Video Recording and Writing Together

summak

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Feb 20, 2013
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Hello guys, my final year is about to start and I was looking forward to buy a new laptop. But I am confused on how I will accomplish what I want.

My plan is to record my class lecture and write notes alongside them. I currently own a desktop. And after a considerable research I found that only OneNote is capable of doing what I want i.e. video recording and typing notes together. And followed by that, I will be doing a lot of writing work. So I don't particularly need a high end performer, but just something that will help me with the above mentioned practices. My desktop is built for gaming purposes so I will use that when I want to play a game. But now I will need something for portable professional use.

I was first looking into tablets but then I figured a good combo would be a notebook/netbook + webcam. Since most laptops come without a rear camera. I think this would be the best solution.

The webcam I am interested in is the Logitech c920. I don't know any other with similar quality recordings.

Back to the topic, I have certain doubts that I would need to get cleared before proceeding with buying this combination.

First, what would you guys recommend for the laptop? I am currently looking for a gadget with good battery life, as I will be mostly outdoors and should have a quality build. It seems that the MacBook pro 13 retina is the best suite for now. I have to find something similar in windows laptops.

The second doubt is in regards to storage capacity. How much will I need if I am recording the videos at 1080p on a webcam. The lectures will be of around 3 to 4 hours and I will be recording all of it. I haven't used any cams yet so I am not really sure about that.

Third, the OneNote app on the MacBook also has the video recording feature or not? If it doesn't then there is not point in buying a MacBook and I will look into windows laptops.

Fourth, is there any other way to attain what I want to do? or is OneNote my only option?

Finally, Should I wait a couple of months before purchasing? As my lectures are going to start in late October or early November.

Thank You

Regards
Sumit
 

itmoba

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Aug 14, 2015
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One of the main reasons why I love my MBP is because of the Apple MagSafe adapter. People, myself included, are typically clumsy and don't really watch out for power cables, meaning painfully resoldering crap (when you no longer have a warranty) with lab tools thanks to some friend with lab access. That said, I'd probably buy a MBP 13" or an Asus ZenBook UX305, provided you're more concerned with battery power. Both are admirable and you can't really go wrong with either. If you want a wee bit more power, however, you'll need to spring for a MBP 15" with discrete graphics or the Asus Zenbook UX501. Again, both are admirable, though they aren't as good when it comes to battery power conservation. Dell, on the hand, had their moment in yesteryear and doesn't make laptops like they used to. I'd stay away from Dell, Sony, HP (major time!), and IBM (except their business class laptops which are "meh / okay").
 

basroil

Honorable
Don't bother with anything other than a Surface Pro 3 (or Surface 3 if your budget is small, but you mentioned MB, so price isn't an issue I would think). Here's how it will help you infinitely better than any laptop (most apply to any 2-in-1 Windows 8 and 10 devices though):

1) Full touch and pen support. While it's not 100% like writing on paper, the Surface Pro 3 is absolutely magical for writing, and One Note can automatically transcribe it to print words if you want!
2) Built in cameras + the ability to use any USB webcam if you later decide you need something else.
3) It has a heavy use battery life comparable to a MacBook Air, but much lighter
4) If you need more battery life, you can buy an older PowerCover (meant for the older models so it looks silly) that can add four extra hours
5) If you're worried about build quality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkSVIgtqr9U , yes it can survive a lot of punishment.

As for space, 4 hours of AVC encoded 1080p video isn't all that big, especially if it's something simple like a lecture. You're looking at between 4gb (heavy compression) and 40GB (very fast encoding with high quality), maybe a bit more if there's a lot of motion. On practically all worthwhile devices you have the option of using SD or microSD cards though, so a 64gb card can let you record without worrying about the original disk-space.
 

summak

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Feb 20, 2013
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The first thing I looked into was the surface pro. It was my obvious choice for working in a tablet. But its not widely available here in India yet.
 

itmoba

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Aug 14, 2015
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One of the most important variables in question regarding the kind of laptop/tablet you should is, "what're you going to be lecturing?" I think an answer to this would give me/us a better idea of what to recommend.
 

summak

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Feb 20, 2013
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I'm not lecturing. I am the student here, pursuing my masters degree in clinical psychology. Hope that helps :D
 

itmoba

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Aug 14, 2015
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As someone with a Master's degree in behavioral/social psychology (which has proven to be useless to me, thus far), I can tell you first-hand that you'll want a laptop. While I specialized more towards research, I do have some experience in the clinical field. The reason I recommend a laptop is because of writing notes in sessions. I'm not sure about the laws in India, but in the US we require patient consent to watch in on sessions. Part of obtaining a degree here, likewise, is sitting in on sessions. A tablet is fine for the classroom but is ill-suited for the field. You'll probably want to buy a graphics tablet to do the writing, if necessary. From my experience, all of the material in graduate-level courses should be familiar to you from your undergraduate studies. There's no need to draw things anymore because they can all be found in the textbooks you should be reading. Also, as you're recording the lectures, you can simply confer the videos for any of the doodles.

Ultimate advice: Buy a laptop, because when it comes to sitting in on sessions and writing your thesis you'll be a lot happier.
 

summak

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Feb 20, 2013
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Thank you. So would you suggest a MacBook or something else like the Asus zenbook or dell latitude series? As I said, for me battery is important, it should last atleast 6 hours+ realtime. When I say realtime I mean not what the specs say on the product info but actual real time use.
 

basroil

Honorable


You do realize that a Surface Pro is not an Android tablet and is instead a fully fledged laptop that just has a detachable keyboard right? While some people dislike the keyboard, I find it better than what I had on my old Asus 14" machine (longer key travel and less bending)



Those two and the Surface (Pro) 3 should last long enough for your needs, but none will last long enough if you record video at higher resolutions.
 

basroil

Honorable


1) Android is a mobile oriented OS with severe limitations that would affect OP's ability to record lectures, the Surface Pro line (and Surface 3) use the same desktop grade Windows OS that you would get with any laptop.
2) The distinction "Android tablet" refers to the fact that almost all android tablets use ARM based chips in addition to Android OS. The Surface Pro line (+ Surface 3) uses Intel x64 chips, ranging from the Core i3 to Core i7 (Atom for Surface 3) that you would find in high end laptops like the MacBook.
3) Marketing is marketing, I am trying to help OP by dispelling the false notion that the Surface line is less than a laptop when it in fact is no different. Quite literally the only difference between the Surface Pro 3 and contemporary laptops with touch and pen is the fact it's keyboard is detachable.

While there are certainly other devices similar to the Surface Pro 3, you'll usually lose out on pen inputs in exchange for a larger keyboard. Having owned a SP3 for a year now, I can tell you that there is nothing better on the market right now for academics, especially if you are the type that processes information best in non-text formats (in my case graphs and hand written notes are much easier to remember and apply than straight print text, of course, that depends entirely on you)
 

summak

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Feb 20, 2013
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Thank you guys. It seems that my current options are MacBook Pro 13 inch, Microsoft Surface Pro 3, And the Asus Zenbook UX305. Before buying them I will to look for some hands on experience with these. After that I will decide which would be the most optimal for me.
 

itmoba

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Aug 14, 2015
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You do realize that Android is an operating system, right? Also, the Surface is a tablet. I wonder how I know this... ah, I know! Let's check the Microsoft website which explicitly states, "The tablet that can replace your laptop" in its advertising. Any questions?
 
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