I like being able to take my work anywhere with me, but sometimes my laptop is just too big to take with me. Battery life on tablets seem to be much better than laptops as well. Are there any tablets that would be good for writers and editors? Please explain any recommendations. (Any operating system is fine - Android, Windows Mobile, iPad, etc.)
The iPad is pretty good, but I would suggest getting a USB keyboard as well. You can find some nice cases that have the keyboard built in so you can open them up and type. I usually get 10-12 hours on my iPad, though I don't use the blue tooth.
As for laptops, I have a netbook myself, and I can get six hours out of that without much trouble if I set the brightness to low and turn the wi-fi off. You can also get a bigger battery that can take you to ten hours.
The netbook is a good size to travel with, easy enough to stick into a small bag. Same with the iPad, in fact I usually keep both with me when I fly.
The enTourage eDGe looks like an amazing tablet for writers and editors. It opens like a book and on the left is an ereader with an e-ink screen and on the right is an Android powered tablet. The EE can be folded completely back so that only one screen is visible. The e-ink reader side also lets you use a stylus to write on the document you have open.
My Editor-in-Chief has one and she says it's amazing for both writers and editors.
Just writing, no bells, whistles, games, internet?
HP LX200 (it's a clamshell XT). Load it with WORD 5 for DOS or VDE editor, better yet with a few nifty editing Macros and you can beat the crap out of any Tablet (Mac or Android)... even though it's antiquated and superannuated.
Or go back to the PSION 5MX (but with a fixed up third party flat cable). Marvelous little clamshell.
Tablets are NOT for writers/editors. There's no DEL (or CANC). You can't create simple editing Macros.
I went to a Tablet store taking my 1992 HP LX200 - DOS!! with absurdly slow XT engine (the stone age!) and CHALLENGED them to do better / faster, promising them to pay twice the price on any modern handheld gizmo that could do better in terms of ease, speed on a simple paragraph translation.
Sure, no Angry Birds, no flying in formation with a friend in Singapore, no Internet... I'm talking just about writing / editing work. First draft stuff . WORK.
They stopped snickering when I beat the pants off them...
They got upset and figured I was a crank. But on the same text, they were still poking their fingers on the screen and highlight with their index fingers, while I used the rich editing features of old WORD 5 for DOS to do the same things at blazing speed. I shouted: "Done!" and they were still pecking and poking...
Sure, I have a tablet (HTC Flyer) and I love it to pieces, but when I'm in a hurry and I don't want to be chained to a real computer with a real and proper keyboard (still the fastest way to go), my ancient hardware / software is at least 8 times more productive than Ipad or Android.
This ticks me off, because I'd love to bury the old machine... but there's nothing modern in the handheld - walking-and-typing that comes close...
If you're only concerned about the writing and battery life and not other tablety stuff, and you don't mind hacking it a bit, some folks on XDA Developers recently got a Nook Touch to support a USB keyboard. I plan on investing in one of these myself soon, since the eInk screen should be easier on my eyes than a regular monitor.
I'm a big fan of the Asus line of devices. Touch typing is getting much better and their accessories are right on par with Apple devices in my opinion -except cheaper. The iPad still probably sets the bar as far as user experience goes, but the ASUS Transformer Prime is a very strong competitor -that would be my current recommendation.
Here's a CNet review: http://reviews.cnet.com/tablets/asus-eee-pad-transformer/4505-3126_7-35089447.html
As with all consumer electronics, the longer you wait, the better your device will be for your money. That said, this might be a good time to wait a bit longer. Quad-core devices with a ton of upgrade potential should be hitting the market soon. Additionally, if you decide you really want to go Apple but price is an issue, wait for the iPad 3 and grab a used iPad 2 while people are in upgrade mode.
I own a 64 GB Transformer Prime and I love it! I'll never own a laptop again. It's an excellent device for screen typing and it is the fastest Android device that I've used. It is a bit expensive, but the investment to productivity and portability is well worth it for me. The number of alternative keyboards available is also a big plus. I prefer Swype personally, but there are many to choose from.
I found that the iPad was not really a good tool for writing, or getting ideas out...at first. While I know this thread is fairly old, due to sheer use, i found myself using the iPad with an iPad keyboard case more and more for writing. I think that the more you use something, the better off you are with it. Furthermore, I feel that with Secunia for the iPad and this case, I have been able to pump out some of my best ideas....fast..
I personally have Asus Transformer Book and it's perfect for backpack travelling and long train trips. It holds around 10 hours and has an additional keyboard so it's both a tablet and a small computer. It may also be charged through an external battery.
However, all Asus tablets don't perform well as they have 32/64GB max. It's good for writing and internet browsing only. Forget Photoshop and other programs.
I moved to a Macbook Air. I know it's not a tablet, but for lots of writing, I didn't like the iPad and if I'm carrying the keyboard as well, why not the Air? It's about the same size as my iPad 1, and there are some great writing apps for OSX. I also use DropBox and Evernote to sync notes/drafts back with a home computer to keep a second copy in case I have issues on the road.
I would vote up other votes instead of writing my own answer, but since I'm still new to this site, I can't do that yet. I vouch for the Asus line as well. I'm currently writing this post using my Asus Transformer Tablet. The Prime is the newer model and has some better specs. (I have the older model).
When you look at getting the tablet with the keyboard dock (definitely recommended), it still comes out cheaper than the iPad and other tablets on the market. I find it's easy to carry around and has a very good battery life. With the keyboard dock, it is advertised to have 16 hrs of battery. About 8 hours without the keyboard dock. I've taken this tablet with me on trips and used it to write storires and brainstorm ideas.
Now I'm just looking for apps that will help with that as well. It runs Android Ice Cream sandwich, which is the newest OS for Android. The flexibility of a touchscreen and keyboard brings a new experience altogether. Rather than relying on a mouse/touchpad, I can just tap the screen if I want to edit a specific paragraph. Or scrolling up to read what I wrote before, I can just use finger gestures.
I still personally would prefer a laptop for heavy duty writing, but for being out and about, I would recommend the Asus Transformer line.
You can make due with a tablet, but no existing platform will ever offer a healthy long-term experience. In order to make it ergonomic you'll have to carry around enough junk that you might as well carry a laptop. Screens need to be just below eye level. Your arms need to be parallel to the floor. Your chair needs to be adjusted just so. Working on a tablet will exact a price on your body that you may not pay immediately, but you will pay eventually.
Tablets are not devices for producing written works. The only use of a tablet within the writing sphere that I have at all used and found to "fit" my workflow is marking up a finished work with a stylus on a surface book after the work is done. In that process, I'm drawing on top of a pdf and for that it's good. I project/cast onto a screen at home and my wife and I make our way through page after page writing comments, crossing out words etc.
I would never choose to work on a tablet given any other option when I am actually writing. Keyboards tend to be too small, they don't fit the hand and it's just not possible to get into a good position. Also, you're risking long term injury if you do go this route.