The Belated Tablet Review

So I promised to write a full review about my then-new tablet... months passed and I got quite some learning experience from it in both ways.

Noise: virtually none. The tablet has no built-in fans whatsoever for cooling. Only some grills for hot air. Because of this, the only sound you can actually hear is that of the HDD. The downside is that thus the unit gets quite hot, but not dangerously so. Still, wear some cloth between your leg and the tablet, or it will be uncomfortable. More on that later.

Speed: It's slow! At least compared to the 1.7GHz (both are Dothan core Intel Centrino), this 1.1 ULV CPU seems sluggish many times. Don't expect top performance. It can't play 720p xvid videos nearly fast enough, some programs are quite show, but thankfully not all. The digitizer is quite fast, able to put up with my fast scribbling and all... plus, it does not truncate fast gestures, like a simple touch screen would, (unlike on my PDA,) only smooth them out.

Buttons: actually a bit of both. The placing is quite bad, whereas the buttons themselves - apart from the moody directional buttons - are responsive enough. I've yet to accidentally push one, what is good, but while it's in portrait mode, they are in possibly the most uncomfortable place to reach. The same applies to the stylus dock. It's in the worst possible place! If the tablet is in you lap, you can't take it out without picking and lifting the tablet itself up first, (or sliding it nearly off your lap,) since it's at the bottom right corner of it.

Battery: I did conduct some standard usage tests, and it would seen that it can go for about 2.5-3 hours with a charge under usage. Nothing to write home about, a bit less than the newest ones, but still enough. By the way, the battery has a nifty plus: it you press a button on it, it'll display the charge on a row of LEDs, even if it isn't in the tablet.

Temperature: One of the more problematic aspects of being fully passive-cooled. The main chassis feels metallic in one way: it hers hotter and hotter everywhere gradually, to the point of being uncomfortable to the touch, but still bearable. The inner temperatures are - surprisingly - quite within the safe ranges.

Digitizer: fast, very effective, but can be a bit problematic if you only used touchscreen so far. With a touchscreen, the cursor is where you actually touch the screen, regardless of the angle or position of the stylus. Whereas here, its not fully so. Luckily, digitizers detect the stylus from quite a distance, all but eliminating the accidental mis-clicks.

Why vista? I'm aware of the multitudes of reasons against using Vista, but for a tablet, Vista is actually way better than the "Tablet XP 2005". The major changes that are of importance include a much better handwriting recognizer that can finally be personalised to your own writing style, this being the biggest and most important for all who don't want to learn to write in a manner that the old recognizer wishes but in their own style. This in itself should be sufficient reason for the change, at least it was for me.

Extras: First, the fingerprint reader and the stereo mics ... that both are inoperable under Vista. The dynamic brightness control does work, but some may be surprised by it. Usually it's unresponsive and slow, even when the idea is quite good. The buttons required a Vista update from MS, but after that and the other drivers, everything worked like a charm.

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