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Tablet PC Purchase Guide

 
 
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      08-18-2004, 06:19 AM
So ask yourself which kind of user you are:

1. I want a Tablet PC that I can carry around with me wherever I go, and
replace paper and pen in its true sense.

2. I want a desktop replacement with pen functionality.

3. I want to use pen features in rough or wet environments.

4. I want to play cutting-edge games on a Tablet PC.

There's been great simplifications involved to make up this list. For a
comprehensive list of Tablet PC comparison check out
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/t...s/default.mspx

If you are the type 1 user, the NEC LitePad is your bext bet. The upcoming
one is just under 1kg. Hold it with one hand feels just like pad and paper.
Don't expect the Acer TravelMate C110, the ViewSonic, or the HP to match
this, they're too heavy to be considered true pad and paper replacements.
Hold them with one hand and you'll feel the strain just after 5 minutes or
so.

If you are the type 2 user, Acer TravelMate C300 fits the bill. Contains all
the features you can crave for: pen functionality, DVD burner, large 15"
screen, and los more.

If you are the type 3 user, there's the HP TR3000, Xplore, Walkabout, and
the Itronix. Presumably you can drop them at about 5 feet. Some of them are
water resistant, too.

If you are the type 4 user, sorry, there's no Tablet PC that offers that
kind of power. You may be able to barely run Doom 3 on the Toshiba M200, the
one that contains the most powerful graphics card out of the Tablet PC
compeititon, but it would still be slow and sluggish. So the Toshiba M200
would be your closest choice.

Good luck on your purchase!


 
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Oliver Sturm
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      08-18-2004, 08:40 AM
On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 16:19:35 +1000, Eric wrote:

> So ask yourself which kind of user you are:
>
> 1. I want a Tablet PC that I can carry around with me wherever I go, and
> replace paper and pen in its true sense.


Sure I want that!

> 2. I want a desktop replacement with pen functionality.


Not really. I have several desktop PCs and a normal laptop on which I do
lots of software development. I don't really need the Tablet to do the same
things with, it's rather meant as a comfortable means of taking notes,
doing presentations, handling email ... I also have an iPaq PocketPC which
I originally intended to use for much of the same, but it let me up with
its small screen and software compatibility problems (with desktop
software, that is).

> 3. I want to use pen features in rough or wet environments.


I'm not planning to do that.

> 4. I want to play cutting-edge games on a Tablet PC.


I don't even do that on my desktop PCs.

> There's been great simplifications involved to make up this list. For a
> comprehensive list of Tablet PC comparison check out
> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/t...s/default.mspx


Well, I did read that... only there's no real comparison anywhere, is
there? I mean, as a novice in this sector, I just don't know which features
are important and which aren't... they list all the features of all the
models but they don't value them.

> If you are the type 1 user, the NEC LitePad is your bext bet. The upcoming
> one is just under 1kg. Hold it with one hand feels just like pad and paper.
> Don't expect the Acer TravelMate C110, the ViewSonic, or the HP to match
> this, they're too heavy to be considered true pad and paper replacements.
> Hold them with one hand and you'll feel the strain just after 5 minutes or
> so.


So it seems I'm mainly your type 1 user... I haven't seen the NEC LitePad
yet, I'll have a look at it. Out of curiosity, why don't you mention models
like the Electrovaya Scribbler (which has outstanding battery power that's
important to the type 1 user) or the Motion 1400 (seems to be mentioned
about most of all in this group)?

> If you are the type 2 user, Acer TravelMate C300 fits the bill. Contains all
> the features you can crave for: pen functionality, DVD burner, large 15"
> screen, and los more.


At first glance, it seems to me that a 15" screen may just be too large
already... isn't it? Plus, (nearly?) all models I have seen up to now have
a rather small resolution of 1024x768, so enlarging the screen ever more is
really only making the machine larger, isn't it?

> Good luck on your purchase!


Thanks a lot for taking the time for this reply! Seems I'll have a close
look at many things before buying...

One other thing (I hope the others are reading this thread, too). I'm in
London, UK. Does anybody have an idea where to go to actually look and feel
TabletPCs?


