Electrovaya Scribbler SC3100 Tablet PC - Our Full Review

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  1. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The Electrovaya Scribbler SC3100 Tablet PC is a compact, lightweight slate that incorporates unique features. An upgrade from the SC3000 model, the SC3100 boasts a new BOE Hydis display with a 180 degree viewing angle and a faster processor. Another plus is the custom option for a 120GB hard drive for those users who need to store a lot of data.

    Specs:

    Processor

    Intel Centrino M--LV Processer

    CPU Speed

    1.6 GHz with 2MB L2 Cache

    Chipset

    Intel GMS915

    Graphics

    128 MB Intel GMCH-M915GMS Graphics Controller

    Hard Drive

    60 GB, 5400RPM(upgradeable to 120 GB)

    System Memory

    512MB (upgradeable to 1280 MB)

    PC Card Controller

    PCMCIA x 1

    Audio

    AC-97 Rev2.3 24 bit card complaint, integral Sisonic Silicon full duplex Mic x 2 (Mic Array)

    Display

    12.1" XGA TFT BOE Hydis
    (180 degree viewing angle)

    Digitizer

    WACOM PWB-A560-A

    Fingerprint Sensor

    AuthenTec AES3500 TruePrint Sensor

    Networking

    Built-in IEEE 1394, Intel 802.11a/b/g, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 56K V.92 Modem

    Power Management

    Sleep and Hibernation

    Power Mgmnt Modes

    ACPI 2.0 Compatible

    Light Sensor

    Automatic

    LED Indicators

    Power On/Off
    HDD Activity
    Battery Status
    Wi-Fi Connectivity

    External Connectors

    AC/DC Power Jack
    USB 2.0 x2
    VGA Out
    IEEE1394
    Headphone Output x1
    Microphone Input x1
    Infrared SMC IrCC
    RJ-45
    RJ-11
    PCMCIA slot
    Keyboard/Mouse Base
    Docking Station

    MIC

    Dual Array Microphone System

    Speaker

    Internal x2

    Buttons

    Power On/Off
    Rotate Screen Layout
    Windows Security/Task Manager
    Windows Start Menu toggle
    Windows Journal - Open New
    On-screen Keyboard toggle
    Escape (Esc)
    Function for Tablet Buttons
    Wireless
    Direction Ball + Enter

    Stylus

    Wacom Digitizer enabled (battery NOT required)

    Battery Pack

    Hot Swappable SuperPolymer Lithium-ion 75 Whr

    Battery Charging Time

    5 hours 15 min (Computer off mode)

    Dimension

    Keyboard/Mouse detached: 11.96" x 9.16" x 0.75"
    Keyboard/Mouse attached: 11.96" x 9.17" x 1.00"

    Weight

    Keyboard/Mouse detached: 3.5 lbs
    Keyboard/Mouse attached: 4.5 lbs

    Operating System

    Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition



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    A "Gadget" of Practicality


    Getting down to business (and the Scribbler is great for just that), there are some very unique features that make the Electrovaya SC3100 exude the very essence of coolness. In some respects this device comes straight out of a James Bond film. The Scribbler SC3100 is a significantly practical Tablet PC, yet it'sinnovative designlends hints of ingenious engineering in the mobile space. This model is the first slate tablet I have worked with that incorporates all the necessary input devices I could want, but packs up into a nice sturdy and compact 4.5 lb. bundle.


    Build & Design

    The Scribbler SC3100 is encased in an almost "space age" type of plasic that feels rock solid. A reflective "off white" colored paint covers the entire unit providing an attractive yet professional look. The hardware buttons are easy to press and feellike they are built to last. Although the snap on keyboard and touchpad are very slim, they hold up just fine when used on a flat surface, but placing the device on your lap like a notebook does not work very well. If a user was to use a "lap desk" with a flat surface, then this type of setup would work just fine.

    The SC3100's design is unlike most any tablet you'll see. The super thin keyboard doubles as a protective cover for the display. The touchpad also snaps into adesignated space behind the keboard keys. An innovative plastic "stand" is built into the keyboard to safely support the slate itself and is accompanied by two latches that grab onto the side to seat the display firmly in place. The ports, indicator lights and hardware buttons are placed in appropriate areas. Overall the design of the SC3000 provides the user with a comfortable computing experience.


