Dell and N-Trig: I’ve Had It

In many ways, the Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC has become one of my favorite Tablet PCs. It is very thin, light, has ample room on the wrist pad for typing, has a scroll wheel, and is generally pleasant to use in portrait mode. It goes to sleep and resumes very quickly. It is also the only tablet pc on the market that is multi-touch capable.

However, along with a lot of users in our forums, I’ve reached the end of the road with the N-Trig digitizer issues. I’ve lost track of how many different issues there are, as one issue bleeds into another. More times than not, whenever I reboot, I’ll get N-Trig digitizer not found errors or applet loading errors, which render the auto and dual mode useless. The digitizer will only start working again after consecutive reboots. In addition, I still have problems coming out of standby with the digitizer accidentally clicking items while the pen is just hovering. In addition to the digitizer issues, I still have a recurring problem with my wireless card – it’ll just stop working and the only thing that will turn it back on is a reboot.

I’ve worked with Dell engineering support, solicited input  in our forums on their behalf,  removed registry keys, removed iTunes, fiddled with all kinds of potential USB conflicts, and more. They have reassured me that they are working on the problem. However, it has been almost seven months since I’ve had the Dell Latitude XT and most of my original problems with the XT are still there. I was certainly expecting to deal with some first generation issues for a couple of months, but this is getting out of hand. Even though the Latitude XT has the only multi-touch Tablet PC on the market, I’ve  finally realized that this digitizer  and its drivers  are not ready for prime time.

Dell and N-Trig: These problems need to be addressed ASAP and there needs to be some public dialogue between Dell, N-Trig, and your users about what is going on and when we can expect resolution. Dell customers: I encourage you to contact customer support and let your voices be heard. Until these issues  are addressed and fixed, I cannot recommend to anyone that they purchase the Latitude XT Tablet PC.