Motion Computing has always produced great Tablet PCs of the highest quality and the recent announcement of the newest model of the Motion line was met with excitement given the specifications of the Tablet. The LE1600 is quite simply a sweet Tablet PC and the good folks at Motion have been kind enough to provide me with some in-depth information to share with you readers.
The LE1600 is available with two processor options, a Celeron ULV 373 running at 1 GHz and a Pentium M running at 1.5 GHz. The faster Pentium M has a full 2 MB of L2 cache and the Celeron model has 512 kb, and both processor options have a 400 MHz front side bus (FSB). The display is a 12.1" LCD running at XGA (1024 x 768) and incorporates a unique Ambient Light System (ALS) that adjusts screen brightness based on ambient light. There is a View Anywhere option available at additional cost. The LE1600 utilizes Intel graphics that shares main memory as needed, and is based on the Intel 915 GMS chip set. The video chip set can utilize up to 128 MB of main memory for programs with intense graphic needs.
The manufacture of the slate is designed for the rigors of use on the road with the case bezel consisting of both a carbon fiber blend and magnesium alloy. Both materials are very strong yet light which is a big factor contributing to the light weight of the LE1600, which at 3.13 lbs. (with the standard battery) is almost as light as the HP tc1100, even though the size of the device is bigger due to the larger display.
The two LE1600 models come with 512 MB (Pentium M) / 256 MB of memory (Celeron) upgradable to 1.5 GB / 1.25 GB. There are two hard drive options available, 30 GB and 60 GB. The LE1600 has several LED indicators so the owner can tell exactly what is going on at all times, including HDD activity, wireless (WiFi and Bluetooth) activity, and battery level. You will never have to guess the status of the system with the presence of these indicators.
Motion has included a full breadth of communication options with integrated WiFi (802.11b/g), Ethernet and Bluetooth 2.0. There is an enhanced WiFi card available as an option that offers A/B/G WiFi to cover all possible hot spots you might encounter. The a biometric fingerprint sensor provides a secure mobile computing experience and makes it easier to log onto secure networks and sites.
The LE1600 has been fitted with a number of ports and connectors on the slate itself for use with most peripherals that users are likely to want to use. These connectors include microphone in, headphone out, two USB 2.0 ports, DVI-D connector, Ir DA port, VGA port, Motion accessory port, RJ-45 connector, docking connector, power in, SD slot and a Type I or II PC card slot. It looks like Motion has all the bases covered for using peripherals with the LE1600.
The standard battery that comes with the LE1600 is augmentable with an optional extended battery that fits up flat against the back of the slate. Motion claims the use of the two batteries together will provide a full day’s worth of power for the mobile user. The weight goes up to 4.19 lbs with the extended battery which is still very light for the size of the device. The batteries are also hot-swappable meaning you can switch batteries without turning the LE1600 off.
Motion has put some very useful controls on the LE1600 to enhance the user experience including a 5-direction joy pad similar to that found on the Sony U750. This can be used as a joystick or mouse for one-handed operation without the pen, something that is very useful in a mobile setting. Other controls on the slate include a function button, a programmable escape button and two additional programmable buttons. There is another button that performs a Ctrl-Alt-Del (now called Secure Attention Sequence) and a wireless on/off button. Motion has also included 3 microphones that work in an array for better recording and speech recognition, due to the configurable software that provides noise cancellation.
One of the most exciting options (at least for me) that Motion is offering for the LE1600 is the new convertible keyboard that provides a notebook-like experience for using the slate with the keyboard. The all-in-one mobile keyboard connects directly to the slate requiring no cables to be connected so it is a rapid conversion from slate to notebook and vice versa. Unlike the hybrid keyboard on the HP tc1100 the Motion keyboard doubles as a travel docking station with the ability to plug the power cord into the keyboard. There are also a USB port and a Motion accessory port making the mobile keyboard extremely useful on the road. The keyboard provides a full-sized notebook keyboard layout that is very responsive. The slate can be adjusted to the desired viewing angle while connected to the keyboard, which can be snapped onto the front or the back of the slate for transit.
The Motion Computing LE1600 is one of the most capable slate Tablet PCs available today and with the new convertible keyboard the LE1600 is a true hybrid computer capable of tackling any task the owner might need to do in almost any venue. Motion has produced a real winner and I can’t wait to get my hands on one for a thorough review at some point.