Are Tablet PCs rubbish?

Discussion in 'Portable & Small Form Factor' started by The King, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. The King

    The King Member

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    Ok, I'm in the market for either a new laptop or a tablet PC. The physical configuration of a tablet is appealing to me, but a salesman I spoke to at a PC store told me that "Tablets are basically glorified PDAs"

    I want it for use with Sybiz Acct. Package, Word/Excel/DB processing and some CAD drawing.

    Just having a look on the net it seems most of them run at about 900 odd Mhz.

    So are they rubbish?

    (Agg edit: edited thread title)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2005
  2. CrimsonFury

    CrimsonFury Member

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    I haven't used tablet PCs myself to know what they're like to use, but you might want to look at some of the 2 in 1 laptop\tablet PCs. They look like a normal laptop but with a touch screen, the screen can twists around and folds shut so its facing upwards and you can use it as a tablet PC.

    Seems like they would provide a wider range of uses since you can use them since the keyboard lets you do normal word processing, games etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2005
  3. Wink

    Wink Member

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    They're not shit, but you're generally paying ALOT more for the Tablet functionality which may not be as useful as people think.
     
  4. Lando

    Lando Member

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    yes!....an expensive yes if you drop it!!
     
  5. zeuce

    zeuce Member

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    I have a Toshiba M200 for work luv the thing wouldn't get another laptop, The tablet is the only way to go. I aggree that you need one that converts from laptop to tablet, That is the only way.
     
  6. evilasdeath

    evilasdeath Member

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    I've used one of those tablet pcs and found it really cool really depends on what you use it for but being able to convert from tablet to laptop is a plus, or like the one i've used you can remove the whole keyboard and shit from it so you only have the screen, i'd love one personally for reading pdfs and shit on the train and stuff but wont happen soon :p

    If you intend to do alot of data entry your going to be using it as a laptop anyway, and for CAD drawing isn't it easyer to use a mouse? than a touch screen?
     
  7. Alfonzo

    Alfonzo Member

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    Glorified PDA's. What a load of shit. Tablets can be overkill, depending on your intended use.

    I've found OneNote to be an awesome program, and the integration of ink annotations in Word and Powerpoint to be extremely useful. For instance, I was taking minutes in a meeting on Friday, and had to copy down some diagrams from the whiteboard - out comes the pen, and in the middle of my Word document is a perfect diagram of a flow chart.

    Tablet EMR pen sensitivity isn't perfect, however. For your specific use I don't think you'd benefit from a Tablet PC. You're probably best with a sub-note notebook with an external mouse.

    Tablets are objective specific, but definately not glorified PDAs.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    The King

    The King Member

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    The Toshi M200 is the one I'm looking at.

    I do a lot of note taking and diagrams etc.

    The responses in this thread have heartened me enough that I'll have a serious look into tablets and their suitability, cheers guys.
     
  9. Mattt

    Mattt Member

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    I've been curious about tablet PCs for a while, I've held of buying a ppc or palm.

    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I have a few relevant questiions.

    With the laptop models which have a rotating screen, the pivot joint looks weak, has anyone heard of them breaking ?
    Are these model heavier than a pure tablet model ?
    Does the touch screen use more power ?
    Does the screen get scratched ?

    has anyone used MindManager
     
  10. OP
    OP
    The King

    The King Member

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    Above questions are good ones.

    Zeuse - what do you consider to be the main benefits of a tablet/note over a pure note?

    Thnks so far guyus\
     
  11. Lando

    Lando Member

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    We have a few of the toshiba m200's and yes the pivot points do break, but you need to be really heavy handed before they break. As far as I'm aware the touch screen is on all the time, and as far as being heavier, well I haven't seen a pure tablet pc, but the weight of them would be equivalent to a light Laptop.
    The screen itself seems quite resilient to scratches, but I'm sure they would get scratched over time as the screen is the similar to PDA screens.

    I have both a PDA (Ipaq 5550) and a laptop (Toshiba S1) and have used our Toshiba M200's I still don't think they are very usefull except for brag rights, If I want to draw I use the PDA or If I really needed it I would get one of those electronic notepad reader(technical I know :p ) things to copy what is written in the pad to my PDA. But for pure convinience a PDA, for anything else thats what the laptops for.

    I think of a tablet PC as all gimmicks less features.

    {edit some speeling}
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2005
  12. Alfonzo

    Alfonzo Member

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    With the laptop models which have a rotating screen, the pivot joint looks weak, has anyone heard of them breaking ?
    Single pivot points are weak within reason. The Acer C112 which I use has two securing clips on either side which offer more support, but I dare say should it be twisted in the wrong direction or with too much force then yes, it may snap.

    Are these model heavier than a pure tablet model ?
    I think you mean slate? If so, then no. A slate PC is the same as a Tablet, except it doesn't have a keyboard built in. But a keyboard only weighs a very small amount. Some models may also include a built in CD Drive, however they're not truely designed for 100% all-the-time mobility, as they are heavier, and use more power.

    Does the touch screen use more power ?
    Kind of, however pretty much every tablet or slate on the market now uses the Centrino processor anyway, which is sold based on battery performance, so there's a bit of a trade-off.