Oliver Sturm
--
omnibus ex nihilo ducendis sufficit unum
MSN (E-Mail Removed) Jabber (E-Mail Removed) ICQ 27142619
 
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Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-18-2004, 09:27 AM
Hello,

From what you have told, it sounds like you would like the average
convertable or slate style Tablet PC. That will make choosing the right
machine much easier. From my experience, I'd like to advise you to do quite
a lot of homework before you spend the cash. Yes, do go to a store a have a
feel of the machines.

For the type 1 user, which I am also, I look at three important things in a
tablet:

Weight
Size
Battery Life

Weight - I can't emphasis enough how important weight is when it comes to
replacing my own paper and pen. I've tried an Acer TravelMate C110 before
and found its weight of 1.4kg uncomforable for holding with one-hand.
Surprisingly, the Motion M1400 and Scribbler weight about the same as the
Acer despite Acer has an integrated keyboard. Since you've mentioned about
these other models, I assume that weight is not of major concern to you. I
suggested the NEC because it's the lightest Tablet PC and weights about 1kg.
I guess you could live with 1.5kg.

Size - size matters when you want a Tablet PC that really can replace pad
and pen. Any Tablets that have a 14" and above can be disregarded as they
are almost certainly too big for true portability. Again, the LitePad is the
thinnest in the entire Tablet PC category. The upcoming NEC LitePad is just
1.1cm thin. The Fujitsu Stylistic, and Scribbler models are slightly
thicker.

Finally, battery life - Look for a model that gives at least 4 hours of
battery life with one full charge of a battery. Acer fails with this, it
gives about 2 1/2 of working hours. The Toshiba gives around 4 hours. And
yes, the Scribbler is one of the most energy efficient tablets available
yet, with up to 9 hours.

If you only consider these three elements, The Scribbler sounds like what
you want. Of course, there's much more to be considered:

Performance
Graphics
Connectivity
Expandability

Performace - no issure for the Scribbler, it does have a Pentium M
processor, so no worries at all. Except for playing WMV Professional videos
may lag a little bit, but I doubt you would watch them on a tablet anyway.

Graphics - you mentioned games are not your type, so the Intel Extreme
Graphics is more than enough for Internet graphics and other less
graphic-intensive games. It may be able to drive Longhorn's Aero interface
too, but that's maybe. The Scribbler has a

Connectivity - Again, Ethernet and Centrino both give you what you want, if
you really want 802.11g performance, then make sure you it does have it.
Don't worry about the upcoming 802.11n specification, it shouldn't be
release anytime soon.

Expandability - if you really want it, you could go for a docking station,
which I don't its worth it. The Scribbler supports an external keyboard
attachable to the machine, so it's quite flexible.

Also, the Scribbler has a touchscreen and fingerprint scanner too. Pretty
nice. : )


 
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Oliver Sturm
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-18-2004, 11:44 AM
On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 19:27:53 +1000, Eric wrote:

> Weight - I can't emphasis enough how important weight is when it comes to
> replacing my own paper and pen. I've tried an Acer TravelMate C110 before
> and found its weight of 1.4kg uncomforable for holding with one-hand.
> Surprisingly, the Motion M1400 and Scribbler weight about the same as the
> Acer despite Acer has an integrated keyboard. Since you've mentioned about
> these other models, I assume that weight is not of major concern to you. I
> suggested the NEC because it's the lightest Tablet PC and weights about 1kg.
> I guess you could live with 1.5kg.


I have had a look at the NEC and I got the impression that you get quite a
lot of tradeoff with the weight... with a smaller display than many, small
HD, small RAM, slow processor... I'm not sure I really saw the "new"
product you have been referring to. The one I saw is here:

http://www.nec-online.co.uk/Product/...Id_ProDis=2314

Is that what you meant?

> Size - size matters when you want a Tablet PC that really can replace pad
> and pen. Any Tablets that have a 14" and above can be disregarded as they
> are almost certainly too big for true portability. Again, the LitePad is the
> thinnest in the entire Tablet PC category. The upcoming NEC LitePad is just
> 1.1cm thin. The Fujitsu Stylistic, and Scribbler models are slightly
> thicker.


Most of the current models seem to have a 12" screen, which I think could
suite me. According to the technical data, a Scribbler should be about
1.9cm thick. Certainly, the thinner it is the better it'll look :-) But I
wonder if thickness is really important unless you have really small hands.

