Scribbler SC3100

Discussion in 'Electrovaya' started by orbit, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. orbit

    orbit Pen Pal - Newbie

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    What follows is a summary of my experiences with the Electrovaya Scribbler SC3100 after about ten months of nearly daily use. Quick background: I’m an MIS student at an engineering school, and I fund the bulk of my education by doing tech support. I’m the senior tech at a small IT company that employs 10-15 people, located within view of Clock Tower Place in Maynard, MA. (ring any bells?). The point of that info is that some people may not come across things I mention here. I’ll structure this review the way I experienced the device: the good news followed by the problems…

    The good

    Dimensions: I love slate tablets and I’ve used several, the 12.1” screen on such a thin device is a real treat. Writing on convertible tablets is like writing on a phonebook, the SC3100 feels more like a 2-3 subject notebook.

    Battery: There’s no question that Electrovaya’s 9 hours are severely optimistic, but fact is that the Scribbler does have excellent battery life. My battery has been getting a pounding day after day since I bought it in August; many of my classes are two hours long, sometimes consecutively, and I don’t always find a seat near a power outlet. To this day, my tablet will go 4.5-5 hours on Power saver mode (Vista).

    CPU Performance: Even on Power saver, the CPU is fast enough to satisfy all business needs (as long as your business isn’t rendering or the like…), and I have yet to come across a situation where I’m sitting in class waiting for my tablet to catch up.

    Surface: I’ve seen debates about which is a better writing surface; smooth (HP TC1100, Electrovaya Scribbler) or “paper like” (Averatec C3500). I’ve tried both, and there’s no question: the novelty of having a rough texture and surface resistance wears off quickly. After taking notes in class daily for almost a year, the half hour it takes to adjust to writing on “glass” is absolutely worth it.

    The bad:

    Electrovaya support: Their tech support, in my experience, is non existent. The hard drive in my Scribbler suffered from mechanical failure (actuator arm malfunction) about 8.5 months after I bought the system. I sent several long emails to Electrovaya’s tech support email address with every piece of information imaginable, including my systems serial number, the purchase date, a detailed description of the problem, etc. As far as I can tell, that email went down the black hole of nobody gives a crap. Other emails I have sent them suffered the same fate.

    Electrovaya support: The website has an elaborate sales system; you can find a dozen ways to spend money within thirty seconds. Anything they sell is readily available. The SC3100, however, which has been around for a year, is not even listed under the Support>Drivers section. Forget Vista unless you know how to help yourself – you will receive no assistance what so ever from Electrovaya.

    Assembly: The Scribbler seems to have a habit of collecting dust and other particles in the worst possible area: between the screen and the protective cover. If you want these particles removed, you’ll have to do it yourself (thereby voiding the warranty - which I honestly can’t discourage).

    Conclusion:

    Other companies should use this device as models for their designs. Electrovaya should use other companies as models for their business. Unless Electrovaya undergoes some serious adjustments, this will have been the last of their products I invest in, no matter how good the specifications are.

    -Martin
     

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