View Full Version : Steve - How's the XT Tablet working out?
07-30-2008, 05:08 AM
I discovered this forum when Google threw up Steve's XT Tablet User review, which was fascinating.
I've since bought an XT - on the strength of the sharply reduced price from one re-seller here in the UK, 2G ram and 120G hard disk as well as both XP Pro and XP Tablet master disks.
So how is your XT working out, Steve? Any hints, tips or pitfall warnings for a new owner?
I bought the XT to replace a recently refurbished M1400: but that little slate is now working so well, I am loathe to eBay it. I use my tablet for reading ebooks and pdf-ed magazines (long, sleepless nights, alas) as well as journalistic notes, jottings and mobile editing. For e-book, and especially PDF, reading, it makes the Kindle look cheap and nasty...
08-05-2008, 09:23 AM
yorkie: Sorry for this delayed response; I was on vacation last week and attended the General Aviation Event (AirVenture) in Oshkosh, WI with my son.
For the record, after about 6 months of use, I couldn't be happier with my XT. Of course, I wish that Dell would move a bit more quickly to fix a couple of its idiosyncrases, like the ATI video driver and the N-trig / USB issue, but these are only small issues. Overall, the XT is working well and the N-trig digitizer is a real pleasure to use, especially in touch mode.
Like you, I have an old, but completely serviceable, slate... in my case an HP TC1100. It still works great and I still use it in various situations where its form factor is hard to beat. Interestingly, I also use my TC1100 for e-books and e-magazines, but I also use it a lot for casual surfing when I just want to relax (and I don't want to record or save anything).
Regarding hints and tips, my primary advice is to spend some time with your XT and just get familiar with it before you launch off into any serious updates. Windows updates are, of course, recommended; I'm talking about OS changes (XP to Vista or the reverse) and driver updates. I've been both amazed and dismayed at how many XT owners immediately dump the factory software image and start replacing and updating things left and right... and then wonder why some of their features seem to be screwed up or nonfunctional. So get acquainted with your XT first, then you can change whatever you want... but at least you'll have an impression of how its various features were intended to work!
You didn't mention which OS you have, but I recommend Vista Business or (if you really must) Ultimate. The tablet features in Vista really are much better than XP Tablet Edition. If you haven't already, be sure to install SP1.
As for the driver updates (see: http://support.dell.com ) the two most important ones are the video update (Catalyst 8.7, available at the AMD website http://www.amd.com (navigate to "ATI graphics drivers")) and the N-trig driver updates, primarily the Multi-touch update at the Dell support webpage. Also, see the Dell forum at http://www.gottabemobile.com , for an important discussion of how to best update the video driver; that discussion is too extensive to repeat here.
Finally, you can update your other drivers as you wish, but so far most of the updates have been pretty minor... except possibly for the Dell Optimised Touch (Desktop Theme). Approach this one with caution; it makes your desktop icons bigger, which is good for touch, but some people don't like the new appearance and it's very difficult to go back.
Good luck with your new XT...!
08-05-2008, 09:28 AM
PS: I forgot to mention. If you haven't already tried it, spend some time and get acquainted with Vista Speech Recognition. It's great! And it's much better than the XP version. SR is probably one of the least appreciated (and used) features of the tablet...
08-12-2008, 02:42 PM
Thanks for the reply, Steve. Alas, my aquaintance with the Dell tablet was short and not happy. See my separate posting - and good luck with yours!
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