Lenovo ThinkPad X41 Tablet unreview

By Charles Jade


Lenovo ThinkPad X41 Tablet
Price: US$1,899 (base system) (shop for this item)
Manufacturer: Lenovo (product page)
Platform: Windows XP

[Editor's note: Keep in mind that this is not your typical hardware review. While the author spent a number of weeks testing and using the ThinkPad X41 and writes honestly about his experiences, there's a lot of commentary on the ThinkPad X41, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, hardware design, bad software, and rapidly blinking hard drive activity indicators. Keep that in mind as you read the unreview in the spirit with which it was written.]

 It's a PC that is virtually without limits—and within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America.

Bill Gates, November 12, 2001, introducing Tablet PCs at COMDEX

You don't end up controlling a technological and cultural behemoth by making outlandish claims and farfetched predictions—unless you are Steve Jobs. So why would Microsoft Founder and Chief Nerd, Bill Gates, wax prophetic about a device that has out niched even the Mac in terms of personal technology obscurity?

Bill Gates believes.

He believes the printed page does not have to be printed to be read. He believes the world shouldn't have to learn an alphabet to use a computer. He believes pen and paper a more natural and flexible way to express ideas than a keyboard and mouse.

Bill Gates believes in the Tablet PC.

But does Bill Gates believe in the Tablet PC like he believed in Clippy the Office Assistant? Or does he believe like Paul Moller believes in the Skycar? Forty years ago Paul Moller began building his vision of a world of personal transportation on the z-axis. And he is still at it. Does Bill Gates possess such a persistence of vision for the Tablet PC? If not, Tablet PCs are doomed, because it's as much about the hardware as the software.

The Lenovo Thinkpad X41 Tablet running Windows Tablet PC Edition 2005 is the latest attempt to answer the question: are we really flying, or is this just a commercial?

Tech specs

  • CPU: 1.5 GHz Pentium M
  • Display: 12.1"
  • Video: Integrated graphics (Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900)
  • Hard drive: 40GB, 4200rpm
  • Operating system: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Warranty: 3 years
Home | News | Articles | Reviews | Guides | Journals | OpenForum