At first glance, the Gateway CX200 convertible tablet seems a bit awkward; the 14-inch, 1,280x768 wide-screen display, balanced on a single central hinge, looks ready to tip over. But maybe that's because it's the first wide-screen tablet we've seen; drop the screen into tablet mode, and it seems more comfortable, like an electronic version of a legal pad. Add to that the cool stylus, which looks and feels like a felt-tip pen, and I was ready to write that novel by hand.
You can stock the CX200's wide magnesium case with a range of components to fit your budget: choose Intel Celeron or Pentium M processors; integrated Intel or discrete ATI graphics; an integrated optical drive (including a double-layer DVD burner option) or a second battery for the system's modular bay.
Get ready to do some heavy lifting, though: the CX200 weighs at least 6 pounds, and that's without the optical drive. (Our review unit, with battery and optical drive, weighs a honking 6.9 pounds.) It's obviously not intended for frequent travelers, but Gateway is betting that students and employees will pay a little extra for a wide-screen laptop that also lets them take handwritten notes in class or meetings. With prices starting at $1,099, Gateway may be right.
Would you dig a wide-screen laptop with tablet functionality? Let me know what you think, and expect a full review of the CX200 soon.