Greg helped me get a hold of a tablet PC (thanks Khai Truong!). It’s small, possibly too small for running the experiment but should be good enough for development of the software I’ll need. So I’ve played with it a little.
It turns out there is a massive problem with one of my assertions. I assumed that one can use a tablet to handwrite, but that’s really difficult, at least on this particular device (a Fujitsu Lifebook P1610). The problem is that the point where the stylus physically touches the screen is 2-3mm off from the point where the computer thinks it’s touching the screen. So I can write one letter just fine, but it’s hard to connect it to the second letter after lifting the stylus:
Depending on which way the tablet is turned (you can turn the screen 360 degrees) this can be less of a problem. I was even thinking it might be a good idea to use the thing in full tablet mode with a USB keyboard.
Another thing that may be particular to this device or common to all tablets is that one needs moderate pressure on the stylus, which I didn’t do at first – it seems freaky having to push on an LCD screen with the point of a pen so hard. I pasted a screenshot of some code in notepad into paint, and did some exercises with the stylus. As expected – the offset I mentioned is a serious problem – it’s hard to underline or circle stuff or annotate anything unless you’re doing it on the side.
Also – writing more than a couple of words needs a lot of space (which could be explained by the same dreaded offset which doesn’t allow me to write in small letters). Here’s the masterpiece (I didn’t actually review code, so don’t mind that):
Overall – there is hope, especially if I manage to get a more accurate/sensitive device.