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First impressions of the X60 Tablet PC



As a former owner of the X41 Tablet PC, I’ve been waiting to try out the new X60 Tablet PC from Lenovo for quite a while. I loved everything about the X41 except for the performance. It wasn’t bad – it just wasn’t great. So I sold the X41 with an eye toward the X60. Seeing as how Dennis and Warner are not sharing their eval units :-) , I finally bit the bullet and purchased one. After dealing with delay after delay from Lenovo, I picked one up at a great price from a member on forums.

It just came in today, and I have to say that using the X60 Tablet PC feels like coming home. As a former X41 user, I’ve picked up on many of the finer improvements Lenovo has made:

  • The pen is so much nicer to use than the X41 pen. With the added rubberized grip and the eraser head, it definitely feels like a step up from the previous pen. Some folks have asked if the X60 pen will fit in the X41 slot – doesn’t look like it. The garage on the X60 is shaped a bit differently.
  • I’m using an XGA (non multi-touch), and the screen is much brighter and clearer than the x41 screen. My memory might be a little bad, but the viewing angles also seem a lot better.
  • The gap between the screen and the outer casing has a nice smooth feel. It is not exactly even between the screen and the casing, but it much closer than the x41 was. Lenovo took out the rough feeling on the edges and it is definitely much smoother as I move my hand across the screen.
  • I really like the new 4 way navigational button on the screen. It is a huge improvement over the vertical button on the x41.
  • The unit I’m using is 1.83 ghz Core Duo with 1gb of ram, and a 80 gb 5400 rpm harddrive. I noticed the speed improvements right off the bat, even with 77 process running at start-up. I do plan on upgrading to 2gb and a 7200rpm harddrive, though.
  • It is hard to describe, but inking on the X60 seems to be much smoother than other Tablet PCs I’ve used. There is still some decent parallax between the screen and the ink, but it doesn’t seem to be as much as the x41.
  • I’m using the 8-cell battery, and am noticing about 6.5 –  7 hours of battery life.
  • The latch to open the screen on the x60 is almost flush with the casing and very smooth when opening the screen.
  • Lenovo added an on / off switch for wireless below and to the left of the opening latch. Now, it is easy to turn off wireless in slate mode without getting the pen out.
  • Compared to the speakers on the x41, which seemed to be tinny, the x60 speakers sound deeper.

Negatives so far:

  • The number of process running at startup – 77. That is a lot.
  • Bootup time seems a bit slow. From powering on to the logon screen seems to take longer than it should. I noticed this on my clients T60 Core 2 Duo Thinkpad as well.
  • Although the accelerometer / auto rotate is a cool feature, I turned it off after 15 minutes.  I prefer Toshiba’s implementation much better – turn the tablet and press a button to activate. Having the tablet auto rotate based on the angle I was holding it was getting frustrating. For example, if the I were holding the tablet in slate mode and then laid it flat on a table, then auto rotate would kick on and flip the screen to landscape. 
  • There is a really neat feature that brings the tablet out of stand-by when the pen is removed from the pen-slot. However, this feature only works ( as far as I can tell ), when the tablet is in slate mode. It doesn’t work when it is in convertible mode.

I’ll post more thoughts later as I begin to put the X60 through the paces, but for right now, I consider the X60 well worth upgrading from the X41. I decided not to go for the multi-touch because I have grown so used to the fine palm rejection in my p1610, that anything less would have really bugged me. SXGA would have been nice, and I still might opt for SXGA, but nobody can get one for a while, which is making quite a few folks upset in the Lenovo forums.

Lenovo needs to take a serious look at their shipping estimating system. People ( including yours truly ) were placing orders for SXGA tablets in late November with the orders showing mid December shipping dates. Those dates held and people were looking forward to getting their tablets, only to learn on the day the tablet was supposed to ship that the estimated shipping date then got pushed back to late January. People are getting frustrated by being told one thing, and then learning something completely different on the day their tablets are supposed to ship.

For more information on the X60 Tablet PC, check out Warner’s and Dennis’ InkShows.

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