Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC User Review Discussion

Discussion in 'News Headlines' started by Wallace, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Wallace

    Wallace Pen Pal - Newbie

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    As many readers will recall, ever since 2007 rumors have been surfacing that Dell was working on a Tablet PC. Then comes December the rumor turns real with Dell announcing and confirming their entry into the tablet market with the <a href="http://www.tabletpcreview.com/price/default.asp?productFamilyID=1003&ref=list&display=priceDetail" target=_blank>Latitude XT</a>. On top of that, their decision to integrate N-Trig's duel-sense touchscreen also brings a lot of speculation into the community. In this review I will share with you the reason for choosing the XT, my experience regarding it, as well as some personal opinions. I hope through this review I can help you decide if the XT will be right for you.

    Read the full content of this Article: Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC User Review
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  2. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    very nice review, and long, too ;)

    Your reason to buy the Dell was a good reason, because it is the only really portabel convertible with both an active and passive digitizer.

    The sad thing is, that Dell made a lot of mistakes, too much. I don't know who designed or produced this tablet, but I don't think that they used a tablet before :) or had to use a notebook while on the road.

    The speed is so interesting, because it has the same CPU the T2010 has but a ATI platform, and it would be nice to see how fast the machine runs on a ATI platform or how fast the ATI graphics card is, compared to the T2010 or the HP.

    Your conclusion is a bit sad but realistic, sadly. But I think with the ability to use a touchscreen the Dell still can get a real helper after a while.


    PS: How good was your battery life?
     
  3. HardRoc

    HardRoc Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Just FYI, the Fujitsu T2010 has an LED backlight as well. As for the Firefox problem, I've never seen that happen before. I have my own problem there as Firefox 2 doesn't support floating TIP (although I've heard Firefox 3 does). Basically I'm a student that uses a tablet for notetaking. I've definitely noticed a handwriting improvement as I really didn't write anything before I got my tablet. I really think Tablet PCs shine when you use OnetNote to coordinate with Outlook and the rest of Office. There are definitely not too many programs that take advantage of touch and pen input unless you are a student and until we see these killer apps, Tablet PCs are going to be stuck in a niche market. /rant
     
  4. jerelyn

    jerelyn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Did you calibrate the screen of the Dell before you made your tests of color accuracy?
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @HardRoc: I completely agree.
    For FF: Look for "GeckoTIP" and "Grap and Drag".
    And yes, the T2010 was the first with LED backlit, then the Dell, then the Toshiba M700

    @jerely:
    calibration, good idea. Do you know how to calibrate a monitor without hardware tools?
     
  6. jerelyn

    jerelyn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hmm, well, I used to use Adobe Gamma (comes with Photoshop) before I got a calibration tool. Not great, but better than not calibrating.

    This page is a bit "messy", but it is one that I come back to frequently:

    http://www.normankoren.com/makingfineprints1A.html

    They list alternative programs to AdobeGamma, among other things.
     
  7. tdream

    tdream Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Very expensive for what you get, and then there's the promise of multi-touch. The government should setup some sort of agency to prevent the giants to stop annoucing rubbish features that either don't work or don't exist yet. Yes I can claim my tablet will teleport me into Deanna Troi's bedroom, with a simple firmware update.
     
  8. orgwizard

    orgwizard Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I agree with the other user a few posts back, expecially regarding your comment at the end about buying another tablet in the future. Get your hands on OneNote or if possible office 2007. Onenote is a huge selling poing for tablets and really takes advantage of the technology, though it has many other great features besides tablet that make it worth using.

    Other than that, I'd also search around for tablet applications and watch other tablet enthusiest sites like gottabemobile. The tablet features stand out the most when you have apps that take advantage of them.

    Thanks for the great review.
     
  9. spridell

    spridell Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I got my XT too this week.

    I can say so far I am really loving it. This is my first Tablet so i am not too familiar with the whole tablet experience yet.

    I ordered mine with the 120gb 5400rpm hard drive with 3gb of RAM so I am not really noticing any slow speeds in Vista.

    I have not had any blue screens or any other hic-ups yet. Mine does have the same weird pop up with the Sprint WAN saying to activate it.

    Mine came with the 4 cell battery and i can tell you the battery life is horrible. I get no more than 1 hour of battery life with the screen on the brightest. I ordered the 6 cell and the battery slice so hopefully that will be better.
     
