Quality Digital Notepad for Macs?
November 29, 2007 6:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a good quality digital notepad that is Mac compatible.

I am investigating devices that will help you easily digitize notes taken in meetings. The device needs to interface in a simple way with a Mac. I am willing to spend for a quality product. Getting a Tablet PC is not an option.

I have two requirements:
1. The device must be Mac-compatible.
2. The device must not use special equipment (i.e. no special paper or special pens).

I have found these products, but they do not meet both of my criteria:
Aiptek MyNote - Windows only
SolidTek Digital Notepad - Windows only
Adesso CyberPad - Windows only
Acecad Digimemo - Windows only
Genuis G-Note - Windows only

Does such a product exist? Thank you!
posted by rachelpapers to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I looked quite hard for a similar product about a year ago and found nothing. I'm not quite clear though about how you expect the digitization to occur, if not through the pen or the paper. Scanning notes at the end of the meeting would satisfy that requirement, but that's clearly not what you're thinking of.
posted by roofus at 7:37 AM on November 29, 2007

Perhaps instead of a digital notepad, you could investigate a digital pen?
posted by WCityMike at 7:52 AM on November 29, 2007

A few options:

Take the notes on actual paper (which is the best medium for freeform notes anyway), then scan them into your mac with a fujitsu scansnap. I believe the model number for the Mac-compatible version is 500M.

If the notes you take are merely written words, with no diagrams, just type them on a laptop. Microsoft word has a 'notebook' view in Word2004 that makes taking notes easier. If you're looking for something more portable, use TextEdit and save to RTF. CircusPonies also makes a well respected program called NoteBook. The coolest notetaking I've ever used though is SubEthaEdit which allows your open note document to be edited live with anyone else at your meeting who also uses SubEthaEdit. We use this method to record meeting minutes at my Mac User Group's board meetings. Highly Recommended for tech-heavy meetings.

Personally, I've had great luck in the past with an old Palm V with a Palm V keyboard connected to it. It syncs with my Mac just fine via USB, and they're wicked-cheap.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:26 AM on November 29, 2007

Best answer: I'm pretty sure that the 5 tablets you mentioned are all basically repackagings of the same hardware. The give-away is that each one has a small display and 4 buttons in the top-left-hand corner (even though the Genius is landscape-oriented.) Looking on the Web it seems pretty clear to me that none of these tablets are Mac compatible.

One thing worth knowing is that the Wacom Bamboo is a recent tablet that makes a big deal of its Mac compatibility. In general Wacom has been Apple's only tablet manufacturer for more years than I'd like to count. When you link up the Bamboo via Bluetooth it will automatically open the Ink preference pane. I don't see that Wacom is currently offering a notepad meant to be used with paper, though.

However, Mac's handwriting recognition technology is called Inkwell, and it is sitting in your OS ready to be used in a lot of tablets. This guy suggests that he was able to get his Genius G-Pen working by manually finding and opening the Ink preference pane - it worked on the output of the Genius tablet even though it didn't automatically open.

The last thing I found while searching this is that Apple has mysteriously taken down all its customer-facing Inkwell pages. That suggests to me that they may be working on introducing something new to do with it Real Soon Now. (The other possibility is that they're getting ready to drop support for it entirely.)
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:09 PM on November 29, 2007

Best answer: Google cache of Apple's Inkwell page. It refers to OS 10.2, but as far as I know there's no difference in 10.5.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:55 PM on November 30, 2007

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