Looking to purchase!! Please help.

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Smiley, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. Smiley

    Smiley Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello everyone!! I'm finally ready to make a purchase. This will be my first laptop/tablet. As a college (engineering) student, I'm sure any old tablet will do but, in this case I want something to last for a while. I'm pretty well informed about tablet pcs as I have been dissecting this website and several others for months as well (gottabemobile, etc.). I tried to private message some folks (Grimnir for example) but wasn't able to. I'd appreciate any help. Thank you! :)


    1. What is your budget?

    Not a concern. I just want to see what y'all have to say.

    2. Do you prefer a Slate, Convertible or Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)?

    Convertible

    3. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?

    * Mainstream ~ 12.1"
    * Large ~ 14"


    4. Which country do you intent to purchase from?
    USA
    5. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    I don't have any.
    6. How many hours battery life do you require?
    The more the better. What ever would suit a student's needs I guess.
    7. What do you intend to use the Tablet for?

    Student work (notes,research, etc.)

    8. Do you have an OS preference?

    Vista (Windows 7 hopefully sometime later:) )

    9. What software and tasks do you intend to run?

    Student essentials like Office. Also (if possible) engineering software like: Solidworks, Autodesk, Labview, Mathematica, etc.

    10. Do you intend playing Games. If so please list.

    Maybe some light gaming but not really what I'm looking for. It would be cool to run some Counter-strike though!


    Screen Specifics

    1. Do you prefer standard or widescreen?

    Widescreen since I don't really have a choice here.

    2. What resolution do you prefer?

    * SXGA - 1400x1050 ~ Small text and graphic icons which require good vision but the gain is a much larger screen.
    * WXGA - 1280x768 ~ Wider viewing angle of XGA but ideal for viewing Spreadsheets and other programs that require desktop space.


    3. Do you require an Indoor only or Indoor/Outdoor screen option?

    Indoor or Indoor/Outdoor should do me fine.

    4. Do you require a Passive or Active Digitizer?

    Active

    5. Do you require Wacom, Finepoint, or N-Trig Technology?

    Wacom


    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require?

    Doesn't matter. I'm most likely going to get the minimum, then upgrade myself. Please post links or let me know how I can do this. I would need some help with the HD upgrade and installing the OS and other backup discs.

    2. Do you require an Optical Drive?

    I don't but wouldn't mind one either.

    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)?

    I don't but wouldn't mind either.

    Misc

    For a while I was trying to decide between the hp2730p and the x200t. Now I am considering the fujitsu t5010. I am really havin' a hard time figuring out what I need such as power vs. weight, power vs. battery life, etc.

    Whew... I believe that's all.

    Thanks,
    Smiley:D
     
  2. Kyle Porter

    Kyle Porter Veteran Moderator Senior Member

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    well lets weigh the pros and cons for you:

    2730p - longer battery life, solidly built, definitely enough to run the shown programs (i can run autodesk on a 1.2ghz c2d smoothly).

    t5010 - dont know on the battery life, but is a very powerful tablet.

    One point i would like to mention to you though. I have been using the pre-beta version of windows seven, and it is basically windows xp with a nice theme built around it. Power as defined by windows vista will pretty much double with repect to windows seven. Long story short, don't go overboard on power if you plan to upgrade to windows seven.
     
  3. kartikatre

    kartikatre Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I would say, in reality only 2 tablets are worth your consideration- HP 2730p and the lenovo X200t. I would stay away from the HP 2500/2600z if budget is not a major worry. Do not know about the Toshibas and Fujitsu firsthand, but Iam sure they would be good ones as well. Agree with Kpvic, its best to avoid being a GHz junkie-Its just not worth it. My x200t has a LV Processor - Intel Centrino2 SL9300 1.6GHz...It flies!!
     
  4. Grimnir

    Grimnir Think tank & Designer Senior Member

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    Hi there Smiley,
    I don't think people without a certain number of posts are allowed to send a private message.

    I always find kpvic's suggestions to be helpful, so pay attention to his opinion ;D

    Let us delve in shall we?

    You mentioned a 14" screen and I wanted to touch base on that quickly. The only model to offer the 14" screen is Gateway, specifically the Gateway C-143XL series. I've had bad experiences with Gateway, having had to send back TWO C series tablets out of the box for being faulty. They are bulky and get hot. I wouldn't reccomend it.