    Does the screen get scratched ?
    Eventually, quite possibly yes. However under every day usage they're not too bad. They're extremely tough which is good - they won't scratch up like regular TFT screens. The only downside of this is the protective surface can give off a little more glare in the wrong angle of light. Tablet PC software like OneNote and Ink Annotations for Office (I think just OneNote, I forget right now) also base their ink recognition around touch sensitivity, so depending on how hard you press on the screen, your pen stroke will come out like a biro or a nikko. They're designed with pressure in mind.

    I can't help you with that link though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2005
  13. Mattt

    Mattt Member

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    Good information, thanks.

    'Slate', I wasn't aware they were called that, sounds very Asimov or even Gibsonesque, I like it.
    Perhaps the future has arrived at last.

    Though what I'd really like is to read pdfs on the train (as I think someone else mentioned), without holding a laptop size device and without conpromising on screen size.
    A4 suits I think.
     
  14. Torr

    Torr Member

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    one thing about devices with touch screens.... Venders don't like to warenty them (and the manufactures for that matter). They'll place everything else under warenty but if the screen breaks, "sorry sir we consider that abusive use" (happened to a pda I had, wasted 400 dollars :sick: )

    not the same as a tablet pc but loved the pda while it lasted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2005
  15. wardenm

    wardenm Member

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    This year at work we bought tablets for the staff instead of laptops, but i'm yet to see any of them using them as a tablet. Personally i think laptops would of been better, the tablets arent very powerful, and they lack a couple of features that the new laptops have. A big point is that they're still just as heavy as the laptops, you don't want to hold it in one hand for very long.

    That said, if you can find a good reason for needing the swivel screen i'd still consider one.
     
  16. mizu

    mizu Member

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    Have you considered a UPC (ultra portable computer - kinda like a cross between a PDA/tablet). There's the OQO (has hardware kb) or U50/70/71P. They run on XP and are slate form-factor. The Zaurus SL-C3000 is linux based, and is a mini-version of the clam-shall to slate convertibles.

    I personally have the Sony U71P. It runs on Tablet PC 2005 (xp pro sp2) and the handwriting technology in the sp2 update is superb, but of course will never match typing speed. It's got great chinese handwriting recognition too if that floats your boat.

    I've got an O2 mini XDA which I used to use for organizing my life but now functions merely as a phone/msnger since I generally use the U71P and a program called WinPIM now.

    "use with Sybiz Acct. Package, Word/Excel/DB processing and some CAD drawing." <--- If you plan to use it for word, or any other use requiring extensive text-input, you'll be a lot more productive with a hardware kb. Even with improving handwriting recognition, it'll never match type speed and currently seems to have a little trouble with non-alpha numeric characters (i use the popup kb).

    I have yet to couple the U71P with Dragondictate, but according to some people on the yahoo U-series group, it's a powerfully productive combination.

    I have 2 batteries lasting 6hrs & 3hrs (max brightness). The VAIO Zone software it comes with is a beautiful media player that, along with the included remote, pretty much blows any other portable media player (creative/iriver/etc) away. It better too, for the specs you're paying for.

    Only real gripe I currently have is other people in the household keep nicking it when taking a dump (to surf/aim/msn with the wifi a/b/g.) :mad:
     
  17. OP
    OP
    The King

    The King Member

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    The keyboard thing is one reason a tablet appeals to me - I type a lot faster (and neater;) than I write.

    I figure if I get a tablet (the Toshi M200 is leading atm) I can get rid of my desktop PC at work and put a docking station for the Toshi there, and then use a btooth kb/mouse
     
  18. mizu

    mizu Member

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    Mate, if that's the case, don't you mean that's the reason a pure slate *doesn't* appeal to you? :) If you were planning to use it mainly on a surface where you can type comfortably and gaze at the screen, then you're better off with a clamshell (ie. notebook).

    The docking station is good for synching and the tablet is meant to be for *truly* mobile computing (not even needing to sit down and rest it on your lap). Nothing beats the comfort of a bigger screen. Most artists/designers seem to prefer a good screen with a wacom tablet than sketching on a tablet-pc.

    I'll post a pic of my desktop when I get home to show ya how unobtrusive having a little docking station on your desk is. It'd be too crowded tryna fit my lappy there... it's got quite the footprint.
     
  19. mizu

    mizu Member

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    I posted the desktop in the "Show Your Actual Desktop" thread. It's #629

    As you can see it's too big to stick in any but the largest of cargo pockets, but small enough to create a network on the same desk.

    Here's a close-up of the U71P itself:
    [​IMG]

    If you've weighed up the pros/cons and decided on a convertible, the M200 seems very popular, but you'll be paying extra for less battery life/lower specs than a conventional laptop, so make sure you need the tablet functionality.

    If you wanna fork out a smidge more, you could even buy a dirt cheap low-spec laptop and live it up creatively with one of these *drool*.
     
  20. Polski Radon

    Polski Radon Member

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    My Compaq TC1000 uses a Transmeta Crusoe CPU that consumes only 6W @100% (1Ghz). Performance is comparable to a 700MHz CPU, because the software isn't optimised for VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) technology.

    I bought it >2 years ago for Singapore $2500, and got an upgrade to 512MB RAM free. It has been very useful in University because I can download notes in pdf and MS's formats and write on them wherever I like, instead of having to print them out. The 20GB HDD enables me to have access to all previous documents and projects whenever I need. Plus, the chicks dig geeks with cool rigs :Pirate:

    I've heard that the Pentagon has heavily invested in Tablet PC's.

    My Tablet was even featured in the Icebreaker scene of Aliens Versus Predator last year :)

    You guys want pics?
     

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