Tablet - Yes or No ?????

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by poetdante, Dec 10, 2005.

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  1. Casse

    Casse Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I am in the market to purchase either a notebook or tablet as I need to be able to travel and my desktop is about ready to crash.

    I was in Bestbuy last weekend and noticed the Gateway tablet on display. It was a convertible model that worked as a tablet or notebook. I was also told by an HP rep that they have a great one available as well.

    So my question is:
    Why purchase a tablet over a notebook?

    I'm a total newbie at portable computing so please help :eek:
     
  2. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    Depends on your need. A tablet is still a notebook (at least the convertible types), but the cost is generally more for a similarly equipped tablet. Further there are at present no tablets which compete with the highest end notebooks.

    If your primary purpose will be to type up documents and surf the web I see little benefit in a tablet, particularly when cost is factored in. However, I use my tablet in meetings quite a bit where I have created the document previously in Word, PowerPoint, etc. and need to mark up changes while in the meeting. A tablet can't be beat. There is no way I could keep up with the pace of the meeting and capture all of the information I need with the structure a keyboard forces on you. For example I can circle a paragraph in red that needs to be rewritten in 2 seconds. Finding the bottom of the paragraph and keying in something like "rewrite paragraph" would take much longer. Further, if you need to create any quick graphs or drawings the pen is mightier then the trackpad.

    It all comes down to need. I will tell you that I was somewhat skeptical that I would actually find much benefit in the tablet. Now however I am a total convert.
     
  3. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I would say get a toshiba. much better than the competition in my opinion. also has the best screen. besides, the gateway weighs about 7lb
     
  4. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The top level here is tablet or no tablet. I think it depends on how you'll use it, as Daring noted. If you're a student, doctor or other who like to take a lot of handwritten notes, you'll dig it.
     
  5. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    especially a convertable if you are a student since it allows you to type as well
     
  6. Casse

    Casse Pen Pal - Newbie

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    A little background:

    I work fulltime as an accountant and I am also a fulltime online graduate student (MBA program).

    What I liked about the tablet was the possibility of being able to sit on the couch with the tablet held like a book so that I can read lectures posted by my instructors and make notes right on the page.

    This was to be just a 2nd portable unit but now that my desktop crashed whatever I purchase will become my one and only computer.

    Hmmm, now I'm not sure what to do. Will a tablet have enough computing power to be a one and only?

    Or should I go with either a high end notebook or high end desktop & low end notebook?

    Any suggestions????
     
  7. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    my r15 is my desktop replacement. as for reading like a book you will need a very thin and light slate tablet for that. motion computing if that is what you need. convertibles can be a little more cumbersome but still worth it.
     
  8. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    I think a tablet would suit you fine, annotation is a strong suit for a tablet. That having been said, you're still going to want a decent keyboard to write with. Based on your needs I really don't see anything that any recent tablet shouldn't be able to do. Tablets rarely have dedicated graphics chipset, however unless you're playing some serious graphic intensive games or doing 3D rendering you probably don't need it.

    It is unclear if this will be your work and personal machine or just your personal machine. Since your classes are online, portability/battery life may not be an issue. If you are willing to live with rather poor battery life and a fairly heavy machine the Toshiba M4 is a powerhouse of a machine. Lighter convertibles are the IBM X41, Fujitsu T4020, & HP TC4200. Only the T4020 comes with an internal CD/DVD drive, the other two use external drives, however they are slightly lighter. I will tell you that if you plan on using the tablet for extended periods in tablet mode it is my opinion that light is very important. I am frequently in long meetings using the tablet. My HP is one of the lighter machines in the lineup (the X41 holds the crown in that category) and after a long time holding it I am more then ready to set it down.

    You have to decide how your going to use it. I like light and long battery, others want power at any cost. Also, you didn't mention your target price. Frankly if cash is limited a notebook may make better sense, you'll pay a nice little premium for the tablet functionality. If you really like the tablet idea and would like to take the leap but cash is still an issue consider looking at refurbished laptops. Factory refurbs are like new and can save you $300+ off the bottom line.
     
  9. kingjimmi

    kingjimmi Pen Pal - Newbie

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    One of the major considerations for a tablet pc is cost. It seems as if you've already addressed your intended "killer app" for a tablet pc: annotation. Now you need to ask yourself is it worth the premium over a regular notebook.

    What is your budget? If you want only one and only one computer to do everything for you you're going to have to spend north of two grand. Do some shopping around, I think you'll find that the tablet pc form factor costs about $300-500 more than a comparably equipped laptop(and sometimes more).

    My personal opinion is that it would be silly to try and buy a "desktop replacement" tablet pc. Currently the most powerful tablets you can buy cost an arm and a leg and don't provide any reasonable high end graphics solution, tops out at the x600 in the Gateway. The CPU option usually tops out at 2.13GHz, which is one level below the 2.26GHz CPU offered in top laptops.

    Where tablets shine though are in the slate form factor or the ultraportable convertibles. When looking at laptops you already pay a premium for the ultraportable form factor(one notable exception being the Averatec). So, the premium of the tablet pc version is a lot closer performance and price-wise to their regular laptop cousins. Mostly all the ultraportables out there tablet or regular use an integrated graphics solution, so there is not much differentiation between the two.

    So, if you want a tablet pc. My opinion is get a desktop for all of your high end PC needs like gaming and then get a highly portable tablet for all of your notetaking and annotating. Just be prepared for the sticker shock.
     
  10. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    Quick note, as kingjimmi mentioned Averatec is a price leader. I would however caution you. I owned a C3500 tablet from Averatec for a short period and had no end of problems to the point where the tablet was useless. Their customer service was pretty poor too. My brother owns a Averatec 1000 series laptop which he got for a steal. Still, unless you keep the screen at full brightness it causes a hum in the speaker and the trackpad behaves erratically. If you're willing to put up with some issues, the price can't be beat.
     
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