A new CL900 owner

Discussion in 'Motion Computing' started by excalibur1814, Nov 19, 2012.

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  1. BurntOrngeLonghorn84

    BurntOrngeLonghorn84 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    IMG_20130327_232055.jpg IMG_20130327_232105.jpg IMG_20130327_232119.jpg The pen silo is by far what I love most about the motion C series, it will make not having a pen silo pretty difficult.

    The silo springs open once you press the silo button on the side of the tablet. You then just slide the pen in and out, and then to close you just press the silo compartment closed and it automatically latches until you press the button again.

    It's pretty durable too. I tend to have nervous tendencies with things in my hands, so I open and close the silo ALOT with out even really noticing I'm doing it at times.

    I haven't tried out the new 4.0 pen, but I sure wish n-trig would finish the windows 8 drivers for the CL900. I'm pretty sure that will never happen though, so I'm just patiently waiting to upgrade the entire tablet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  2. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks. It's so strange, but clearly very simple and effective. When working in the field, a silo can sometimes be a pretty big deal.

    Hows the screen, btw? Viewing angles and outdoor viewability....??? I know it's not Toughbook 2000 nit quality, but is it reasonable outdoors? The reviews I've read indicate as much- in particular that the typical Motion "frosting" cuts down on glare very well. 300 nits isn't super bright, but it might be enough.

    Finally, do you have any experience with the new Ntrig pens? I've been told they work way way better than the older versions. I was wondering if they're the same size. If so, the idea of slipping one into the silo is intriguing. I can't seem to find a pic anywhere with a comparison of the two pens, but it sounds like if they're the same size it should work, as the cl910's silo is not a typical spring-loaded needs-to-be-a-perfect-fit kind of silo...??
     
  3. BurntOrngeLonghorn84

    BurntOrngeLonghorn84 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Viewing angles are pretty bad...I hate when I try and show people stuff and they can't see it because they're not at the perfect angle. It is one thing I wish I knew about it before I bought it. I'll see if I can get some sunlight pictures tomorrow, I honestly don't use it outside very much so I don't want to lie.

    Sorry, I updated my last post as you were probably typing it again, but I don't have any experience with ntrig versions other then what came with the device. Honestly, I'm just a note taker, not a doodler of any sort, so it gets me by. I do however hate that n-trig practically abandoned support for the device on windows 8. I get a half-ass palm rejection that really screws me up when I'm taking notes at time.

    If it's any different size I wouldn't expect it to fit in the pen silo. There are U shapes along the pen silo that help guide the pen and hold the pen in place. It's not super tight, but it doesn't really leave a lot of room for increased girth in the pen.
     
  4. PeterNorman

    PeterNorman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi!

    Follow the link to Flicker to see some photos of the CL900's pen silo:
    Motion CL900 Pen Silo - a set on Flickr

    I have no complaints with the CL900's pen silo; it's solid and takes heavy usage. All pen-enabled tablets should have pen storage built-in. For example, the Surface Pro omits a silo in favour of a magnetic pen.

    I bought the CL-900 in spring 2012 (stupidly, just before the CL-910 was released) so, in the short term, I could try out the Windows 8 previews and betas and in the long-term, I could use it for inking in OneNote (not for drawing or painting, that requires an i5 processor in my experience).

    I expected a significant 'upgrade' over my 2005-model Motion LE1600 but instead found it to be just as underpowered and even more poorly constructed. Motion is clearly targeting a vertical market but their build-quality and usability have not been impacted by the consumer market's tablet explosion and growth; they're still doing things according to the same plan they've used for almost ten years. Given their focus on vertical markets, this is entirely understandable and I accept and acknowledge all the blame for making a bad choice.

    Hopefully, Motion will allow the new growth market's devices to finally influence their 2013 models.

