Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Review: The SlateGlove for Motion Computing Tablet PCs

In my review of the Motion Bluetooth Keyboard, I talked about a much needed accessory: a prop in the back of the tablet, that when folded out, it would prop the tablet up like a picture frame

Well, after talking with Trevor Claiborne (a felllow Tablet PC MVP), I became aware of the SlateGlove. Its’ designed to work with Motion Computings’ M1200, M1300, and M1400 – with or without a docking station. The SlateGlove is primarily designed to make it easier for highly mobile users (doctors, nurses, auto technicians, etc) to carry the tablet and keep a hold of it. I really like that aspect of the accessory, but the part that intrigued me the most was being able to use it as a prop.

The installation of the SlateGlove was a breeze. What really helped was the documentation. Simply put, it was the most exhaustive piece of documentation I’ve ever read for something so simple to install. You can tell that an engineer wrote it. They covered just about everything that could go wrong. I have two recommendations on improving the documentation:
1) Create some steps. It sort reads like a book and you can easily get lost in it.
2) Create a template for installating the Velcro strips. Once they are on there, they are difficult to remove. If you place them wrong, you can call them and get some replacement Velcro strips, though.

The most striking thing about the SlateGlove is how well designed and engineered it is. The SlateGlove attaches to the tablet via existing screw holes. To show the extent of how well this is designed, there are two holes in the hinge that also hold the original OEM screws, just in case you need to remove the SlateGlove later and reattach the original screws. That’s thinking ahead. Even with the SlateGlove attached to the back of the tablet, you can still easily get to the battery to do a hot swap.

There are three Velcro pads that attach to the back of the tablet. These pads keep the SlateGlove attached to the tablet so it doesn’t flop around. They are not meant to keep the Tablet attached to the SlateGlove. When you want to either dock the computer, remove the battery, or place in the display sland, you just separate the Velcro pads.

The SlateGlove was originally designed for the automotive technician, so its’ built to withstand a lot of wear and tear. If I were highly mobile, I could really see myself using it. My arm and hand felt very snug while holding the tablet. The glove part is made of neoprene and leather. It felt very secure. At no point did I feel like I would drop the Tablet PC.

What do you use to prop your slate tablet up against when you want to start typing with a wireless keyboard? Unless you have a tablet with wide viewing angles, it gets a bit tricky. What I liked most about the SlateGlove was being able to use it as a prop, either in landscape or portrait mode. To keep the tablet from slipping when being used in landscape mode they enclosed two very thin friction pads that attach to the rubber bumpers. They even designed them to match the color of the rubber bumper! Having a prop built-in to the slate, made the slate much more versatile and flexible. Although propping up the tablet wasn’t the main design for the SlateGlove, it would be nice for it be a little thinner.

I’ve only seen a couple of mentions on about the SlateGlove. I don’t know why more people don’t know about it. Its’ a fantastic accessory, especially for those who are highly mobile. For something as well designed and engineered as this, $59.85 is not a bad price. I’d love to see the SlateGlove with other slate Tablet PC’s.

Pictures below:

Nice review Rob - very thorough. If I used a slate, I'd definitely want one of these. I wonder if something similar could be designed for the M200.

BTW, you have a wonderful future awaiting you as a hand model ;^)
He'll have a better chance of becoming a hand model if he can find his identical hand twin.
Very Nice Review,
Prompted me to try one, and I'm very pleased.

Thanks Very Much
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good post :)
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