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chinesemadrush

Good recommendations for Chinese writing tablet

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ChTTay

Why do you want a writing tablet? What's the primary purpose?

Are you just going to practice writing Chinese characters (as a beginner) or you looking to write longer texts etc (more advanced)?

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Demonic_Duck

Seems like the "excessive packaging to make product look bigger" trick doesn't work well for online stores. From the picture on Amazon, the product looks tiny.

 

I didn't even know this kind of thing existed. Seems like the primary audience is older folks who can't type Pinyin, but that's not to say it wouldn't be useful for a language learner. Going by the Q&A, it can be used to write whole sentences at a time, which is much better than a touchscreen phone can manage. <- Edit: expanding the thread below that particular Q&A gives contradictory information, so maybe the seller is being dishonest.

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chinesemadrush

Hey guys thanks for the replies. When reading chinese documents I often find words I do not know therefore would have to manual draw them into websites like Line translate. Normally there are tonnes of words I don't know so the process becomes very time consuming and tedious so was looking to have this tablets to help speed things up.

 

Appreciate any recommendations for dealing with this too :)

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Shelley

I would buy an android tablet, buy and install the basic Pleco package and you will be able to put the Chinese documents into the Pleco reader and then be able to read them more easily or use the handwriting input to find the meaning to characters you don't know.

 

I have a PenPower WACOM pen and tablet on my PC and I hardly use it at all any more.

 

I just upgraded my tablet to a Hannspree running android 5.1 with excellent specifications for less than 100 British pounds. Not only can you run Pleco but lots of other things to learn chinese and just fun games and stuff too.

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abcdefg

I bought a writing tablet 写字板 three or four years ago here in Kunming, some local brand. Plugged in to my Windows laptop as a peripheral. It was to be a writing practice tool. So rarely used it that last year before going home, I gave it away. Even that was not easy: nobody wanted it. Nearly wound up just putting it in the trash bin.

 

Everyone except Old Farmer Zhang, who doesn't know Pinyin, uses a tablet computer 平板电脑 with Pleco or similar software. Suggest you scrap this plan, @Madrush; it will not really speed your journey.

 

--------------

Edited to add: You could also use a second-hand smartphone.

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Shelley

I wasn't suggesting plugging it into the PC, use it stand alone. These days there is so much you can get for tablets and so much you can do with them you don't need to plug them into anything.

 

The OP didn't say if they were in China, this would make a difference as you really need the Playstore to get the best choice, although Pleco is available from their website as an APK download.

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Luxi

Agree with other posters here. 

 

The 'Bamboo' writing tablet I bought 2 years ago has been sitting under my laptop unused for 18 months. It is rather clumsy to use and doesn't really do anything in Chinese typing I could not do with apps or, as Shelley says, with a slightly more expensive but infinitely more functional Android tablet. You could also use the Google Translate handwriting tool, it is much better than most (including the online MDBG dictionary) for use on a PC browser screen with a mouse.

 

If your documents are not digital, you could try the Pleco OCR add-on. It is a good investment, but Pleco isn't available for Windows, you'll need an Android or Apple tablet or a smart phone.

 

Google translate and the Microsoft/Bing Translator app for Windows also have an OCR option that you use combined with a camera. I haven't tried any of them yet,

 

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update to be released on 2 August will have a "Windows Ink Workspace" with very good potential to become an in-Windows alternative to an external writing pad. Even at this early stage, the way it renders Chinese strokes with the free 'pencil' tool included is very promising. 

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abcdefg

Apologies for the confusion. (I went back and fixed it.)

 

写字板 = writing tablet, dedicated exclusively to that purpose. Comes with a stylus.

平板电脑 = tablet computer, versatile but more expensive. iPad or an Android version. 

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lips

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update to be released on 2 August will have a "Windows Ink Workspace" with very good potential to become an in-Windows alternative to an external writing pad. Even at this early stage, the way it renders Chinese strokes with the free 'pencil' tool included is very promising.

