Tablet PCs... Which company to buy from?

By pyromaster114 · 13 replies
Dec 18, 2007
  1. I need a tablet PC soon... so I was wondering .... does anyone have any advice on what brand to go with?
    As far as I've gathered, IBM, Toshiba, and HP make tablet PCs, in addition to a few others that I can't seem to remember. Here is what I know as far as the pros/cons of each, and it's not very much:

    1) IBM
    Wacom Tablet Features
    Nice Feel to the writing (in my opinion...)
    Decent resolution screen puts the cost of the machine at $2500.00!
    Apparently they have a lot of driver problems.

    2) Toshiba
    Slightly cheaper with a decent resolution screen, however still expensive.
    Not wacom (as far as I know...)

    3) HP
    Un-useable as a tablet for writing or drawing on. You have to press really hard, the tablet feature can only really be used for clicking.

    So I'm basically looking for some information and opinions about what to buy.
    My price range is under 2000$, preferably around 1500$...
    I don't need to use the tablet for drawing very much, but taking notes / hand writing I do need. (otherwise why would I buy a tablet?).
  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    Dell is releasing a tablet now that I've heard nothing but good things about (except maybe the price.) Keep an eye out for that one.
  3. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    They have released it? or are going to?

    Hmm... never been a fan of dell, but lately I saw them starting to make a come-back with using *gasps* more standard parts in laptops... (as standard as you get with laptops that is...)
    And releasing some with linux preinstalled
  4. i would STRONGLY advocate lenovo.

    Lenovo used to be part of IBM. they did a lot of the work on the thinkpad line. but now, lenovo is going solo. they've made enough money that they can now drop the IBM name from their products. they're a very very high quality chinese company.

    if you're interested, i found you a 1899.99 dollar tablet PC from lenovo. it's got 1 gig of RAM, a core 2 duo 1.60 ghz, 1024x768 resolution, and it comes with windows XP for tablets. i highly doubt you'd have wanted vista seeing how much people hate it. it even comes with an integrated fingerprint reader.

    not a bad machine if you ask me. and it's not that expensive in comparison to some of the ones you found.
  5. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    *looks* oooo... pretty... I wish I could find one with a higher res display though, 1024 x 768 is a little limited usually in terms of virtual workspace... least from what I remember... (Haven't used anything on that res on a laptop in a while...) but then again my laptop is actually only WXGA... and my desktop is set to that res usually... and it's not bad...
    I saw a sale on the lenovo site a while back, it's probably over but they're constantly having little discount things... I wish I had the money right then (won't for about another month... grr...) otherwise I definately would have bought it... i could get the whole thing with the upgraded display which is like SXGA+ or something really nice... my dad got one a while back and aside from it crashing due to his stupidity of installing crappy programs, the thing is awesome.

    I'll be looking at lenovo and Dell it seems...

    Now to go to work to GET money to buy such things... hehe...
  6. i'm not so sure about what kind of stuff dell has to offer because i haven't looked yet. but i know for a fact that the lenovo tablets that are available for this kind of a price tag, at least on newegg, don't have a screen res very much bigger than 1024x768. if you want a bigger res, you'll have to go with another maker. which means it might not be as top notch in quality as you might like.

    asus makes some tablets. but asus has been going downhill in quality lately, at least with their motherboards. so i'm not sure how great a tablet from them is going to be, but at least it has a decent warranty. 2 years limited parts and labor.

    the one i'm looking at comes with XP, an intel core 2 duo 1.66ghz, 1gig of RAM, intel GMA950 graphics chip, 80gig hard drive, and a resolution of 1280x800. 1499.99 from newegg. here's the link.

    it's 400 bucks cheaper than the lenovo. it comes with similar features, but with the higher resolution. BUT you have a slightly higher risk of it dying on you if ASUS is screwing up everything...

    but it could just be that their motherboards suck, so unless you find something better from Dell, or if you find another lenovo tablet with the same specs, then i'd say go for this one.

