Recently, my Dell C840 stopped working with a hardware failure (Stop Error d0000144:
Unknown Hard Error). Didn't find anything about this through Google ... looks like
the main board or the disk controller are into serious trouble :( I miss this device
a lot, esp. the great display (1600x1200!). Well, maybe I should be happy that it
worked until recently since I dropped it to the floor about a year ago - it survived
quite some time afterwards ;-)
The good news is that I got my new Tablet PC, a Toshiba Portege 3500. It'll replace
my Acer TravelMate C100 which served me very well since Sep. 2002, but has one serious
disadvantage: 256 MB of RAM, and no way to get more.
The Toshiba is a nice thing, and here is my list of pros and cons in comparison with
Pro: 1 GB of RAM (vs 256 MB); faster CPU (1.33 GHz vs 800 MHz); better graphics capabilities
(16 MB vs 2 MB video RAM); USB 2.0; Bluetooth; Compact Flash & SD Card Reader;
40 GB hard disk (vs 20 GB); external DVD/CD-R combo drive; better pen.
Con: bigger :); noisy CPU fan (!); no integrated Smart Card reader (I miss that one!);
no FireWire; no manual switching between portrait/landscape display mode.
So what is my advice? If you can live with 256 MB of RAM, the Acer gives you a better
feeling of mobility. I'd be happy with it if I could upgrade the RAM. But if you need
to use Visual Studio .NET or other memory-hungry apps, you will soon feel the Acer's
limits. (I once had to interrupt a demo and reboot the Acer in front of the audience
because it had become totally unresponsive - all I had done was opening a VS solution
with five or six projects, and launching the Pocket PC emulator ...) So, for the serious
developer, the Toshiba is the only sensible choice.
Just my $.02.