    Given the consumer devices currently available and the business models due this spring, I can't recommend the CL900 for the following reasons (I don't have a CL-910 but my experience causes me not to expect a lot from it either):
    - under Windows 8 Pro, inking in OneNote 2013, OneNoteMX and Windows Journal is VERY laggy (almost 2 seconds delay between writing and seeing what you wrote; it worked fine under Windows 7 and OneNote 2010
    - Microsoft's new FreshPaint app is unusable due to lag
    - the build-quality is astonishingly poor compared to current consumer tablets that cost 50% less (Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, iPad, PlayBook); pinching the device causes the screen to bleed, and thats not an excessive pinch in an effort to produce the bleed effect, rather its just what happens when you pick up the device; the rubber covers for all the ports (which are necessary for it to meet the MIL-STD-810 standard for rain, sand and dust protection) are effective but get in the way, especially the power port cover (makes it very difficult to insert the ac adapter)
    - the single USB port is adjacent to the power port; most Flash drives are a tight fit if they fit at all when the AC Adapter is plugged in at the same time
    - the screen is bright indoors but outside you have to be careful to keep it strictly perpendicular to your line of sight, otherwise it washes out (if you are only 10 degrees off); this is hard to do while writing on it using the pen
    - the screen's viewing angle is very poor (for the main user, not just a second person; for example, writing with it on a desk); just holding it a few degrees off perpendicular to your eyes during normal individual indoor usage results in the the screen going black like you've held something over it to create a shadow; text (under icons, on a web page or a section in OneNote) goes horribly out of focus; it looks like the fonts lose their anti-aliasing or something similarly goofy
    - with the screen brightness above 40% there is an effect like having fly-screen on it; research on the web points to the N-Trig pen-layer as the culprit and this is corroborated by my experience with Wacom (on the LE1600, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and other devices), which do not have this effect
    - Wifi performance is poor unless you use the device in optimum locations (for example, an arm's length from a WAP)
    - wireless drivers under Windows 8 cannot be depended on to work; 60% of the time I wake the tablet from sleep I have to restart in order to get the wifi hardware (Atheros Ar6003) to wake up and be recognized by the OS; calls and emails to Motion Support invariably result in being sent to their support page to download the latest drivers which never solve the problem because its the same driver they provided for Windows 7 (where it worked properly) and are a year old (version 3.1.2.85 released 24 May 2012)

    On the other hand, battery life is very good - on par with an iPad at 9+ hours; this is due to the Atom processor (the CL910 runs on the Atom N2600 while the CL900 runs on the Atom Z670). Current tablets running on Core i3 or i5 processors will not exceed 4.5 hours, in my experience, unless they have second batteries built into keyboard docks, for example.

    Windows 8 boots faster on the CL900 than Windows 7; Windows 8 generally runs faster than Windows 7 but thats not anything to brag about: the 2GB ram, slow SSD and slow Atom Z670 cause endless performance frustrations. No one knows for sure but Intel's upcoming Haswell chipset is expected to dramatically improve this type of performance

    I recommend trying out a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2; despite using an Atom Z2760 processor, it produces twice the performance of the CL-900's N2600 in most benchmark tests. So it could possibly provide agreeable performance.

    My experience with the CL-900, Surface Pro and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 led me to these conclusions:
    - Atom processor-based tablets are going to drive you crazy in normal daily usage due to their poor performance
    - Core i5-based tablets offer the kind of performance that people want but this results in limited battery life
    - I would not buy an Atom-based tablet again

    So where does this leave someone who NEEDs a full Windows tablet now? Try out the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. However, given that Windows 8 was only released at the end of October 2012 and that all the devices released since then are using year-old chipsets, you have to accept that we are in a horrible transition period at the moment, so we should either:
    - wait for the Haswell-based devices due in Fall 2013 or
    - go for a device like the upcoming Lenovo Helix which incorporates a keyboard dock that includes a second battery to help stretch daily usage as far as possible by only using the battery in the tablet itself when you detach it from the keyboard base/dock.

    Wow, I went on and on more than I intended, sorry! I hope you find all this useful.

    Peter
     
  5. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks for these reviews guys. It's been very informative.

    It's not surprising to me that you're both experiencing a certain form of hell with the older NTrig tech and Atom processors, as I expect that's largely been fixed by the dual core n2600 (based on reviews of the Fujitsu q552) and newer v.4 NTrig tech (based on the Sony Vaio Duo 11 reviews), but what __is__ surprising is your stated concerns about build quality and viewing angles.... something I normally think of Motion as providing superior units for, and something that isn't likely to change between the models of the same line. The q552 is supposed to have a superb screen all around, and so it's surprising this competitors model is so cr*ppy in that respect.

    Models like the new TP2 are very nice, but do not really suited to my needs, as I need something relatively rugged with Mil specs that I can use outdoors in the sun, drop in the dirt, set on a rock wall, etc and think nothing of. It's both not rugged and totally glossy. Most rugged devices however, are very thick and heavy and really usable, IMO, as a slate.

    Things like the cl910 or the Fujistu q552 seem to be the only current models that work well for my usage scenario. That or the thicker, heavier, but higher quality Motion slates, like the F5v/t or the j34/35/3600. Having owned some of those bigger/thicker models and not cared for them as slates (a 4 lb slate is too much for me, in the field, no matter if the screen really is pretty good), perhaps your reviews mean it's the only the Fujitsu q552 for now, until Bay Trail comes out or other rugged models come out.
     
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