    also note...i'm sticking to the ones that come with win XP. there are other ones that have slightly better specs that include vista instead.
  7. fairytale00

    fairytale00 Banned Posts: 56

    Personally I think it all depends on, all brands have their own good pcs. I think besides the above three brands you can also have a look at the apple pcs, the Apple MA456LL/A with 24", 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM, 250GB SATA, DVD-R/CD-RW Super Drive 8x, 10/100/1000 BASE-T Enet, Built-in AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth 2.0, Built-in iSight, OS X 10.5 Leopard. I think it is very nice. It got nice reviews, and the price is quite good now a recent deal on it is only $1399.
  8. it's more than that. consistency is highly valued. you're going to want to order from a company that always manages to pump out good products with good quality control/reliability. if a company has a reputation for making only 1 product well, and everything else is crap and is always arriving at your door broken, you won't ever order from them.

    i know that lenovo won't disappoint like that. asus is a bit iffy. dell has been on the upward trend lately so we'll see about them.

    you're right it depends on the standing of the company and their quality regulation.
  9. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    I was on gateway's site today looking for drivers... which I didn't find... cause they don't want you to downgrade certain things to XP from vista... grr...
    But I came across the advertisement for their tablet systems.
    I remember my friend a while back (when tablet PCs just started to come out) got a tablet from Gateway, and at the time, it was the best around, and the tablet part of it was pretty good, you could draw on it even... and that was like in 2002...
    So I looked and they had some seemingly decent prices...
    They have WXGA screens, which I'm pretty comfortable with on a 14.1 inch screen, as after doing a bunch of stupid geometry, I figured out that a WXGA screen (the kind all my laptops currently have anyways) is pretty good as far as virtual workspace goes.
    So I looked and the highest model there was only 1,099.99 once you removed all the extra crud from it. (bundled software, etc.)
    Link to it here:

    I think I remember seeing that it uses a Wacom pen... and I like wacom... they make good USB drawing tablets...

    Tell me what you guys think... I don't wanna go spend money blindly... cause while it's only about $1100, it's still a lot in a way.
    (Personally the only thing I have against gateway is that their logo is stupid... but I don't really pay attention to that... I just put stickers on all my notebooks anyways...)
  10. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    I was wondering, are Acer and Asus owned by the same parent company? I know I've had bad experiences with Acer but apparently now Asus is releasing a line of notebooks... are they any good?
    They're expensive...
  11. asus has been going downhill lately. personally i don't really trust them an awful lot. they USED to be really good quality. obviously if they make just one bad product that doesn't mean everything is bad, but you would think they would at least try to maintain quality control for their stuff.

    i dunno if acer is owned by them or not, but neither one of them make very good laptops. let alone tablets.
  12. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    Has anyone seen any reviews for the Toshiba Portege M700?
    I'm curious how the writing surface is... I can't seem to find out if it's Wacom or not (probably not...) and I was wondering if it's any good..
  13. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    So far, it looks like I'll be going with the Gateway C-140XL.
    It looks like it has decent system specifications, however I'm only concerned about 2 things:
    667 MHz system bus
    ATI Mobility Radeon™ X2300

    Is that going to be fast enough to feed me about 30 min of 720p HD video from a compressed .mkv file?

    Is the ATI Mobility Radeon X2300 better than intel's X3100 chip?
    If it is, I know that the video card will be good enough, cause the X3100 does 720p beautifully when you have a dual core processor of 1.4 GHz or above... I actually have come to love that chipset for laptops... cause we have 2 now in our house and they're used primarily as entertainment centers.
    So will that chip do an equivalent or better job?

    Is the System Bus of 667MHz going to slow me down? A lot of Vista systems I'm seeing are like 533MHz FSB, so there for I would imagine 667 is plenty... but I don't know...
  14. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    And... so I'm back again with another question because I hate spending money and all... (I think everyone hates that...)
    Anyways, I was wondering why Gateway decided to cancel their line of tablet PCs that had 12.1 inch screens... cause the 14.1 inch, while not that big, is a bit big to hide from evil teacher of doom that doesn't like computers...
    (And a bit too big to lug around probably...)

    I was wondering if anyone knew if gateway or another company was planning to start selling tablet PCs with 12.1 inch screens for a reasonable price (ie 1200$ or there about...) any time soon.
    Cause all the things I've seen are very expensive and don't give you much for your money.
    How come not that many companies are making decent tablets it seems? They're all making weird not good ones and really expensive ones... the only company I've seen make a decent one is IBM/Lenovo, and they're like "We're not dropping our price... haha to all of you with low incomes!"

    P.S., excuse my crappy grammar and lack of logic, i'm quite tired and about half conscious due to medication...
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