View Full Version : Hello folks!
First of all, I've been a lurker
10-18-2004, 02:56 AM
First of all, I've been a lurker for a long time here, and this is my first post. I'm going to post this to both the Gateway and Toshiba areas and see what the responses are, so bear with me.
About two months ago, I used the opinions of all the online reviewers and posters here to purchase a Toshiba m200 (1.8 Dothan, 512MB, 60 GB HDD). I have been extremely satisfied with it except for a few issues with lagging handwriting occasionally. The screen is also a little small, because I'm a big guy and I have big hands.
Now, here's is my problem ...
I have the opportunity to purchase a second and "better" Tablet PC and pass the one I don't want on to my spousal unit who has mentioned a need for one. I usually do research to buy my hardware, but NEVER EVER have I had difficulty with such a decision (I agonized the first time, too.) Here are my options (and yes, cost is a factor to consider):
1. Purchase a brand new Toshiba m200 with 2.0 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HDD and Bluetooth. Of course, buy the extended warranty in case I become Mr. Bumblethumbs. :D Give the old Toshiba to the wife, while I keep the new one as "upgraded." (Cost is appx $3100 with shipping and tax.)
2. Purchase a brand new Gateway M275XL with 1.8 Dothan, 1 GB RAM, and a 60 GB HDD. Of course, buy the extended warranty. If I buy the Gateway, I'm not sure if I'd keep it and give the wife the Toshiba or keep the Gateway. (Cost is appx $2700 with shipping and tax.)
I don't know if I can justify the new Toshiba because I just spent a lot of money on one, and the upgrades don't seem like that much to me for another 3,000 ... but I'm trying to tell myself that this isn't for me, it's for my wife. :D
What I'm afraid of with the Gateway is only the graphics quality on it. With a 14.1 inch screen, 1028x768 seems awfully shoddy and I've read reviews tha say handwriting recognition isn't as good on the Gateway because of the screen's texture. I don't use my tablet for a gaming machine, I use it because I teach college mathematics, and it's great for note giving, grading papers, etc.
I'm really torn. Can anybody PLEASE get me out of indecision hell? If so, I'd greatly appreciate it.
10-18-2004, 05:35 AM
You should get another Toshiba. The greater screen resolution and more paper-like screen (better handwriting) should sway your decision towards the Toshiba.
The Gateway does have a larger screen, but for mathematics I would expect the higher resolution of the Toshiba to be more important. The Gateway is, however, a nice machine.
Note that many reviews do give a higher score to the Toshiba than the GatewAY due to the screen and the better ergonomic design.
10-18-2004, 05:36 AM
I was pretty much in your same shoes not too long ago (Gateway vs. M20x). I first had an M275X for 9 months before getting one with the new line of processor. From there I passed one to my sister (grade school teacher) and the other is seldom used by my wife (student). I've been using the M200 for just less than a month now, so I can give you a well experienced opinion.
My reason for switching to the M200 was brought on because I was putting ample amounts of time into figuring out the best method of scanning Math textbooks into my tablet. The Gateway did support what I wanted as far as reading what I had worked so hard for; all the small print was clear and legible while zoomed into "fit page." It was enough to put down my textbooks for good. I still had an itch to see what increased resolution would produce, hence an M200 came to my home straight from Toshie Direct.
The screen on the M200 is superior. Reading scanned images is just as good with less quality scans. But what if you don't care about scanned textbooks? In that case the Gateway screen is more than enough. It is even easier to write notes on or surf the net...less eye strain for the same amount of page size. Lower the M200's resolution and you'll see how half of a web page will disappear unless you begin to scroll. The extra writing space should be a plus for students that can't keep up with notes. On a whiteboard a student can always look at one half while the professor is writing on the other. The smaller screen on the M200 cuts down that luxury. My sister has yet to hear complains when using the M275 during her lectures.
The weight on the M275 feels very heavy to that of the M200. I pick up the M200 from a corner with a few fingers while the M275 can be picked up with one hand also, but I run the risk of putting too much pressure near the Gateway's screen (tablet mode).
Handwriting recognition is the same daaaarn thang on both. Writing on glass may take a few writing sessions to get comfortable with, yet the difference will not be noticed even if you continuously jump around from the M200 to the M275 (adapting here becomes second nature). The glass might allow you to rest your enormous hands w/o the fear of crushing the poor tablet...lol of course. The M275 has zero lag time on any inked work. I know the M200 has a fix for the lag, but I don't want to fix one problem to create another.
