Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series April 10, 2012 - 10:21am

I'm going back to school in the fall. Generally I'm an oldschool note-taker, you know, with a spiral bound ruled note and pen. But it seems like I should maybe consider getting with the times and investing in something useful... Anyone been in college lately? Is it better to have a notebook, or a laptop, or a tablet? I don't honestly know what a tablet does, but it seems like every third person at the pre-acceptance meeting I went to had one, and I hauled in all my shit on paper. Any advice?

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 10, 2012 - 10:27am

I would go with a basic laptop. All you need is a word processor and internet access. Netbooks aren't bad either.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 10, 2012 - 10:38am

I would go with Pandrew here, a laptop will be your best friend. I got an old one if you want it, I could mail it to you, it's really old, but free.....

Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series April 10, 2012 - 10:46am

Hmmm, that's not a bad idea. I just need it to do the basics... I do have a home computer, too, and I live a 5 minute walk from my school, so anything fancy I could just run home to do, too. Hells yeah if the word processor works on it, I'd take it off your hands. Not sure how much it would cost to send from VA, but I could email you money for whatever the cost ends up being.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 10, 2012 - 10:53am

Nah don't stress it, just send me your email and I'll send ya some pics of it, it still has XP on it, so 2003ish maybe earlier....and you have to leave it plugged in....other than it is MS office suite on it. If you end up wanting it, it's yours....

 

The power thing might be an issue though if you're trying to be mobile and such

Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series April 10, 2012 - 10:59am

Hmmm yes the power might pose a problem. I'll have to check with people I know who were in school last year and see how hard it is to sit near a powerbar, haha.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig April 10, 2012 - 12:01pm

New batteries are considerably less expensive than new laptops. I wonder if replacing the battery would solve the power cord issue?

 

Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series April 10, 2012 - 12:06pm

This is true. I was thinking if i was going to buy a local laptop, I would probably just get an older refurbished one. I don't know shit one about computers, anyway, so i don't need anything fancy. Down the line depending what route I take in school i might need a better one, but i'm pretty sure the first year will be easy enough to live through without too many bells and whistles.

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 10, 2012 - 12:16pm

What about Boxing Day?

Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series April 10, 2012 - 12:46pm

Boxing Day leads to fisticuffs. Which is the wrong kind of Boxing. ;)

Bill Tucker's picture
Bill Tucker from Austin, Texas is reading Grimm's Fairy Tales (1st Edition) April 10, 2012 - 1:14pm

Yeah, I agree with everybody above.  Just snag yourself a cheap-o netbook with good battery life and you're golden.  The only issue I have with netbooks is that the keys feel small to my fingers, but that's just me.  Go to a local Best Buy, pick out a cheap netbook you like, tap away and if it's comfortable for you, pull the trigger.  Just be sure to spend at least five minutes typing, just to make sure your hands or fingers don't cramp up.

If you're considering taking a free lappy with a bad battery, just do some research first to make sure the batteries aren't expensive.  The older the PC, the more the batteries are in demand, so the prices go up.  You can get a brand new netbook for around $200 these days, so just make sure the savings is worth it.

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 10, 2012 - 1:16pm

The bigger the screen the less battery life.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. April 10, 2012 - 2:39pm

I am a big fan of the abacus or stone tablet. Bring a chisel to class.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin April 10, 2012 - 5:10pm

UNC schools (which is to say, the experience is limited) have learned to shy away from Laptops in class since they tend not to be used for note taking.

In my experience it's the individual professors who tend to be the anti-laptop crusaders and make up their own rules to either ban laptop use in class or make it so that laptop users have to sit in easily monitored places. It's fine if it works for you, but it isn't worth thinking "this laptop or tablet will be highly useful in class." it can be ok. But if you have a phone then you can do anything that you might need a computer for in class, and if you have paper it's easier to take notes on.

@alien: I have an old fashioned movable type printing press that I take to class and use to manufacture my notes. It's loud and distracting, but it'll get you kicked out of class and then you can go home.

cbhattarai's picture
cbhattarai June 15, 2012 - 12:25am

Ok if you are looking for Tablet, Or Laptops, then it is better you go with Netbook. I have given a lot of netbook reviews on discussin. The best thing about Netbook is the easy to use and carry and then another thing is the battery.

 

This is why i preffer to have Netbook...

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. June 16, 2012 - 8:24am

I got used to the small keyboard of a netbook and do all my writing on one now.  I don't have big hands, though.  Small, baby hand.  Baby Hands Howie was my nickname in highschool.

Okay, not really, but the nickname I did have was a lot bit racist.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind June 16, 2012 - 10:33am

The only problem with a netbook is the keyboard isn't full size, which can cause some discomfort if you use the machine beyond note taking. I'd suggest getting one that is at least 11", I think the keyboards are supposed to be full size. I still have my old netbook, and it handled a lot -- it just hurt to type with for long periods of time.

If you get a basic machine, make sure it's light enough for carrying around. Really, the lighter, the better! And always get one that has more specs than what you think you want. If you don't, you'll get frustrated with your machine fast.

If you have the money to spend, I'd suggest using a macbook air. They have a super long battery life, are very light, full sized keyboard, and don't disappoint on performance. I take mine everywhere and use it at least 11 hours a day, and I've been using mine for almost a year. Still no degradation in performance. 

I wouldn't recommend a tablet for note taking. While they're light and stylish and have an exceptional battery life, I've used mine for note taking in the past and I can't get the hang of it. 

Edit: I want to add something about paper.

I think it'd be best to take notes on paper, then copy them in the format you wish on your machine. I say this because handwriting your notes will help you remember better, format your paper the way you want, and it's easier to carry around. 

Good luck!

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that June 16, 2012 - 11:13am

I have big hands and a little netbook and the keyboard isn't a problem.

 

At least my wife says it isn't.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig June 17, 2012 - 7:28am

You know, I didn't consider that when we first started discussing this. You do remember better when you write things down by hand. I also imagine that it is easier to play to your senses if there isn't a laptop screen (no matter how small) in your line of vision...things to think about.

underpurplemoon's picture
underpurplemoon from PDX June 17, 2012 - 10:53am

I only type with my eyes closed with my laptop and other decently sized keyboards. My netbook is for when I travel now. I love the fact that I have less to worry about while traveling and I can still write great things down.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind June 17, 2012 - 1:08pm

@Sparrow I tried both while I was in college, and I prefer handwriting my notes. Anything I deemed important, I'd type up later and stick in a folder on my computer. I'm thinking about going back to notebooks for my brainstorming, too, because I'm having a difficult time doing it on the ipad. I love technology, but sometimes a pen and paper is the best choice.

mark.felmo's picture
mark.felmo July 18, 2012 - 1:42am

Utah, please come love me with your anti-bot ban-hammer.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 18, 2012 - 4:05am

Okay, bot.

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that July 18, 2012 - 4:09am

Ah, geez, Utah, at least close the door when you're doing that.

 

 

Can I take pictures?

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel July 18, 2012 - 7:01pm

I have all three. A Mac-Air, Ipad, and spiral notebook. It depends on the class I'm in. Some classes the Mac is needed for heavy writing such as my creative writing class. I use the iPad for light classes where notes a sparring and nothing really wow, just something to jot down notes occasionally like my Deaf studies class. Then I have my ENG 300: Literary Research and Applied Criticism class and I have to have my spiral notebook to keep up with the amount of lecture, notes on the board, and crazy diagrams he uses. I also use a recorder for that class as well.

I just like being able to have all the tools at my disposal and use what I need to as the situations present themselves. It may not be cost effective, but it gives me piece of mind and that is worth the price.