How getting a MacBook Pro affects my Tablet PC usage


Mac_20unboxing_20015The MacBook Pro has become (nearly) firmly attached to my desktop where it is a powerhouse notebook that has taken over all of my heavy lifting computationally.  I use it for virtually everything I do at my desktop and it handles it all with ease.  It’s also fun to use, something I haven’t said often about PCs except my Tablet PC.  I get a lot of email from folks inquiring how getting the MBP has affected my Tablet PC usage.  Short answer- not at all.

P1610I still use the Fujitsu P1610 Tablet PC every single day.  It is the mobile workhorse that accompanies me each day through my travels and it is a joy to use.  It is my favorite PC ever, not just because I love working in ink (I do) but because it is small, light and versatile.  It’s so easy to toss it into my bag and just go.  I can work in slate mode which I do most of the time or I can swivel the screen around and use it like a little laptop.  It’s my choice and that’s what makes it so powerful and so much fun at the same time.  Even around my house I find myself grabbing the Fuji to go work on the back porch or in my retreat.  I could go to my desk and work on the MBP which is lots of fun too but I am doing that less and less.

Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t even come close to the MacBook Pro for speed or sheer ease of use.  But that’s not always the draw when I want to do something specific.  It’s the mobility and the fact that due to the outstanding design of the P1610 I give up nothing for that mobility.  That’s heady stuff indeed.



Jon… I’ve asked on other forums, but I know you are probably the most public, longest known advocate for the P1610. For practical purposes – navigating the screen and especially *note taking* in digital ink and marking up documents in ink – how good is the P1610 compared to an active digitizer? I’m a long time HP TC4200 user, but it’s a bit big for traveling. Is it too thick to comfortably hold, or if it’s placed on a table. How is the typing on a small keyboard and the pointer? Very usable, or just tolerable? I’ve personally migrated to a touchpad. I’m very interested in your comments given your latest comments about using a Mac and a tablet. (I also use a Mac with my tablet!) Thanks!


You’re kind of my soulmate, man! On my desk is a MacBook pro 17″ which I do all kind of stuff on, on usually also the older brother P1510D of what you got. The Mac is to heavy to carry around, so it doesn’t enter my veranda unless I’m really need to. The lifebook I can carry around, and type on why preparing dinner (literaly speaking…)

Now, I have gone a bit further, as there is also a Mac mini on my desk at home, and a linux based Shuttle at my office desk. This way, I can carry he MBP back and forth, or I can choose not to. I am thinking about replacing the P1510 with something newer, and maybe even smaller – but very recently I bought a Nokia E61i which quite nicely fill the gap I have, as it can be loaded with a decent ssh, irc, gtalk/skype/msn client and have very good messaging capabilities. So maybe I should just go for the P1610 when I need an upgrade.

I’d like to hear what people using multiple computers do to stay in sync. I am using a combination of svn and rsync, and try to use online services like imap and googleapplications (gmail, docs, calendar).

Thanks for your post.


To Bot

Nice to have experts in the forum :) I will look into it and hope I can revive my iMac to its former glory!


Oh yes another point the “but it simply lack programs” it not the case in my hands.


Regarding disk fragmentation on OSX… That’s a pretty well discussed topic and to date I still don’t know whether one should run the “speed disk” provided by Techtool. The argument in favor is: “The more you use your PC, the more files are distributed everywhere on your Hd and the more your computer takes time to find all these files”. On the other hand the counterargument says: “Because OSX is Linux-based, it has this implemented code stating where files are located on the HD, thus the HD does not really need to be reorganized.”

In my hands, I did not see any particular increase in speed (and my HD is 80% full of pictures!) after the “speed disk” thing that took hours. What I do though is that I run Onyx every now and then and make a “complete system optimization”. Seems to work fine…


To Willy:

You complain about your iMac going very slowly. Assuming you’re not using Windows natively with Boot Camp, have you used Activity Monitory (search for it w/Spotlight or /Applications/Utilities/)? Click the CPU column title to look for CPU hogging applications. This is similar functionality to the task monitor in Windows.

Also look to see how full your hard drive is. It should have at least 1.5 Gigs free. Finally, if you’re using a Windows under virtualization, that can be a big drain on cpu. Make sure you have enough memory to do virtual Windows, virtual PowerPC Mac programs, and OS X Intel apps. Do you have at least 1 gig?

I can’t believe disk fragmentation would be slowing your system down too much. Look for one of these other answers.


Tax Man

Thanks for the post, James. I are trying to decide between buying a new Mac to replace the one I gave to my daughter or whether to buy a more powerful Tablet PC, like a Fujitsu T4215. I still use my Q1 every day, but the processor and hard drive just aren’t robust enough for my main hobby, playing and recording music. I don’t see that a p1610 would be that mud better than the Q1 for that purpose. Except for that, I’d be content (at least for now) to stick with the Samsung as my only computer. Any thoughts – Mac or Tablet? I have my thoughts but would like to hear what the “Runners” think.


Hi Mr. Kendrick

Have you considering buying a Vista desktop? I have been using it for several months and it works fine. Initially I use my iMac but it simply lack programs that I want to connect with my tablet PC. Surprisingly, I now find both OSs have the same ease of use: Mac more simplistic and Vista more enjoyable to use than XP. But Vista, I can do more things. As long as I’m careful and do the maintainence frequently, Vista desktop is not a bad option. I also find out that IMac also requires fragmentation at certain stage just as Vista because my IMac system gets very slow now.


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