    Next we should establish a list of Tablets that I think will accomplish your goals in the order that I think you should consider them:
    1. The Fujitsu Lifebook T2020 / HP EliteBook 2730p
    2. Lenovo X200t
    3. The Fujitsu Lifebook T5010 (There is also the Toshiba M750, though I don't actually reccomend it so nevermind.)

    All lof the above mentioned Tablet PCs utilize active digitizers (Wacom), The T2020, 2730p and the X200t are all 12.1" screens and do not come with an Optical Drive or the option to include one even, while the T5010 is 13.3" and has a modular bay which you can insert an optical drive, a modular bay battery, a space saver, and I think you can put another hard drive in there with the right mounting brackets (I gotta double check that one.)

    Lets go ahead and rule the T5010 out for you right now. It is a fantastic machine and has lots of computing power and about 4-5 hours of life on maximum settings with a modular bay battery. Though its just a bit more than what you need; it'd be like using a rocket launcher to kill a bug. Or..something.

    Next is the Top 2. The 2730p and the x200t are the only machines you can opt to purchase a Low Voltage(LV) processor versus an Ultra Low Voltage(ULV) processor. The T2020 ONLY comes with ULV.

    Lets take a look at that shall we? The 2730p comes with the option to get the following processors
    • Intel® Core™ 2 Duo LV Processor SL9300 (1.60 GHz, 6 MB L2 cache, 1066 MHz FSB)
    • Intel® Core™ 2 Duo LV Processor SL9400 (1.86 GHz, 6 MB L2 cache, 1066 MHz FSB)
    • Intel® Core™ 2 Duo ULV Processor SU9300 (1.20 GHz, 3 MB L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB)

    The X200t only offers two processors:
    • Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 (1.2GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB)
    • Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400 (1.86GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB)

    and the T2020 ofers 3:
    • Intel Core 2 Duo ULV Processor SU9300 (1.2 GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 800Mhz FSB)
    • Intel Core 2 Duo ULV Processor SU9300 (1.2 GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 800 MHz FSB)
    • Intel Core 2 Duo ULV Processor SU9400 (1.4 GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 800 MHz FSB) (I wonder if this is a mistake by fujitsu, listing the SU9400 as 800mhz FSB when I think it should be 1066mhz FSB?)

    My conclusion is that the T2020 offers the strongest ULV processor (at 1.4 ghz vs the 1.2 ULV processors the X200t and the 2730p both offer)

    However the 2730p and the X200t offer the 1.86 ghz Low Voltage processor, which will outperform the 1.4Ghz ULV processor.

    Next I'd like to establish that the Video card chip is the same across the board. They all use the Intel GMA x4500 MHD.

    RAM wise they all use the Intel GS45 Chipset so they can run DDR3 1066Mhz ram and hold a capacity up to 8gb of total RAM.

    Hard Disk wise the 2730p appears to be the only Tablet PC out of the bunch to support SATA II (3gb/s) vs SATA (1.5Gb/s)

    The 2730p comes with a 6cell li-ion battery, the x200t you can get a 4 or 8 cell, the T2020 you can get a 6 or 9 cell. Pretty much the battery life for all of these machines is equivalent. You can EASILY get over 7 hours with them.

    Lastly the X200t uses a trackpoint mouse vs the others using trackpads.

    Now that we've picked these things apart lets draw some conclusions.

    The T2020 will easily be the best bang for your buck with the Quick Buy at $1,699. The 2730p's lowest-end preconfigured model starts at $1,679 however does not have as many features as the Quick buy T2020.

    The 2730p provides really good flexibility, ranging from lower end models at $1,679 to more expensive models (more than the X200t's top of the line!) $2,349.

    The X200t is a quality machine, I would only reccomend buying the higher end configuration to make it worth your while. I mean..if you are already going to spend that much right off the bat might as well get top of the line.

    But seriously, as long as that quick buy option is there I'd say pounce on the T2020. Fujitsu's warranty is great. If that option goes bye bye you've gotta decide between the 2730p and the T2020 it looks like. I guess it boils down to if you want an ULV processor or LV processor. They would both be sufficient to do what you want to do on your computer.


