My Tablet PC is Gone

Not forever…but possibly for a week or so. But after just one day without I am definitely noticing it’s absence.

I haven’t blogged about my Tablet in such a long time. It’s not because I don’t love my tablet – in fact I am pretty sure I will never be without one now (this present week excluded). However I guess with all my excitement over other technologies lately (SharePoint, InfoPath, Project Server, Whidbey, Team System) – some things tend to fade in the background and appreciation for my Tablet is one of them.

I am currently on my third Tablet PC. My first was a Acer C100 and I loved it. However it didn’t quite have the “umph” I needed to make it a permanent weapon in my productivity arsenol.

I then moved onto an Acer C300 and I’m currently using the C302 model that has just a few extras (dvd-rw / extra memory / slightly faster processor). It’s a tablet but it doesn’t mind if I want to run Virtual PC, Photoshop, Illustrator etc… Unlike my previous models.

Overall my satisfaction with both machines from the 300 series is high. However there are a few things that bother me.

In particular it’s the fact that I had to send my Tablet back to Acer today for the 2nd time this year. The first time I returned it – the latch on the back had cracked so bad that I couldn’t open or close it without hearing a MASSIVE snapping sound. This was the 2nd time I had experienced that same issue. This first C300 I had was starting to develop the same issue just before I finished with it. In the end, when I got it back from Acer – it was fixed but there were still some noticable flaws in the latch so I am not 100% sure how long it will be before I experience the problem again.

Today I had to send it back because the power button had become extremely flakey over the past month or so and this morning I couldn’t actually turn it on. Ironically when I checked – there was 1 day left on the warrenty. PHEW! The button had started to fail about 3-4 weeks ago when I was on the road. Not a nice situation. But I found that if I jingled the button slightly it would eventually come on. I wasn’t happy with that solution but I have come to depend on that machine so much over the past year that I really didn’t want give it up for any length of time. Plus the past few months have been so busy – I really couldn’t deal with any hassles associated with returning it.

Another complaint that I have had with the 300 series is that both machines I have had wore extremely fast on the keyboard and surrounding areas. The first 300 I used had virtually no letters left on the keys. After just 3 months, the machine looked older than any laptop I have ever owned. My current model is slightly better but still noticably worn. Not really acceptable for a machine that is less than a year old.

However all those things aside – my tablet is a beast and I love it. The performance of the machine is superb and I really love the fact that is a very powerful laptop in addition to being a Tablet PC. The increased screen size (14″), 1gb of memory, faster processor and dvd-rw drive mad it a massive improvement for me over my original.

The important thing for me to point out however is that for ME a tablet is the optimal choice for a laptop / computer in a work environment. This was something I had decided 2 years ago and it still stands true today.

From a previous post explaining why I love using a Tablet:

I am a note taker. I take a lot of notes and I make a lot of lists. Being a process minded person, I have to document steps for just about everything. A tablet pc allows me to take notes anytime, anywhere. I can share my notes with anyone who wants them, in electronic or hard copy. As well, instead of having 23 different post it notes all over my desk and 5 different note pads blocked full of scribbles, I can have all my information stored in an easily accessible and convenient location.

I like diagrams. Sometimes I can’t see how something is going to look in my head so I draw it out until it feels right. Sometimes I can see something in my head but I still draw it out because I may want to show someone else or by the time I get around to working on it, I may not be able to see it anymore. The tablet is great for drawings and mockups. I can directly paste notes from another document directly next to my diagram to illustrate.

I like being able to multitask or obtain information fast. Sometimes in a meeting it would be inappropriate to be typing away and visually clicking around the screen. The tablet offers discretion.

I enjoy having a personalized whiteboard that I can project notes, drawings or images onto a screen while working with a team. But I enjoy even more being able to save this information for everyone’s reference later rather than having members of the team distracted with recreating it on paper. The shared sessions in OneNote have really improved on this as well.

More importantly I hate paper. But I was never overly comfortable as a screen reader. This has changed drastically for me with the tablet. I now print things for other people usually but use the tablet for reference or notes myself.

In particular, OneNote has helped me consolidate all my information and notes from the past 2 years into a single location. Every client meeting, team gathering, diagram, piece of documentation, every important screenshot – it’s there. And between the search feature and note flag summaries – I can retrieve anything in seconds. You just can’t put a price on that.

So in summary, while I do have some peeves regarding how the Acer C300 is packaged – I love my Tablet and really cannot wait for it to come home. :-a)

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4 Responses to My Tablet PC is Gone

  1. Jordan says:

    I am actually in the markey for a tablet and I agree with everything you said. I am looking at the new Toshiba Tecra M4 but it’s heavy 6.3lb curb weight scares me…oh well, it might be worth it for the extra performance. =)

  2. Those Toshibas looks sweet. And from what I know you can never go wrong with a Tecra – generally a very good line of product. The weight is worth is if you appreciate a little extra power in your tablet. Good luck with it and let me know if you get it how things go.

  3. Maestro says:

    I got my Toshiba M200 Tablet recently… If you need any feedback….am here.


  4. Paul says:

    Has anyone experienced any problems with cracked screens on the M200?