I'm Drowning in Paper, So I Bought a Tablet

Latitude XT Tablet PC

So another semester has drawn to a close…this semester was my first full one; I did 17 hours and I can say one thing for certain: It’s a lot easier to focus at age 30 than it was at 18, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Finals were pretty gruesome, but overall it was a successful semester, and I’ve loaded myself up with 18 hours for Spring. One thing I learned about myself is that at some point, I stopped being able to do consecutive nights of 4 hours of sleep…I paid dearly for it during finals week and it caught up with me at the end. Yet another thing drastically different than being 18.

I also learned that a decade of cube life spoiled me in some ways…I haven’t put pen to paper (e.g. taking notes) in many many years having always used a computer for all of my document generation needs. The problem wasn’t with the note taking itself, but rather being able to quickly find information I had written down for later studying. Over the past few months I had gone back and forth on whether to get a laptop, or get a tablet. Since I’m a chemistry major, a good portion of my notes include drawings, charts, and equations with lots of symbols involved…so a regular laptop was not going to be a feasible solution. The obvious choice was then a tablet, but to get a decent one is a sizable chunk of change. A friend of mine reminded me about the Dell outlet site, and since the Latitude XT is the tablet I was interested in (namely due to multi-touch capabilities), it became a matter of checking the outlet page on a daily basis waiting for the configuration I wanted. It took a couple months, but the one I wanted finally showed up yesterday. To say I got a great deal would be an understatement. Brand new, the configuration I got would have been around $3,500…I ordered mine for $1,500. The main component I was holding out for was an SSD, which apparently are really hard to come by on the outlet site. Regardless, it gets here on the 22nd, and I’m beyond stoked to be getting rid of all the paper notebooks I would have had to keep up with next semester.

So the question now becomes, do I stick with XP Tablet Edition, or do I use the free upgrade coupon it comes with to move to Vista Business? I’ve read reports on the web of Vista’s tablet capabilities being less than stellar, with many reviewers preferring XP for tablets. I personally love Vista, and would see going back to XP as a huge setback, but of course I want to use whatever works best. Any readers have experience with one or both?

Anywho, I’m all caught up on sleep, have a week of family obligations, and am off to Vail for a week right after Christmas for a well deserved vacation. I keep telling myself I’ll blog more, but school is keeping me fairly hemmed up. Perhaps I’ll make a better effort come next year. Have a wonderful holiday season everyone!