I saw this evening that my friend Beth (aka techmama) is considering a new tablet for general computing, like surfing the web, editing her blogs and (no doubt) tweeting.
I mentioned that she should consider getting an inexpensive Windows 7 convertible tablet PC vs. an iPad. There are lots of nice choices these days from many OEMs, including Asus, HP and Lenovo.
Given my recent post with updated tips on buying a new PC, I thought, why not provide some examples of the current crop of Tablet PCs on the market? I won’t spur on the debate around the slate (sans keyboard) vs. convertable Tablet PC (often a convertable these days that can be used as a traditional laptop or folded back akin to a slate).
Both designs are attractive and best suited for different applications. Of course, I’m biased: I use both form factors, and in my daily work the Tablet PC is the most versitile for me as I still type far faster on a real keyboard and find myself needing the connectivity and ports more often than not. Tablet PCs provide good portability, the latest with improved touch interfaces and the benefit of a keyboard when you need it (like now as I type away on my blog). The latest crop of these PCs have good battery life, many connectivity options and great specs in terms of peed, storage and expandability (with lots of USB ports, SD card slots, external monitor options and more). I’ve been a user of Tablet PCs since I first started with the Toshiba M200 that I ultimately (and successfully!) updated to Windows 7 and love the benefit of the new screens with integrated touch, and even more flexible when you can also use a stylus for more detailed applications.
When looking at Windows 7 Tablet PCs in the same price range as the WiFi enabled iPad ($499 to $699), here are a few suggestions:
- The ASUS Eee PC T101MT-EU1710.1-inch Atom N450 Tablet Netbook Computer for sells for $499.99 – shop at Bing cashback to save even more (thru July 31)
- Also see the Asus Eee PC T91 which comes up discounted for just over $400 – CNET gives this model a good review
- The HP TouchSmart tm2t has some good reviews as well, and is on sale at the HPStore right now. Thanks to pcworld.com, use (as of 6/11/10) the coupon code NBLB44897 at checkout: the system price drops from $1100 to $700, with free shipping. This Windows 7 Home Premium model has a 12.1-inch touchscreen display with a 500GB hard drive and 4GB of memory
- Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t with 2GB of memory and an Intel Atom N470 (1.83 GHz) for $599, on sale at Lenovo’s site via Bing Shopping for $539
- Lenovo’s ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC is an excellent performer and starts at about $1,000 (it’s also a PC Magazine Editor’s Choice)
Be sure to research via your favourite sources (including the venerable PC Magazine and PC World) and via the Bing links above. And check out your favourite coupon and tech deal sites for more discounts and savings.
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2 thoughts on “What to buy: an iPad or a Windows 7 Tablet PC? Here are a few suggestions”
Have you ever used an iPad? There is no comparison in the Windows world for this device. It's easy to get on the web and find what you're looking for. I still use my laptop for deeper work and web searches. Causal use the iPad wins. Maybe a conversion tablet wins best of both worlds.
Yes, I have. I own one, in fact. I agree that for casual use it's a good choice. But I find that I use my tablet and my net book more often simply for the apps I know and love (Outlook, OneNote, IE) and keyboard. I think that my kids will end up more over the summer with the iPad given the games they play on their iPods.
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