I hope so. The so-called handwriting Chinese input on Windows 10 is the sh#[email protected] I almost returned the PC for a Mac because of it.

The good thing is that I was finally forced to learn Cangjie (for traditional characters) input.

But after reading the posts above I found the program PC Remote on Android which let me use the Android keyboard to input on a Windows PC.

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chinesemadrush

Hi all, really appreciate the inputs many thanks.

 

Would like to clarify somethings:

 

Luxi: My documents are normally scanned documents apart from Pleco/Google/Bing. Would you have other alternatives to share? Happy to hear your experiences if you have worked with scanned documents before too.

 

Lips: Would you mind explaining to me how you managed to set up PC Remote such that you can use "the Android keyboard to input on a Windows PC."?

 

Thank you

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lips

1. Install the PC Remote app on the Android device.

2. Download PC Remote Server from www.pcremoteserver.com and install on Windows PC.

3. Start PC Remote Server on Windows PC.  Set up a password.

4. Start PC Remote app on  Android and let it auto discover servers.

5. When your PC is located, tap on it to connect.

6. Once connected, you can choose mouse, keyboard, and some other options.

7. Choose keyboard and tap on box "Tap to write  quick text".

8. The standard keyboard on your Android device will pop up.  Input normally.  You can use handwriting input if your Android keyboard supports it.

9. I use Go Keyboard on Android and the backspace key does not work while using Chinese handwriting input.

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lips

Oh, both devices should be connected to the same wifi network.

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Luxi

Madrush, I don't know any alternatives, but I only have a limited use for OCR and all my experience is using Pleco's OCR on photos of book pages to convert into digital-dictionary-friendly documents. Pleco works OK there,  but the original has to be sharp and clear. Last week I tried to test Pleco with a screen dump of a letter handwritten in full form cursive characters taken from a video I'm subtitling...needless to say, it didn't work very well, Pleco came up with only a few but extremely exotic characters...something like Tangut script :) 

 

A place where I worked for some time had a state of the art Xerox copier that worked as a document scanner. Silly me, i never thought of testing it with Chinese documents, but I imagine it could work very well if the output is in a useable file format - pdf is too unwielding to be any good..

 

Going back to the original question, what worked faster for me, before I had Pleco, was using the handwriting input in Google Translate to get the digital characters (I found the input there a lot smoother than the input in the MDBG site) and then copy the characters and search in online dictionaries. I now find handwriting with my finger on a smart phone or tablet-PC much easier and faster than anything else, I think it improves a lot with practice - presumably, had I persisted with the writing tablet it would have become easier and faster too, but I couldn't see an advantage to it

 

@Lips thanks for the instructions! Must go and try. Have you looked into the Pleco forum? I remember seeing some discussion on using Pleco for Android in a PC but didn't read it, I have to find it again, As for Windows, it's only potential - but I'm hopeful that there will be useful apps for Windows 10 developed in China in the not too distant future..

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Demonic_Duck

Your problem won't be scanning, which is elementary if you have the hardware (even a decent mobile phone camera will do, though it's not a scanner per se). Your main problem will be OCR. I don't think there are currently any OCR tools that will work well on typical Chinese handwriting.

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Flickserve

The Apple iOS Chinese handwriting app is what I use to type into pleco. If you pause, the app waits for you.

It's more convenient than android TouchPal in which you have to write the strokes out without any pauses.

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Luxi

The handwriting pad within Pleco seems fine to me. It doesn't switch off if you take too long and even brings up a selection of the most common compounds.

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Shelley

The handwriting input in Pleco waits until you click done. So you can take as long as you like.

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Flickserve

The handwriting input in Pleco waits until you click done. So you can take as long as you like.

that is correct for my Pleco on iOS but not on my Pleco on android device.

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Flickserve

The handwriting pad within Pleco seems fine to me. It doesn't switch off if you take too long and even brings up a selection of the most common compounds.

As I understand it, the handwriting recognition feature (not the OCR) is not specific to pleco nor Google translate when I use it on iOS or TouchPal Android. It needs to be enabled through settings.

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