iPad Pro vs Surface for Med School Notes: Best Apps & Device Medical School 2018 Top Tips

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“Even in med school. You d be faced with the age old debate. Microsoft or or apple. So today.

I m gonna be talking about the pros and cons of an ipad a surface pro or a laptop for medical school and different applications. That are best for each of these devices. So if you re on the low budget. I highly recommend just getting a basic mid range or a lower end laptop you just need something with basic browser functionality.

Something that can take some basic notes on and run software programs like the nbme exams. Which pretty much covers like almost any laptop nowadays. Most of them pretty portable as well so they re not heavy to carry around like back in the day overall you ll get your best spec to money ratio by getting a mid range or lower end laptop you don t really need something with high computing power for medical school. So you don t really need to invest that money into hardware.

If you don t need it i would recommend trying to find a lot. Though that has a good battery life since there will be times. That you may want to stay on campus for a long time it might be hard for you to get access to like outlets and things like that so ideally something with longer battery life. But it s not a big deal since most places have outlets everywhere.

So for most things you can just type up your notes in adobe in onenote. Which is all my favorite programs evernote. If you like evernote more than one note the google suite and google docs google sheets and any other programs. We like to use for note taking.

However if you do want to do have handwritten notes. I don t think it s that big of a deal. But you can invest in a basic. Tablet i think this one was around 1600.

It s just a basic wacom. I think into a straw. I ll include a link to it and anything else that i mentioned down below in the description box. But a lot of students in my class started out with detachable tablets and in general tablets.

Writing tablets for their note taking and as a year passed on in the first and second years of medical school people started using them less and less and towards the end. I barely saw anyone really taking. Handwritten notes down during lectures. Typing.

Supreme are going to be the fastest way to take notes. So i kind of recommend sticking to typing your notes onto whatever application you re using. But if you do want to take handwritten notes you can use something like and into us. The downside to this is that it has a cable that you have to carry around and you need extra desk space.

So it s a little bit cumbersome. But you can still make do with it. It has good pressure sensitivity and wacom tends to be the gold standard in the drawing tablet feel if the cable bothers..


You you can get a special usb adapter that allows you to wirelessly connect to your computer. And this would be i think it s around like 40 50 dollars. But it can be less of a hassle. However.

I heard there is some lag to it so you ll have to experiment with that on your own like i said. Though a drawing tablet and handwritten notes. I m really necessary. If you want you can take.

Handwritten notes on a paper. Especially if you re on a limited budget. A lot of the organ systems don t really require a lot of handwritten diagrams or pictures. I think things like biochemical pathways.

And the beginning of your first year of medical school might use them a little bit more sometimes it nodded me. But for a lot of those things you can just write them out on paper. And or whiteboard and write those out a few times to help you memorize. But again.

Handwritten notes aren t really as necessary as a lot of people think they are so if you re on a low budget probably stick to a mid range to lower it lower and laptop. Something i deal with good battery life use out things like onenote evernote. The google suite to write your notes on maybe. A basic pdf viewer like adobe pdf or draw.

Board. Which we ll be talking about later on and invest in a attachable drawing tablet. If you really want to write handwritten notes onto your computer. But a paper will be fine.

So the first tab that i m going to talk about is the surface pro so the surface pro is a full pc. You can download any software that you want it has a tablet built in as well and it s meant to be a two in one pc. So it s supposed to be a tablet and a laptop multitasking and all these things are great on this it s meant to be a decently powerful computer. The thing a nice thing about pcs are you can have a lot of ports for your usb access to easily transfer files over lectures and other resources that a lot of messages and share with each other one of the best things about having a surface is that you can take your nbme exams on it.

So you don t need a separate laptop. As you do for some other tablets and i find the actual surface keyboard. That you can purchase with the surface to be very nice has a nice amount of like feel to the keyboard and nice amount of movement. So i find the keyboard to be nice for the surface pro wouldn t work.

So extremely to some of the cons. So one of the issues with the surface pro and actually even the surface book. I actually had a surface book. But when i first started medical school.

But i returned it because of hardware issues for a surface pro and then i think had to get another surface pro because i had like battery life issues. So there was like screen and battery life issues with both of them and i found lined up with the surface pro. I think 2016 edition the problem of the surface laptops are that they often have hardware issues unfortunately so so even nowadays i still have issues with my keyboard half of the time it works half the time does not work which can be frustrating..


Especially when i m taking in beaming exams or other things. And i have enough stress as it is so the stylus is pretty nice. I has a good range of special pressure sensitivities and it s nice for taking notes inside since it is a two in one laptop. I can take notes and easily switch to a stylist for handwritten notes of diagrams which again i used to do more right when i m starting medical school.

But as the year and the first year. I was taking er progress. It wasn t really as helpful or as an efficient use of my time. I felt when she what the stylus is it does have a noticeable lag and also when you tilt the stylus.

The cursor doesn t align. Perfectly with the edge of the tip. Some people might not have an issue with it. But i found it a little bit annoying at times.

So another issue of the surface pro is that due to the the stand mechanism. It s easy to have the laptop as you can see that right here. If you if you push it over the edge of a desk or something it can easily flip over and that s happened to me a few times and fall on the floor likely hasn t broken yet. But that s another consideration.

It s also not as fun to keep on your lap since the stand kind of digs into your leg. So it s not really as portable as a laptop. I feel since you can take it around. But it s not as comfortable to use so it s not really as comfortable to use in different locations as a laptops.

