New Gateway 14" Widescreen Tablet on Sale at Best Buy Today

Discussion in 'News Headlines' started by Brian, Mar 20, 2006.

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  1. Larathiel

    Larathiel Pen Pal - Newbie

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    1st post here so please be patient...

    A couple weeks ago, I did some research on various models of tablet PCs looking for a tool that would aid me in both note-taking (for some personal and professional creative projects I'm involved in) and also for the sake of improving my artistic abilities - specifically sketching and drawing. You see, outside of D&D (For those about to roll, we salute You!), pen n' paper just never did it for me.

    For one thing, I can't stand having to erase and the redraw things only to have paper get smudged up or struggle trying to draw with a mouse. In both instances, frustration with the technical limitations of the media ends up mudering my creativity as I'm forced to switch to problem-solving mode...

    In addition, I have many boxes full of dozens of notebooks going back about 17 years containing sketches, design concepts and notes. There's simply no way to easily access all of that... STUFF... without spending hours in the shed, attic, basement and closets digging out old journals on each occassion. Even if I can find the energy to begin cleaning the Augean stables and I get everything scanned into my PC, I shouldn't keep relying upon old ways that are less-than-ideal and which will only fill up further composition books that will get lost in the shuffle, etc.

    All "fluff" aside, from a "crunch" standpoint the same tablet that's been discussed in this thread *seemed* to address all of my needs:
    • Wacom's site listed Gateway as a Penabled partner
    • It's widescreen
    • There's a very nice array of button controls mounted alongside the tablet screen
    • The configuration options on GW's website were compelling
    • The ergonomically designed battery/handgrip was a great idea
    • It's built like a brick ****-house
    • The price wasn't outrageous even with a Gig of RAM and the ATI video
      and...
    • The 7-in-1 card reader that supports the XD card in my Fuji camera was the deciding factor — a *must have* for the work I'll be performing and extremely handy when running D&D adventures (out of dry-erase mats? take a photo of the mat, erase it to draw a battle then reload the photo on the tablet when the players revisit that locale).

    On the downside, the sucker is seriously heavy (see brick ****-house), but since I'm mostly resting it on my desk and not holding it in my arms or on my lap that's not a huge issue for me (yet). I don't think it has any Blue-Tooth built in either but then I don't own any BT devices so I'm not too concerned (though depending on the dictation features I may want to add a headset at some point).

    With all that said, I had a couple surprises when the thing arrived one week ago...

    Upon installing the Wacom Penabled driver, I'm told that no compatible tablet was found!

    I take a look in DeviceManager->HumanInterfaceDevices and see FinePoint Innovations listed.

    So I Google FinePoint Innovations and my heart starts to sink when I cannot find the words "Penabled" or "Wacom" anywhere on their site.

    After a 35 minute chat session with Gateway, I was no closer to an answer as to whether-or-not I can use Penabled technology. The very polite tech did offer to send a replacement stylus and said they have some updated drivers in the works that are not yet available on their site but he had no info on whether a Wacom pen could be used to gain the benefits of pressure-sensitivity in apps like Photoshop.

    After doing some more searches, I came across this site again. I'd read a few reviews here while I was researching but either never saw the scant few comments about FinePoint vs. Wacom or didn't understand the implications. As far as I could tell from Wacom's website after all, Gateway was a Penabled OEM so any hardware they used (even if from a non-Wacom supplier) must adhere to the same standards right?

    Wrong

    While I'm glad to read from HTP and ayue that the tablet IS pressure-sensitive (I confirmed that by loading up Ink Art), Ink Art is a far cry from a little program that I've come to rely upon called Photoshop. :(

    Hopefully whatever drivers GW is engineering will enable such support in Adobe's apps. I've already written a letter/complaint to Wacom because of their *highly* misleading OEM page. It was my starting point for investigating the offerings for every tablet manufacturer I researched.

    In the meanwhile, I'd like to know if in the month and a half since this thread was last touched if anyone else has additional feedback on the CX200X (under System Properties mine says M280 for some odd reason) whether it's positive or negative.

    For instance, has anyone else experienced severe pointer lag when drawing in Photoshop CS? If I draw about ten 1" circle in Photoshop in about 3 seconds, I can sit there and watch as the cursor keeps spinning around for a few seconds after I've stopped as it plays catch-up. I'd think a Pentium M 740 (1.7e GHz) would be able to keep up a bit better. Is there a way to give greater system priority to accurately capturing such input in certain apps?

    Regards,

    —Larathiel
     
  2. spootwo

    spootwo Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I a gateway cx2610, and the first one had a pressure problem. I had to puch really hard to get ink on the display. I returned the device after about 10 days.
    My second, replacement, gateway had great pressure sensitivity, except the cursor would hover in 2 places at once. Occasionally, it would draw unerasable lines in my journal.
    As a programmer and a writer I was very distraught. I returned the gateway, and Future Shop had no replacements, and neither did Best Buy.
    My opinion is that quality testing was not properly done on the 2610 model, my box listed rev 1.0 on the side.
    Currently Best Buy is advertising a cx2615, which I believe is a revision, and will probably feature a better pen and possibly digitizer.
     
  3. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    I wouldn't be certain that the 2615 is a revision, it may just be a Best Buy specific model #. Large retailers get manufacturers to create specific model numbers just for them. That way they can advertise that they'll match anyone's price on that model which luckily for that retailer no one else has. More then likely it is just a rebranded 2610, the same was done for a few iPaq models, and the RCA DVD player I own.
     
