09-28-2012 02:00 PM
I'm interested in purchase advice. I'm thinking of getting an x230T for my son to use in (home)school. I like the idea of him being able to take notes and then to draw in formulas, molecules, etc. right in the word document (or whatever it ends up being). I'd only be interested in the ThinkPad (vs. current Fujitsu) due to the durablity and available educational discounts.
I've been reading about the Yoga and other hybrid tablets expected with Windows 8's launch and am not sure if it makes sense to wait or purchase now (or if they will be price prohibitive). It appears that the newer tablet hybrids will be lighter than the current x230T. I've also read that it makes sense to wait for tablets designed with Windows 8 in mind. Then again, we do have a first generation Thinkpad Tablet and maybe we just make do with that.
Advice appreciated (while I continue to search reviews - have got to say that I've been disappointed with the x230T reviews. I bought my own X220 last year and it had great reviews across the board. Btw, another reason for my interest in the x230T - I already have the extended battery and docking station.)
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09-29-2012 03:11 AM
09-29-2012 05:43 AM - edited 09-29-2012 05:45 AM
The main benefits of the upcoming models will be lower weight and removable screen, so it may be a good idea to look at the options. If you can handle less CPU power, the Atom tablets will give long battery life without buying an extended battery. I started a list here: http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/hardware/52592-list-windows-8-rt-tablets-convertibles-stylus.html .
09-30-2012 02:29 AM - edited 09-30-2012 02:32 AM
Tablets are still more or less a gimmick and not very necessary unless you're using them for graphic arts and such. Windows 8 is designed for simple organizer-ish devices like the iPad that rely on touch gestures etc. for navigating the interface. The X230T is a more serious full-fledged laptop and due to that it's also bulkier and might not what you're looking for. I suggest you download and try the Windows 8 consumer preview from Microsoft to see if it's worth it. You can install it on an empty harddisk, or inside a virtual machine.
09-30-2012 05:09 PM
Just a note, I recieved my X230T on Friday and had Windows 8 on it right away. The only issue I had was with the bluetooth drivers, but today I found a release from Broadcom that supports Windows 8 which I found here.
Your milage my vary, but I myself am very happy with it. Sometimes its a a little different because the edges can be anoying from finger use (the digitizer appears to be off a little) but the pen always gets it. Overall I am quite pleased with it. Unfortunatley I still have to keep a VM around with Windows 7 for development.
Don't know if it will matter, but I am running the OEM release, not preview.
10-01-2012 09:47 AM
Thank you so much for your replies. The computer would be for my 12 year old homeschooled son so the durability of the ThinkPads is attractive. He's actually taking an AP chemistry course, which requires him to print out test questions, handwrite them, scan and email his handwritten work. I've been thinking a 230T would enable him to take notes and work problems by both typing and writing on the same document, and then emailing it directly from the computer (a time saver for us both). He is not carrying it anywhere for the most part, so the weight isn't that much of an issue (but lighter is always better in my book). I've also read that OneNote is incredibly helpful for students, although I haven't used it myself.
I'm still deciding if it's worth buying a x230T now (if at all), or waiting until Windows 8 comes out (I think if I buy now, I can upgrade for less than $20), or even waiting until Black Friday for substantially better deals. Having researched apple computers recently (for access to apple specific software for my own purposes), I think ThinkPad is the way to go if I buy him a laptop (apparently a tablespoon of water can fry an apple keyboard). It's an expensive purchase for a 12 year old, although I've read that many high school and college students in the sciences find it very helpful for note-taking in lectures, etc. We have an iPad, but the styluses are useless - they're much too fat in order to write anything meaningful. If I buy a convertible laptop/tablet, good pen input is essential.
10-02-2012 10:10 AM - edited 10-02-2012 10:10 AM
We have an iPad, but the styluses are useless - they're much too fat in order to write anything meaningful. If I buy a convertible laptop/tablet, good pen input is essential.
If you already own an iPad, you might be interested in the Cregle iPen. It's a precise stylus for the iPad that connects via a Bluetooth attachment and costs about 90$. Not suitable for drawing, but if it's for taking notes it's the cheapest solution. Other companies offer similar devices like Aiptek's MyNote and ByZero's Studio Pen.
10-03-2012 08:17 AM
I think I'm going to go with the X230T. I'm very happy with the x220, and durability is key. I see that there will be a pen-based Microsoft Surface tablet with pen input, but it won't be out for months. Now the question is when to buy. Does anyone anticipate updates to the x230T in the next few months? I assume it will be sold with Windows 8 after October 26. Probably makes sense to wait at least until then. Thank you for your help.
(btw, the info on the pen for the ipad was interesting, but I'd like my son to use one computer for all of his work, including essays that need to be written in word)
10-05-2012 10:15 PM - edited 10-05-2012 10:17 PM
I may be a little late, but I'll add my $.02 for others researching this topic.
We are now seeing the previews and announcements of a whole slew of touchscreen laptops designed for Windows 8.
But none of them are like the Windows tablets we have become used to with Wacom (and N-Trig) screens. The x230T like it's predecessors has two kinds of "touch": the multitouch screen that responds to finger gestures, and the active digitizer which responds only to the pen. It's the active digitizer that adds the first-rate Windows handwriting and drawing capability. Most of the tablets you see released this month will NOT have the active digitizer, only multitouch for gestures. The higher end dual-touch tablets (like the Microsoft Surface Pro) won't be here until after Christmas.
So if you want something for the fall and you need handwriting capability and you want something that is closer to an ultrabook than a boat anchor, I would recommend either the X230T or the Samsung Series 7 Slate. The Samsung (along with it's dock and keyboard options) can do it all and as a slate is much more portable than a convertible tablet like the Thinkpad. On the other hand, it is over a year old while the Thinkpad was just released so it's more up-to-date.
Also keep in mind that the X230T does not support the full range of Windows 8 gestures. It's a two-finger touch / five-finger swipe screen. Windows 8 uses ten-finger touch, and includes gestures that begin outside the screen and swipe in. Those are capabilities that the Series 7 and the soon-to-be-released tablets can handle that the current Thinkpad touchscreens cannot.
So, like most things mobile, set your priorites and decide what's most important, and where you can compromise.
And, no matter what you choose, there will always be something better that's just about to come out.
10-06-2012 09:24 AM
Thank you for your helpful comments. I definitely want the active digitizer, and considering that I already have the extended battery for the x220, the x230T makes the most sense in our situation. However, I didn't realize there was a difference between the avaiilable gestures in Windows 7 and 8, so here's my current question - do you think that the x230T will support the full range of Windows 8 gestures when it's released with Windows 8 in October? There is a sale right now (15% + off on the student site), or I could wait until after October 26, or even Black Friday, but I'd like to make the purchase before the end of the current semester.