I’m working on an InkShow that should be up sometime this weekend, so I’m hoping this article will answer a few questions folks have until I can get that video shot. For a quick “First Looks” at the P1610, take a look at this InkShow I shot last week while at Mobile Connections. That InkShow and this article should keep you satisified for just a little while. By the way, all the pictures on this article can be clicked to view the larger image.
I ordered the 60gb / 512mb / Bluetooth / Tablet PC version of the P1610. I ordered that one because it was available and I could upgrade the memory myself through a panel on the back.
Using the P1610 reminds me so much of what I loved about the Motion Computing LS800 – the size, the screen, the weight, holding it in portrait mode and scrolling web pages. It is everything I loved about the LS800, plus all the negatives fixed. The best way for me to describe what I like about this P1610 is compare to my experience with the LS800. I know they are different machines, meant for different scenarios, but it is the ultra-portable experience I’m familiar with.
First and foremost, I need a keyboard on any ultra-mobile device I use. The kind of work I do dictates it, and I just hate having to remember to lug stuff around, “just in case”. The keyboard is a bit cramped ( see picture to the left, click to view larger image ), but it isn’t meant to be big. While sitting in the car today while my daughter was at a doctors appointment, I was reading the web in portrait mode, then had an email come through that I had to answer – a long one. I flipped the screen around to convertible mode and started typing with the P1610 in my lap. That is why I need a keyboard. No hassel productivity.
The pc card slot: this was a big gottcha for me on the LS800 and a big reason why I never seriously considered the P1510D. I use Verizon EV-DO a lot when I’m on the road, and I don’t like fooling with Bluetooth. I just want something easy and that has great bandwidth. I also take a lot of pictures and my Nikon camera only supports compact flash. I’ve got a Compact Flash PC Card adapter that I use all the time to help transfer pictures. So – a pc card slot in an ultra portable is a must for me.
Touch: Touch is nice to have when you don’t want to fool with pulling out the stylus in slate mode. You just want to browse, and interacting with the screen with your finger definitely adds another dimension to the tablet pc experience. It is an added bonus to me that makes slate mode more interesting, but something I could live without. The lack of hover in a touch device is a big pain, though. The P1610 would be the ultimate ultra-portable if it had true adaptive / multi-touch like the Lenovo X60 and as was demonstrated in the InkShow I did last week. You only get that hover experience with an active digitizer or with a tablet pc / ultra-mobile pc that supports adaptive / multi-touch.
The palm rejection technology in this P1610 is simply amazing. I have yet to experience a single vectoring issue when handwriting on the touch screen. I’m also not experiencing the typical pixel issues associated with inking on a touch device. The inking experience is very smooth, and I’ve been very, very impressed with that aspect. It’ll be nice being able to take ink notes without needing a special pen.
The size of the P1610 is perfect for what I need in an ultra-portable device. Not too small and not too big. I’ve used really small ultra-portables ( Sony UX180P, for example ), so I knew that I wanted something a tad bigger, more in line with a smaller TC1100. What helps with this size is the screen resolution: 1280 x 768. The screen is large enough that the resolution is just about right. I wouldn’t want it any bigger or smaller. I’ll demo some stuff in the InkShow on browsing in portrait mode and give some pictures about screen real estate with real world apps.
The memory: The P1610 only supports a max memory of 1gb. I knew that before I bought it, but I’m still majorly disappointed in that. 1.5gb would have been perfect in my opinion. That would have created a little more lifespan for the device ( not that I keep things long; but hey, I can dream, right?)
Battery Life: I’ve got the standard battery and I got about 2 – 3 hours today depending on whether my wireless was on or off. With my EV-DO card being used, that dropped to less than 2 hours. Don’t have real specifics on that, but it is basically what I remember. Now that I have a Portable Power Station, I don’t have a real need for an extended battery, although I won’t rule one out.
Heat: I’ve heard of folks having heat issues with the P1510, but I have not noticed any heat issues during the time I’ve used the P1610. I’ll try to pick up on it more as the week goes by.
Screen: Indoors, the screen is great, even under florescent lighting. There is a little glare to the screen, but it isn’t that bad. Under direct sunlight, the screen gets a little dim, but still usable. It is not like working indoors, but you can still make stuff out. Again, I’ll try to get some outdoor footage as well for the InkShow.
The stylus – I actually like this stylus. The part I like the most is the rectractable tip. As you press harder on the screen, the tip sinks in to the stylus. I’ve never used a stylus like that and it helps a little when writing. Pretty cool. Kind of hard to explain, so I’ll demo that as well on the InkShow ( gotta make a note of all these things I need to demo!)
Well, that is about it. A great device. I’ve very, very happy that I bought it; and I plan on putting it to some good use, especially taking handwritten notes. Look for an InkShow sometime this weekend.
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