Thinking about a Tablet, not sure

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GadgetMoogle, Feb 24, 2006.

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  1. JonMiller

    JonMiller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    So I have been wanting a new laptop for a long time (my current one is ~9 years old, and I haven't used for a couple of years).

    The main reasons I want a laptop is for work/internet/notes.

    My handwriting is bad, and I am disorganized, and it would be cool if everything was digital. Which is the reason why I started looking into a tablet.

    I delayed my purchase last semester because of finance worries.

    But last semester I was looking mostly at the X41 Tablet.

    I have seen some concerns about the new IBMs (With the new company), so am not as hugely pro them as I use to be.

    I also no longer have a fast connection at home (or any internet access at all), and since I use to spend a lot of time playing video games, I would still like to do that. I also like having a personal computer with net access for email and such.

    As such, getting a laptop is once more a high priority, and I am still internested in a tablet. And from what I have seen, the tablet functionality is even better in a slate (also, I like durability, and the slates seems better in that regard since no hinge).

    The main game I would want to play is EVE, as spending time learning is profitable but can't be done forever. I also would like to play some Civ4. I use to play a lot CS:S, but I don't really need to play that now.

    At work I do a decent ammount of writing down of notes and of programming. The computing environment is Linux though (is there any tablet functionality in Linux?). Programming would be done faster with a keyboard, and there are plenty of machines for that, it is the note writing that I would like a tablet for (and the fact that it is all digital with the tablet, which I prefer for organization).

    I have been thinking about the M4, but it loses a lot of note taking functionality (as I don't think I would want to carry ~7 lbs everywhere).

    So some basic questions, how would the different games work on different tablets/slates? Are there any Linux freindly tablets? How would the tablets work with Vista?

    I also use to, and will again, work quite a bit with equations. I am wondering what math software is available for tablets.. and how good it is (recognizing would be crucial, but turning that in to tex would be nice as would some simplification/solving functionality).

    I really like the idea (for the tablet buyer in me) of a slate like the LS800 or ME1600 (I think I have the names right). But I am pretty sure those wouldn't take care of any of my other laptop needs.

    Jon Miller
     
  2. JonMiller

    JonMiller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The perfect option, of getting something like the LS800 for tablet functionality, and another laptop for other stuff.. is sadly not within my price range.

    JM
     
  3. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I got an r15
     
  4. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    Much as I would love to encourage you to buy a tablet, if you are going to be doing a lot of Linux, this may not be your best option. It will depend on how much time you see yourself in Linux.

    You could set up dual boot, but then you lose a lot of the functionality of the tablet. You would have to boot into XP to use any tablet functionality. Me and another guy here tried to get Linux running with some tablet functionality for a couple of weeks before just giving up. There may be drivers if the tablets get popular, but there just isn't enough demand now, so unless you're the kind of guy to write that stuff, forget it.

    The other option is to boot into the Tablet os and run Linux in a VM. This works OK, but limits you to pretty lame hardware emulation, requires a heap of memory, and is SLOW.

    As far as gaming discrete video will be better then integrated. Regrettably, most of the machines that have decent discrete video also are heavy. I can't comment on the games you mention as I haven't used either.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help. If you have any specific questions, please post.
     
  5. JonMiller

    JonMiller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Honestly, in Linux I generally just ssh to another computer, and then use emacs to program. So that might not be an issue (I have used Cygwin, which is slow...).

    The Civ4 might work on a 915 (emphasis on might).

    My personal oppinion is that ~6 pound laptops are for moving between desks, and I am sort of hoping that ~3 pound ones will be sort of mobile. For me to really get full use of the tablet functionality I would need something mobile.

    Jon Miller
     
  6. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    The other thing to keep in mind is desired battery life. LiOn batteries are heavy so lighter laptops tend to have less battery life. If long battery life is important to you some sacrifices may need to be made.
     
  7. JonMiller

    JonMiller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well, I think I would prefer longer battery life. Like measured in hours, not minutes (or even seconds in the case of my Dad's old one).

    So something (much?) greater then 3 hours of notetaking/whatever use would be prefered.

    Jon Miller
     
  8. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    It is likely that the P1510, T4020, or TC4200 will give you about 3 hours of notetaking life. My take on it is that you'd be just about empty on the P1510, about 20-30% remaining on the T4020, and about 30-50% remaining on the TC4200. That's for notetaking. The "whatever" times will vary wildly. If you're using the tablet to do intense calculations with heavy disk access, battery time may be as low as 1-2 hours.
     
  9. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    as for the math software there is some program...forgot the name. it is about 100. MathX I think
     
  10. JonMiller

    JonMiller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    How about the M4, X41, or one of the Mobile? (LS800 or LE1600 ?)

    Is there one I am forgetting?

    Jon Miller
     
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