  4. surf

    surf Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Maybe that's their way of advertising. It may not be the same price later on.
     
  5. dang2000

    dang2000 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Maybe it's on sale and it's only for a limitted time.
     
  6. tabletnewbie

    tabletnewbie Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I went to my local Best Buy last week to take a look at the Gateway. In fact, I went there twice on successive nights. They had a model on display with about 10 keys missing and of course it was in "lockdown" as are all their notebooks. The sales rep didn't know much about it but when he heard that I'm considering it for my business he suggested that I speak to one of his associates from the business dept. I waited for 15 minutes ( I was told that he'd be with me in 2 minutes) and then I left. I called the next day and was told that they have a new and improved Gateway model with 1 GB of memory and on sale at $1,249 instead of the $1,399 for the model with 512 Gig. I asked if I could actually touch and pick up the tablet and maybe even see how the pen writes on it and I was told that since they don't have one of the new ones out on the floor, the rep would take it out of the box for me and let me play with it. When I got there in the eveing, I was told that no one from the business department was in tonight and then I was told that no one is ever there in the eveings. Funny, I said, I was here last night and a business specialist was there ( even though I couldn't wait long enough to actually see him/her). The rep. I saw on the second night was trying to help but he was ineffectual. I told him about their promise to take a working model out of the box and he hemmed and hawed and said that he'll have to get approval from a manager. I told him to do it. He came back a few minutes later and told me that the manager will not allow to him to take it out of the box unless I am buying it. I left. I decided to try one more time and called the next day and the young lady in the business dept. said that she'll take it out of the box for me. When I told her what the manager said to the regular sales rep. the day before she said, "well, if the manager said that we can't take it out of the box than that overrides anything that I tell you". I politely told her that one of their distinct advantages over buying things over the web is that they can actually show the consumer the equipment and having a broken, unusable model on the floor not only defeats that purpose, but it shows the product (and ultimately the manufacturer of the equipment in a bad light). She had no real response. She suggested that I call her later that day. She was going to check with the manager (I guess to see if he'd change his mind) but I never did so. By that time I figured that if the Best Buy people are this incompetent at the beginning of the sales process (when presumably they should be at their best and eager to please), imagine how bad they'll be later on, say, when I need some service? In any event, I've since decided that the Gateway tablet is just too heavy and I'm now thinking seriously about the Fujitsu T4020. I like what I've heard about the IBM/Lenovo T41 but I want an internal optical drive. That's why I'm also not going with the HP. OK, so this wasn't really much information on the Gateway tablet as much as it was a diatribe against Best Buy. I figure that if you're considering the Gateway (a really nice tablet except that it's way-too-heavy-for-me) you should be forewarned about Best Buy.
     
  7. Larathiel

    Larathiel Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well didn't think I'd have any more to add at this point but something truly terrible just happened...

    I was on a conference call from home for a 3D contract I'm working on and was taking notes in One Note on the tablet (which I've grown quite fond of other than its weight). I had to get something from another room so I set the stylus down on the right-side of the ledge atop the battery. When I came trotting back, I reached to pickup the stylus and ZAP!

    The screen went black and the system stopped responding so (trying not to freak out on the phone) I held the power button for 10 secs to turn it off. After the reboot, the screen was tracking the stylus on the screen, but I could neither click nor right-click on anything. Also the wireless networking was no longer responding and the dialog to configure voice recognition came up and then failed "unable to initialize microphone". (The place where I'd touched the tablet is in the same corner as the microphone, the 4 screen-side keys and the 5-way button.)

    Still on the call (last conference before I have to make a trip overseas for the project for which I *bought* the tablet), I had to finish my notes w/ pen and paper before doing anymore trouble-shooting.

    After the call, I find that the only portion of the screen that even occassionally responded to a click was the one diagonally opposite where I touched: under the Start button. (Similarly when I rotate the screen I can only intermitently click on the maximize/restore/close buttons.) There are no odd events listed in the Event Logs at all.

    So I took the system down again, sheathed the stylus for a few minutes, removed the battery and unplugged the system hoping that would do something. Nada.

    So I spoke with Gateway who are having me return it for service — it's just 2 days shy of when I first placed the order. :(

    I'll post again with the results of this tribulation. God willing this will all work out OK...
     
  8. InitialDriveGTR

    InitialDriveGTR Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I got my CX2608, and even on the first time I had turned it on, the pen and tablet functionalities did not work at all. I have been doing alot of reasearch on the pen, and have found a copuple internal photos of the pen. (It's FCC ID is TNA-MPP800) It looks like it uses a coil around the nib or tip of the pin in order to judge the sensitivity. It has a AAAA battery, and has it's own class B transmitter. I have yet to find anything on the receiver, but if and when I do, I will report it. On another note, gateway is sending me a new pen too. But honestly, shouldn't the pen have worked in the first place BEFORE shipping the PC?!?!
     
  9. InitialDriveGTR

    InitialDriveGTR Pen Pal - Newbie

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    By the way, another difference between the M4 and the gateway is thae HD. Same sizes, but different speeds. The CX series uses SATA (faster) where as the M4 uses IDE (slower generaly).
     
  10. 802.11

    802.11 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    First post here, I searched google looking for a tablet pc forum.

    Anyway, I purchased the CX2618 Gateway tablet model from Best Buy last month and I love it. The only difference from the specs is my tablet came with 1024 RAM instead of 512 RAM. I'm a student and I love using it in my Network Admin major.
     
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