View Full Version : Powerbook or tablet?

2005-03-18, 22:04
Before you jump down my throat, let me explain. I'm a die-hard Mac fan. I've only owned Mac's since the SE. But lately I've been disillusioned and tempted to the darkside.

For the past 3 years I've wanted a powerbook. I currently have a dual USB 500 iBook. It's been wonderful. It's done everything I've asked and more, but it's really showing it's age. I work at a University and I'm eligible for an upgrade for my computer. It's assumed I want a powerbook, but I haven't liked what I've read as of late. Apple seems to be letting their quality assurance go to heck. The latest trackpad issue is just another example.

Combine that with my PC friends showing off their tablet PC's and I'm a pretty confused camper.

Now my question. Is there any chance that by June Apple will have something that allows the user to write on the screen, has handwriting recognition (what's it called, inkwell?) that can actually be used without adding some peripheral to your computer? I hate to order a powerbook and miss what I'm really looking for.

I have no intention of switching, but I wish Apple had something to offer in this realm. I know they would not only do it right, but it would look cool too.

I want portable power, so if I get a powerbook it will be the 12 inch with DVD burning capability.

I'd appreciate your thoughts, advice, and rumors.

2005-03-18, 22:50
I just bought a Rev D PB 12" with SD, and havn't had a problem with the trackpad at all. The truth is the majority of people posting about the trackpad are, inevitably, the ones who are having problems with them.

My suspicion is that the vast majority of trackpads on the new PB are just fine, and regardless I would take my chances rather than endure a PC.

If your trackpad is in perfect working order you're not going to run to a forum and post about it, unless you're a complete moron like me. Hope that helps

2005-03-19, 22:26
I recommend you try out a Tablet PC before buying one. I thought they were pretty awesome when I first heard about them but I found that the input system was hit or miss. I personally don't see the attraction to tablets unless you are doing a lot of drawing and doodling. I can type much faster than I can write, especially if the computer is having problems recognizing the fact that I am writing on it. I'd say roll with an ultralight notebook if you really need the portability. I am quite happy with my new 15" Powerbook. After owning a 10 pound HP for four years, it's nice to have a computer that I actually don't mind carrying in my backpack.

2005-03-20, 00:52
I have a HP tc1100, and it completely sucks except for doodling or writing notes in class. You can't do anything productive with it otherwise.

2005-03-20, 00:54
Having used a TabletPC, all I can say is... ew. I'm a diehard Newton 2000 owner (seven years and still kicking!), so I'm familiar with pen based systems. Windows is NOT geared towards pen input, and their attempt at integrating it is so painfully 'tacked on' that it is almost laughable. I can't imagine using one for anything other than sketching, to be honest. I know someone who *LOVES* her tablet... but she plays mostly solitaire and surfs the web. When she actually has to enter text, it's painful to watch. L e t t e r b y l e t + 3 4 Oops. *scribble* l e t t e R *scribble* Repeat. Inkwell is much easier to use in my experience (and I did for two months while my shoulder was healing from surgery, and I wasn't able to raise my arm to a desk. I velcroed a Wacom tablet to my arm brace, and used Inkwell to input all the text and move the cursor, while my left hand operated the modifier keys on the keyboard. Worked amazingly well.)

No, I can't recommend a TabletPC. Maybe their next generation will start to be usable as a real tool, but right now they're just gee whiz.

2005-03-20, 02:15
Where I work gave me a tablet for a 5 month trial. After playing with it for a week I decided it was not for me and it sat in my drawer whie I used my laptop.

I tried to use the tablet how it should be used - no keyboard. If you are constantly using the keyboard then you made a bad choice and should have got a laptop.

I would say that as a tool to view notes and make small adjustments that it might be handy. But if you are looking to write a lot then they are next to useless.

2005-03-20, 08:02
Thanks for the input. I have never actually tried a tablet, just seen my coworkers using one. They are hardcore PC users, so they just gush about it. Glad to get the other side of the story.

I'm feeling much better about getting the powerbook now. Besides, who am I kidding, my handwritting stinks.

2005-03-20, 08:12
If you could borrow one from your co-worker for a day/week you might get a better idea. As I said it did not work for ME. Who knows, it might work for YOU. It depends on your needs.

If I had been a bit more organised it might have been handy for my lectures, but alas time is fleeting.


2005-03-21, 03:23
haha. i was in a number of meeting with microsoft execs with tablet pc's. nearly every one of them would convert the tablet back into a laptop to take notes. someone asked them at one point why they didn't just use pen input and they said "it doesn't work as well." :lol:

2005-03-21, 04:59
I think they also have a "swear" censor. Being the juvenile I am I would write swear words. It was almost comical how a four letter word could turn into an eight letter behemoth.