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    The "left" edge of the SC3100 has a powered USB port, modem and LAN jacks and a PCMCIA slot

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    The "top" edge has the AC in jack, USB, VGA out, firewire (IEEE1394), headphone and mic jacks, IR port and a Kensington lock

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    Underside: The long flat "superpolymer" battery, hard drive, RAM slot and fan vent



    Display

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    The most notable upgrade to the SC3100 is a new BOE Hydis display which offers a 180 degree viewing angle. Sharing work on this screen with a colleage who is off to the side is no problem with the extra visibility of this display. The screen brightness is about 85% of what you'd see on the Toshiba or Acer convertible Tablet PC's. On the flip side, this display is noticeably brighter than the Fujitsu ST5000 series slate Tablet PC. As a whole, the highest brightness setting seems just perfect for most any indoor lighting situation. Users who plan to use the SC3100 outdoors should opt for the Indoor/Outdoor screen option.

    The outermost layer of the lcd is slightly textured, allowing some slight traction on the writing surface. The electromagnetic screen is very responsive to the pen and the sensitivity is balanced across the entire writing surface. The backlightilluminates the displayevenly and the color saturation is excellent.The texture on these displays provides the user with a better writing experience, but this comes at a compromise for exceptional screen clarity. The SC3100 display is definitely more of a industry standard tablet-like display than the more consumer-oriented shiny displays found on the Acer C200 and older Averatec C3500 models. The 1024x760 resolution is adequate for the 12.1" display size. Although some users may prefer a higher resolution, this opens up a whole new can of worms when we are talking about a 12" display that functions as a writing surface as well as a screen.


    Speakers

    Electrovaya provides stereo speakers on this model. The speakers are about as good as it gets for those typically integrated into notebooks and Tablet PC's. While the sound quality is much brighter than what you'd hear from a set of Altec Lansing satellite speakers, the volume is good and audio emerges with a clear and crisp quality.


    Processor and Performance Benchmarks

    The SC3100 is powered by a 1.6GHz LV (low voltage) Intel Pentium M CPU. This CPU has a 2MBsecondary cacheand is numbered by Intel as processor 778.

    We used SuperPI to calculate the number Pi to 2 Million digits in this raw number crunching benchmark. This open source benchmark application allows the user to change the number of digits of Pi that can be calculated from 16 Thousand to 32 Million. The benchmark, which uses 19 iterations in the test, was set to 2 Million digits.

    Comparison of tablet/notebook models using Super Pi to calculate Pi to 2 million digits (plugged in):

    Notebook Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits
    Electrovay ScribblerTablet PC
    (1.6GHzAlviso LVPentium M)
    1m 58s
    Toshiba R15 Tablet PC(1.6GHzDothan PM) 2m 8s
    ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC (1.5GHz Alviso LV PM) 2m 3s
    Fujitsu ST5000 (1.1GHz Dothan PM) 2m 37s
    HP tc4200 (1.73GHz Alviso PM) 1m 51s


    We used Futuremark's PCMark '04 benchmarking softare to measure the SC3100's performance in various tasks.

    Performance Benchmarks for theElectrovay Scribbler SC3100(1.6GHz) compared to theSatellite R15(1.60GHz)notebook(simulating multiple computing tasks):

    Futuremark PCMark04 Scores Electrovaya Scribbler SC3100(Alviso LV1.6GHz) Toshiba SatelliteR15 (Dothan 1.6GHz)
    Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression 3.1 MB/s 3.08 MB/s
    Multithreaded Test 1 / File Encryption 23.0 MB/s 23.84 MB/s
    Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression 20.8 MB/s 20.39 MB/s
    Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing 9.46 MPixels/s 9.49 MPixels/s
    Multithreaded Test 3 / Virus Scanning 1674.23 MB/s 1602.26 MB/s
    Multithreaded Test 3 / Grammar Check 2.34 KB/s 2.42 KB/s
    File Decryption 47.51 MB/s 47.32 MB/s
    Audio Conversion 2175.58 KB/s 2186.68 KB/s
    Web Page Rendering 5.01Pages/s 4.73Pages/s
    DivX Video Compression 41.55 FPS 42.84FPS
    Physics Calculation and 3D 82.83FPS N/A
    Graphics Memory - 64 Lines 361.39FPS N/A
    3DMark '03Score N/A N/A



    Our review unit has a 60GB 5400 RPM Toshiba hard drive. As mentioned in the overview, Electrovaya offers a configuration for the Scribbler SC3100 with a large120GB drive. Below are the results for the HD Tune performance benchmarks.

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    (Input) Keyboard, Touchpad and Pen

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    The super thin keyboard is actually a pleasure to use. Although the keysmake a"clicky" sound, the keyboard is solid and responsive. The snap-in touchpad is basic (with no scrolling functionality)and includes two mousebuttons. Scrolling can be easily achieved using the "trackpoint" type of controller the is located along the side of the display on the slate body. The pen requires no batteries and is comfortable in hand. (note: the ElectrovayaSC3100 is a Wacom "Penabled" Tablet PC which provides the best writing experience).

    please note: the SC3100 also has dual array mic's on the front of the slate body.Speech recognition works great with this mic system. Even with the initial training session, the SC3100 was surprisingly accurate in recognizing my dictation.


