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going off to college... (how typical). which laptop?

by speakfree89 / May 7, 2007 12:30 PM PDT

I'm actually EXTREMELY interested in a tablet pc. The idea of being able to write out all my notes (and 70% of my notes are diagrammed and can't just be typed) into a laptop and take it everywhere and not worry about losing paper notes is intriguing. Combining that with a nice speaker system (or the amp and set of cabs I have now) and potentially a larger screen for the dorm room would be ideal.

Money is essentially not an option (within reason). What is the best alternative?

As far as utilization, I'm basically looking at all the necessities of college life- AIM, email, Microsoft Office, thesis papers, the internet, music (listening), photo editing.

Any advice? I had looked at the Toshiba Portege R400 and the HP Pavillion tx1000z.

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The tablet has been discussed a few times.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2007 9:01 PM PDT

Take a campus tour. Look and see how many tablet PCs. Zip. It's Bill's dream and every few years they dress it up and try it again.

Also the question "college laptop" has dozens of discussions here. Did you like any of those models in those discussions?


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I would advise against a Tablet PC
by StargateFan / May 7, 2007 9:53 PM PDT

Here's why, this is the second/third attempt to push tablets into a mainstream market. So far all attempts failed. They were attempted back in the 90's where they accumulated next to nothing sales. And then they were retried back in 2003 by Microsoft with it's Windows XP Tablet PC edition, still very little sales. And now they are attempting the process over again with Vista and the UMPC attempt, still no change in sales.

Speaking from personal experiance I can assure you that there really is no need for that functionality. The product is basically at the end of it's short lifespan, but it is semi being kept alive in an nonexistant market by the team at Microsoft who is the eye of Bill Gates. Don't misunderstand me I love Microsoft and have great respect for Bill Gates, but I do not like this product which happens to be a pet project of his.

Companies have released Tablets at the request of Microsoft such as HP, or Gateway, but other companies like Dell or Apple have said that they will not produce this product because of a lack of market, and market demand, and a not needed computing product.

Bottom line I would look into a regular laptop, you will be better off. Good Luck

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That's not funny. See this Google.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2007 9:56 PM PDT
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Yeah do you believe that
by StargateFan / May 8, 2007 11:35 AM PDT

I love/appreciate Microsoft, and I have an extremely large respect for Bill Gates. I understand that he really likes this product but I hope he knows when to cut his losses and realize that it is a worthless product. He doesn't have to make a large formal announcement (even though I would enjoy that, not because he and Microsoft was wrong but because I do not like the device). I wouldn't mind if he would just allow the product to fade out of existant. Essentially this is happening on it's own, but if the Microsoft tablet team and Bill Gates let it go I believe it would happen much faster. Eventually undoubtingly it will the device will reach this point of nonexistant which I feel is close, but it could happen much sooner.

I believe Microsoft could be devoting more resourcefulness to their laptop ready modules in Windows id they weren't focusing so much on trying to get the tablet to take off.

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I 've heard good things about the HP
by jmhal / May 8, 2007 12:20 AM PDT
Here's a review. Note that this is actually the non-touchscreen version that is reviewed.
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The Newton Message Pad
by StargateFan / May 8, 2007 10:26 AM PDT

If you are not familiar with that device. It basically was the first Pocket PC ever created, and even then it was a Pocket PC on steroids. It was manufactured by Apple and recieved extremely good reviews for it's time period (early 90's). However that product is not around anymore and it's decendants such as Pocket PC's are falling from their shrinking market, why? Smartphones.

The point is, that some products are going to get a decent review, but it doesn't matter if there is no market or no want for them. I still stand behind my statement. A worthless product in a nonexistant market.

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well tablets seem right for me.
by speakfree89 / May 8, 2007 12:26 PM PDT
In reply to: The Newton Message Pad

well... i really want the tablet feature though. despite the existence of a market or not, i can't type that fast, and my note taking often involves diagrams for me to remember things.

so instead of hundreds of sheets of paper in dozens of notebooks.. why not one nice light weight laptop. since im not into gaming at all, and all i need to do is write papers, take notes, listen to music, and organize photos, i don't see how a tablet doesn't meet my every need.

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In suggesting against a tablet pc
by StargateFan / May 8, 2007 12:34 PM PDT

we are not only advising against the tablet because of the reason we have stated in previous threads. We, at least myself for sure are speaking from experiance. The tablet functionality is not the greatest thing in the world, in fact it doesn't come close. We are not only trying to stress the reasons against this device, we are also stressing the inadequacy of the product.

There is messages upon messages you can find online that state, the tablet functionality is decent when understanding it's interface. And there are many more who say the handwriting interface is terrible at understanding.

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valid point
by speakfree89 / May 8, 2007 12:44 PM PDT

that does make sense. i'm very interested in how well the interface works, and will definitely be test driving it beforehand.

however, is there not a program used that doesn't attempt to recognize the characters but simply interprets them as drawings? that would be most helpful, especially considering my handwriting being not exactly the most excellent and legible.

