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Summary:

I wouldn’t really call it a battle as we’re not pitting these tabby’s against each other in a movie scene from "Gladiator", but Fred over at Coolest Gadgets is looking to buy a Tablet PC and has it narrowed down to four choices: Fujitsu 4125, Lenovo […]

Tablet_pcsI wouldn’t really call it a battle as we’re not pitting these tabby’s against each other in a movie scene from "Gladiator", but Fred over at Coolest Gadgets is looking to buy a Tablet PC and has it narrowed down to four choices: Fujitsu 4125, Lenovo X60, Asus RF1, Gateway NX860XL. First and foremost, you have to understand what Fred will be using the Tablet for: blogging, Photoshop use, 3D visual modeling, and racing simulators. I don’t really see a compelling need for Tablet PC in there, but let’s hope Fred sees the ink light when he finally buys one.

Fred ruled out a Toshiba model, but I’m not sure why. A tricked out M400 with 2 GB of memory and Core 2 Duo upgrade on a 12-inch, 1400 x 1050 display might work pretty well for his needs unless the integrated Intel 950 graphics wouldn’t cut it. In that case, only the Gateway offers dedicated graphics AFAIK. Anyway, what would you recommend?

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  1. Just a note Kevin, thanks for linking in (glad someone’s reading!)

    I’m an Industrial Designer; hence, I draw, a LOT!! (Photoshop is an amazing drawing program, most people forget that). That’s the main need for the tablet. I can’t draw where I want to with a desktop (ie, a coffee shop). Right now I’m a pariah at my home as my wife can wander with her Macbook Pro and Wifi and I’m trapped in the gloomy office.

    I’ve read some good info now on both the Toshiba and the Gateway, as well as some detractors.

    So far my definite conclusions are

    I’m going with XP not vista

    I’m totally baffled!

    The gateway looks good on price and performance, yet I’ve heard complaints about both the screen (not actually a Wacom, so I’m not sure if there will be compatibility issues for various software packages). The purchasing options with Gateway seem odd and complex as well, I want Wifi and bluetooth, but their options are confusing.

    Lenovo, performance, utility, it all seems like it’s there, but I just want an integrated media player (CD/DVD) as it’s not there for less than $250 and it’s already one of the most expensive devices, I’m not sure there.

    Fujitsu, seems like it’s all there, but I don’t know about the power of the graphics card, plus the questions that the others have raised.

    The Asus, has been out from the start, no one brought up anything about it that they were too delighted about.

    So it seems, due to lack of an increase in knowledge on this anywhere my lean is towards Fujitsu still.

    The Toshiba is looking better as I go through this, and my previous laptop was a Toshiba, I did like it but it was a tad underpowered (well it’s about 5 years old now, so that’s to be expected).

    Sadly, I’m not one of those “popular” bloggers that got to test out those Vista Tablets earlier in the year. I even tried to be cool and hang out with the other cool bloggers. Oh well (hah!)

    Your advice is of course welcome, I still have no true answer at this point aside from the fact that I do still want one.

  2. I also see James is running a Fujitsu Tablet, what about you?

  3. borax99 (Alain C.) Monday, March 5, 2007

    I would take a close look at the 4215 with the hi-resolution screen.
    It has an integrated optical drive, which can be replaced as required by either a lightweight spacer or an add-on battery for extra autonomy.

    Your best bet will be to see it in-store somewhere. Many users report that they hate the screen, which has some kind of outdoor-friendly coating that makes the display appear a bit grainy. There is a similar coating on my 1610, and I find I can live with it.

    The 4215 uses the integrated Intel 950 chipset. It will suffice to run Vista etc. but it is *NOT* a graphix powerhouse. (The Lenovo and the Asus both use the same graphix chip)

    My experience has been that Fujitsu and Lenovo are tops in build quality, while Asus and Gateway … not so much. You should definitely get your hands on the Toshiba to see whether it will work out for you. I personally don’t like their machiens, but you may, and if you do it will be cheaper than either Fujitsu or Lenovo.

    Sounds confusing, I know – hope this helped a bit at least.

    Regards,

    Alain

  4. I’m also at the same point, but after a great experience with thinkpads, i would really want to get the x60. But, there is currently another big difference – the Lenovo has the L2400 processor, with 2mb cash mem, while others, eg the Fugitsu, come with the newer L7200 processor, with 4mb cah mem. I think this should mean a great difference in performance, don’t you?
    I’ve been waiting for Lenovo to introduce the new version, but they seem to be taking their time (perhaps stuck with stocks…). I’m still gonna wait for a while, as i think that with the upgraded processor – that’s the best chioce. btw, a friend of mine uses the Fugitsu for 3d etc (also an industrial designer), and he’s happy with it, so i guess the 950 can do the job.
    Regards,
    Tal.

  5. James Kendrick Monday, March 5, 2007

    Fred, if you want to get an indication about speed and build quality of Fujitsu tablets watch Kevin’s video review of the 5112.

    http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkotr_audio_edition/2006/12/jkotr_mobile_me.html

    It’s a slate but similar to the convertible models.

  6. Kevin C. Tofel Monday, March 5, 2007

    Fred, I typically use a Samsung Q1P UMPC slate device but still have a Toshiba M205 Tablet as well. A UMPC is great for mobility but not for what you want to do, so I’d never recommend it for the needs you listed. There are pros and cons for each device and your requirements are different than mine. Example: I haven’t had an integrated optical drive in a notebook for at least 3 years. Works for me because I’d rather have a lighter machine or a bigger battery as I don’t install much from a CD. When I need to install something, I do it via network or use a virtual CD bit of software. ;)

  7. This is great, everyone’s got feedback!

    So far it looks like the Fujitsu 4215 is still the winner.

    I got a funny one today, someone tried to tell me there was a new Mac Tablet (I’ve been blogging/whining for it for a while). Nope, it was just someone who just found out about the Modbook, (until they (Apple) are doing it in house, I’m not jumping on board).

    Thanks again, (probably put my order in next week (unless new info comes to light before then)) (or someone sends me one to mess with)

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