I've read many M4 threads, but here's another one...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by VT_Nerd, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. VT_Nerd

    VT_Nerd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    First off, let me say this site is amazing...lots of great information and speedy responses to questions.

    Now, a little about my situation and my question. I'm a student at Virginia Tech and we're required to have laptops for engineering. Well, mine broke (it was a desktop replacment Sager NP5670 if anyone is wondering) last semester and since I hadn't actually needed a laptop for about 2 years, I figured I'd just get a desktop (cheaper, upgrade-able, GAMES, etc). As it turns out, I have to have a laptop again for this semester (smacks self in face) for one of my labs. I have to be able to run Labview 7 Student Edition, MATLAB 14.2, Autodesk Inventor 9, and Office 2003 for a bare minimum. I won't make anyone look up minimum requirements. But based on those, and personal choices I need 512MB RAM (hopefully user upgrade-able to 1GB), 1.7Ghz Pentium M, 802.11b/g, wired LAN, and an Open-GL card with at least 64MB of dedicated video memory (I prefer something NVIDIA, but I'd go with an integrated card if necessary). I'd like an optical drive/second battery, but it's not a necessity. One thing I'm still researching is whether or not any of those programs have any issues with XP Tablet Edition, which brings me to my first question.

    If a program runs fine on Windows XP Pro SP2, does that mean it will work fine on XP Tablet Edition?

    Second, I really like the TOSHIBA TECRA M4-S435. I read a bit about the M400 and that looks promising, but this lab starts in 3 weeks so I have no time to wait for a release. Will this be a good choice for what I've described? If not, what would I be better of with? I'd like to use it during class, and I read the review where it said 3 hours I think, but for those of you that have experience with it, will it really last that long?

    One last thing, how is the writing surface? I've never used a Tablet before...does the screen provide some resistance? I ask because a review I read at CNET said the screen on one tablet was too smooth so it was akward to write on. I plan on heading to Best Buy to try out the R15 (they don't carry the M4) today or tomorrow, do both screens provide a similar experience?

    Well that about sums it up, sorry this was so long everyone but thanks for reading.
     
  2. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The M4 sounds like a perfect choice for you. You will have all the power you need and more. I wouldn't wait on the M400 since it may take a couple of months to be easily accessable and dedicated graphics is not even a confirmed option yet.

    The problem with the R15 is the older generation of Intel Extreme Graphics. I don't think it will cut it for you. However when you go to BB you can check out the writing surface since it is the same type you will find on the M4.

    Good Luck!

    Barry
     
  3. VT_Nerd

    VT_Nerd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks. Short of "Here's a free M4" that's everything I wanted to hear.
     
  4. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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  5. Aaron

    Aaron Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Kinda off topic, but I thought that I was hearing Febuary for the release of the M400 (in fact, I heard Febuary 2nd floating around). I am sure you have more info than I though, you really think it will be a few months?
     
  6. VT_Nerd

    VT_Nerd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Man, I just missed by a day? haha

    Not that I have much knowledge on this topic, but I did see February said several times about a release date for the M400. I don't think I ever read February 2nd, but I've only been searching for the past couple of days.
     
  7. VT_Nerd

    VT_Nerd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I also just got back from Best Buy an hour or so ago and I really liked the feel of writing on the R15, so I think I'm completely sold on the M4. Looks like some place called California Computer has the cheapest prices on new (not refurbished) ones at $1515, so I'll be good to go until I get it and have to get used to the new features.
     
  8. sdsviet

    sdsviet Pen Pal - Newbie

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    by this would u mean a free m4 prototype u got to use witha yonah chip in it? hhee
     
  9. VT_Nerd

    VT_Nerd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Another quick question, I saw in another thread here that the TPM in the M4 can be disabled, how is this done...through the BIOS? Will I lose some functionality if I disable it? I realize that the TPM being used for DRM is some time away, but I'd rather have it off because I see it as more of something for businesses who give laptops to their employees and need to protect company information.

    EDIT:
    One more question, I see a lot of reviewers and publications complaining about the visibility of the screen. Those of you that have this already, is it really that big of a deal?
     
  10. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I cannot verify that the TPM can fe disabled in the BIOS, however I imaginge it would be. Regarding the screen visibility - I never noticed this to be a problem whatsoever.
     

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