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No My Knowledge...
by StargateFan / May 8, 2007 9:39 PM PDT
In reply to: valid point

No such software exists. Rather the way the interface works is that the way it is coded gives the software itself sort of an Artificial Intelligence type of operation. This software attempts to learn your characters as you use the device. So the answer is the fotware does not exist.

As far as your test drive, you are going to have a difficult time finding this product in normal tech stores like Best Buy. They don't hold stock in them due to their popularity.

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Microsoft with the release of Vista
by orlbuckeye / May 8, 2007 10:14 PM PDT
In reply to: No My Knowledge...

has stopped making a separate version of Windows for Media Center and tablet and have included the Media Center in the Home Premium version and the Tablet feature are included in the Business edition. The Ultimate includes both the media center & tablet features. The Vista tablet is supposed to learn your handwriting alot better than it did in XP and it has a setting to select right or left hand use.

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by StargateFan / May 8, 2007 10:24 PM PDT

I also am aware of this. However I still believe that the technology has never or will never hit it's target.

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Stop moving.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 8, 2007 10:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes

I can't lock onto you.

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(NT) lol, you got it Bob
by StargateFan / May 8, 2007 11:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Stop moving.
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The Pc World ranking of Ultraportables
by orlbuckeye / May 8, 2007 11:10 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes

Has the Dell XPS 1210 as the best in the class with Lenova and ASUS next. The HP TX 1000 is ranked 4th and the biggest downfall according to them is battery life.

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Again what I said
by StargateFan / May 8, 2007 11:27 PM PDT

It is just like the Newton Message Pad. The ranking according to CNET is extremely temporary giving the speed of movement in the technology world. Because the new HP tablet is ranked #4 does mean that the product line is successful, that is what I am trying to get across.

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by StargateFan / May 8, 2007 11:30 PM PDT
In reply to: No My Knowledge...

No My Knowledge is suppose to read Not To My Knowledge.

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apart from the tablet pc debate
by jmhal / May 9, 2007 4:50 AM PDT

I'm going to say, as a college student, that I have thought about getting a tablet pc but find the old pen and paper more convenient. At least in my opinion, it is easier to organize papers into a coherent set of notes than it is a bunch of files on the computer. Also there are other things to thinks about,some are just minor annoyances, but what if something happens to your computer, no more notes, batteries die during class or loose the stylus. Also when it come to studying I find it easier to browse through a notebook for something than it is to search through files on the computer. And if you do go and print out your notes, then you are just left with a pile of papers anyway.

So if you still are moving towards a tablet, ok. But if you want to look for other alternatives I highly recommend the HP's. I have a dv6000t, i bought last September, and its great.

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any idea on where you can find a demo model?
by speakfree89 / May 9, 2007 11:14 AM PDT

well, well first and foremost conservation of excess paper and waste is part of the reason. if you're smart about charging batteries/having an extra and an extra stylus, you wouldn't have that problem. and i'll be bringing a 250 GB external harddrive, backing up all my notes, files, papers, etc.

so those concerns aren't a problem. my only issue is if the recognition software/capabilities will function in a manner i require. having notes for all my classes in my hands at all times is nice, and all those binders and files add up. and fast.

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by StargateFan / May 9, 2007 12:17 PM PDT

As far as the techynology and handwritting recognition we talked about that. But for things such as stylus's, you can't have extra, it doesn't work like a PDA where the stylus is universal. Each stylus connections to said computer.

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by speakfree89 / May 9, 2007 12:38 PM PDT
In reply to: RE

u can definitely order extras...

Get the most from your new system with high-quality, tested and approved accessories

Mobile Stereo Earbud Headphones (1 pair)

Mobile Stereo Earbud Headphones (2 pair)

tx1000 additional stylus


is that not extra styli?

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I stand corrected
by StargateFan / May 9, 2007 9:51 PM PDT
In reply to: styli

But the fact still remains that you must purchase a stylus to go with your specific decision. Mean while we are getting away from the main topic. Have we helped you at all, and are you ready to make a decision?

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Don't buy anything until you check with your college
by indy2001 / May 12, 2007 3:14 PM PDT

The original question mentioned 70% of the input being non-verbal in nature, such as you would find in science and math classes. Purdue University (home of one the world's largest engineering schools) just published "Best Buys in Grad Gifts Might be at the University": While the article deals primarily with cost, I would also recommend checking with the university for specific hardware/software recommendations. Too many of the students in my high school physics classes have purchased computers before checking with their college and have been very disappointed to find out how inadequate they were. Some schools/departments/professors have also started limiting hardware that can be used in class for a variety of reasons, including cheating and potential distractions.

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yeah, i've changed my mind
by speakfree89 / May 12, 2007 3:33 PM PDT

doing a bit of side research, and really thinking it over, i've decided against getting the tablet. in fact, i've decided against windows based systems all together: i'm getting either a macbook or imac. thanks for all the help to all, and helping me to see that there isn't as much potential in the tablet as i had originally thought.

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OneNote may help
by gavinsaturday / May 15, 2007 5:22 AM PDT

You should look into getting Microsoft OneNote. I think they make it for the Mac as well. It gives you the ability to draw diagrams and take notes in class next to other existing documents.

Your college may have a MSDN subscription where you can download OneNote for free.

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