    Security

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    TheSC3100 includes abiometric fingerprint reader. This is by far the best reader I have used yet. There is no "swiping" involved to use this reader. Simply place any enrolled finger on the reader surface and it reads quickly and accurately. We tested the reader with three "unenrolled" users and they could not fool the scanner. This extra feature not only provides the owner with a extra confidence in protection of sensitive data, but also improves the user experience by replacing the need for tedious retyping of passwords when used in conjunction with the OmniPass software.


    Battery

    We stress tested the 75 watt hourlithium ion SuperPolymer battery. With the Wi-Fi turned on, the hard drive constantly reading/writing and the CPU busy making calculations, the SC3100 made it through3 hours and24 minutes. Realworld runtime seems to be in the ballpark of 4.5 to 5 hours.

    We experienced issues with charging the battery while the computer is in use. This is terribly slow and time consuming. We recommend that users plan to charge this unit overnight and with typical use, this tablet should make it through most of the workday without beingconnected to an AC outlet.

    System Info
    Manufacture
    Model
    ModelEx
    OS Windows XP Service Pack 2
    CPU Info
    CPU Manufacture Intel Corporation
    CPU Model Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.60GHz
    CPU Frequency ~598Mhz
    CPU Extensions | MMX | SSE2 | Enchanted SpeedStep
    CPU Cache Info
    Level 1 Instructions 32
    Level 1 Data 32
    Level 2 Data 2048
    System RAM info
    Total Memory: 759Mb
    Memory slots 0 ( )
    Display Device Info
    Adapter Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family
    Resolution 1024x768
    OpenGL render device Intel 915GM
    OpenGL driver version 1.4.0 - Build 4.14.10.4250
    Vertex shader version 0.0
    Pixel shader version 2.0
    Hard Disk Drive Info
    S.M.A.R.T. Supported and Enabled
    HDD Model TOSHIBA MK6026GAX
    HDD Serial 559P0300T
    HDD FirmWare PA202G
    Main Battery Info
    Device Name Tablet PC Battery
    Manufacture Electrovaya
    Serial #
    Unique ID ElectrovayaTablet PC Battery
    Chemistry Lithium Ion
    Temperature Termal Control Not Present
    Designed Capacity 32760mWh
    Full Charged Capacity 8400mWh
    Designed Voltage 648V
    Current Voltage 4294967.295V
    Manufacture Date 0/0/0
    Cycles Count 0
    Cells count 180
    Force charge support Not Supported
    Force discharge support Not Supported
    Benchmark results
    CPU BEmarks 0
    GPU BEmarks 0
    RAM BEmarks 0
    HDD BEmarks 0
    Work Done
    Pi calculations 15806 Cycles
    HDD readwrite 14063 Mb
    Fames Rendered 620070 Frames
    Benchmark Options
    Resolution 800x600x32
    FullScreen Disabled
    Mode Classic
    Results
    Total time 3:24:21
    Discharge rate (minimum) 2147483648 mWh
    Discharge rate (maximum) 2147483648 mWh
    Discharge rate (average) 2147483648 mWh



    Software/Operating System

    The SC3100 comespreloaded with Corel Grafigo, FarstoneVirtual Drive, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Softex OmniPass Security Software, a trial version of Franklin Covey Tablet Planner, Alias Sketchbook (trial) andWindows Journal.

    The operating system is the feature rich Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. As I have come exceptionally familiar with this flavor of Windows, I find that I feel like I am missing out when using any other Windows XP version! This platform (IMO) is simply the best.


    Wireless

    The SC3100 includes a built-in Intel Pro Wireless A/B/G mini pci card. The reception is good and we did not experience any "drops" while connected to wireless routers and hot spots. Electrovaya did not include integrated Bluetooth and this will be a disappointment to avid users of Bluetooth devices.


    Customer Support/Warranty

    Electrovaya offers support 24 hours a day via phone, email, "snail mail"or fax. The Tablet PC warranty is good for a period oftwelve (12)months to the original owner. The battery has a warranty for six (6)months. For further information visit the customer support link on the Electrovaya website.


    Final Thoughts

    The Electrovay Scribbler SC3100 Tablet PC makes aperfect travel companion. This model is a good choice for users or mobile professionalswho want a slate Tablet PC, but like the convenience of a touchpad and keyboard available for use at any time. This latest upgrade to the SC3000 offers a great new display anda bit more power, but comeswith a minimalcost of battery life. If you are in need of a sturdy and well-equipped slate, the Scribbler SC3100 will make an excellent choice.


