which tablet? best time of year to buy?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by sgogeta4, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Ok so I just got into med school and need to buy a laptop between now and July latest, when would be the best time to buy? btw, the stickies are awesome :) The one major factor that I need to look into, in the next month or so is whether or not a 12.1" tablet is ok for me. I used a 12.1" laptop and found it too small but for writing on it, it may be different. I'd prefer bigger but the options are few.

    1. What is your budget? $1500-$2000 or less

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

    3. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?

    * Mainstream ~ 12.1"
    * Large ~ 14" (preferable)


    4. Which country do you intent to purchase from? USA or Canada

    5. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes? No preferences - don't know enough to say

    6. How many hours battery life do you require? 5+ hours - can the one regular battery that comes with the laptop do this much or will I need the extended battery? Is the extended battery better than a modular bay battery?

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

    8. Do you have an OS preference? XP/Vista - is Vista better than 2005 XP Tablet ed?

    9. What software and tasks do you intend to run? OneNote 2007, Office 2007 in general and Firefox - any other tablet software to consider?

    10. Do you intend playing Games. If so please list. None - integrated graphics is just fine


    Screen Specifics

    1. Do you prefer standard or widescreen? Prefer widescreen but standard will do

    2. What resolution do you prefer?

    * 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.

    3. Do you require an Indoor only or Indoor/Outdoor screen option? outdoor since I will be on an island with lots of sun

    4. Do you require a Passive or Active Digitizer? active - seems to be better for my purposes?

    5. Do you require Wacom or Finepoint Technology? don't think so - after reading below, I'm still a bit confused as to whether these things are useful to me... can anyone help me on this?


    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? doesn't matter, as long as it's easily accessed b/c I can upgrade :)

    2. Do you require an Optical Drive? nope

    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)? it would be nice but not necessary


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

    Would like (in order of importance):

    (major)
    abgn wireless LAN
    at least 2 USB 2.0 and 1 Firewire400
    webcam
    eSATA (if not then 1394b - or is that only in Macs?)
    DVI (if not then HDMI, then DisplayPort, then VGA)


    (minor)
    low voltage CPU (not regular or ultra low - difficult to find, I know...)
    LED screen
    fingerprint reader
    ExpressCard/54 (if not then /34)
    Bluetooth 2.1 (if not then 2.0)
    Gigabit LAN


    So far, the Gateway C-141X/XL looks too heavy, the Asus R1E worries me due to less than stellar battery life as well as build quality, and the HPs seem to all use AMD which I feel isn't as good as Intel's current offering (in terms of both CPU and integrated GPU) - though I might be mistaken. I like Dell XT but its out of my budget. I've heard good things about the Lenovo X61t and the Toshiba M700 (is this configurable anywhere? a bit pricey too tho). I don't really know anything about Fujitsu or any other models I haven't mentioned. Recommendations much appreciated! :)
     
  2. Darak

    Darak <This space for rent PST>

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    Do you mean it absolutely has to arrive by the end of July? At the beginning of June, Intel will release the Montevina chipset with X4500 graphics, WIMAX support, and a 1066 FSB. The latest models should be available shortly after that. If you want a timeframe look through the news for the release of Santa Rosa and the release of the updated models after it (Santa Rosa was released May last year). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrino#Montevina_platform_.282008.29
     
  3. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I realize that, I hope it comes out in time. Yes, I absolutely must have it since I start school in the beginning of August and I want some time to get used to it, so July is the deadline.
     
  4. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Current contenders:

    1. Lenovo X61t (4.25 lbs with 8-cell) - $1680 CDN (EPP)
    L7700 (Merom 65nm, C2D LV, 1.8GHz, 4MB, 17W TDP, 0.9V-1.1V, ~$316)
    12.1" XGA (1024x768), Multi-Touch, Outdoor/Indoor, Active Digitizer
    No DVD Writer
    8-Cell Battery (lasts approx 7-8 hours)
    65W A/C Adapter, 90W Slim A/C Adapter
    No Webcam

    2. Toshiba M700 (4.4 lbs with 6-cell) - $1638 USD (Protable One)
    T8300 (Penryn-3M 45nm, C2D, 2.4GHz, 3MB, 35W TDP, 1.0V-1.25V, ~$241)
    12.1" WXGA (1280x800), LED-Backlit, Outdoor/Indoor, Active Digitizer*
    DVD SuperMulti (Swappable in Modular Bay)
    6-Cell Battery (lasts about 4-5 hours), 6-Cell Slice Battery (lasts an additional 4 hours but makes it about 0.94 lbs heavier)
    75W A/C Adapter
    Integrated Webcam

    * Toshiba can have Multi-Touch screen, ie. pen/pressure sensor and touchscreen capability (finger) at a cost of $50 more but I heard it might not be as accurate as just the pen/pressure sensor which I will using mostly so I decided to forego it, but if I did add it, the cost would be almost identical to Lenovo's.

    Common features: 1x1GB DDR2-667 SO-DIMM, 80GB/5400RPM, Intel X3100 Integrated Graphics, Gigabit LAN, WLAN agn, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, Fingerprint Reader, Vista Business, 1 Year Warranty, Extra Stylus, Spill-Proof Keyboard, 1 VGA Port, 3 USB 2.0, 1 FireWire 400, no eSATA or ExpressCard/54 :(

    Other comments: both have well built chassis, keyboard with low flex, good battery life, similar prices. Will upgrade RAM and HD myself and get 1x2GB DDR2-667 SO-DIMM (~$30) and either a 7200RPM (Hitachi 200GB is ~$135) or 32GB SSD - if price permits (current cheapest and fastest SSD is OCZ's new line, ~$500 for 32GB with 120MB/s read and 100MB/s write). Also, will purchase external HD, probably the slim WD Passport and a home 1TB WD storage.
     
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