Monday, 29 December 2003

I’ve been using the new Acer c300 Tablet PC for a few weeks now, and am ready to make some educated comments. First of all:

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Seriously, I am using this computer much more than my old notebook, and it beats the snot out of the old Compaq tablet we picked up a year ago. Tablet PC hardware has matured into a viable set of devices that can compete with other computers on the market. It behaves like a decent business notebook, but converts quickly to slate mode when needed. I am authoring this entry completely with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition’s handwriting recognition - no keyboard - and no wires thanks to the Centrino chipset. Cool stuff, and on top of that I’ve been sitting here using the computer on battery and wireless network for a few hours and still have plenty of battery life left to go.

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Of course it also needs to be practical and useful, and I have found myself tending to take better notes when I need them. I am also taking notes at times and places I never did before.

The Acer is well-built, with a larger than typical screen/slate (about 14 inches compared to the more common 10 to 12). The digitizer is fast and works very well. I was pleasantly surprised when the unit arrived to find it ships with a built-in smart card slot and two cards. Without a valid card the computer will not start. Of course, you can do all the other Windows tricks with the smartcard, as well.

The case is sturdy, the wireless is fast and reliable (802.11b) and I can’t find anything to complain about. The pen stows neatly in the screen frame, and the unit has a built-in DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, which is very nice if you are looking to completely replace a laptop computer (that’s my goal). We will be doing some application performance testing over the next week or two, and that will determine if this unit is ready for prime time. I think it will do well.

The more thing: When Gateway announced price drops for its tablet machine a couple of weeks ago, Acer followed suit and knocked something like $400 off the list price, so the cost for the tablet is now comparable to that of a similarly equipped standard notebook. That makes it much more reasonable to consider the Tablet PC for business purchase.

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Blogging | Tablet PC | Tech
Monday, 29 December 2003 22:57:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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