I bought an A4 digital notepad (from ALDI!) last year (for just
A$160), and it works very well indeed. It allows me to use normal A4
paper, store my notes on an SD card electronically as well as having a
paper backup. I’ve used it to draw directly into my PC, and it’s light
and inexpensive, a fraction of the cost of a Tablet PC (which I’ve seen
some people use for taking digital notes – hmmm, overkill, methinks).
When docked with a PC, I can even use it like a USB key/SD card reader,
to store or retrieve my own files on the external SD card.
Anyway, Genius have just released a new model of their digital notepads, the G-Note 7100. Digital notepads allow you to write on ordinary paper, but have your handwriting automatically recognised and converted into data later. Also, any diagrams you draw are faithfully reproduced as electronic copies and can be sent around as email, attached to discussion boards etc.
The tablets can also be used as a (non-pressure sensitive) digital tablet when attached to a PC, allowing direct handwriting input or hand drawing of diagrams using a pen, which is much easier and more accurate to wield than a mouse.