    Pros


      Innovative andsturdy build quality anddesign
      180 degree viewing angledisplay
      Excellentsecurity via biometricfingerprint scanner
      Keyboard, trackpad and slate "snap" together as one compact package

      Cons


        Battery is very slow to charge while computer is powered on
        No integrated Bluetoothradio

        Note: The Electrovaya SC3100 is newly released, please check back forpricing information specifically for this model.



     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I'm not a slate guy, but I got to use this one for a little bit. I think the design is very smart, good engineering. It just doesn't work on the lap though, which I guess is just one of those sacrifices. To be fair, most slates don't work well on the lap ;)
     
  3. epiphany

    epiphany Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Where does the keyboard go if you aren't using it as an input device or as a cover? Can it snap to the body in another way or would it have to just sit in your bag or on your desk?

    ~Pip
     
  4. Parjoe

    Parjoe Pen Pal - Newbie

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    You'd have to leave the keyboard in your bag or something. I was thinking you could put some velcro strips on it and stick it to the back, but that would probably interfere with the fan. Oh well.

    Man, this new scribbler is so nice though. They put the BOE Hydis display in there and jacked up the processor and harddrive! Sweet. I just hope they won't jack up the price that much.



    joe
     
  5. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, it doesn't clip on the back or anything. Maybe you could get a lanyard and wear it around your neck, kind of like the clocks rappers wore in the 80's.
     
  6. mikese

    mikese Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This thing seems kinda pricey for what you get. The price on Electrovaya's site is about $2600 for a preconfigured machine, and $2100 to start. Even with Toshiba's wierd pricing, I can get a custom built M400 with a Core Duo processor, built in optical drive, and an SXGA screen for about $2100... Only drawback I can see vs. this is that the Toshiba would weigh about a pound more.
     
  7. penmagic

    penmagic Pen Pal - Newbie

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    this may seem silly, but if i wear sunglasses and hat and sit in the shade of a tree or under an umbrella on a bright sunny day, can i see the indoor screen or should i get the outdoor screen? i will mostly use this indoors, but i spend a lot of time outdoor in the summer time, and i would love to handwrite with this outdoors!

    are the usb ports powered?

    and i can't use it on my lap? you mean only with the keyboard, right?

    how do photos and movies look?

    will there be any issues with upgrading to vista?

    and how is the three year third party warranty for electrovaya products?

    i have some misgivings about the company's tech support, but i know that this is the best tablet for me. should i worry?

    thanks for the review, barry it was worth the wait, for sure!

    the price is $50 more than the sc-3000.
     
  8. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I have tried the SC3100 in the shade sans the sunglasses. It works quite well. If you will be in the sun, you are best off with the Outdoor screen.


    are the usb ports powered? yes

    and i can't use it on my lap? you mean only with the keyboard, right? right

    how do photos and movies look? The color saturation is exceptional (you should see that in the photos). Viewing photos and movies will be fine, but the clarity of tablet screens with a "textured" surface is minimally compromised.

    will there be any issues with upgrading to vista? We can't guarantee that 100% at this time since Vista is still undergoing final development. My guess (based on the current Vista build) is that there should be no problems at all.

    and how is the three year third party warranty for electrovaya products? Truthfully I have not explored this. Perhaps somebody else can attest to first person experience?

    i have some misgivings about the company's tech support, but i know that this is the best tablet for me. should i worry? The support options seem flexible enough. I have personally had no problems reaching Electrovaya on the phone.

    thanks for the review, barry it was worth the wait, for sure! -Well thank YOU for reading it!
     
  9. penmagic

    penmagic Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thanks for answering my questions, barry. i'll be ordering one. i am happy i waited!
     
  10. Sassafras

    Sassafras Scribbler - Standard Member

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    If one didn't necessarily need the optical drive as part of the unit and wanted the portability factor....would this tablet possibly be a better option than the toshiba m400? Yeah you don't get the duo core but if you aren't doing heavy multitasking this isn't really necessary is it?

    I plan to use this tablet mostly for grad school, taking notes etc....and like the idea that the electrovayo is only 0.75" thick compared to the M400 which is about 1.5."

    Does anyone have any insight....I was pumped about the M400 but I am not so sure if that is what I really need/want out of my tablet. I already have a great desktop replacement laptop with a 15.4" WXGA...so I don't really need my tablet to be as powerful. I know I want a keyboard and mouse for sure...and that is what has interested me about the electrovaya tablet.....it has a thin but detachable keyboard...

    Does anyone think it is too overpriced? Or do you think the quality is worth the price?

    -Sass
     
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