Friday, May 7, 2010

My “new” HP TC1100

I had totally intended to list my current devices and how I’m using them and how I hope to improve on my current set-up (read – how I can justify an iPad as a business expense), when I stumbled on a great deal on craigslist.  The device just had so much potential, and at 1/3 the cost of the iPad, it looked like a much better way to test my ideas than dropping cash on the iPad.

The HP TC1100 has been the darling of the tablet world since it came out and does not really seem to have a successor.  There is still a very active community of people still using and hacking these tablets on the internet. 
The screen size is similar to the iPad, although the tablet is quite a bit thicker and heavier.  At 3lbs, it’s twice as heavy as an iPad, but did I mention that it was only 1/3rd the price?  Oh, I guess there’s the bit about only getting about 1/5th the battery life, but the current battery is showing 30% wear.  I could always get a new one, as accessories for this thing are still readily available on ebay, among other places. 
Other specs and performance are not too far off those of a netbook.  I’m finding the performance of the Pentium M at 1.1 Ghz to be in between that of the Vaio P with its Z series 1.33 Ghz and the HP Mini 311 with an N series Atom at 1.6 Ghz.  It came with 1G RAM and has an open slot for an easy upgrade to 2G (which is already on its way).  The main differences are the sad old chipset and graphics (nVidia with 32MB of memory, woo!) and the dinky 40GB hard drive.  It’s not so much the limited space of the hard drive that bothers me as the noise.  I would prefer the silence, durability, and battery savings of an SSD.  I’m currently researching options, but there aren’t that many with a PATA/IDE interface.  There is also some debate as to whether or not there are significant speed gains given the bottleneck of the IDE interface.  I’m more concerned about silence and durability than speed anyway. 
The best part – the active wacom digitizer!  Eat that iPad.  I get a pen!  Not only can I keep all my music on it, I can notate it too.  It almost runs Smart Music, almost.  I still have some tweaking to do to see if I can get it running smoothly.  But seriously, a wacom pen to make marks in my music!  I’m still experimenting with Evernote, Foxit, and OneNote to see what the best way to keep notes will be, but OneNote is looking pretty awesome.  More on this as I figure out just how much awesomeness is packed in this tablet. 

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