It's been about 2 months since I recieved my TabletPC. I've used it at 2 conferences and up until recently used it pretty heavily at work. I don't feel like I have gotten everywhere on it, but I think I have used it enough to give it a decent review.
I hate those # out of 5 stars things, because it's too hard to judge objectively. Let's reduce the scale a bit. Thumbs up; no thumb; and thumbs down. Thumbs up means that it is way cool and I love it; no thumb means it's OK, but I'm not wowed; thumbs down means that it really sucks don't bother. (I will probably use this system in the future). Now that I have that out of the way here we go.
Summary Rating: Thumbs Up
I love my TabletPC. I'm every guy that Robert Scoble reports on who buys a tablet. I like ink, but I also like being able to switch in and out (right now I'm typing on it). I have 1 annoyances with this model:
sometimes when I type hard on my keyboard I either accidentlaly hit the mouse pad or something is not wired correctly in the keyboard (I'm not sure which)... If I'm not careful I start typing somewhere else. (right now the mouse is on the window in VisualBlogger 2004, but not in the typing area).
Beyond this one point I love my Avartec. It cost me about $1000 less than any other comparable tablet, has built in wireless 'g', has a 60gb hard drive with 1/2 gb of RAM, has an Athlon-m 2200+ (which seems to provide a decent amount of speed), has a video card from SiS that has 32mb of Ram (Ok, it's shared ram, but most games don't know that) and a built in (not external) DVD/CD Writer combo drive. The only feature you (fellow programmer) might not like is that the screen is only 12.1 inches. So my rating is Thumbs Up.
You may be wondering, but is it fast. Well, the real speed is 1.7 Mhz. I like to test performance with a playstation emulator (like ePSXe or PCSX). If a machine is decently fast then you should be able to get a decent FPS out of the emulator with the resolution/graphics enhanced and no frame skipping (using Pete's DiectX plugin, of course). I only ever measure whether the game is playable or not (is it near or at original speeds); I never think about what the FPS is (but usually 30 fps or better is decent).
I admit I'm a klutz. I drop stuff accidentally all the time. So of course I have either dropped something on this unit or have dropped it. I have only noticed one thing here. I have a small crack right around the screen lock (behind the screen). This doesn't thrill me, but it's not a bad crack and it doesn't appear to be growing.
The software in this baby is very much budget. You get a few months of Norton Antivirus (not that I care... I hate Norton), OneNote (of course), Roxio Easy CD/DVD Creator, and PowerDVD (version 5, I think). So, it's not everything (but once again... price is about $1000 less than any other Tablet that I found).
The Avaratec is a nice device. In fact it has become my main machine. I barely use my other machines (except to connect to to retrieve/store data). So, that's why it gets a thumbs up; I can't live without this machine!
Coming soon... my review of my Axim X30 (I have had it about 2 weeks now, so the review may need to wait a little bit).