as i didn’t receive any answer from acer to my question whether they have any new tabletpcs in the pipeline featuring an outdoor display (see the previous entry) i decided to go with toshiba instead (who have more experience and expertise in the notebook business anyway :). today, i’ve thus ordered a toshiba portégé m200 tabletpc at ssd (which offer remarkable discounts on hw) after having read some favorable reviews about the m200. of course i’ve also double checked that linux runs nicely on it. according to the specs, the portégé m200 is the perfect device for my purpose, far leaving behind any of its competitors. i’ve also ordered additional 512 mb of ram, totalling 768 mb of ram which should suffice for most demanding tasks. some of the highlights:
* tabletpc functionality (designing, handwriting and navigation – renown wacom technology which is nicely supported by linux too)
* very high resolution, bright screen (12.1 inch, 1400×1050, sxga+)
* convertible (can both be used in regular laptop mode and slate mode). the orientation of the screen is automatically adjusted using the built-in accelerometer (which double serves as a anti-theft device ;)
* ultra low voltage centrino/pentium m running at 1.6 ghz max
* directx 9.0 capable nvidia geforce fx go5200 with 32 mb dedicated ddr ram
* 60 gb hard disk drive
* infrared/wi-fi/bluetooth (note that for the u.s. model, bluetooth is a built-to-order option whereas for the european model it is included :)
* 2 x usb 2.0, vga, ethernet, modem, sd card slot etc. :)
* allegedly weighs 2.1 kg (including batteries) which is pretty lightweight considering its dimensions and features
* up to 4.5 hrs runtime using the default batteries
according to a recent performance benchmark test run by c’t/heise, the m200 even outperforms most current notebook computers on the market.
note that the screen is not a wide viewing angle screen, making the m200 an ideal device for mainly notebook usage with occasional usage as a tablet. that’s exactly what i’ve been looking for: handwriting recognition will certainly be a handy (“geeky” :) feature but i bet i will still be much faster using the keyboard. on the other hand, it’s great for taking some quick notes or drawing/painting/designing things.
i’m lucky it features a sd card slot (not a memory stick slot as often seen) as my cam already uses sd memory cards. thus i’ll probably standardize on sd cards (i prefer them anyway, they are better value than memory sticks).
[update 20040512: as a nice surprise, the swiss version of the portégé m200 features a centrino intel pro wireless 2200bg (802.11b/g) chip (thus not only a 2100b 802.11b chip :)]
i didn’t order an external cdrw/dvd combo drive. ssd only offered one to attach to the pcmcia slot which wasn’t worth the money at all (650 chf(!) -> now there are even usb 2.0 external dvd+-rw drives for around 250 chf). i’ll go for the latter.
delivery will take about 2 weeks as tabletpcs seem to be out of stock at the moment. i’m looking forward to testing all the windows tabletpc apps and particularly to (finally!) running gentoo on my notebook again :) (i’ll configure it as a double boot win/linux box)