My search for the best tablet pc to write on continues, and this time the subject is the Asus T101MT
The T101MT is an 10 inch SVGA widescreen (1024x600) Intel Atom N450 powered Netbook class PC so it's basic performance parameters are pretty much the same as any of the recent N450 Netbooks such as the Lenovo S10-3T.
Inside it looks pretty plain and simple with not much in the sense of bells and whistles. You get a Chiclet style keyboard.
Which I can't tell you how well it works because I have been running an experiment to keep off the keyboard for as long as possible. As is typical for convertible Tablet PCs, the screen hinge rotates in only one direction.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term Tablet PC, that means the T101MT's screen can be folded 180 degrees and closed down on the keyboard to become a writing pad.
Unlike the Lenovo S10-3T though the Asus T101MT reaches the This feels quite a bit heavy region due partly to the higher capacity battery.
Depending on your usage and how you choose to throttle the CPU using Asus's Super Hybrid Engine app, you should be able to get around 3 ~ 4 hours of battery life.
The Asus T101MT does not have an accelerometer and thus doesn't do auto screen rotation (which I absolutely HATE!) Instead you press and hold on to a button beside the power button to rotate the screen.
As it is a full sized netbook, the Asus T101MT doesn't skimp on ports. You get all 3 USB ports in total, and the whole shebang of standard connectors at the back.
The main exhaust port is on the left side, along with the audio out and SD Card slot.
And now for the people who are interested in modding the T101MT, the bottom panel.
After I went through the shock of not seeing the usual regulatory stickers, Windows key stickers, serial number, etc. etc. (they're all under the battery) I noticed the lone panel on the back. That's the EXTRA memory slot. The Asus T101MT ships with 1GB of RAM... INSIDE the system underneath the keyboard, also known as the serious modders access only location. So you can add one extra GB of RAM while the additional slot, problem is that... because there's already one piece of RAM in the system, any other piece you get would have to work well with the preexisting one, so be sure to boot into Windows and crunch some numbers when buying additional RAM to ensure that the new RAM you bought works fine with the existing one.
Asus is not scared of Steve Jobs whole It's Wrong To Have A Stylus spew, and has a magnetic stylus silo on the right side of the screen.
Not just any cheap piece of plastic, it has a metal body giving it weight and feels like you're holding a real pen.
And it extends to a more reasonable pen like length.
And now let's talk about the touch screen, now we come to the one reason that I was willing to go through the wrath of my wife screaming "You bought ANOTHER ONE?!?!?!" to get the Asus T101MT. My whole purpose in getting Tablet PCs is to find that best machine to bring to meetings, write notes on, and brain storm on. And the Asus T101MT's touchscreen is almost close to being the perfect thing to write on.
First of all, it's a resistive screen instead of a capacitive one. Not as good as a real digitizer but a resistive screen is much better to write on than a capacitive one as I mentioned here.
Then it has 2 point multitouch so once app developers finally start making mutlitouch aware apps for Windows 7 you can use them properly.
But those reasons are not what tipped the scales in favor of risking the wrath of my wife vs living a calm peaceful life. What tipped the scales was that.
The Asus T101MT's touchscreen has PALM REJECTION.
I've seen palm rejection in resistive touchscreens before with my Fujitsu P1610 and U1010. They worked, but still left quite a bit to be desired.
After testing the Asus T101MT's palm rejection in the shop, I knew that I had to have it! While testing it in the shop I found that it could detect the palm and reject input from it 95% of the time! So I was elated when I found that out.
The main difference between the T101MT's palm rejection and the previous ones I used was that you have to specifically turn it on by running a program which Asus docks to the task bar. That's probably why it works so well, because in previous cases the touchscreen was basically trying to guess between what's valid input and what's not. Whereas for the T101MT the user specifically tells it that they ONLY want stylus points to be detected and nothing else.
As I was writing around in OneNote and in Journal I suddenly noticed something, my ink input looked different... it looked as if... the touchscreen was supplying Windows with PRESSURE INFORMATION!
Which means that not only did the touch screen do palm rejection, it was pressure sensitive as well! Which made it a very interesting touch screen indeed, and such an interesting touch screen deserves a video!
But... alas it is still not perfect, while the palm rejection works very well, it seems to falter at times, and fails to detect pen inputs. Not enough to call it a failure, but enough for me to get nit picky about. Still, it is by far the BEST Palm Rejection I've used outside of a digitizer! And that's saying a lot!
After using the T101MT, I sincerely wish that Asus is gonna put this same touchscreen (or an even better one!) on their Windows 7 powered slates in the future (hopefully something that's 10", anything bigger is too bulky to be called a pad).
So what's the verdict? If you're looking for an affordable tablet pc to write on NOW, I don't see why the Asus T101MT won't work for you. If you can wait, there should be better things come in the future, and of course if you have the money. You can go for one of the tablets which offer a hybrid digitizer for the BEST writing experience!