My wife is a classical musician and is tired of managing stacks of music scores on paper. She would like an electronic device that she could place on the stand at the piano or organ and have it display the score. She says there are Bluetooth pedal devices to flip pages.

Music scores are typically PDF files intended for an A4 page. We do have an old 9.7 inch 3:4 device (with Android 4.something) but the screen is somewhat too small for comfortable reading of A4 scores.

I have seen A4 flat devices with pens, intended for artists, but they are quite expensive. Ditto Microsoft Surface. And we don't really need anything powerful, it is just for displaying PDF files. But while there are cheap 15.4 inch laptops, there is no room for the laptop keyboard on the typical stand, and besides, the screen needs to be turned into portrait orientation.

Are there any flat devices that would be near a4 size and cheap? We don't even strictly need it to have touch capabilities.

  • Do you have a budget in mind? An old iPad sounds like it would suit your needs and wouldn't be more than $150-200. There are tons of 360-degree-hinged laptops and netbooks on the market these days too.
    – JaredT
    May 2, 2017 at 14:56
  • $150-200 is fine, but the 9.7 inch screen of the old iPad is not enough. I am not aware of 360-degree-hinged laptops with screens larger than 11.6 inches (and 11.6 inches in 16:9 is also not enough); a pointer to 360-degree-hinged laptop models with 13+ inch screens would be much appreciated. May 2, 2017 at 15:07

1 Answer 1



This answer is likely more expensive than necessary for a dedicated device, but I'd see it as a justified purchase if you happen to also be in the market for a very usable and well built laptop.

You may also be interested in looking into wireless displays that connect to your existing laptop/desktop and have the bluetooth pedals control that directly.

2-in-1 Laptop

I can only speak of personal experience with one device in the 2-in-1 class which is closer to the $600 price point but there are cheaper models and you can always check for used. I really like my Dell Inspiron 7-series (7xxx model number depending on specs). It's 15.6 inch but there are 13.3'' models.

  • Comes with a stylus with in-body storage
  • Decent I/O depending on your needs (hdmi + DP out, no USB-C)
  • Decent display (1080)
  • Good battery life
  • Great all-metal build quality for the price
  • Not much bloatware

If you can get one used or refurb for around $400 you're in looking at nearly 1/2 of what a new low/mid-spec Surface device would cost you (great machines though) and have all the benefits with two major drawbacks:

  • Form factor - Surface wins here hands-down, but that likely isn't important if the plan is to basically never touch it
  • Pen input - the Surface pen implementation is awesome. I have a Surface for work and the pen gets a lot of usage from me as a non-creative professional. It's clipped to my shirt right now.

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