> Finally, battery life - Look for a model that gives at least 4 hours of
> battery life with one full charge of a battery. Acer fails with this, it
> gives about 2 1/2 of working hours. The Toshiba gives around 4 hours. And
> yes, the Scribbler is one of the most energy efficient tablets available
> yet, with up to 9 hours.


Battery life is certainly a major aspect for me. I reckon that as usual,
the models that list something like 4 hours will probably go back to three
after some time of use... that's certainly one strong argument for the
Scribbler.

> Graphics - you mentioned games are not your type, so the Intel Extreme
> Graphics is more than enough for Internet graphics and other less
> graphic-intensive games. It may be able to drive Longhorn's Aero interface
> too, but that's maybe. The Scribbler has a


I guess there's something missing here?

As for graphics: I usually have Matrox G550 cards (or similar Matrox
models) in desktop PCs for their ability to work with multi screen setups
comfortably. I've never cared much about hardcore 3d capabilities in normal
PCs... my wife has a PC that's a little better suited for gaming and for
everything else we favor gaming consoles. So that's really not a concern of
mine and if saving on the graphics power can mean more battery power, I'd
always go the latter way.

> Expandability - if you really want it, you could go for a docking station,
> which I don't its worth it. The Scribbler supports an external keyboard
> attachable to the machine, so it's quite flexible.


I don't think I'll need a real docking station. Having an external keyboard
and mouse will be nice on occasion and I can always attach a USB hub.

> Also, the Scribbler has a touchscreen and fingerprint scanner too. Pretty
> nice. : )


Yes, I like the Scribbler... one problem seems to be getting one, though...
I haven't found any info yet on availability in the UK (or anywhere apart
from Canada and the USA, for that matter) and my mail to their sales
department asking for that info went unanswered up to now. Well, I'll see.
At the moment I'm not prepared to seriously consider any device I haven't
laid my hands on at least once, so I'll visit some stores and look around
first.

Thanks a lot for your help!



Oliver Sturm
--
omnibus ex nihilo ducendis sufficit unum
MSN (E-Mail Removed) Jabber (E-Mail Removed) ICQ 27142619
 
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Chris H.
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-18-2004, 12:04 PM
Beware the battery "life," reports, Eric. Users can manage their battery
usage for squeezing as much time out of it as possible by doing some simple
things like turning off unnecessary devices (Bluetooth, software modems,
infrared, etc.) and trimming the extra processes run by the CPU, however,
when claims of an extended battery performance are made, I'd like to see
their tests in person. 8-)
--
Chris H.
Microsoft Windows MVP/Tablet PC
Tablet Creations - http://nicecreations.us/
Associate Expert
Expert Zone - www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone


<Eric> wrote in message news:%(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hello,
>
> From what you have told, it sounds like you would like the average
> convertable or slate style Tablet PC. That will make choosing the right
> machine much easier. From my experience, I'd like to advise you to do
> quite a lot of homework before you spend the cash. Yes, do go to a store a
> have a feel of the machines.
>
> For the type 1 user, which I am also, I look at three important things in
> a tablet:
>
> Weight
> Size
> Battery Life
>
> Weight - I can't emphasis enough how important weight is when it comes to
> replacing my own paper and pen. I've tried an Acer TravelMate C110 before
> and found its weight of 1.4kg uncomforable for holding with one-hand.
> Surprisingly, the Motion M1400 and Scribbler weight about the same as the
> Acer despite Acer has an integrated keyboard. Since you've mentioned about
> these other models, I assume that weight is not of major concern to you. I
> suggested the NEC because it's the lightest Tablet PC and weights about
> 1kg. I guess you could live with 1.5kg.
>
> Size - size matters when you want a Tablet PC that really can replace pad
> and pen. Any Tablets that have a 14" and above can be disregarded as they
> are almost certainly too big for true portability. Again, the LitePad is
> the thinnest in the entire Tablet PC category. The upcoming NEC LitePad is
> just 1.1cm thin. The Fujitsu Stylistic, and Scribbler models are slightly
> thicker.
>
> Finally, battery life - Look for a model that gives at least 4 hours of
> battery life with one full charge of a battery. Acer fails with this, it
> gives about 2 1/2 of working hours. The Toshiba gives around 4 hours. And
> yes, the Scribbler is one of the most energy efficient tablets available
> yet, with up to 9 hours.
>
> If you only consider these three elements, The Scribbler sounds like what
> you want. Of course, there's much more to be considered:
>
> Performance
> Graphics
> Connectivity
> Expandability
>
> Performace - no issure for the Scribbler, it does have a Pentium M
> processor, so no worries at all. Except for playing WMV Professional
> videos may lag a little bit, but I doubt you would watch them on a tablet
> anyway.
>
> Graphics - you mentioned games are not your type, so the Intel Extreme
> Graphics is more than enough for Internet graphics and other less
> graphic-intensive games. It may be able to drive Longhorn's Aero interface
> too, but that's maybe. The Scribbler has a
>
> Connectivity - Again, Ethernet and Centrino both give you what you want,
> if you really want 802.11g performance, then make sure you it does have
> it. Don't worry about the upcoming 802.11n specification, it shouldn't be
> release anytime soon.
>
> Expandability - if you really want it, you could go for a docking station,
> which I don't its worth it. The Scribbler supports an external keyboard
> attachable to the machine, so it's quite flexible.
>
> Also, the Scribbler has a touchscreen and fingerprint scanner too. Pretty
> nice. : )
>



