Electrovaya of Ontario, Canada, may be one of the smaller and quieter sellers of tablets, but it makes a loud statement with its $2,299 Scribbler SC-2000. Perfect for a full day of work, this 3.6-pound slate is all business, with more than five hours of battery life, one of the thinnest designs around, a nice array of features, and a few unexpected luxuries. Unfortunately, it falls short on performance and warranty.
Built around a textured-magnesium case, the SC-2000 has a sophisticated and rugged look that hides its 1.2GHz Pentium M processor, 256MB of memory, and 30GB hard drive. The SC-2000 offers a speedier alternative to Motion Computing's 1GHz M1300, but it can't keep up with Fujitsu T3010's 1.4GHz speed limit. At 0.9 by 11.9 by 9.2 inches and 3.6 pounds, the SC-2000 is among the smallest and lightest of the second-generation slate tablets. Along with its seven-ounce AC adapter, the SC-2000 has a travel weight of less than 4 pounds.
Next to a smaller tablet with a 10.4-inch display, the SC-2000's 12.1-inch XGA screen seems immense, but it looks tiny compared to Acer's mammoth 14-inch tablet. An Intel Extreme Graphics processor taps into up to 64MB of the system's memory, and the display automatically adjusts its brightness to its lighting environment but takes 20 seconds to change.
Aimed at businesses, the SC-2000 has a fingerprint detector that generally allows access on the first try. With its standard assortment of controls, it's easy to get the hang of this tablet. It adds a helpful nub for Enter and scrolling, and the pen's coiled tether keeps it from getting lost.
Connections include a pair of USB ports, a VGA port for an external monitor, a FireWire port, audio ports, a Type II PC Card slot, and networking ports for LAN and modem. The SC-2000 also has an 802.11b radio, but it lacks a flash memory slot.
With a USB minikeyboard, a wet-suit case, and a metal stand, the SC-2000 comes ready to roll, but it lacks an optical drive. A CD-RW drive comes with the Scribbler's docking-station option. On top of Windows XP Tablet Edition, the SC-2000 includes Corel's Grafigo, Alias Sketchbook, and FranklinCovey TabletPlanner. Electrovaya also offers a slightly souped-up version of the tablet called the SC-2010, which has 512MB and a 40GB hard drive and costs $2,599.
Mobile application performance (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Battery life (Longer bars indicate better performance)
With a score of 108 on our MobileMark 2002 benchmark, the SC-2000 was hardly worthy of its 1.2GHz processor, and it trailed 1GHz tablets from HP and Gateway. Boosting memory to 512MB and installing a faster hard drive would have helped. On the other hand, the 9,500mAh battery pack can run the system for 5 hours, 31 minutes, which is second to none, and Electrovaya plans to introduce a battery with about 15 percent more capacity. The 802.11b radio was able to maintain a connection up to 107 feet from our access point, making it one of the best long-distance tablets.
Unfortunately, Electrovaya comes up short on service and support, with only a one-year warranty on the SC-2000 and six months for the battery, which is much too short for this type of equipment. The company's Web site lacks a chat room for users and technicians to work out problems online. While there are driver downloads and manuals for the company's other tablets, the SC-2000 is conspicuously absent. All that's offered online for it specifically is contact information for toll-free, 24/7 phone and e-mail support, both of which are free.