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Best Tablet for High School Student


New Member
Wondering if there are other parents out there who have done research on tablets and can advise me on which mfg and model is best for a high school student? Recording lectures, note-taking, taking photos of teacher's whiteboard notes, etc.

From what I have been able to learn in the last couple hours is that students are really the innovators here. No surprise!
Thanks for any feedback you might provide me!

Head Scratchin' in Durham NC
I would look for a tablet with an Atom processor, which will gets you a very lightweight tablet and all-day battery life, with a full Windows experience. They are not as powerful as the full 'laptop' tablets, but I think in this situation that's ok.

The Thinkpad Tablet 2 and Dell Latitude 10 are two well regarded tablets in this segment. Both are available as models with and without a stylus; I would suggest getting one with so that they can draw and annotate notes. If they are not yet familiar with Microsoft OneNote, I suggest taking a look as it is excellent software for this use, and designed for a tablet.
Having used the tablet2 just recently I am of two minds about that device. One, its great for the things you describe but fails miserably for playing even the simplest youtube videos. It was almost unwatchable. This appears to be IE related and some 720 stuff was 'ok'. But I let the other guys are work play with it as its just not what I am after. I assume your student will need to watch and possibly create some multimedia in the near term? The upside to the RT device is that it comes with a student version of the 4 core office apps where none of the Pro devices have office installed and the Tegra3 Processor handles video and gaming in a way that the Atom Intel just cannot.

So far I have owned and used the Surface RT, The Surface Pro, The Tablet2 and an IPAD3.

You need to consider the pros and cons of each device before arriving at a decision. None of the Microsoft cameras are stunning so far, but they are acceptable. There are some Samsung Ativ pads that are ARM(RT) devices as well. I have to admit to being in love with my Pro. Its the best thing I have owned in a long time and at 2Lbs total its very portable. 4 hours of battery life though so for a student that may be an issue. The RT device was about 8 hours and the Tablet2 boasts 9 hours. The tablet2 is thin and light but I wasn't convinced. Again, go to the Streets at South point, across from Pottery Barn there is an entrance with a Microsoft Pop Store inside. Cold Water Creek and West Elm are near this entrance as well.

Also keep in mind that your Student is probably going to want to use the device for a little entertainment related activity from to time. I would say the Surface RT is the best choice but only you and your student can determine this by trying the devices for yourself. The Pro has a deluxe Wacom Pen and the Tablet2 has slightly less advanced, but still nice, Wacom pen included. The upside to the Tablet2 being the pen hides ' ' in the device where the Surface Pro attaches to the Batteries magnetic connector and puts the Pen at risk of being lost. Its also worth mentioning that as a Corporate Customer of Lenovo, it took a little under 5 months to get 2 demo units shipped in. The Bluetooth keyboard for the Tablet2 does not fold, cover and travel with device well. The Tablet2 does have a dock but that only has USB2, 10/100 Ethernet, HDMI and 1 USB C connector. Sorry for being a little all over the place but the easy answer is there is no easy answer.
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My 12 year old uses his Surface RT everyday in school, we went with the RT because of size and battery life as well as it includes Office 2013 RT Home and Student. He uses Word, PowerPoint and OneNote and the camera for assignments, IE for research. He has the Red Touch Cover and he mastered it in a couple of days.
I know quite a few college students who have an RT. You can't go wrong with Office 2013 RT. However, my daughter chose a Windows laptop.