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 the Acer:

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.