You don't have to buy theirs, as you can make your own for free (put it does use up your yellow and blue inks in the printer), but you can't use untreated paper.

    Depends on the model. Some digital pens (like the one I linked) can be used on any old bit of paper, no matrix necessary. Don't know how the accuracy stacks up against pens requiring matrix paper though.

  • Thanks for the help, everyone. I'll consider getting a really cheap little netbook. The digital ink thing sounds good, except I already know it wouldn't stand a chance of recognising my handwriting.

    Also, Guru, congrats on becoming a mod, and I hope you only use your mod powers for good, unless it would be funnier not to. I'm probably months behind on congratulating you (haven't been very active lately).

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