Tablet PC Decision Changes Again: Fujitsu Lifebook T900

So, after my previous post in which I explained why I’d settled on buying the HP TouchSmart tm2 convertible tablet PC for myself, I talked to one of the people at I was thinking of buying my tablet PC from them and also wanted their advice before I committed myself to a particular machine.

It’s a good thing that I did talk to them because I have changed my mind once again: I will now be getting for myself a Fujitsu Lifebook T900.


[Source: Fujitsu]

Changing My Mind

Just to explain: When I use the phrase “changed my mind once again” I don’t mean to imply that I am indecisive or unsure about what I want to get.

I keep changing my mind because I continue to:

  • research tablet PCs (particularly new ones as they are released),
  • get advice from people (specifically, experienced tablet PC users), and
  • clarify how I see myself using the machine over the next few years.

That helps me define my tablet PC requirements better which, in turn, helps me choose the specific make, model, and system configuration that will suit me best.

So Why the Switch?

The reason for my switching from the HP tm2 to the Fujitsu T900 is simple: the T900 is significantly better than the tm2 without costing significantly more.

In my previous post I listed the things the tm2 had going for it. The T900 has most of those as well:

  • Capacitive multi-touch screen: yes
  • Active digitizer: yes
  • Cheaper than other dual digitizer tablet PCs: yes, though not as cheap as the tm2
  • Great track pad and keyboard: yes and yes
  • Independent graphics card: no, but it does have an awesome CPU and the updated Intel on-board graphics chip (which handles high-definition video natively in hardware)

I also listed a few things going against the tm2. The T900 has none of these:

  • Processing power: The T900 I’m going to get has the newest, top-of-the-line Core i7 processor from Intel so it’s really powerful
  • Keyboard: Because the T900 has a 13.3 inch screen instead of a 12.1 inch screen, it has a larger-sized keyboard and that means (in this case) the Page-Up, Page-Down, Control, Function, Backspace, and Delete keys are all in the right places
  • Glossy screen and viewing angles: The T900 has an anti-reflective coating (so it’s not glossy) and its viewing angles are much better than those of the tm2

Further, the T900 has some other things going for it:

  • It has a modular bay which can contain a DVD writer (which the tm2 didn’t have at all), a second battery, or a weight saver
  • Fujitsu tablet PCs have awesome build quality and Fujitsu’s after sales service in Australia is pretty good
  • It has a 13.3” screen instead of the usual 12.1” screens that you find on tablet PCs

It also has one thing sort-of going against it:

  • It has higher-powered processor which generally means shorter battery life though, fortunately for the T900, isn’t as short as you would expect (and is further offset by the modular bay which can contain a second battery)

So What’s the Catch?

The catch is that the Fujitsu T900, while still cheaper than the Lenovo X201t (still my #1 choice if I could afford it), costs quite a bit more than the HP tm2:

  • HP TouchSmart tm2: AU$2,000
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X201t: AU$4,000
  • Fujitsu Lifebook T900: AU$3,000

So while I will be spending 50% more on the T900 than what I would have spent on the tm2, I’m confident that I will have a significantly superior overall tablet PC experience. And that makes all the difference.

There is one further catch, though: I won’t be able to afford this till the middle of April. Oh well, better late than never (particularly for a better overall system).