I look around my university lecture hall and everyone and their mothers are scribbling away with a stylus on some sort of tablet while I fumble around with my 5 3-ring binders that don’t fit on the pathetic excuses for desks and an eraser that keeps slipping off and sometimes bouncing away at the professor in parabolic motion. So I decided to join the masses and buy a tablet.
Okay, before I went and bought a tablet, I borrowed my mother’s iPad 1 and saw that for some reason, most note-taking apps (especially the free ones) require iOS 7 which is far beyond the most recent firmware that this thing actually supports. I am slightly curious as to what kind of high-powered fancy notetaking app requires iOS 7, but I hesitate to spend $400+ on what is essentially an (almost) infinite-page notebook. I also hesitate to spend upwards of $1000 for a shiny new Surface Pro since that’s pretty much the equivalent of buying a new laptop with worse specs than my current laptop for more. I was leaning towards the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 due to its good reviews and Android OS (especially since it’s hard to avoid crossing paths with Android app development in my program)…until I saw it.
The Dell Venue 8 Pro is an 8-inch tablet that runs the full Windows 8 operating system retailing for $299 for the 32 GB version and $349 for the 64 GB version. That means I can play eroge on this thing which I will be carrying around! I’m not too excited to spend $400 on a digital notebook (let’s face it, I don’t plan on playing appstore games on my tablet. I got muh glorious handhelds for that, with games that I actually want to dedicate my time to), but hell yeah am I eager to jump on a portable eroge machine. Nobody needs to comment on my priorities as a university student in a rigorous program; I got things sorted out properly (monotone).
I went with the 64 GB version (slightly less than $400 after Canada’s 13% HST), but the Venue 8 Pro is compatible with 128 GB microSDs so you should have plenty of space for the programs you frequently use/eroge you are currently playing. Go leave your 1 Terabyte of hentai or whatever at home. The colors are nice and crisp and the 8-inch screen feels just right for an eroge on fullscreen when you want to bring it on the go. It uses the Atom Z3740D processor, which is very clearly slower than my i7 laptop at home, but gets the job done. I wouldn’t go any lower than that though, and a Japanese blog I read recommends something more powerful for smoother performance, but for this price and size, you can’t get any better unless you happen to run into a good sale. The 2 GB RAM should be good enough for most 2D eroge, although I have my doubts on it running Illusion’s 3D stuff. Not that I play anything other than 2D porn Powerpoint presentations anyway.
I’ve done some tests with titles I plan on reading in the near future, such as Aiyoku no Eustia and Tsuki ni Yorisou Otome no Sahou. If that isn’t recent enough for you, I’ve also tested with last month’s Hello Lady! and it works fine. Touching the screen to advance works well, and most eroge with competently designed interfaces have on-screen buttons to access the save/load/auto/skip/backlog/config functions so you can easily access those without using keyboard shortcuts.
In the case that you need a physical keyboard (I hate on-screen keyboards that take up half the screen), there is a wireless keyboard accessory you can buy for ~$100 from Dell, and also a protective cover for ~$35. If you are poor or simply refuse to spend 1/3 of your tablet’s price just so you can type and carry the thing around, there’s a 3rd party wireless keyboard that doubles as a cover (the keyboard is easily detachable since it sticks on like a magnet) for $40 on Amazon and it works pretty well. It basically transforms your tablet into a mini laptop.
The major downside to the Dell Venue 8 is that since it runs the full Windows 8, browsers are normal-sized instead of optimized for tablets, so browsing becomes a pain in the ass with my fat greasy fingers that can barely close a tab. Thankfully, everything is fixed with the Dell Active Stylus, which I was going to buy anyways because I still intend to take notes on this thing one day. The tablet also comes with the legit Microsoft Office 2013, breaking up my long-term relationship with The Pirate Bay. Microsoft OneNote is the program you’ll want for taking notes, and it supports pressure sensitivity with the stylus to allow for comfortable writing.
If you want a tablet just for fast and convenient apps and note-taking/writing functions, you’d want to go with an Android tablet since those are cheap (I’m sorry iPad fans I know the retina display is nice and my mother wants one but I can’t afford them and I can’t play eroge on them) and apps optimized for tablets are probably faster and simpler than full Windows desktop applications. If you’re rich you can probably splurge on the Surface Pro 2 or some other fancy thing with an i7 processor, 4 GB RAM, etc. that basically functions as a full touch-screen laptop. If you’re just a poor student who wants to play your porn games in public eye then this is a great choice.
Here’s evidence that I actually tested the note-taking functions for this: