Buyer's agony of doubt

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by poetdante, Jan 30, 2006.

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  1. Nazdrovje

    Nazdrovje Pen Pal - Newbie

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    [I posted this rant in a hardware section. Copied (and slightly modified) it to this section as it is more appropriate]

    In the process of deciding upon a tablet to buy I'm doing a lot of soul-searching. I have owned computers for over 25 years, buying a new one on average every three years (commodore vc-20, C-64, Amiga 500, mac cx, mac 7200, mac G3, a no-name PII, a dell p4 2.53 GHz with an ATI 9700 pro). I also own a second-hand fujitsu stylistic 3400 that I bought to be part of a car-navigation system.

    Every system that I bought was more powerful than the previous or had more features than the previous one and I eagerly await the time I allow myself to buy a new one.

    Now that I am heavily considering buying a tablet as my next system, I hesitate. I can buy tablets that are more powerful than my current desktop system (but not by a wide margin) but these come with terrible drawbacks. They are either heavy, gigantic, hot, have a short battery time, or are prohibitatively expensive. Large screens are probably clumsy in meetings, and a loud fan will surely annoy me (if not embarrass me by pointing me out as the geek of the meeting).

    On the other hand, with the more modest tablets, I'm not sure whether 1024x768 is going to work for me. It's probably 6 years ago that I worked at that resolution. It's really a step back. I also like the occasional FPS game and it would be nice if I could use my tablet for that. But perhaps I should dedicate my desktop for gaming and forget gaming on the tablet.

    One of the things that draws me to the tablet platform is the vision of the notebook+. My paper notebooks are a mess, I lose half of my notes because I jot them down on the flip sides of trashed prints. Keeping together related things is very difficult. Really, OneNote (and MindManager) made me consider the tablet. I want a tablet because I like this software. I feel that the HP tc4200 fits this vision. It is a discreet system, reasonably fast in 2D, has a long battery life etc. What I really dislike is the lack of an optical drive, but I could learn to live with the occasional drive hook-up, I guess.

    But still, I find making the decision very hard and Brian writing about that enigmatic system he's evaluating under an NDA doesn't make life any easier. Should I wait or not? And then the M400. Do dual cores make for a powerful system without much heat and fan noise? Do I need Vista for its improved tablet features (or will they flow back to an XP SP3?). Any sugestions?

    Cheers,

    Naz
     
  2. shanulk

    shanulk Pen Pal - Newbie

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    great post with some awesome analysis! i have decided on tc4200 myself but i had same concerns, does it run vista completely? but then its nice features are just too good to resist, so i am sticking with my decision. also, dual core tablets will definitely be expensive. we might get more news on the prices in the next few weeks, i can wait that long.
     
  3. Sassafras

    Sassafras Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I personally am going to wait for the M400. With its specs, dual core process and 7200 rpm harddrive, with weight under 5lbs...I think is makes a great compromise of power and weight...and I don't mind that it will have a 12.1" inch screen.
    My current notebook has a 7200 rpm hard drive and everyone I have talked to said I would definately notice the difference in speed if I went to the more traditionally found 5400 rpm hard drive. The M200/M400 is one of the only notebooks I have found to have those 7200 rpm hard drives in my searches.

    As a grad student I feel that if I can get at least half my texts as digital copies and also save the weight of paper notebooks....5lbs is considerably better than lugging a 20 lb book bag around campus or in the case of business, losing the briefcase!
     
  4. sdsviet

    sdsviet Pen Pal - Newbie

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    from wat i've been reading. dual core would be most advantageous if ur multitasking. running one thing wont change at all but running multiple programs say like encoding a movie and listening to music and surfing the web without any lag to the encoding process. that's where the dual core show's its potential. for vista i have no idea wat it needs. also depending on the actual release i dont see windows making the requirements super high because no one is gonna go out and buy a brand new computer to install vista and use it. i say any comp bought within the past year with up to date specs are ok. also i believe brian said he saw vista running beautifully on a p3 machine. i really want a laptop with a drive in it too so im waiting . i dont mind a light laptop but then it would have some type of dock like the ibm one on it. i prefer to carry that than an external dvd drive. at least witht he dock i can carry it as one piece still when i want.
     
  5. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    If you wait there will undoubtedly be a better machine. The questions are how long do I wait and how much will it cost. The M400 looks great so far, but it likely won't be the last machine to come out. Do you wait for that one, or the one after that? At some point you just have to jump in. I'm not suggesting that the time is now, but you'll never have all of the information. Buyers remorse is just part of the equation. It won't matter what machine you buy in fairly short order a new/better machine will be out (or the one you bought will drop in price. or both).

    All being said there are several great machines out there now that would likely suit your needs great. Further, the prices on several tablets have dropped or will drop and new versions are released.

    On a personal note, I agree with the large/heavy issue. Small and light is it (oh and long battery life). Look into the TC4200 and the Fujitsu T4020. I have had really good luck with my TC4200.
     
  6. rkuo

    rkuo Pen Pal - Newbie

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    You can swap a 7200RPM drive into any notebook right now. It's the significant jump in other areas of notebook technology that make the M400 worth waiting for...battery life, dual core, better screen, modular bay, biometric sensor, and potentially a better video card. Especially since we're only talking a few more days for official word now if the Feb 2nd date holds.
     
  7. Nazdrovje

    Nazdrovje Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Right, I think I'll be waiting for the Feb 2nd announcement and see whether that makes a difference. If not, I gues it'll be a tc4200, maybe a refurb on eBay.

    I can't imagine that the 7200 vs 5400 rpm makes much of a difference though. In many programs, like Mathematica that I use often, it's the processor that counts, not the HD.
     
  8. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    you could get an m4. not too bulky or heavy and it has good graphics.
     
  9. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I agree. Like when you run a full system scan with Norton AV it takes up 100% of my processor, well, around 90% I would say because sometimes it goes lower and then higher. But overall I have 1.6ghtz processor and 1.5gb of ram. and r15 has a 5400rpm hd so it is most likely the processor. or maybe a combination of the processor and hd. but on my old computer I had the same hard drive but a 2.8ghtz processor and everything ran faster.
     
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