Yet Another Humble Request For Guidance

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by RMRIBA, Jul 2, 2006.

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  1. RMRIBA

    RMRIBA Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello gurus- yes, it's anoter tablet newbie seeking wisdom. I do structural engineering in my home office, thus my laptop is my entire office, financial center, etc. I would like to seek advice as to the best replacement for my Gateway M350 (2GHz, 2BG RAM, 40 (maxed out already) HD. Unlike many prospective users who are seeking mostly a great way to scribble notes at meetings or classes to impress potential mates, I do a lot of heavy number crunching (sp-sheet, MathCAD, SPSS/Systat, matrix analysis, AutoCAD, Excel/Acces/Word field exchange -100s in a single doc -, no gaming), and like (have to?) keep many open programs at once. Besides, I'm really looking for a way to keep my abundant hand-calcs in a media other than paper (at this point my engineering archive is quickly becoming a fire hazard), and fax/email them immediately from the computer, without the time/actions needed with a regular fax/scanner. I do 99% of my computer time at the office, almost no field use (although it would be cool). I already tried the Logitech pen system, which was nice, being the poorman's tablet pc, but would like to have something more integrated with everything else.

    Having examined the plethora of features (screen resolution/size, new duo processors, form factor (?), Vista capable/ready/, 64 bit, I am utterly confused and would like recommendations on what features are really musts (lots of power/speed, etc.) and which others are "would be nice". I would like to have a second monitor (maybe the problem is organizing clutter, eh?), wireless, bluetooth, speed, capacity, reliability, etc. etc. I only want to have a system that 3 months from now is not going to be labeled as obsolete (Core Duo 2 coming? etc.). Budget may not be so much of a problem, so, I please ask for your advice here on what things you'd indicate. TIA
     
  2. QuachMD

    QuachMD Pen Pal - Newbie

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    You might try the Toshiba M400. I recently custom ordered one with 2.16Ghz Duo Core processor, 2GB RAM, 120GB RAM, 12.1in screen. It came out to about $3000, but it was quick like you wouldn't believe, and multi-tasked effortlessly, while still retaining a fairly small size.

    If price is no issue, that might be a good choice. Personally, the lack of an integrated graphics card was too much for me, and I had to return it. But if you're not interested in running games, it might be for you.
     
  3. P8RSON

    P8RSON Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    To do the tasks you are asking you don't necessarily need to worry about core duo 2, any of todays tablets would fit the bill nicely ~ although supremely a core duo would help in keeping the OS running whilst your programs are being run and compiled.
    I just wouldn't say you must look at the core duo 2 (when released).

    All you need is a tablet with lots of RAM (1GB minimum) and a decent processor (1.83GHz would be enough). :)
     
  4. butanamine

    butanamine Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Graphics card doesn't matter (Since you're not doing any 3D work)

    Definitely get Core Duo (Since you're doing CPU intensive work), but as P8RSON said, not Core Duo 2.

    Screen res is a personal preference. The larger it is, the more you can fit on screen. This basically works because, on the same monitor size, with a higher resolution, everything appears smaller. Since you are used to working with a laptop, I think you'll be happy with XGA.

    Form factor, ie size/weight, is basically a matter of how you'll use it. Since you're in the office the whole time, you can go for the largest bulkiest one around without worry.

    Vista capable/ready probably won't make a difference for you, unless you're really hyped about getting the latest software all the time. Do you plan on upgrading to Windows Vista as soon as it comes out?

    Any new release tablet pc you buy now (Toshiba M400, Toshiba M7, Toshiba T4210... others?) will not be obsolete in 3 months. They'll last at least a year.
     
  5. rob1116

    rob1116 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    If you buy a Core Duo with plenty of RAM (for a multi-tasker like you, go for 2gig... or even 4 if you really don't care about cost), with a DVD burner, 80 or 100gig harddrive (7200rpm isn't critical, 5400 is fine for a laptop)... even with the integrated Intel GMA950 graphics (this is the minimum you will find in any Core Duo tablet), you are going to be set for several years (for everything except games). All other options are pretty standard across the manufacturers (wireless is always built in now, and bluetooth is usually too, or it is a super-cheap option to have it built in).

    You will be able to install and run Vista just fine (it has some graphic-intense options that can be disabled to improve performance, but you won't even have to do that if you don't want). Other than that, any system with these specs or greater isn't going to leave you not being able to run any software in the next few years I'm sure.

    Really, the only consumer software that renders system relatively 'obsolete' is the latest games. If you aren't playing any games, buy a new tablet with confidence.
     
  6. RMRIBA

    RMRIBA Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks all for your thoughts, it really takes a load off my shoulders. Seems just from the replies that Toshiba is most everyone's fav. If you don't mind, could you provide straight recommendations or otherwise (like I saw with Gateway) steer clear warnings? Also, I've seen from other postings that (1) "pennabled" system seems to be pretty important for many, along with the magic word WACOM (would I want to have a better stylus than many offer, i.e., w/ eraser, ergonomic, etc.); (2) either slate or convertible types, and (3) TECH SUPPORT
     
  7. P8RSON

    P8RSON Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    1. Most tablets are Wacom enabled. As such, providing you get one that is, in addition to your default stylus, you can purchase a Wacom pen to use with the tablet.
    Just look out for the 'Wacom Sticker' on the tablet.

    2. Only you will know what you prefer ~ slate/convertible.

    3. Fujitsu Siemens :)
     
  8. RMRIBA

    RMRIBA Pen Pal - Newbie

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    So, Rob , butanamine, then if I only do some 3D CAD like AutoCAD, SolidWorks, etc. (i.e., non-dynamic - read game - graphics it doesn't really affect it if I get the R-20 customized to CoreDuo2Ghz, 2GB RAM? It's really alot cheaper and if the only thing that the M400 offers (portability) and M7 offers (?) woulkd it be a good fit? Does Fujitsu - in your learned opinion have an "equivalent" less costly powerhouser tablet? TIA
     
  9. P8RSON

    P8RSON Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Seeing as you only mention rob & butanamine you obviously have dismissed my two inputs here.

    As such it's not much point in me replying to your last post and saying:-
    "Yes, Fujitsu do have a less cosly powerhorse tablet. If you don't need a core duo system but want a keyboard and not a slate, there is the T4010/20"

    .....but I needn't have written that, seeing as it's only rob & butanamine that are replying.:p
     
  10. RMRIBA

    RMRIBA Pen Pal - Newbie

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    My apologies, P8rson. It's only that for 2.5 weeks my toddler has decided that life is much more worth living if he wakes (and everyone else) at 4 AM, and my 4 month old cannot sleep until 1/2 night (asthma), either. I can't think straight anymore. Sorry, it's off topic but I had to get it off my chest.

    And yes, I am very fortunate to have found this forum, with the many many posters, and especially those 2 I mentioned and QuachMD and you, to - as I said - lift a load off my shoulders and have one less thing to worry about (my wife calls you and many other forum /Usenet dwellers I trust and rely on for many crucial decisions in my life my "imaginary friends"). :)

    Unless anyone has a problem with CAD Solidworks, 3D or any other fancy thing you can think of on the customized R20 w/ crappy graphics (remember, no games for this engineer), it's going to be R20 for the next few years.

    Going once, going twice...
     
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