What Should I Buy?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by xmaddness, Sep 11, 2008.

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  1. xmaddness

    xmaddness Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello all, hoping for some guidance in a tablet. Firstly here is what it is for (and not for)

    I am a computer Science student in his senior year. This laptop will be used primarily for school, taking notes, and being able to run Virtual Machines for other OS's (VMWare ect). It also will have to be able to support programming aspects as far as compilers and IDE development situations (Visual Studio et al). I am also a web designer and would like to be able to do some basic Photoshopping with this, but it is not completely needed on the tablet.

    I already own a Dell m1730 XPS laptop, which is super fast, has SLI dual video cards etc. You could literally kill a bear with this thing. Its huge and cumbersome to carry around campus on a day to day basis. So if doing my web design on the tablet (ie Photoshop, Dreamweaver, ect) is going to increase the cost by a lot, then I could easily just do it on my XPS laptop.


    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?

    I'd prefer to keep it to the $1000-$2000 range. (I priced the XT at almost $3300)

    2. Do you prefer a Slate, Convertible or Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)?

    Convertable. I will not always be using the tablet side when I am working on programming, or in a console application.

    3. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?

    * Small and light ~ 5" to 8.9"
    * Compact ~ 10"
    * Mainstream ~ 12.1"
    * Large ~ 14"

    The 12.1 seems to be a nice fit. I want it to be portable and lightweight, but still be functional as a laptop as well.


    4. Which country do you intent to purchase from?

    USA

    5. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?

    Not really.

    6. How many hours battery life do you require?

    As much as possible. I will be at school a lot using this, and outlets at school are somewhat of a commodity. I will certainly be looking for a tablet that has the capacity to have a battery replace an optical drive or some other similar system.

    7. What do you intend to use the Tablet for?

    See above.

    8. Do you have an OS preference?

    Probably Vista Ultimate. But whatever the best OS for a tablet is, I will go with.

    9. What software and tasks do you intend to run?

    Word, OneNote, VMWare, Visual Studio, Photoshop, Dreamweaver


    10. Do you intend playing Games. If so please list.

    No, I have my XPS laptop for that. (but I'll still end up seeing what the tablet can do! :)


    Screen Specifics

    1. Do you prefer standard or widescreen?

    Whichever is considered "normal"

    2. What resolution do you prefer?

    * XGA - 1024x768 ~ Large and easy to read text and graphic icons but you fit less on the screen.
    * SXGA - 1400x1050 ~ Small text and graphic icons which require good vision but the gain is a much larger screen.
    * WXGA - 1280x768 ~ Wider viewing angle of XGA but ideal for viewing Spreadsheets and other programs that require desktop space.

    I usually work in higher resolutions than all these on my XPS. In the range of 1900x??? So anything in the higher ranges will work. 1280x1024 or 1280x768 should be there.


    3. Do you require an Indoor only or Indoor/Outdoor screen option?
    Indoor only really. But if its outdoor also, all the better.

    4. Do you require a Passive or Active Digitizer?
    From what I understand, the active will be more precise when writing. If the writing response is sloppy, it will end up bugging me. So whatever is best for that.

    5. Do you require Wacom, Finepoint, or N-Trig Technology?
    Nope.


    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require?

    at least 80GB harddrive, and 2gb ram (or at least upgradable to 2-3gb)

    2. Do you require an Optical Drive?

    It would be nice to have the option, but if need be I can always share CD's or DVD from across the network.

    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)? Yes, a battery. (unless they can do 5-6 hours with only one battery)


    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?

    I think that about covers it.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Senior Member

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    Consider the Fujitsu t4220, Toshiba m700, HP tx2500 or Fujitsu t5010, these are all full core 2 duo processor machines, the t5010 using intel's latest platform, and the speed should be of use w/ your virtual machines. (Also consider topping up on memory). All of these have optical drives and wxga 1280x800 resolutions. The t5010 however is a 13'' machine, but like the t4220 has a modular optical drive which can be switched out for a space saver or battery.

    All the above models w/ the exception of the HP tx2500 have wide viewing angle screens & the option for LED backlight, so are significantly brighter and have much better viewing angle.

    It should be of note however that the Fujitsu tablets are not as sensitive at the edges (re ink) as the other listed tablets including the tx2500 & x61 are)

    On the lower end of the scale you might be able to push the envelope w/ the Lenovo x61 tablet, which features a low voltage processor. there are two options the xga & the sxga, the sxga @ 1400x1050 might be of better use to you, you will need an optical drive either usb or the ultrabase, or as you mentioned you could always do a network setup.

    All the machines mentioned use wacom's active digitzer, the M700 has the option of a dual active/passive digitizers, & the x61 @ xga has the option of dual digitizers as well.

    The Dell Latitude XT features an ultra low voltage processor and can be had for significant discounts at outlet, but i wonder if it has enough power for virtual machines, maybe that is something other users can address.

    The m700,t5010,t4220 & x61 (w/ 8 cell battery) hover in the 4.3 -4.5lb range. To get good battery life on the tx2500 you need the 8 cell battery which pushes the weight to about 5.4lbs
     
  3. Kyle Porter

    Kyle Porter Veteran Moderator Senior Member

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    I would go for the hp tx2500 just for the power avaliable. You get the most bang for your buck.
     
  4. dmlerner

    dmlerner Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm in love with my T2010. I'm a physics student and I also use my machine to program (Java), and for you basic office/multimedia stuff, and light gaming. Since you have a gaming rig, definitely check it out and anything with an ULV processor. You don't feel the lack of performance since you won't be playing games, but you majorly feel what it does for battery life: I get five hours if I'm wifi on screen full brightness, inking, or more like eight for lighter usage. And 3.5 lbs, beautifully small. No optical drive but I find that to be a nonissue with flash being what it is. Get 4gb ram and install yourself, ditto for hd.
     
  5. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Senior Member

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    he won't be playing games, but he will be running virtual machines, a full processor might be better suited for this.
     
  6. xmaddness

    xmaddness Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you for the prompt reply Drtigerlilly!

    I have pretty much decided to go with the Toshiba m700 with the T9500 2.6gh duo in it. I have used a toshiba laptop in the past (Satelite s255) and it has lasted over 6 years, and is still very fast. I did however pretty much fry its GPU by doing rather large 3d studio max animation renders on it. It still works, but the gpu overheats very easily now. Its mostly my fault for using it to do 3dsmax renders though.

    I will also be getting the Toshiba Slice Expansion 6-Cell Li-Ion Battery Pack, which the website claims:

    which is exactly what I will need to get through all my classes.

    Thank you all for your advice, it has been greatly appreciated.

    :)

    xmaddness
     
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