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TabletPC experience

So, after 2 weeks of having Tabitha around, how do I like it? Turns out I like it/her so much, this is the first time in 2 weeks I find myself behind my main computer; I have to get some development done, and I have all my development stuff on my desktop PC (Clarisse). That, and I like having just that little bit of extra screen realestate. (1280*1024 vs 1024*768 resolution). But other than that, I liked working with Tabitha so much that I didn't touch my desktop much. Perhaps the mess on my desk vs the clean and quiet living room table where I put Tabitha has been of some influence too ;-)

I used to use a Fujitsu Stylistic 3400 before I bought my TabletPC, so I was used to using a tablet on the side. Lately, it's touchscreen digitizer didn't work anymore, so I started using it as a secondary monitor with integrated computer.

I'm also used to exclusively using a tablet input vs a mouse. I have a deep loathing for mice. They never worked for me since I started using Wacom tablets. The only occasion I use the (Wacom) mouse nowadays is when I'm stitch panoramas, because I like the extra precision it offers over hovering with a pen.

So what makes me like the TabletPC so much? Several things. I like how it's about as powerfull as my desktop system. I can do most of the things I used to do on the desktop. The kinderdijk panorama's I posted before were stitched solely on Tabitha.

I like how the handwriting recognition has improved since the versions I used on the Stylistic. The TabletPC recognition uses a dictionary lookup to enhance recognition. This works very well. There's an interesting sideeffect though; the handwriting recognition effectivelty has a spellingschecker. If I were to write "my inebility to write proparly", chances are very high the TabletPC would recognise it as "my inability to write properly". Neat.

Anything not to like? Lots of small things!

  • Design idiosyncrasies. There's this thing with the TC1100 tablet has obviously been designed to be used in portrait orientation. Everything from the logo's on the machine to ventilation holes, tablet buttons and even the IRDA port at the bottom of the tablet point in that direction. However, the tablet has a 'normal' laptop TFT which has a landscape orientation. ClearType subpixel font rencering works fine in landscape mode, but is very fuzzy in portrait mode. Personally I like using the tablet in landscape orientation.
  • I'ld like to have a number of per-application-programmable keys on the Tablet. When using photoshop, I need a X, Alt, Space and Tab key. In other apps, other keys are usefull. You get the point.

    Maybe I can get something like this touchstrip hooked up to the tablet. Another neat solution could be a to use the keypad on a Bleutooth enabled phone... Hmmm....
  • With most of my 'other' computers I have a Wacom Intuos tablet and pens. These are not compatible with the TabletPC even though both are based on Wacom technology, so I'm constantly switching pens. Perhaps some day I'll buy myself a CintiqPartner. Too bad I will be 'throwing away' ~400 euros worht of tablet and ~120 euros worth of pens if I do.

But I've got to add: I love using this tablet!