    Kpvic,
    what processor do you have? I don't remember off hand.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2015
  5. Smiley

    Smiley Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. I think I'm gonna rule out ULV and go with a LV processor. Are you sure that 3D CAD work wouldn't benefit from more power? Or would it benefit from more RAM? I might be freaking out a little bit 'cause this is a BIG purchase. Now I'm back to the 2730p vs. x200t situation. Please tell me some of the experiences/joys/regrets/wishes/drawbacks/ you have with your specific tablets. Student comments are greatly appreciated. Please talk to me. Thank you
     
  6. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    I think processor & ram are going to be equally important for the engineering programs you want to run, especially since no tablet is going to have one of the recommended graphics cards.

    from the engineering perspective, i'd be more inclined to focus on machines like the Fujitsu t5010, Toshiba m750, Gateway c143xl and last and mostly b/c of its graphics card, the HP tx2500.

    It would make it easier if you could prioritize what's more important to you. I think the LV machines will be able to handle almost anything you throw at it, but the more powerful machines like the one's i mentioned previously will obviously handle them better, w/ less slowdown. That said you know it will be at the sacrifice of battery life & weight.

    So you really do need to prioritize those things, power, weight, battery life etc, to help us narrow down the machines.

    Out of the thin & lights i'd be more inclined to go w/ the t2020, solidly constructed machine, excellent battery life.

    The processor in the LV machines such as the 2730p & x200t give it an advantage over the ULV machines but there will be some measure of bottleneck in the 2730p b/c of the 1.8'' hard drive, which is going to be slower, that can be negated w/ an ssd drive, but off course they are more expensive.
     
  7. Grimnir

    Grimnir Think tank & Designer Senior Member

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    I still think the T2020 would be ideal for you. Though I suppose that depends on how many onscreen models you need to have open in autodesk.

    Don't let "Ultra Low" and "Low Voltage" scare you. They are still strong processors!

    But if you really are stuck on going Low Voltage rather than Ultra Low Voltage I really think you should go for the 2730p over the X200t, you can get the 2730p with the 1.86ghz LV processor 3gigs ram and 120 gig hard drive (not 1.8" ) for $1,899

    versus the $1,844 x200t which has a ULV processor 1.2Ghz, 1 gig of ram and 80gig hard drive.

    Without having to custom configure the machines we can clearly see which is the better deal dollar wise. This way you wont have to open your machine up and possibly void the warranty (since you asked for links on how to do this I figure you never have done anything like it before, on a laptop or a desktop system.)

    Not to knock Lenovo or anything, but I just don't see why the X200t is that expensive!
     
  8. Smiley

    Smiley Pen Pal - Newbie

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    From a student's perspective, how should I prioritize weight,battery life, and power? This tablet would be my primary computer since I don't have my own desktop with me at college (at least not yet, let me know if this is a good possibility). I want this to last for a while in durability and performance. Would the t2020 fit this or should I go for a different one?
     
  9. Grimnir

    Grimnir Think tank & Designer Senior Member

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    Priority: Battery life, Weight, Power.

    The T2020 has really good battery life (over 6 hours easy), doesn't weigh too much (Fujitsu machines are balanced well so when you are holding them they don't feel as heavy as they are) and you should either have a specialized laptop backpack or separate laptop bag for your machine. This goes for a laptop or Tablet PC period. Always protect your investment no matter how solidly built the machine is. The T2020 also packs a punch.

    It could easily last you 3-4 years. There are people on this forum still using a T4215 and T4210.

    If you want an idea of tablet value over time you should look on ebay for previous models (Lenovo X41t, Fujitsu Lifebook 4215, 4210, Gateway C-140X, Toshiba R400)
    like all technology that becomes outdated the price falls accordingly.

    Give me a moment while I re-review the software you plan to use.
     
  10. Grimnir

    Grimnir Think tank & Designer Senior Member

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    Solidworks requirements page is sort of vague, but I am pretty sure that Solidworks will not run on ANY laptop or Tablet PC that does not have a dedicated graphics card. So nothing that uses integrated graphics.

    For Autodesk the T2020 is more than enough. The x4500 IGP supports OpenGL.

    The 2020 is more than enough to run labview and mathematica.
     
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