  10. Wallace

    Wallace Pen Pal - Newbie

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    First of all, thanks for all the reply! Unfortunately I didn't see the OneNote option when I ordered the XT, and then subsequently found out it was only $15... but I do have Office 2007 installed.

    Also a quick update - I tested the battery life some more this weekend, with the screen set to dimmest and all wireless off (Sprint, WiFi, BT) I get 2 hours 23 minutes of DVD playback using the external DVD/CDRW drive. If I boost the screen to the brightest settings, that number drops to 2 hours flat. By turning the wireless devices on (all 3), and again screen at the brightest, I saw another ~17 ot 18 min. drop in battery life in playing the same DVD. These tests were done with the default power settings (CPU allowed to 100%, HD sleep after 10 min). I do have the 6 cell battery pack, which is the same size as the 4-cell (keeps the size the same) but add some weight to it. Considering the battery slice has very slightly higher power rating compare to the 6-cell battery, I suspect using both of them combined would give you slightly over 4.5 hours of DVD playback time under a reasonable screen brightness setting.

    Oh and about the screen: No I did not calibrate it, nor I have the tools to do so. I also don't think the ATI utility gives me too much control. On the other hand, my Fujitsu wasn't calibrated either...

    Cheers,



    Wallace

    p.s. More quirks... besides the fingerprint scanner disappearing, the N-Trig screen is now doing it too. Sometimes after I reboot the N-Trig software will complain about the touch-screen not found; it would not be in the device manager and I will have to reboot. The touchpad also did that once... I have to resort to keyboard shortcuts to reboot... seems like more problem is creeping in every day. Maybe I got a lemon??
     
  11. spridell

    spridell Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have not had any of those problems and i have been using mine non stop for the last 5 days.

    Maybe you should contact Dell and tell them about all the problems you are having.
     
  12. murphyslaww

    murphyslaww Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Below is what the $2000.00 you could have saved by buying the Gateway 140x (with spare battery) would have earned at a modest 8% interest rate in 25 years.


    $10,000 dollars, wow, probably enough to buy the next Dell tablet.

    Just a comment on how outrageously expensive it is. Obviously the gateway isn't an ultralight, but in it's defense, it has an optical Drive.

    Just way too little, for way too much. With an LED screen, slower than pond water processor and storage, I was really looking for like 10 hours out of a 6 cell battery. And now one of the 5 people that could afford a $3k tablet, is having multiple issues with it.

    I'm not sure what is up with Dell engineering these days, but I think someone needs to check their PE stamps for forgery.



    Years 25
    Rate of return 8.0%
    Initial investment $2,000.00
    Annual investments $0.00
    Inflation rate 3.10%
    Tax rate 15.0%
    Show actual values? yes
    Adjust annual investment for inflation? no
    Show all values after inflation? no

    Results Summary
    Compounded interest return $4,958.84
    Simple interest return $3,400.00
    Total invested capital $2,000.00
    Investment final total $10,358.84
     
  13. ZippySLC

    ZippySLC Pen Pal - Newbie

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    How long did the tablet take from order to delivery? I have an XT on the way and was given about a month lead time on it. I'm hoping it gets to me sooner.
     
  14. spridell

    spridell Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Mine was ordered Jan 7 and I received it Jan 21.
     
  15. radioactif

    radioactif Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Wow, nice toy, but terribly expensive... I think I'll continue tu my 2710p for a little while (which, to add some value to the debate, has a LED-backlit screen too, I don't know if it was out before or after the XT).
     
  16. neclark

    neclark Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Good afternoon -

    I have a less-usual potential use for a tablet PC; our company investigates motor vehicle accidents, and we'd like to be able to make hand notations (marks & text) to digital images we've just taken and uploaded to the tablet; has anyone tried this- or the equivalent: (A) on this Dell XT, or (B) on any of the competing tablet PCs? If yes...

    How `effective' are the results? How readable once saved & retrieved?

    NEC in LB, CA
     
  17. chinesefireball121

    chinesefireball121 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    neclark: what you want to do you can do on any tablet - wonder over to the "What tablet pc should I buy forum", and there people will help :)

    (Although remember to fill out the form (link in signature))
     
  18. murphyslaww

    murphyslaww Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Most definately, I used my TC1000 extensively for my Art History class, and would scan all the works into the tablet at the beginning of a chapter, then when we got to a particular work, in class, I would import the picture into Agilix gobinder notes, and take handwritten notes next to, and sometimes, on the picture while in class.

    In my opinion, it's a bit of a disconnection of logic that every post-secondary student doesn't have a tabletPc.
     
