Friday, December 16, 2005


First dislike of the Thinkpad tablet pc

There is a latch at the top of the screen that you have to push through to close the laptop screen or push in the opposite direction to close in tablet mode.

I can already tell that the latch is going to be highly susceptible to breakage, plus it just creates an extra step when opening the screen and going to tablet mode, and it makes this loud clicking noise when you push / pull it. I wish it were a magnetic latch that just stay out of the way until needed and were a quiet solution. So much for transparent computing.

Hey Rob, I'm a bit surprised that more people aren't unhappy with the keyboard on the X41. I consider its keyboard - the whole reason for buying a convertible tablet - to be far below the standards set by nearly every other notebook manufacturer. The sheer lack of a Windows key is, in itself, a dealbreaker for me. To make matters worse, the Function key is right where the Control key should be. And then there's the whole TrackPoint pointing device. Sure that's a personal preference kinda thing, but nearly every other notebook has some variation on the standard touchpad that nearly anyone is somewhat confortable using - the TrackPoint certainly takes some getting used to.

Keyboard niggles aside, the X41 is also sluggish even with a gig of memory.

On the plus side, it is certainly light and the built-in SD card reader is a nice touch, but the bang-for-buck ratio is just way off on this thing. I'd sooner recommend a Motion Computing slate.
The display latch IS kind of weird, but I don't really notice it any more. It does allow you to open the Tablet with one hand, which was always frustrating in my previous Thinkpads. Plus, it provides a very positive "lock" which has to reduce stress on the pivot hinge. That's odd.

I really like the keyboard, myself. It's actually laid out like every other Thinkpad keyboard I've ever owned. Thinkpads have never had a Windows key, but most do come with a keyboard mapping utility that allows you to map the Windows key to something else (left-Alt, in my case).

TrackPoints/Pads are such a matter of personal preference. They feel very natural to me, buy YMMV.

We can all agree that it's sluggish though. I have 1.5G in mine with paging turned off and it still churns away sometimes. I guess we're all hoping that a faster harddives comesa long in the 1.8" form factor.
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