The extra speed given from 1.5 to 2.0 gig of Dothan based processor speed is only noticed when transferring large docs 800mb+. Gateway's 1.8 shouldn't be a let down.
I recommend the M200's resolution if you often work with scanned docs, Toshi makes a world of difference here...period. The larger screen on the M275 comes in handy when writing notes; the larger display captures more ink per page. An increased surface will help your students look back incase they fall behind with the lecture (may or may not be a problem of yours). The resolution on the M275 suffices for any MS Office programs and using the net; reading Adobe files is also no problem at all if the document was not scanned in with poor resolution.
The price on the M275 is a much better deal, I spent just under $2700 for the M200 w/o adding the cost of recent upgrades. The sad part is I still don't have an external drive for the Portege. Well, I havn't even written pros about the integrated CD player on the M275, but school is calling.
cgolubski, if you are more specific how you use the M200, providing better details as to how it will compare with the Gateway M275 will be more productive. Hope this helped "ah litto."
10-18-2004, 07:44 AM
Wow! Thank you for the extensive reply! This pretty much makes me want to go with the Gateway simply because I don't use scanned textbooks, and more note taking space is what would be good for me. I mainly create notes using Adobe Acrobat Professional, and then make ink notes on them while I go through lecture. I also use it to grade papers (written papers in Word, and proofs, not handwritten math exams).
I spent well over $3,000 on my Toshiba - from RAM upgrades to buying a slim CD/DVD writer that would boot correctly in case of downtime.
I might want to play an occasional game on it, but nothing terribly graphics intensive. Like I said, this is mainly for school and note taking, as well as running my gradebook programs and doing evaluations. It's a mobile office.
Also, are there any wireless problems that you noted in your use? I've read that the 802.1x reception isn't as good with the PC in slate mode. What do you think?
10-19-2004, 08:15 AM
Tablet mode on the Gateway will hinder reception, but that goes to say probably for all convertibles. The difference is minor but noticeable when lingering on the boundary of a reception. The M200 and Gateways all have the same trouble areas in my home. All pick up the same networks...at school, home or from neighbors. If I'm not using my Robotics wireless card (125mbps) the difference between the Toshie's b/g card and Gateway's latest b/g is not noticed by my observations.
Getting back to choosing between the M200 or M275...XL. Both have their weak and strong links. The tasks you mainly use the M200 for are suited just as good to be handled by the M275XL. Your first reaction when going from high to lower resolution is the size of icons and toolbars. The sharper images of the M200 aren't noticed as vivid when comparing Word docs or a page produced in Acrobat...how sharp can Times New Roman get on a simple Word doc?
One thing I didn't mention but believe is important to know. KenMagel brought up the point of the M200 as having been better ergonomically designed. This is true. In slate mode the Gateway tablet will have you at the mercy of the digitizer. Kiss goodbye to that little button/joystick on the M200. It comes in very handy when flipping pages; w/o it you will get good at striking arrows or dragging scroll bars. Using the M275 for months didn't stop me from reaching to the wrong edge so I could plug in headphones or simply turn on the tablet. The M200 puts daily used hardware in front of you. The M275 lacks in all the little cool features. I would build a tablet with all the cool features and leave out he CD drive too. Almost forgot to mention this also...the locking mechanism is horrible on the Gateway. I've had three different M275 tablets cross my hands, and all have a unique feel to grasping the latch which holds it shut. It's some magnet latch that has a mind of its own; I still can't guarantee I'll lock the M275 on the first attempt.
It is all this that makes it difficult sticking to one tablet. The larger display is essential if you require the real estate. The M200 has become my favorite, but I still find myself taking the M275 to class...it is just so much quieter.
I believe the only way to be happy with your decision (outside of keeping both) is by having your spouse act as the safety net to catch the one that is passed down. Bring home the M275XL...give it a shot. You know what the M200 has to offer to your work. I think the M275XL will be a good decision if you need the writing space "for work." Choosing Gateway over Toshiba in this decision will leave you reminiscing of the user friendly design brought on by the M200. If you'd like to read some warm and fuzzy about choosing the M275 instead of the M200, take in account my wife and in-law had the opportunity to purchase either of the two after going through a demo with both of the tablets. My wife never purchased on, yet she uses my M275. The in-law purchased the Gateway...screen size was essential for capturing her penmanship.
Have fun making a decision...would love to know what it comes to be in the end.
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