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Tablet Struggles To Find Mainstream Pt. 2: Selecting A Unit



In a previous post, I detailed my plan to purchase and use a Tablet PC exclusively, blogging about my observations and experiences over the course of two weeks.   I discussed reasons why the tablet has struggled to reach the mainstream, my lack of interaction with the tablet platform, and shared the areas that I would be using a tablet in my daily computing tasks.   My goal was not only finding a tablet that would bring greater mobility and productivity but also finding a tablet that wouldn’t break the bank.   As a strong supporter of buying refurbished computers, I decided to search the outlets and eBay for the right machine.

The following factors were strongly considered when searching for a tablet:

  • Battery life: I wanted something with 4.5+ hours of battery life.
  • Weight: 4lbs or under.
  • Active digitizer.
  • 12″ screen

After doing a little research and talking with a few Tablet MVPs, I narrowed my choice to four tablets:

  • The Lenovo X61 is an excellent machine that exceeded all criteria, but it was ultimately priced higher than I was willing to pay.   The cheapest refurbished models were just over a thousand dollars.
  • The Dell Latitude XT is another fantastic tablet that exceeded my criteria.   There are fantastic deals at the Dell Outlet, especially with promotional codes that you can find via Twitter for even greater savings.   Had I not won the eBay option for the HP2710p, I would’ve most likely purchased a Dell XT.
  • The Fujitsu T2010 was also very appealing.   I began eyeing it largely because of GBM’s Truc Bui and his admiration of his own T2010.   Unfortunately the prices were too high yet again.   Fujitsu sells their refurbished machines via eBay, and while the actions start out attractively low, two weeks of auction watching showed that they sell easily over $1,000.
  • HP 2710p:   I settled for the HP 2710p because it met my basic criteria, had earned respected reviews, and was in my price rage.   Although the 2710p is listed as $1,5000 on the HP site, it is possible to snag one much cheaper through the HP Business Outlet.   I purchased my 2710p on eBay from a private seller.   The grand total was $580 for a refurbished unit and two extra batteries.   The model I purchased will be running Windows XP Tablet addition when it arrives, and I am anxious for the inking to begin.

This little experiment is not without a few attached strings.   I convinced my wife that purchasing a tablet would make my daily computing and work tasks easier.   She’s not sold yet.   The terms of our agreement are that if I don’t use the tablet daily it will go back to eBay.   Time will tell if the tablet stays or goes.

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