  19. Kastagir

    Kastagir Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I received my XT about a week ago and I can offer my impressions so far. My primary reasons for buying the XT were as follows: I needed a convertible notebook so I could read/take notes in portrait mode; I wanted a pen and touch screen; I wanted the lightest, thinnest tablet available; I wanted to do everything I could to maximize battery life - the XT seemed to be the best compromise given these constraints.

    I've worked with many tablets. In fact, I worked for the Tablet team at Microsoft for about a year, so I've worked with all styles (slate, convertible, etc.) and worked extensively with the TIP. I've been using a Latitude X1 for the last couple of years due to its very nice size and weight and was waiting for a tablet of approximately the same size. The XT is the only one that really comes close. OneNote is an app that really shines when you use it on a tablet, so if you don't have that app, you're missing out.

    I ordered my XT with the LED screen because I don't need an outdoor screen and I wanted the thinnest, lightest tablet with a touch screen and the best battery life I could get. Adding the outdoor screen would have killed all of these constraints.

    Ideally, I would have preferred a SSD instead of the 5400rpm 120gb drive I ordred, but I intend to swap it out later this year when SSD prices get a little less ridiculous.

    Dell wanted $282 for a memory upgrade to 3GB despite the fact that they sell the 2gb upgrade module separately for about $100. I simply ordered a 2GB Corsair module for about $50 and it works fine, so I can't recommend ordering the XT with more than 1GB of RAM.

    I haven't noticed any blue tint to my screen like the reviewer cited, but I have noticed that the bright blue power button on the panel does bleed some of its blue light into the lower left portion of the screen. I only notice this when the screen is black (e.g. during bootup), however. The screen is an order of magnitude better than the screen on the Latitude X1, and I'm quite happy with it so far.

    There have been some issues reported regarding strange/erratic click behavior possibly related to the N-Trig drivers. I have noticed this, but its easy to work around (in OneNote, clicking on the tabs on the right to select a page can sometimes produce a void symbol and do nothing, but clicking in the body of the text first and then selecting a page always seems to work). I'm not sure what causes this problem, but I'm sure there will be driver and bios updates for the XT.

    I didn't purchase the WWLAN module because I don't have someone else paying for the ~$60 a month data plan. It would only be a convenience for me and wouldn't be used enough to make it worth the cost. It is nice, however, to have the option should more reasonable plans become available.

    The exhaust fan on the left side the XT is very quiet - in fact, I can't hear the fan itself, only the quiet whisper of air rushing out of the exhaust grill.

    The XT is about an inch deeper than the Latitude X1, about the same width and about the same maximum thickness (the X1 is about .5" thick at the front and .95" thick at the back whereas the XT is 1" thick front to back.

    I don't believe the XT is perfect - far from it. But given what is available, I think it is a very nice tablet to get. It has many features that simply aren't available on other tablets (combination of touch screen and pen input, thinnest tablet available if you get the LED screen, etc.) I got a substantial corporate discount on mine, which made the purchase less questionable, but there are plenty of things I'd like to see addressed in driver and bios updates. The 1.2 ULV processor is not much of a problem for me - anything faster would just take away from battery life, and taking notes and doing what most people do on a tablet doesn't require that much horsepower.

    After all is said and done, the XT makes the X1 look and feel like a toy. It's about a full pound heavier with the 4 cell battery (slightly more with the 6 cell), but still not what I'd call heavy. The construction seems very sturdy and well manufactured. The palm rest does get a bit warm due to the placement of the hard drive and battery just below it, so my hands get warm when I'm typing, but not uncomfortably so. The keyboard is a good size and the keys have a very quiet, smooth feel to them. I'm very pleased with typing on the XT so far.

    If anyone has any other questions, I'd be happy to offer my impressions on my XT.
     
  20. Kevin Bourk

    Kevin Bourk Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have a latitude xt that I purchased in Feb, 2008 for a colleague. It had the 60GB SSD, and overall was disappointing performance wise - xp pro took a very long time to boot up etc.
    Speaking of lemons, we've had to replace the keyboard, the hard drive (got a mechanical 80GB this time) and the screen just went for the third time, all still under the three year warranty. If you need the tablet feature, it's a great unit, but I'd recommend buying the extended warranty. For my money, in the future, I'd be happy with a 12" slim regular laptop for about one-third the price and way more power. I'd still go with a Dell. They've worked well for us overall.
     

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