What to buy: an iPad or a Windows 7 Tablet PC? Here are a few suggestions

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:

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.


Tags: shopping, RSS, Microsoft, New PC, articles, blogs, Microsoft, Windows 7, Tablet PC, iPad.

Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, Windows Vista, Windows 7, computers, hardware, how-to, Tablet PC

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New Tablets, Slates, and Pads: oh, my. 2010 will be an interesting, touch-fueled year.

imageToday’s been a busy day, what with work and getting pinged with the press on the new tablet products coming from Silicon Valley, as noted here with an inside look at the HP Slate (the model that made its debut at CES). None other than HP’s CTO Phil McKinney shows off the the Slate in a "History of Innovation" in his latest blog post on HP’s The Next Bench blog.

Oh, yes, and there is the new Apple iPad, too. More info on the new Apple iPad via Bing here. There are some choice updates from people and press in attendance at the event today in San Francisco in my twitter feed.

imageA comment on design, timely especially since I was referencing the incomparable Bill Buxton today in a presentation.

There’s an interesting similarity to the bezel design on these two devices, both somewhat different from the approach seen on other touch tablets (‘though reminiscent of of the iPhone). As I noted on Twitter, the ASUS Eee PC T91MT makes more sense (or costs fewer cents?) given that you have the choice of using the keyboard or not. Having the option is nice, as I found when I made the case for a Revitalized Notebook (aka getting more from computers currently gathering dust). This was when I updated my Toshiba M200 with Windows 7.

imageAlthough I like the tablet functions, it’s certainly nice to have the keyboard input option. With the new touch enabled PCs like the ASUS above (and even my home desktop, the HP Touchsmart 2), the ability to move between typing and touch become second nature after a while.  And if you have a portable form factor like the ASUS or even the HP (with optional dock, I’m guessing, as we saw originally on the 2004 release of the HP Compaq TC1100) the slate design works well overall for consuming media.

Interesting to note: Amazon’s taken no time to respond on its web site with this promo for the Kindle on the home page, touting the free wireless and no need for a wireless contract…

But should you get a tablet, or slat, or pad? That depends. More on that later…

Tags: gadgets, Amazon, CES 2010, CES, Kindle, Microsoft, tablet, Tablet PC, Windows 7.

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