Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Why I'm not impressed with the Lenovo X41 Tablet PC

There's a lot about write-on-image technology and Tablet PCs that I really like, and watching tablet enthusiasts like Robert Scoble and Steve Gillmor rave about their Tablet PCs makes me feel distinctly ancient with an actual hinged-screen laptop. Mine is a recent model Apple PowerBook with a gorgeous 15" screen and cool aluminum finish, but still, having to type on a keyboard, and figure out the logistics of angling the screen "just so" for the best view are really just amazingly user-unfriendly. We don't notice because, of course, we've just come to accept that it's part of the user experience.

Further, a true confession: while I masquerade as a businessman, I'm still secretly a geek at heart, and so when I recently talked with the market relations team at Lenovo, the company that bought and absorbed IBM's PC Division, I couldn't help but ask if there were eval X41 Tablet PC units available. There were, I got on the list, and I received my loaner system this afternoon.

My out-of-the-box impression, something that used to be all important to the industry, was excellent. This baby is small and light, weighing in at just over 3 pounds with an approx. five hour battery life and bright 12" LCD screen.

Then I started trying to actually use the system...