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2003-02-07, 19:02 #1
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- Dec 2002
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Another Tablet Review (WinXP Tablet)
As I've been using a Compaq Tc1000 for the past month, I thought I'd post some thoughts in addition to those in today's newsletter "Tablet PC in the Real World." Some of the gripes were very surprising, and some of my gripes were not mentioned.
I am an IT consultant for small businesses. Three to four days a week I am on-site, walking around meeting with and assisting clients. Having all my e-mails, documents, spreadsheets and previous notes has been a godsend--you couldn't pry it away from my fingers at this point. Most have wi-fi networks, which makes the web always accessible to look things up. I would not recommend a tablet for everyone at this time. But for those with a similar need and a tolerance of glitches, it could be most worthwhile. On to specifics:
-- I have found this version of WinXP to be a bit buggy. I have been forced to reboot this computer more in the last month than my previous WinXP laptop in the previous year. Still, that's only about four times. Certain tasks generate application faults with regularity--for example adding a word to a dictionary from writing recognition in Journal. I've seen many other users mention this problem in forums and I'm shocked that would be such a general problem. But it is easy to avoid.
-- I was rather shocked at the fuss made regarding difficulties aligning the cursor with the pen for small icons. This has not even been a slight problem in my usage. For the people who try out my tablet, this is often a problem at first, particularly because mine is calibrated for left-handedness. But after a few minutes these guest users don't seem to have any problems either.
-- I thought the complaints about sluggishness were valid, but overstated. At 256MB of ram, I found the TC1000 barely usable, as stated. With 740MB ram ($100 upgrade), I don't have any problems, even though compared to other new notebooks, it is a tad sluggish with journal, outlook, word, excel and a couple of web pages open. But that has not interfered with my usage.
-- I was mystified at the "too hot to handle" description. I'm usually cradling mine for most of the day. Occasionally I do notice the warmth of my TC1000. But have never found it to be the slightest problem. It tends to be warmest when recharging the battery while in use. Perhaps this is a defect on that particular unit?
-- Battery life is better than any other notebook I've used, particularly the smaller ones. I can stretch to a full workday by dimming the screen, and liberal use of standby.
-- This computer comes out of standby faster than any Windows machine I've seen. It's not a PDA's instant on. But if someone comes up to me and starts talking, I have no problem bringing it out of standby in time to take notes or look something up.
-- Never had a problem with smudges or reading the screen.
-- I also find Journal very useful, but agree with the