Need help deciding

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by poetdante, Feb 3, 2006.

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  1. Hoefer

    Hoefer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I would like to get a tablet PC as soon as possible; however, given the high prices I do not want to buy more than I need.

    I am a real estate appraiser and go out and see industrial and commercial properties twice a week (45 minutes per inspection); which is what I would use the tablet functionality for mainly. I am sure i will find other uses for the tablet mode, but ultra-mobility is not a concern for me. Otherwise, I primarily use Microsoft Office applications (word, excel, outlook) and the internet for research/recreation. I will not be using anything that is very CPU/graphics intensive (no video games).

    So it seems that all of the tablets (fujitsu, toshiba, HP, etc.) all meet and exceed my computing needs.

    The 14 inch screen on the toshibas is nice, but I held a R10 at best buy and I cannot see myself walking and writing around a property with it; it is large and heavy. Size and weight is not a deal killer though since I don't need to be ultra-mobile and I am a big guy and inspections don't last long. At my home office, I will mainly be docking the computer while typing appraisals. The 12 inch screen I saw (on an acer i believe) seemed smaller than I wanted, but workable (maybe go for the m200 for the higher resolution?). (Should I wait for the new ASUS 13 inch screen?)

    Also, I am not to concerned about having an internal optical drive, external is fine. I would also like to hear your thoughts on whether or not accidental damage protection is necessary. The cost of the accidental damage protection is the only issue with the fujitsu 4000. The 3 year damage protection and warranty extension is over $500, much more expensive than Toshiba and HP's warranties.

    Overall, I am leaning towards an HP tc4200, refurbished from HP.

    Thanks in advance for your replies and for all the good information I have learned on this site.
     
  2. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    the toshiba r15 is perfect for you because it is relaitvly lighter than the gateway, which also sells in places like compusa, and is also less cumbersom. You can get it for $1300 with a 1.6ghtz processor, 60gbHDD, and 512mb of ram. You say you need this quickly but place an order for BStrong Screen protectors imediatly as well as a keyboard protector and possibly get your company to pay for a Sprint or some cell phone company interenet service so you can have the internet anywhere. If you get the r15, you can get your tablet NOW. and go on to work. I only recomend the accessories because you will be working with your tablet in the field.
     
  3. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The TC4200 is a best bet. It is fairly light AND the display performs decently in mixed light scenarios. Finally, it is sturdy so it will make a good sidekick to come up into the attic or up on the roof with you!
     
  4. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    The TC4200 also has a spillproof keyboard built in. Not that it will protect it from dust/dirt getting under the keyboard but does afford some protection. It is also quite a bit lighter then the R10 you mention (6.2 lbs for R10, 4.5 for TC4200) and has very good battery life. The Fujitsu is about the same weight and the IBM is about 1 lb lighter. Obviously as with anything price is likely the major issue.

    I purchased a refurb TC4200 and did buy the accidental coverage. More a matter of personal taste. However given the cost and how you plan to use the tablet it may not be a bad idea. I believe the HP 3 year accidental coverage is around $170.

    You also state that the 12" screen that you looked at may be too small and that perhaps increasing the resolution would help. Generally speaking, increasing the resolution will not help readability as resolution increases pixel size decreases. This generally results in smaller icons/fonts. If you find it difficult to read on a 12" screen your best option may be to move to a 14". You can test this at any computer store. Just find a 12" notebook and a 14" set them both to the same resolution and give it a whirl. Make sure both notebooks have the same default resoultion or one may look fuzzy (if the default is 1280x960 and you set it to 1024x768 it will try it's best to make it look good, but LCDs aren't like monitors they have a fixed number of pixels.)
     
  5. howsbentley

    howsbentley Pen Pal - Newbie

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    If you like the Fujitsu, in lieu of the factory damage warranty, you may want to consider an Otterbox. I have one on my ST5020D and it is quite nice to have the extra protection when transporting and when working in the field.

    When I'm in the office and want a keyboard, I remove the case, place the slate in an easel-type portable stand, plug in a USB keyboard and mouse, and go to it!

    http://www.otterbox.com/products/pc_cases/tablet/

    You can buy the Otterbox from Fujitsu for $50 less than the Otterbox company.

    AT
     
  6. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    On the otterbox, we haven't played with them for tablet, but recently reviewed one for a PDA, they're pretty sweet.
     
  7. Hoefer

    Hoefer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for all the replies. I will go to a place called The Notebook Store which is a great store around here (SoCal) that Jeff Levey and Leo Laport recommend going to. They allow you to customize your laptop right there like you ordered it built online.

    I will be looking at the R15 and HP tc4200. If I go for the R15, should I consider getting a 5400rpm hard drive? Also, anyone have any recommendations on a field case? There is a Fieldmate on the toshiba site which looks like it will work.

    Also, I would like the laptop to be bluetooth enabled. Toshiba says this is available via a separate purchase, is that the same as having it installed internally on the build date?

    I have a dell 8600 with a 1.4gig cpu and 5400rpm hard drive. I don't want my experience to be slower than what I have currently. I will also get about a gig or ram.

    Thanks again for the responses.
     
  8. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    well good luck with the r15. get a keyboard protector to block out dirt (you can get it at toshiba's website) and a screen protector from StrongEngineering (their BStron protectors)
     
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