Toshiba vs HP

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by poetdante, Oct 19, 2005.

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  1. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, it is a bit bulky. You have plenty of time to shop around for a case. They have an awesome selection at eBags.com
     
  2. red_snapper

    red_snapper Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm back and wanted to share my experience. With the help of Brian and Barry, I limited my choices to both the IBM X41T and HP TC4200 based on my needs. Since then, I've had the opportunity to use both the IBM and HP tablets for about a month each. Here's a summary of the major differences between the two:

    Both are very nice computers. None of things I list below are major show-stoppers unless noted, they are just differences between the two to help others discern what is right for them.

    * Size/Weight - while there is only about a half to one pound difference between the two, I can say that the IBM is truly portable and the HP is manageable. Sitting on a couch reading without a desk to support the tablet quickly became a strain with the HP. The X41T is easy to support. Sitting at a desk or carrying in a bag, the difference is no big deal.

    * Speed - HP is great. It should handle all but the most esoteric applications including photoshop, development tools, etc. Because of the limited video capabilities, I wouldn't use it for gaming. While the processor on the IBM is comparable (1.5 v 1.7), it suffers from the really slow startup, shutdown, software installations, and sometimes it gets the Mac-disease slow UI response. Because of the lag, sometimes I'm not sure if it didn't register my actions (click or fingerprint swipe) or if it's just slow. I think this has to do with the slow hard drive and not the processor. Because once it is up and running it doesn't seem to exhibit any problems. I've used photoshop on the IBM and it has performed very well.

    * Screen - Both screens are very nice. The IBM is just nicer. The HP is hard to see outside. Also, the IBM screen is not as smooth so writing feels more natural like you're writing on paper. Resolution is limited on both.

    * Battery Life - The HP seems to have a longer battery life than the IBM, even when comparing the normal HP battery with the extended IBM battery. No scientific test but I feel like the HP can go 6-9 hours and the extend IBM battery tops out at about 6. The regular IBM battery seems to last about 1 to 1.5 hrs.

    * Keyboard - Although I'm not a fan of IBM's keyboard layout (I have to relearn key locations), the quality and feel and usability of the keyboard is better than HP. The HP keys sit lower so the fingers have to travel farther to type. HP has both the trackpad and eraserhead, but I couldn't find how to control scrolling from the eraserhead. IBM just provides the eraserhead and makes it easy to scroll without lifting the hand. I like Toshiba's two button scrolling on my old Portege even better (less stress on the hands)

    * Passwords - while the tablet is a great new way to interface with information technology, dealing with passwords can be a pain. First of all, writing passwords should not be visible, but even if they made it invisible, then it will difficult to see if you entered it in correctly. Secondly, the recognition software tries to convert what you write into real words and very few systems allow us to use real words for passwords. So even if you write your password correctly, you will have to edit it because the system will change it to something else. Thus, the best way to enter passwords is to bring up the onscreen keyboard. With the IBM, you have the fingerprint reader. While it usually takes me 2-3 swipes to get it to work, it's still better than the onscreen keyboard.

    * Pen - I like the HP pen more than IBM. It feels better in my hand and it has an eraser. The IBM pen is pretty flimsy.

    * Tablet side buttons - I like the scroll wheel on the HP better than the scroll buttons on the IBM. With the IBM, I can program the other buttons to what I find useful while in tablet mode such as Backspace.

    * Software - IBM comes with a slew of IBM utilities. Too much for my taste. I spent a fair amount of time removing them from the system. HP comes fairly lean. I ended up adding a few applications from Microsoft's Experience Pack and Education Pack.

    * Networking - I believe I got a defective network component in my HP because I was never able to get it to stay connected in WiFi. It would work for X minutes then drop the connection, then come back up and drop it again. I tried it on various networks and the problem persisted. HP support was not able to fix it. I think this is an isolated problem since I haven't heard any other HP users encountering anything similar. The IBM networking component works flawlessly.

    * Laptop - if you didn't know it was a tablet, the IBM serves as a perfect laptop. The keyboard feel is right and the UI lag problems are not as noticeable in laptop mode for some reason. Because of the keyboard, the HP is only a decent laptop for me.

    In the end, I decided to use the IBM as my main laptop instead of the HP. The networking problem with the HP made the decision very easy. Had it been working it would have been much more difficult choice, but I think I still would have picked the IBM ultimately based on my needs. If IBM can improve the hard disk speed and get it to perform like the HP, it would be the perfect business machine.

    Also, for prospective IBM buyers, I'd forgo the sleeve. It's too bulky and not very useful.
     
  3. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Your requirements are hard to fit. I peronally don't find the R15 bulky. And my experience has shown that you can't go wrong with a toshiba. You might try the M4. But if you want lighter I don't know of any convertible tablets that are light yet as powerful as the M4.
     
  4. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    You couldn't have gone wrong either way, you made a nice choice!
     
  5. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    but the IBM doesn't even have an optical drive!
     
  6. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    True, you have to purchase that seperately. But the X41 is as portable as it gets these days.
     
  7. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I wonder what the next toshiba will be. it will probably be lighter and last longer too.
     
  8. red_snapper

    red_snapper Pen Pal - Newbie

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    In general I'm partial to Toshiba since I've been a Toshiba users for about 10 years now. Over that period of time, I've also used Compaqs, HPs, IBMs and Dells, but Toshiba always had a more refined product. So when I began my search for a Tablet, I considered the Toshiba first. Unlike the other tablets, I was actually able to try it in stores. While I liked the Toshibas, they don't fit my size and portability needs as well as the HP and IBM. I hope they will come out with a comparable product soon.
     
  9. red_snapper

    red_snapper Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've been using portable computers since the Kaypro and I've never had a serious need for an optical drive. I install software over a network and music/movies can be pre-ripped and stored on the hard drive.
     
  10. poetdante

    poetdante Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hey as long as you like toshiba. you need the tablet for work so get whatever is needed. and I think it is cool to get stuff over the network. must take a hell of a time though
     
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