[Source: Lenovo website]
What Research Did I Do?
In my opinion, the three best places to learn about tablet PCs in depth are:
Every time I want to learn more about any tablet PC, those are the three sites I visit first. Not only are the authors incredibly knowledgeable about tablet PCs (or mobile computing in general) they use tablet PCs as part of their day-to-day work so they bring a lot of real world experience to their reviews and opinions.
They’re also quick to recognize that your mileage may vary when it comes to using computers. They do this by comparing and contrasting their tablet PC preferences with the preferences of others and this makes for a much more well-rounded discussion.
Microsoft itself has recognized their contributions to the tablet PC space by making a number of them Windows Touch & Tablet PC MVPs (i.e. Most Valuable Professionals).
What’s particularly valuable about those sites, though, is that the official site authors and reviewers aren’t the only ones contributing. Gotta Be Mobile (GMB) and Tablet PC Review both have excellent discussion forums that I highly recommend.
What Have I Learnt So Far?
A lot; some of which I shared in my previous blog post (with specification data gathered from Tablet PC Review).
But, as a quick overview of my research, here are the reviews and discussions covering the ThinkPad X200 that I looked at.
From Tablet PC Review:
From Gotta Be Mobile:
- GBM Review: The Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC
- GBM InkShow: Lenovo X200 Tablet PC Hands-On Video Review
- GBM InkShow: Interview with Lenovo's Mika Majapuro on the ThinkPad X200T Tablet PC
- The Lenovo/HP Tablet PC Shootout: Which Would I Choose?
- Lenovo X200T and Fujitsu T2010 In Pictures
- Lenovo / Dell Shootout: X200 Tablet PC vs Latitude XT Tablet PC – Pictures
From JK On the Run:
- ThinkPad x200 Tablet PC with Multitouch - First Impressions
- ThinkPad x200 Tablet PC With Touch - Second Impressions
There were more articles and reviews that I looked at, of course, but those were the main ones.
But, What About Cost?
Ah, yes…cost. That’s the interesting thing because, even though I’m switching to a lower performance tablet PC when I move from the Toshiba Portege M750 to the Lenovo ThinkPad X200, the ThinkPad actually costs a little more (about A$250 more). Well, at least in my chosen configuration.
But that’s okay because, what I lose in processing power, I more than make up for in longer battery life (about double), a multi-touch screen, a special portable dock, and a better overall tablet PC experience. So, instead of getting a powerful workstation that is also a good tablet PC, I get a great tablet PC that isn’t all-powerful but still packs a real punch.
The only unfortunate thing, as far as cost is concerned, is my timing. That’s because, as part of the launch of multi-touch screens on the ThinkPad X200, Lenovo is giving lots of discounts if you order online from their site. Lenovo US, for example, is giving a 15% discount and is throwing in the X200 UltraBase (which is the portable dock mentioned above) for half price (US$100 instead of $200). Lenovo Australia, meanwhile, is giving 25% off for all ThinkPad purchases till midnight tonight and is extending your warranty from 1 to 3 years for just $1.
I, unfortunately, won’t be able to afford a tablet PC till November at the earliest. That means I’ll miss all the back-to-school and new-feature discounts and specials that will be offered over the next month or so. Indeed, I’ll be getting my tablet PC bang smack in the middle of the Christmas shopping season. The only way I’ll get lucky is if I am in time for a pre-Christmas sale offer, but I doubt that’ll happen. Oh well. It’s still worth it.
One Last Thing: Hands-on Experience
The one last thing I am hoping to do before finalizing my choice is getting some hands-on time with these tablet PCs. Unfortunately, that’ll be really hard to do here in Melbourne, Australia.
I know I can get my hands on an HP tablet PC (the tx2000 and possibly the 2710p) at a local HP reseller but I don’t know of any Lenovo or Fujitsu resellers that have tablet PCs on display. Finding out will involve lots more research and, hopefully, some help from the Tablet PC Review and GBM forums. I’m hoping something works out, though, and I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.