Since I’m not fortunate enough to have a Lenovo X200 Tablet PC, I’m living vicariously through Warner’s InkShow and upcoming articles. He is one lucky fella.
That said, as I’ve looked at the specs, new features, and changes the X200 Tablet is bringing to the table, I wanted to share my initial impressions on some of the changes they made:
Change in pen location: As I shared earlier, I prefer a pen location on the upper left, so that it is accessible with my right hand when in portrait mode. With the old location of lower left, the pen location was actually quite awkward when in portrait mode, forcing your right hand to move across the tablet to the left hand side to take it out. With the location change, at least the pen is much easier to access with your right hand.
Loss of NavDial: This is a big deal to me. I use scrolling a lot. It was one of my biggest complaints about the HP 2710p, and I was very happy to see HP listen to customers and add it back in the 2730p. I find it quite ironic that HP would add a scroll wheel to the new 2730p, while Lenovo took it away in the X200. I can’t tell you how often I use the scroll wheel in the Latitude XT. To me, the scroll functionality is one of the unique things of a tablet that make it more personable and usable while in portrait mode. I have a feeling Lenovo will be hearing more on this one.
Less bezel: I was very pleased to see Lenovo remove a lot of the bezel in their non-touch panels. The screen appears to be almost flush with the little bezel that is remaining. Good move, Lenovo.
Loss of Firewire: no big deal to me. I never use it.
WXGA: This was bound to happen and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. With all the supply issues and quality control issues of 1400 x 1050 panels, we knew this was coming.Most OEMs have all transitioned to WXGA, and we’ll continue to see them make that move. Personally, I like 1280 x 800. Would I prefer 1400 x 900? Sure, but 1280 x 800 is a very nice resolution and a good compromise between 1400 x 1050 and 1024 x 768.
Right side lip: The X61 has a nice little lip on the right side that I used for my Logitech Nano wireless mouse receiver. It hid the receiver quite well. Initially, I was disappointed to see that go, but I certainly understand the reasons. On more than one occasion, I would have difficulty plugging in certain USB devices because they were too thick and would hit the upper lip. Now, that won’t be a problem and it shows they listened to customer feedback. Good design choice.
USB ports: Lenovo was smart to adjust the layout of their USB ports. On the X61, two of them were located under the lip on the rightside, and the other was on the left side. With two USB ports sitting side by side under the lip, it was very difficult to plug in USB devices in to both ports. More often than not, one of them was always too wide and you ended up losing the use of a USB port as a result. With the new lay out, the two USB ports on the right side are spread out, thus allowing you full use of all the USB ports. Good move, Lenovo.
LED backlit screens: good to see Lenovo move in this direction to help with battery life and outdoor viewability. I’ve certainly enjoyed the LED on the Latitude XT.
GPS: Nice to have that option thrown in there and I can certainly see people using it who are on the road a lot. It isn’t anything I’d use, though.
Webcam: This was a nice addition and something I’m using more and more these days. I just hope it works seamlessly with Windows Movie Maker. Test this out for us, Warner.
Speakers: Lenovo got this one right, going with two speaker stereo sound over a single speaker in the x61. The x61 sound was horrible, so it was great to see them improve the multimedia capabilities for the X200 Tablet.
Keyboard: huge kudos for going with a full-size keyboard.
Price: starting price is $2325 – that is a too high if I say so myself. However, I expect Lenovo to continue with their coupons and 25% – 33% off sales. It seems the X61 was always at least 25% off, and I’d expect the same with the X200 Tablet.
I still can’t wait to get my hands on the X200 Tablet, but overall, I have to say I’m impressed with what Lenovo has done. If they can bring the pricing down by $300 – $400, I’d be even more impressed.