 
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Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-18-2004, 12:57 PM
True, I found out that turning on WiFi and Bluetooth usually drains about an
hour out of the maximum battery life.

Sounds like Lithium batteries have reached their maximum rate, at around
three or four hours, and that fuels cells are required to reach out more
hours. I believe that the Scribbler uses a Polymer type battery, forgot the
actual name, sorry.


 
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Cheryl Wise
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-18-2004, 03:34 PM
Small correction, the Acer c300 line has a 14" screen not 15". I really like
mine until it turned out I had a lemon. I do like the lighter weight of the
Toshiba m205 I replaced the bum Acer with but sort of miss the internal
combo drive. Forgot yesterday and took a pack of graphics cds with me to
browse while I was out but I'll get used to the change sooner or later. ;-)

They have a new version the tm250pc that should handle newer games if you
allocate more ram to the video but I do't really consider it to be a tablet
pc. The weight is more than some of the 17" wide screen laptops and the
battery life is pretty pathetic.
http://global.acer.com/products/tablet_pc/tm250pe.htm

--
Cheryl D. Wise
MS-MVP-FrontPage
www.wiserways.com


"Oliver Sturm" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 16:19:35 +1000, Eric wrote:
>
>> So ask yourself which kind of user you are:
>>
>> 1. I want a Tablet PC that I can carry around with me wherever I go, and
>> replace paper and pen in its true sense.

>
> Sure I want that!
>
>> 2. I want a desktop replacement with pen functionality.

>
> Not really. I have several desktop PCs and a normal laptop on which I do
> lots of software development. I don't really need the Tablet to do the
> same
> things with, it's rather meant as a comfortable means of taking notes,
> doing presentations, handling email ... I also have an iPaq PocketPC which
> I originally intended to use for much of the same, but it let me up with
> its small screen and software compatibility problems (with desktop
> software, that is).
>
>> 3. I want to use pen features in rough or wet environments.

>
> I'm not planning to do that.
>
>> 4. I want to play cutting-edge games on a Tablet PC.

>
> I don't even do that on my desktop PCs.
>
>> There's been great simplifications involved to make up this list. For a
>> comprehensive list of Tablet PC comparison check out
>> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/t...s/default.mspx

>
> Well, I did read that... only there's no real comparison anywhere, is
> there? I mean, as a novice in this sector, I just don't know which
> features
> are important and which aren't... they list all the features of all the
> models but they don't value them.
>
>> If you are the type 1 user, the NEC LitePad is your bext bet. The
>> upcoming
>> one is just under 1kg. Hold it with one hand feels just like pad and
>> paper.
>> Don't expect the Acer TravelMate C110, the ViewSonic, or the HP to match
>> this, they're too heavy to be considered true pad and paper replacements.
>> Hold them with one hand and you'll feel the strain just after 5 minutes
>> or
>> so.

