Over at his PC Magazine blog, Michael J. Miller has a preliminary review of the Toshiba Portege M400 convertible tablet PC. Frankly, it doesn’t seem all that different from other convertible tablets except for the compact 12 inch screen size which is the main point:
I’m a big fan of both small notebooks and tablet computers. I like my laptops light, because I’m a train commuter, and carry my laptop a lot. And I like tablet computers mostly because I like reading on them (with the screen in a vertical position), and for occasionally annotating notes and documents with the pen.
Ultimately, Miller remarks that he prefers the Lenovo Thinkpad X41 12 inch convertible tablet which is even lighter at 3.7 pounds than the M400 at 4.5 pounds. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Eric Mack who teases his readers with news of an “ultra-wide screen” tablet PC that he is expecting shortly from an unnamed manufacturer:
I just got off the phone with an excited representative from a well known computer manufacturer who called to let me know that, because of my blog, I’ve been selected to evaluate one of their new ultra-wide screen Tablet PCs. She promised me that it was perfect for Tablet PC mind-mapping and that I would be very happy with the display resolution and size.
Since Mack also says he’d “be happy with a 2.5″ thick Tablet the size of a Tecra M4 with a fold-out screen twice the size of an M4″ which is 14.1 inches, it’s clear he’s not worried about portability.
I can see the merits of both points of view, but the real problem is that the amount of time I really want a tablet PC of either size is vanishingly small. Battery life inhibits true portability and I am not comfortable enough with tablet technology to have some monster version parked permanently on my desk taking up space. I’m hopeful though, that one of these days there will be a tablet that convinces me.