Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:34 am Post subject: Tablet in class
this is my freshman year , for which i purchased a Toshiba m400 .
The first semester is almost over and i have discovered the following regarding my tablet.
- I canīt use the tablet as a personal and college computer, the more programs u load it with the more clumsy it becomes in class , imagine having msn messanger and yahoo gadgets starting up while booting the computer to take notes.
- A thick notepad is not the best to take notes on, using the m400 in class im always trying to find a position that I feel comfortable to take notes.
- Battery!!!! on tuesdays and thurdays I have 3 classes going on, on my 3rd class I have to sit near an outlet to charge the computer ...
- Keyboard ? only when i use my computer as a laptop and which is for personal reasons or typing a paper home ... never to take notes in class.
For me the best tablet to use in class for notetaking is a slate , Superslim , with a lots of battery life , and a docking station with everything else (keyboard , mouse , optical drive, whatever....) home.
Does any of you owns a something like the one I described above? or has anything to add?
This was a problem for me to, unfortunately it has resulted in me almost never using the pen-interface (normally only for artwork or quick notes). However, this is multiplied by the fact that I type way faster than I can write so there is little reason to hand-write.
I normally bring this up when people say they want to take hand-written notes- that slates are going to be way more comfortable.
1) There are ways to control this. You could simply make these extra programs not load on boot, and only load them when in class. However, I have no problem on my M200 and so perhaps you are running battery manager to choke down the power of the M400? Otherwise I'd just recomend making sure you only have essentials load on bootup. You can do this by typing, MSCONFIG in "RUN", going to the startup tab and deselecting things you don't need to bootup (make sure you are careful, you have potential to screw things up from the msconfig menu). Lastly what is your memory, if you are running on less than 1024mb I would reccomend upgrading to at least that amount, that could be bottlenecking your multi-tasking power.
2) Goofy yes but for me I could make it comfortable by placing the back of the screen on the table, with the keyboard sticking up in the air- it was hard to write when you got close to the edge where the keyboard was but this was pretty comfortable. However it looks retarded lol.
3) I try to never take that many classes together lol, I do have a couple 3-hour classes though for which I just give up and sit next to an outlet and keep it charging the whole time. Normally this is not an issue at all though. To increase battery life make sure you are using the battery managing software Toshiba supplied to limit battery usage. You should be able to get 3-4 hours out of your battery pretty easily. Make sure if you ever go several minutes without using the laptop that it is set to turn the screen off after a couple minutes, choke down fan speeds, cpu speeds, etc. Perhaps the biggest thing to choke down on is your screen brightness, make sure it is on a pretty low setting.
4) See below.
It does sound like a slate is your best bet. Hopefully you can get a good deal on the M400 if you try to sell it, if you can't find somone local try Ebay for sure, feel free to post an ad here under Tablet PC Announcements as well.
I personally always recomend the Motion Computing and Fujitsu slates first. I have no personal experience with either but have friends that are quite computer-savy that love both. They both are big companies with good reputations and produce high quality machines. If your looking for the slimmest it's worth giving Electrovaya a look as well.
Finally if you look under Tablet PC Announcements you will see a stickied-thread about a trial program. I would highly recomend you use the program offered by the company mentioned in that thread- it allows you to get a tablet pc for ~42 hours to try out- one of the models they offer I think was either a motion or fujitsu slate. This would be a great way to get a feel for the system, something you can't accurately do at Best Buy or Circuit City. _________________ [b]James Volodymyr R.[/b]
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I already tried to remove programs from the startup tab in msconfig , but the thing is , I need to start everything manually when i get home or if i'm going to use it for personal stuff. I found a way around this with an SD card and an autorun configuration to start everything. I don't know if it's gonna work in the long run I just though of it yesterday.
You really did that in class? I mean placing the screen down with the keyboard hanging in the air ? I think it draws a lot of attention as it is , imagine if i had the keyboard up too hehe.
I'm not going to sell my tablet , instead I'll try to save money and get a slate too next year.
Btw, is there a way to create different profiles on the computer through some thirdparty software, instead of the SD autorun thing I'm trying to pull?
Unfortunately there isn't that I know of. You can make seperate profiles in your battery manager software for different settings, but not programs.
Really the only thing I can think of for programs would be to create two profiles in winxp. One for in class- set this one to boot up with the bare-minimum in MSCONFIG, and another for home and set it opposite.
I don't get why there would be so many programs to change but I guess to each his own. I actually don't change from in-class to in-room at all, and the only extra software I can think of is Trillian (combines MSN and AIM (and others) into one messenger client).
Can you really not get 3+ hours of battery life by running higher speeds (make sure you keep monitor brightness low). I guess I don't seem to but that doesn't seem right lol. They advertise like 5 haha! The last thing would still be to check how much memory you have, if you only have 512mb you may get sluggish performance running all those programs under any settings. _________________ [b]James Volodymyr R.[/b]
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I have 1gb of ram , but the thing is,
on startup .... I have the Palm hotsync , sony-ericsson phone manager , yahoo gadgets , msn messenger , aim , floats mobile agent , google desktop , download accelerator , bluetooth manager , and a bunch of other stuff which I 100% use when I'm home , and 100% not use when I'm in class.
So far it looks like the SD card autorun works , but some programs, after I remove them from the startup through msconfig and use the SD autorun , after the autorun they add themselfs in the startup again automatically .
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