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Hardware &Links Isaac on 28 Feb 2007 10:02 am

A Wave of Hardware Reviews

Maybe it’s more of a small ripple than a wave, but in perusing the few dozen blogs I’ve plugged into Google Reader I found a number recent Tablet PC reviews. Then it turned out to just be two reviews, each blogged about repeatedly (for instance here, here, here, and here), so I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon. (And it doesn’t hurt that the Lenovo X60 is in here…)

Business Week reviewed the X60 and said:

The Good: Extremely portable; Active Rotate feature automatically adjusts screen

The Bad: Lacks an internal CD drive; relatively expensive

The Bottom Line: It’s not much to look at, but it is a capable and easy-to-transport tablet doubling as a laptop

CRN looked at the HP TC4400, the ThinkPad X60, and the Toshiba M400 and said:

All three convertible tablet computers impressed Test Center engineers with above-average quality and similar feature sets. Price/performance came out roughly equal, as performance ratings were similar and the difference in list prices varied by only $112 between the lowest- and highest-priced units.

Lenovo garnered points for being the smallest and lightest unit tested here (excluding its expansion base), giving it a boost for ease of use. But by leaving out a built-in optical drive, that win came at the expense of features. Toshiba’s choice to include a built-in optical drive—a key decision that in the eyes of Test Center engineers creates a more versatile tablet PC—made it heavier than Lenovo’s X60 but on par with the weight of the HP unit, giving the M400 the advantage on features.

Users seeking the combined functionality of a notebook computer and tablet PC in a single unit will prefer the Toshiba Portg M400-S4032 over the HP Compaq tc4400 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X60, which affords the lowest estimated partner margins among the three. But if low weight is a priority, then Lenovo is the way to go.

All in all, I think if I were buying a machine right now, I’d go with the Lenovo ThinkPad X60, but as I’ve said before size and weight are critical to me and battery life is a close second and I don’t really need an optical drive built in.

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