>
> So it seems I'm mainly your type 1 user... I haven't seen the NEC LitePad
> yet, I'll have a look at it. Out of curiosity, why don't you mention
> models
> like the Electrovaya Scribbler (which has outstanding battery power that's
> important to the type 1 user) or the Motion 1400 (seems to be mentioned
> about most of all in this group)?
>
>> If you are the type 2 user, Acer TravelMate C300 fits the bill. Contains
>> all
>> the features you can crave for: pen functionality, DVD burner, large 15"
>> screen, and los more.

>
> At first glance, it seems to me that a 15" screen may just be too large
> already... isn't it? Plus, (nearly?) all models I have seen up to now have
> a rather small resolution of 1024x768, so enlarging the screen ever more
> is
> really only making the machine larger, isn't it?
>
>> Good luck on your purchase!

>
> Thanks a lot for taking the time for this reply! Seems I'll have a close
> look at many things before buying...
>
> One other thing (I hope the others are reading this thread, too). I'm in
> London, UK. Does anybody have an idea where to go to actually look and
> feel
> TabletPCs?
>
>
> Oliver Sturm
> --
> omnibus ex nihilo ducendis sufficit unum
> MSN (E-Mail Removed) Jabber (E-Mail Removed) ICQ 27142619



 
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Oliver Sturm
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      08-19-2004, 07:22 PM

> Yes, I like the Scribbler... one problem seems to be getting one, though...
> I haven't found any info yet on availability in the UK (or anywhere apart
> from Canada and the USA, for that matter) and my mail to their sales
> department asking for that info went unanswered up to now. Well, I'll see.
> At the moment I'm not prepared to seriously consider any device I haven't
> laid my hands on at least once, so I'll visit some stores and look around
> first.


Well, I did that now... went up and down Tottenham Court Road in London,
but I managed to see only two Tablet PCs, the Toshiba M200 and an Acer (111
or something), both convertible models. I hear they don't stock that stuff
because nobody wants it anyway... well.

And about the Scribbler: I got replies to my mail now, but to the negative.
They offer to ship me one to the UK if I want that, but they have no
distributor they could refer me to. So I'll start looking a little harder
at the M1400, I think. That has made the best overall impression to me up
to this point.

Thanks to everybody offering information, alos on the other thread!


Oliver Sturm
--
omnibus ex nihilo ducendis sufficit unum
MSN (E-Mail Removed) Jabber (E-Mail Removed) ICQ 27142619
 
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Howard Cross
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-19-2004, 07:41 PM
Mine 1400 was delivered today. Much nicer than the 1200. )

--
howard


"Oliver Sturm" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> > Yes, I like the Scribbler... one problem seems to be getting one,

though...
> > I haven't found any info yet on availability in the UK (or anywhere

apart
> > from Canada and the USA, for that matter) and my mail to their sales
> > department asking for that info went unanswered up to now. Well, I'll

see.
> > At the moment I'm not prepared to seriously consider any device I

haven't
> > laid my hands on at least once, so I'll visit some stores and look

around
> > first.

>
> Well, I did that now... went up and down Tottenham Court Road in London,
> but I managed to see only two Tablet PCs, the Toshiba M200 and an Acer

(111
> or something), both convertible models. I hear they don't stock that stuff
> because nobody wants it anyway... well.
>
> And about the Scribbler: I got replies to my mail now, but to the

negative.
> They offer to ship me one to the UK if I want that, but they have no
> distributor they could refer me to. So I'll start looking a little harder
> at the M1400, I think. That has made the best overall impression to me up
> to this point.
>
> Thanks to everybody offering information, alos on the other thread!
>
>
> Oliver Sturm
> --
> omnibus ex nihilo ducendis sufficit unum
> MSN (E-Mail Removed) Jabber (E-Mail Removed) ICQ 27142619



 
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Oliver Sturm
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-19-2004, 10:24 PM
On Thu, 19 Aug 2004 14:41:42 -0500, Howard Cross wrote:

> Mine 1400 was delivered today. Much nicer than the 1200. )


Say, I read something about the M1400 being quite hot qhile in use... can
you say anything about that?


Oliver Sturm
--
omnibus ex nihilo ducendis sufficit unum
MSN (E-Mail Removed) Jabber (E-Mail Removed) ICQ 27142619
 
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