I always have a variety of pens and pencils with me, and writing/drawing with high-quality pens & pencils on real paper is better and more convenient in every way than writing on an equivalent-sized whiteboard surface. I then have 100 pages I can keep or give away instead of one that I have to delete and reuse, and without all the mess. Plus, I always have a couple of pens in my pocket, even when I don't have my laptop, so I never end up with a whiteboard but no markers.
The only time I've found whiteboards more useful than paper are when I needed a very large surface. If a small surface is good enough, paper works better for me.
On a different note, notebooks are great. I converted my wallet into thin Moleskine notebooks that fit in my pocket super easily. I put my cards and bills in it. And I always have a pen in me. Archival pens are great. It's good for doodling too :>
I can, and do, quite easily. I have a twist-out eraser on the end of my pencil plus an artists' eraser in each pen/pencil bag, so I can make pretty quick work of some portion of a page, but if I really want to erase the page, I can do it faster with paper than with a whiteboard: I turn the page.
It's kinda exactly what you need.
[I think you've been downvoted unfairly - although I think the Surface drawing capabilities are excellent & superior, they might be overkill for some use cases.]
The Surface is a great machine and Windows 10 is a good OS.
And my cousin is a sales rep for a drug company, so I have a whole crate of logo-ed sticky notes.
I mean, it's annoying to do I guess, and requires hardware to detect shaking, but it's not terrible.
You can probably use the sticker to cover the screen instead, that should put it on the correct side. :)
Otherwise it's a good idea.
I didn't end up using it regularly because the surface doesn't erase as well as a whiteboard, but still a cool product.
You can come up with holes for any product. I think this is pretty clever and I bet people will buy it.
Write the algorithm, take a photos of it, win.
Also, I wonder if a "whiteboard magnet" would stick well to a mabook or aluminum bodied portable - wouldn't leave any residue: http://www.ebay.com/itm/17-x-11-Dry-Erase-Magnetic-Refrigera...
Is it? Either you're looking at the whiteboard or at the screen. If the laptop is open, you can push it closed if you write on the back. If it is closed, you don't want to press too hard lest you damage the screen.
Why not just use a piece of paper?
And in the thread... a bunch of people suggesting "Why not just DIY?", "Why not paper?", "It's useless on the back" etc.
This is obviously a popular item. Maybe some introspection?
But you bring up a good point. Should the primary point of these kinds of threads be about giving props and praising the startup/service/product or should criticism and skepticism be allowed in as well.
I actually like it as product to personalize your laptop, as opposed to something to help your productivity.
Developers complain all the time about these stupid tests. But they do nothing about it. Do something about it, maybe something will change. And they will stop testing stupidly.
I certainly have a few managers with 20+ years of experience who cannot code a Hello World site in our primary technology. Their resume will still list them as "Senior Development Manager."
PS - My managers are actually very good at their respective jobs, they just aren't hands on anymore. I am just saying that if they moved jobs their resume would be "misleading."
But this one is much better, because it occupies the entire laptop!
Unfortunately for my screen-doodling habit, new MacBooks have some kind of coating (AR? Oleophobic?) that causes the marker's fluid to bead up, ruining the effect.
I can confirm, my mid 2014 MBP screen is _ruined_. Tried alcohol, screen wipers (which actually made it worse)
I am this close to using a detergent (I know I shouldn't). Any suggestions?
Apple is replacing the affected screens for free, I had mine replaced few months back (late 2013, 13" Retnina Macbook Pro).
I had mine replaced for free a few months back as well :)
Did a bit more digging and found a site  which has a gallery of affected MBP, showing the different levels of "staingate"
And now I probably am carrying a backpack which makes paper + pen better. I think the #1 benefit of a whiteboard is the size. I can draw huge diagrams and everyone in the room can see and not have to huddle around a piece of paper.
I still think it is interesting....
But, ultimately, your point about pen & paper was my thought too... And then I decided that ~$16 after shipping was cheap enough to try, even if I later decided paper was indeed better – so I ordered it.
I wish laptops had laptop-sized e-ink displays on the back of their normal displays. I mostly want that for reading, but since I'm wishing for things, I'll also now wish that these hypothetical displays are pressure sensitive, for writin' on.
You can even recycle broken laptops by painting the screen!
In addition the case, if laptop size, would be semi drop proof. The point being, I'd travel more by bike if I didn't hear a fall would total my hardware.
Finally, big ask here, make it insulated. Leaving my machine in a cold car while snowboarding means I generally like to wait a bit til the machine comes back to room temp.
Yes. I've seen hardened cases (a la for DJs & musicians) but they're often overkill, AND I want the outside to serve a purpose (I.e., whiteboard).
Keep it in the $100 range and you have a winner.
Others have mentioned the stick-on dry wipe vinyl whiteboards that are available. For walls there is also 'magic whiteboard' - a roll of plastic material that sticks to the wall using static electricity.
I'd mention the 'mini-whiteboards' sold for use in classrooms - usually A4/Letter size. These are about 2mm thick and can be used as clipboards as well with a suitable bulldog clip. My final idea would be to get a map case like the one that hikers use to keep their maps dry and put completed whiteboards in that for reference.
Personally, I prefer paper/pen &c
Ten dollars is an awful lot to pay for that, when you're talking about just a laptop size. You'd be looking at much less than a dollar in materials.
Edit: Though the fella obviously recognises this, and has a DIY on the page... And I can see people buying them for the convenience element. Still though...
And Google and microsoft have note taking apps that makes your hand writing searchable.
Edit: wow, some people on HN really dislike touchscreens...
I don't see the point of adding a sticker to your laptop when it already can be used as a whiteboard with the added benefits of digitalisation (backup, share, undo, search...)
Very expensive and very popular I've been told.
I guess the problem is that even with digital pens, haptic feedback and maybe precision are not up to par with the real thing. But those things might improve a lot in the next 10-20 years, there seems to be a decent amount of research going on for the former.
writing on this wb surface on laptop, then re-covering with clear plastic to make it semi-permanent [ preventing wipe off with handling / slipcase / backpack ]
Does the original peel-off wb material cover would re-adhere ? .. if so, handy.
And they even include a marker...
(IOW: I think it's a cool hack that fails to consider actual implications outside of the immediate problem solved.)
Wipebook (http://www.wipebook.com) did a short video comparing correctable vs. dry-erase vs. non-permanent pens:
It demonstrates their resilience to accidental erasure.
The 4x8 sheets of melamine backer board is cheap, cheap, cheap! Where I currently work, we have 80 linear feet of the stuff on our walls in our dev area (held up with nails and construction adhesive). It isn't fancy, but my employer believes more in results than being "impressive" (plus, we don't get any clients back here anyhow).