And it has a flat base that s stable and easy to use in different environments. So next the ipad. The pros to this are i find with a lot of alpha products. The user interface is really smooth.

It doesn t have a lot of lag. It nicely blends on from one application to another especially the multitasking and other features. So the stylus is amazing and the cursor tracks the point of the stylus. Very well even when depends on an angle to the screen.

There s a lot of different pressure. Sensitivity settings that you can use in its. It s very sensitive to different pressures. So the lag with the cursor and the point of the stylus is very minimalist.

I m doing something that requires a of graphic processing. So the cons to the ipad. The biggest con is probably that you can t use your nvme exams on it so. If you do have an ipad.

You have to get even an ipad. Pro you have to get a laptop along with it which again ups the amount of money you have to invest in your overall school supplies. Another drawback is that you can t install whatever software you want you have to stick to whatever apps are in the app store and also i feel like with the ipad and as with other apple products they tend to be pretty expensive for the specs that you get so the apple has a nice graphic interface that s very smooth and fluid and very consumer friendly but you are limited to whatever applications apple kind of wants you to have so unfortunately i feel like for apple you have to pay a lot more for the similar specs that you get from other devices..


Like other tablets or their laptops. The 20 18. Ipad. Which is kind of built more for students is a great option.

If you re trying to save money. It s about half the price of an ipad pro. It has same pros and cons overall. But i did notice.

There was a little bit more of a lag with the stylus. There s little bit more of a lag switching apps. And doing things like that. But it shouldn t really be noticeable for most of your medical school functions also if you re not an artist and you re not trying to do high level art.

With your ipad is probably not going to make much of difference at all other telus. I do have like a kindle that which is like 20 or 40. Something i didn t really use it wasn t very it wasn t very useful in my first two years. I think my third year might be helpful since it s some tablet.

They don t have to worry about but i can still hold pdfs other tallip is probably similar but i heard things like the samsung galaxy galaxy tab might have drawing features on it i haven t really tried it out myself. But you can look into that if you re interested so now for applications for the surface pro. I highly recommend if you have a powerpoint that s sent out with each of your lectures that you want to annotate. I recommend exporting those as a pdf with six slides per page and if you just have pdfs then you can just use those pdfs as is you can use adobe pdf software and just make notes onto that and type those up.

But i think for the surface. The best annotating application is draw board pdf it came. I think it was free for me i m not sure if it s still free or not but it s a great annotating program that has you know different markers and colors. And you can insert images and all those extra features if you re trying to pull a piece of information from different sources like for example you re trying to compile different parts of first aid or you re trying to work on a project with other people or you re still looking for a different application.

I think onenote is a great application that can sync between different devices easily some people like evernote again as well. But i prefer onenote in most of my class like onenote you could import your pdfs into onenote and annotate those. If you want or you can just create your own notes or make a mix of them sometimes. I also use things like google docs google sheets google slides.

Even especially if i m working on a group project with other people regardless of the tablet. Remember that you want to try to have details that are just the most important to whatever you re studying things like clinical correlates or important facts everything that s high yield is worth marking down. But not really a lot of the minor details. I feel like a lot of people especially coming out from undergrad.

Want to write down every minor detail in their notes. But you re gonna be thrown. So much information over your first years in medical school and even after that that it becomes a very inefficient to mark down every minor detail so try to focus on the major details. Things that are clinically relevant things that are very interesting or healthier.

Remember. The topic better or the subject matter better or maybe. Even questions that you have so just mark that important information and try not to include a lot of the extraneous information in your notes..


So for ipad pretty much gold standard app. I think out there is no debility. It s noted for having a great handwritten interface. So the writing is really good and so that s probably the best for you if you like doing a lot of handwritten notes you can also annotate pdfs import.

Pdfs and export things to different drives or clouds. It is ten dollars of those. But that s a small investment. The grand scheme of things i think perhaps everyone agrees that it s gonna be the best note taking software around for ipad again i actually use onenote most of the time since i have it on different devices like pete on my pc desktop and my ipad and my other tablet so it s a nice way to sync everything together and i like the interface eldery have a lot of notes on onenote and i like to keep everything in one place.

So i use onenote again for ipad. We can use evernote or other applications as well again. The google suite google. Docs google sheets are all great resources.

You can also use word or excel and upload those to the cloud. Other applications are apple notes. Which is free it s not a high level application. But you can still use it other applications that heard good things about our good notes for and my script nebo you can try those out they ve got very good ratings and a lot of people have good things to say about them as well it s in summary.

If you re short in a budget. I d recommend getting a mid to lower end pc laptop. If you can get two things. I would recommend getting a laptop and an ipad 400 if you want handwritten notes.

If you want to spend that money on a separate tablet. You can just get a a small drawing tablet for like 60 or 100. With your mid to lower end laptop. If you really want to take handwritten notes.

But you don t want to carry around a separate tablet. I would get the surface pro since it does how laptop and tablet capabilities. But again you might have to watch out for the hardware issues again the best note taking apps for pcs. I would recommend draw board pdf.

If you want to take handwritten notes of lectures and other pdfs and onenote or evernote especially for making notes that are mostly from things that you kind of synthesized yourself for ipad. I recommend using notability and maybe good notes for or my script nebo. So i hope that was helpful make sure they ll give you a thumbs up subscribe down below comment down below. As well.

If you have any questions comments or suggestions shows really with your friends that may need help and good luck. Studying you ” ..

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