To get a tablet PC or not

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  1. #1
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    Default To get a tablet PC or not

    My current laptop has just about reached its end. The ODD fell out the other day and the case has been cracked by the hinge. As a long time lurker on these forums, I have been lusting after a tablet PC for years. Now I have an opportunity.

    1. What is your budget?
    800 at a push.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Yes.

    3. Do you prefer a Slate, Convertible or Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)?
    A convertible, but whatever I can get.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    12" - 13"

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from?
    UK

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    No.

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    4 + hours

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    In order of priority
    • -Notetaking
    • -Web surfing
    • -Some gaming


    9. Do you have an OS preference?
    Windows.

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)

    • Microsoft Office
    • Opera with lots of tabs open


    10. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    • Trine
    • Minecraft
    • AOE III
    • Other indie games e.g Humble Bundle games
    • BF:BC2 - not a priority by any means


    Screen Specifics

    1. What resolution do you prefer?
    No preference at this price range.

    2. Do you require the screen to be readable in sunlight?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    No preference at this price range.

    3. Do you prefer your display to be glossy or matte?
    Matte, but not too concerned.

    4. Do you require Touch? (without pressure sensitivity) (Which one: resistive or capacitive)
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Yes, but can do without.

    5. Do you require a Pen? (with pressure sensitivity) (Which one: Wacom or N-Trig)
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Wacom.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require?
    I can easily upgrade memory myself and have a Momentus XT drive that I will transfer.
    2. Do you require an Optical (CD/DVD) Drive to be built in?
    No.
    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)?
    No.

    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?

    In the UK it seems to be quite hard to get hold of a convertible and these are the only two I could find in my price range:



    I've also come across a normal Lenovo laptop, the E320 with a Intel Core i5-2430M Processor (2.40GHz, 3MB L3, 1333MHz), AMD Mobility Radeon HD6630 1GB Switchable Graphics and "9 hours" battery life for under 500.

    I'm tempted the Thinkpad instead of a tablet as for the price it seems great. I don't really need the power though.

    As for using a pen, there are some instances as a geography student that I could use one and it does seem like Onenote would utilised better using one.

    With the HP tm2, could I use an eGPU and get acceptable gaming performance?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: To get a tablet PC or not

    Something Core 2 Duo, or better would do fine:

    For Convertibles the HP 2730p, 2740p; Lenovo X200 tablet, X201 tablet (be sure to search for it like 'X200t' and 'X200 tablet'), Fujitsu T4410 & T5010, T730 & T900 would all be good options; of the models listed for those manufacturers the ones before the "," are Core 2 Duo, and the ones after are the Core-i based ones (the core-i ones will be more expensive, though have slightly [5-20%] better performance). You should be able to find those from $300-600 USD *that is the going rate for the in the US, I'm not sure how expensive they are in the UK, you'll have to search ebay.co.uk...

    Stay away from the Tm2 as it has a ULV processor (very low performance, and even if you find one with the [rather weak] ATI GPU, its performance will really not be better than a LV based computer with a plain old Intel GPU, which is exactly what I found); then the facts like awful QC and quality in general come into play (shoddy parts, very high failure rate, awful quality screen which has terrible colors viewing angles light shift and color shift)

    If you are looking at a regular laptop one bit of advise is do not settle for less than full HD screen as anything else will look pretty awful even if it is driven by a beast of a videocard... especially the garbage 1366x768 'HD' screens they have been pushing into 13"+ screens these days (that resolution is awful on that sized screen)

    you just have to figure out what type of input method you want on this next computer and if you would use it or not...



    as for Tablet PC's and games: any Core 2 Duo should be able to handle most current games at low/ lowest settings sorta well (maybe ~30fps is the max for newer games); and Core-i should be able to handle Low-Medium settings at native resolution on current games well enough (probably similar sort of frame rate)... you could build a eGPU for between $100-300USD depending on what parts you may have or would buy, but honestly it is far more hassle than its worth for the flaky performance it will get you (it will only work for bigger games that are graphics demanding, and while it does help significantly [going from unplayable at lowest everything on Crysis to almost acceptable on high-very high] was cool it was a gimick in the end as it isn't portable, it ties your system down, and it tended to not always work... which is why I dropped the video card from my eGPU into my desktop)
    Older games like Minecraft should play with no problem and even some 'current but low-tech' games like Combat Arms will play pretty well even on a Core 2 Duo machine (though it would play smoother on a Core-i system)
    Current: HP 2730p Win 7 & Linux Mint | Toshiba M4 | Motion M1400 renice 120GB SSD | ITRONIX IX-325 | Motion F5 (U7500 update) | Fujitsu P1620 | T4220 w/SXGA+ 160GB Intel X18-M & 1TB HDD in bay | broken TC4400 [for experimentation] | i5 3570K mITX desktop w/GTX460 | ASUS N10j
    Gone but not Forgotten: HP Tm2 | HP Slate 500 | HP touchpad 32GB | 6-core desktop

  3. #3
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    Default Re: To get a tablet PC or not

    Thanks. I see you have experience with the tm2 and eGPUs (and I'm sure I've read your threads several times) so I'll take your word on them.

    I've been trying to find a UK seller for this new laptop. It means not having to worry about import duties (20%) and offers more recourse if things go wrong. Unfortunately the UK seems to be somewhat devoid of tablet PCs. The US ebay for example seems to be flooded, but the UK is nada, zlitch, nothing.

    EDIT: It's not. =(
    Last edited by Tams; 11-26-2011 at 01:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: To get a tablet PC or not

    IDK, but there are one T730 on the UK ebay that is in the UK for 540 euroes; it has a i3 processor, but its a Full Voltage i3 and every bit as good as the i5 and i7 options that came in the Fujitsu's (and certainly better than the Low Voltage processors that usually were in the X201t; and the same as the 2740p's Full Voltage options -except the 2740p uses 1.8" HDD/ SSD's so the options to upgrade HDD/ SSD were more limited than thr Fujitsu's which use regualr 2.5" drives for the main bay or for the modular bay HDD adapter -a word on this, the Fujitsu's are unique that they have a 'modular bay' which is in the computer itself that can house a DVD/ CD drive, a second HDD [in adapter], a second battery, or a 'space saver' [piece of plastic to save weight and keep it structurally strong] which certainly sets them apart from the rest)

    You don't have to go with that one, but it seems to be a decent deal on a very solid performing device
    Current: HP 2730p Win 7 & Linux Mint | Toshiba M4 | Motion M1400 renice 120GB SSD | ITRONIX IX-325 | Motion F5 (U7500 update) | Fujitsu P1620 | T4220 w/SXGA+ 160GB Intel X18-M & 1TB HDD in bay | broken TC4400 [for experimentation] | i5 3570K mITX desktop w/GTX460 | ASUS N10j
    Gone but not Forgotten: HP Tm2 | HP Slate 500 | HP touchpad 32GB | 6-core desktop

  5. #5
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    Default Re: To get a tablet PC or not

    I just found it. It is a great deal and having read a bit more about the Lenovo, will skip it. I've wanted a T901 for a while (modular bay being a prime reason) and the T730 is more than good enough.

    Just need Paypal to verify my card. Grrrrr.

 

 

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