iPad + Stylus for College? Math/Engineering/Science

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Prinkster, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Prinkster macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #1
    I am currently working on graduate school for mathematics. I have a laptop that I use as a tablet currently to take my notes by writing on the screen with a stylus, since typing up math is obviously out of the question.

    What I was wondering is if anyone has any experience using an iPad + Stylus to take class notes, write up assignments, etc, especially for math/hard science/engineering classes. If anyone has done this, if you wouldn't mind spending a few moments letting me know what the experience is/was like, that would be great.

    Specifically, I am hoping there is good tablet-like software that will allow me to organize and page through my notes quickly.
     
  2. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I'm looking for the same thing.

    (sorry this post is useless for you, I'm just hoping to encourage a response from someone else)

    edit: I'm looking at note taker HD, but I don't have an iPad yet to play with it.
     
  3. Prinkster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    The noteshelf app looks pretty handy. Lots of different background options for the notebooks, and you can easily export (great) or sync using Dropbox (even better!)
     
  4. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    That one looks good and seems to be a lot easier to use. Keep me updated with what you find - I probably won't have an iPad for a few weeks to start playing with these. It'd be nice to be able to cut down all my notepads to an iPad and just print them if I need to.
     
  5. LTLT macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I have tried extensively to take notes with a iPad stylus. I have found that it is more trouble than it is worth, as it is very hard to be accurate.
     
  6. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816

    WiiDSmoker

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  7. bbydon macrumors 6502a

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    ATL
    #7
    The Alupen is decent.... as is the targus/griffen/boxwave one. The problem is that you can't write like you do in a normal notebook. Or I couldn't anyway.
    Its a bit different and everything wants to be bigger...
    I found a stylus great for sketching but not anything more.
    My note taking skills were poor... may have been the app may have been me.
     
  8. sam2428 macrumors 6502

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    Houston, TX
    #8
    I've been doing a lot of research on various stylus..uhh..styli (?) lol

    anyway, from what i found there is something called the oStylus which is made for drawing but is also extremely accurate for handwriting. Although expensive, i think it will be worth it for those wanting to take notes on their iPad as i plan to do when i get one :)

    http://ostylus.com/
     
  9. tgcken macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2011
    #9
    I was fairly impressed with the uPad app, and the way it smoothed input. It wasn't quite onenote level, but it looked pretty good.

    The only problem that still remains is the issue of a good stylus. Ostylus looks impressive. Theres something called a Dagi Stylus that is essentially the same idea, letting you see where the ink should be coming from. I hadn't seen oStylus before, I'm contemplating giving it a shot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_ADwdo9w4k&feature=related

    In any case, it won't be anything near as good as the combination of WACOM and OneNote on win7 tablets... and if you plan on taking notes comfortably you'll probably need to wear a glove =/

    Still, if I could get my ipad receiving handwritten notes at least half as well as the onenote, it would replace my laptop for everything but Solidworks.

    I'm hoping stylus-hating Steve Jobs goes into early retirement.
     
  10. liquid stereo macrumors regular

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    #10
    No. Look elsewhere.

    Nope. Forget about it. Its good for reading. That's it.

     
  11. smileyborg macrumors 6502

    smileyborg

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    May 12, 2009
    #11
    Being a college student myself, in a technical major (Biology, now IT), I can say that the iPad is not built for this use case. I tried it, bought the Pogo Stylus...it just doesn't work well. The iPad works great with your fingers and is a fantastic device for many things. But it does not work well with any stylus I've seen, and you won't be able to make it act like a Wacom pen tablet (which is what you want for technical notes/graphs/etc).

    So as much as it sucks, you'll probably have trouble justifying the iPad as a device that assists you in class. I don't know of any good solutions on the market now, except for maybe the traditional pen-tablet laptops. Honestly, I'd just stick with a pen and paper. Maybe a scanner or something to digitize the notes -- but that's about it.
     
  12. sam2428 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I have to disagree, using a stylus like the pogo will obviously make note taking extremely difficult as it has a large surface area for it to register. Here is an example of a super fine stylus someone made for artwork and can be used for hand writing too. Just look at the amount of detail he/she is able to achieve with this self made stylus.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0PmCz3m_ZM&feature=related

    **NOTE: this is not the best do it yourself video. But i just wanted to show that it can be done.


    Do your research before saying its not possible.
     
