Editor's note: We have changed the ratings in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Find out more here.
Motion Computing's M1400 Tablet PC packs into a thin case all you'll need for a day's work and squeezes in a few nice extras. Weighing 3.4 pounds and measuring 0.9 inches thick, 11.7 inches long, and 9.4 inches wide, the M1400 is a couple of ounces heavier but slightly smaller than the . Still, even with its small AC adapter, the M1400 has an enviable 4.1-pound total weight, making it very travel friendly.
Inside its magnesium case, the Motion M1400 Tablet PC runs on a 1.1GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of 333MHz memory, and a 20GB hard drive. Powered by Intel's 855GME integrated graphics card, the 12.1-inch screen offers a 1,024x768 native resolution, a wide viewing angle, and a comfortable writing surface. Unfortunately, the unit's standard stylus isn't as comfortable to hold as the pen that comes with , but the Motion M1400 has other virtues.
For example, Motion has equipped the M1400 with a cool biometric sensor that lets you log on to Windows or access protected files simply by running your finger over the detector. During our month of daily use, the sensor occasionally denied access if our finger wasn't positioned perfectly, but it never granted access to the wrong finger. In another nice touch, the tablet has a light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen to current lighting conditions. The automatic screen adjustments follow only a few seconds after a change in room lighting, much faster than the comparable feature on the .
The Motion M1400 Tablet PC also offers a good assortment of expansion and connectivity options, including two USB 2.0 ports, a VGA connector for an external monitor, a FireWire port, a Type II PC Card slot, standard audio-in and audio-out plugs, and networking ports for a modem and an Ethernet LAN. An integrated 802.11b/g Wi-Fi adapter and a Bluetooth short-range data radio round out the M1400's full complement of networking features. Although the M1400 lacks a CompactFlash card slot, its other expansion options make up for it. You can accessorize the M1400 with Motion's $230 FlexDock, which lets you swivel the screen from Portrait to Landscape orientation and adds another USB 2.0 port.
Due to the M1400's ultralow-voltage processor, it mustered a weak 136 on our MobileMark 2002 performance benchmark--slower than the , which uses a faster processor. While the M1400's 3,600mAh battery pack runs for 3 hours, 25 minutes on a charge, it fell 16 minutes short of the battery record set by Fujitsu's T3000, the current long-distance tablet champ. In our informal Wi-Fi access-range tests, we were able to stray only about 65 feet from our access point before our connection was dropped--about half as far as the competition allowed.
|BAPCo MobileMark 2002 performance rating|
|BAPCo MobileMark 2002 battery life (minutes)|
In addition to , you get Motion's own Dashboard application, easily the best configuration program in the notebook business. Motion Computing also offers the $35 Motion Pak software upgrade, which includes seven titles, such as xThink's Calculator and Microsoft's Streets & Trips mapping application.
Motion backs the M1400 with a standard one-year warranty that's on a par with the competition, and additional coverage is available at $100 per year. Motion Computing's Web site has FAQs, downloadable drivers, and a searchable knowledge base for the M1400; there is also a link for sending e-mail to technicians. A live operator answered a call to Motion's toll-free support line in three minutes, and the help desk operates from 6 a.m. to midnight CT, Monday through Saturday.
Windows XP Tablet PC; 1GHz Intel Pentium M; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; Intel 855GM (up to 64MB); Fujitsu MHT2060AT 60GB 4,200rpm
Windows XP Tablet PC; 1GHz Intel Pentium M; 512MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; Nvidia GeForce4 420 Go 32MB; Fujitsu MHT2040AT 40GB 4,200rpm
Windows XP Tablet PC; 1GHz Intel Pentium M; 512MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; Intel 855GM Extreme Graphics (up to 64MB); Hitachi Travelstar 20GN 20GB 4,200rpm