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Buying a Laptop - Tablets

buying a laptopnetbookstablets 

Tablet laptops allow the user to swivel the screen and use the unit as a writing or drawing tablet. This option comes in handy for disciplines that require hand-written work, like equations in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering, or sketching and drawing, like art, education or technology. You can also use a tablet as a reader to peruse lengthy pdfs and/or online books, etc. and make notes.

Tablets are usually more expensive than most PC laptops, running in the $1000-$1600+ range. They are comparable in price to MacBooks.

The latest version on the market is the tablet-netbook hybrid. Combining the lightness and portability of a netbook with the capabilities of a tablet, tablet-netbook hybrids are less expensive than their bigger siblings. The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t starts at $550 and their U1 (to be released Summer 2010) with a detachable screen is rumored to be offered at $999. The Asus EeePC T91  is also $550.


Tablet Options

 TouchSmart tx2z series

HPtx2zHP recommends the TouchSmart tx2z series for students. Initially released for Christmas, 2008, this unit comes 5th on the Most Popular Tablets list for September 2009. Since #1 and 2 are unavailable, the TouchSmart looks like a solid and inexpensive option. At last viewing, it scored 4.3 out of 5 stars from 164 voters on the HP site and receives a favorable appraisal in this article. The big deal on this unit is that it's the "first consumer notebook to offer multi-touch capabilities on the display." and right now it's on super-special - $200 instant rebate plus lots of freebies. And each new HP comes with Windows 7 - no messing around with Vista and an upgrade.

Base model: $799 (specs below; est. build time: two weeks) Quick-ship model: $879 (ships same day)

Processor: AMD Turion(TM) X2 Dual-Core Mobile Processor RM-75 (2.2GHz, 1MB L2 Cache)
Memory: FREE Upgrade to 3GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
Hard Drive: FREE Upgrade to 320GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Screen: 12.1" diagonal WXGA High-Definition HP LED Widescreen
Weight: 4.65 lbs

Watch a demo at

Tania in the Learning Commons uses an HP Elitebook 2730p, which retails for about $1500. Find out what she thinks about her tablet PC.

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