So how am I getting on with my tablet after having it for four days? Very well. It’s turning out to be a lot of fun to use, and it’s doing all the things I wanted it to.
(When you’re done with this post, you may want to see my update after two weeks.)
As a Laptop
It works surprisingly well as a laptop – the keyboard is very nice to use, and although the screen is small, the high resolution keeps it very usable. At home, I just drop it on the desk, plug in the power, network connection, and USB hub, and it works perfectly well as a desktop machine. The keyboard is more usable than the one on the previous Toshiba machine (a Satellite), and the extra screen resolution comes in very useful. The fact that the machine is quite a bit faster helps too.
I can have almost as pleasant a set up to use, though, anywhere I have a table and chair, using it like any other laptop. Because it’s a PortÃ©gÃ©, it’s small and light – much smaller and much, much lighter than the previous machine. That means that instead of being an unpleasant thing to lug along with me if I really needed to, it’s small enough to take everywhere with me in a bag, just in case I want it.
As a Tablet
As a tablet, the M200 is actually a bit on the weighty side. Fine if you’ve got something to prop it up on, but a bit much to hand-hold for too long. The tablet features, though, are available all the time, not just when the machine has been ‘converted’ to tablet-mode. I find myself using it it’s laptop form most of the time, but quite often using the pen to scribble notes or mind maps on the screen. I’m writing this now in OneNote, and have a mind map at the top of the screen. As soon as I start to get stuck for ideas, I can return to the mind map and do a bit more scribbling. If I have ideas whilst re-reading, I can make scribbled notes in the margins. OK, so a blog post doesn’t usually go through that much thought and revising, but I could ;).
At work today, I was making scribbled notes in my lunch break, planning future PigPog articles, and then switched to Ink Art to draw a quick sketch. Nice to be able to do. Before doing that, though, I checked my mail and did a bit of web browsing using it like any other laptop.
I struggled to find a suitable bag. Most laptop bags are way to big. It fits nicely in the front pocket of the bag I had for the previous laptop, and would rattle about terribly in the main compartment of most. I first ended up buying a document wallet as a cheap alternative, but it was quite a bit too wide and didn’t offer much protection. Another visit to PC World found an answer – they did have one bag after all that was a good fit, and had a decently large padded pocket for everything else – cables, camera, binoculars, and whatever other bits I need for a day. It also has a few good compartments in a separate section in front, and a big ‘messenger bag’ style fold-over flap. The inside of the flap is made of a strange rubbery soft material that flops flat and makes for a nice soft surface to put the machine on. Stand the bag up, and push the laptop up against this surface in tablet mode, and it holds it at a nice angle, like a drawing board – bag and stand in one! Looks quite good, too, except the rubbery inside surface and the inside edge of the strap are both bright orange.
We name all of our machines after kids’ TV characters. This one is now called Moog.