  13. seajay96, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

    seajay96 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Wow, bunch of haters in this stream.

    My undergrad is in engineering and I'm currently in a graduate program in Paris, so I understand the OP's needs. I use my iPad and boxwave stylus every day to take notes. It is not difficult, uncomfortable, painful, or complicated. With zoom to write features and selectable pen width, the size of the stylus tip is unimportant.

    I use NotetakerHD. So far, I've found this software to have the smoothest, quickest rendering and best zoom to write feature. I will attach an example of notes that I've exported to PDF. Unfortunately, sync and share isn't quite as good as other programs, but I'm willing to do work arounds to have the better input feature.

    Noteshelf is not a bad product, but I find it's zoom feature and inking quality a little lacking when compared to NotetakerHD. Sync and share is better, though.

    EDIT: just realized that the page I exported had my profs email, I'll upload another.

    Oh, and by work arounds, I simply mean I email the pages in pdf format to my Evernote account. Simple
     

    Attached Files:

  14. jhchan macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2006
    #14
    Hi,
    Have you used Penultimate? If so, how do you rate it against Note Taker HD? Thanks for sharing your sample. I am looking into using an iPad 2 for note taking which may involve diagrams, formulas, etc as well.

    Ever used any that convert your written input to text?
     
  15. runtohell121 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2010
    #15
    anyone tried boxwave? it seems to have a pretty good ratings on Amazon
     
  16. sam2428 macrumors 6502

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    Houston, TX
    #16
    @ Seajay96, pretty sweet notes man. Not perfect, but they are pretty legible. I'm sure you can read your own handwriting better than someone else.

    I think something that converts hand writing to text would be nice as well, but might be prone to more errors.

    Either way....getting the boxwave might be pretty nice now. I was almost set on getting the oStylus
     
  17. deathcab4xtina macrumors regular

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  18. Bigchris macrumors member

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    Cucamonga
    #18
    I got the Targus stylus and then got Notes+. So far, it's really not that bad when writing. It takes a little to get use to but it is very usable. Your able to zoom in without problems and the palm pad is great. Give it a try, Notes+ is $1.99
     
  19. liquid stereo macrumors regular

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    Saint Paul
    #19
    Ringing endorsement

    "Not that bad" :)

     
  20. seajay96 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #20
    Penultimate is fine if all your doing is small sketches or light notes, the pages are just simply too small and there is no zoom to write feature.

    I have only found one app that does handwriting recognition....WritePad. It works pretty well, if you don't write like a doctor. For me, the French version actually works better than the English because I concentrate more on writing more clearly when I write in French. I personally prefer handwriting to text though.
     
  21. AlxRymnd914 macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #21
    After I got my iPad 2, one of the first apps I bought was notetaker HD based on seajay96's post. I also bought a targus stylus from best buy. I haven't used it in a class setting yet(EE major btw), but I started to copy some notes from my notebook and found that it works really well. I can write neat notes just as fast using the zoom feature. If I need to draw a graph or something, I can quickly switch to edit 1 to edit the page directly. It also accommodates if you are left handed. It puts the zoom window or hand guard on top of the screen instead of on the bottom. So, I also recommend this solution.

    Also, wrote this on the new iPad.
     
  22. dmaul1114 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2011
    #22
    I can barely read my own writing on paper, so I'm guessing a stylus on the ipad would be a lost cause for me!
     
  23. csjcsj macrumors member

    csjcsj

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    La Jolla, CA
    #23
    In my experience, the Pogo doesn't work very well because you have to hold the stylus upright or it doesn't work. I've been using the Boxwave for the last 2 days & like it a lot better. Many models & useful reviews on Amazon.
     
  24. webcrush macrumors regular

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    Nov 6, 2010
    #24
    I've used a bunch including the Boxwave, the Targus and the Pogo. They all stunk.

    I got the Elago a few months back, and its superior to the rest. Highly recommended.
     
  25. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #25
    The Elago is better than the Boxwave? They look very similar.

    Thanks!
     

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