The Fujitsu T3010D is simply the best Tablet PC on the market today, and one of the best laptops. Period. It offers both the functionality of a notebook and a tablet, and does each job very well. Unlike most Tablet PCs and laptops, it is convertible. The swiveling screen lets the computer sit in your lap like a notebook and then quickly be swiveled into tablet position held in your hands. The Fuji is light enough (about 4 lbs) that it is easy to carry, qualifies as an ultraportable, and is only uncomfortable to hold after long periods. It weighs less and is smaller than most textbooks I carry, and fits into my backpack with ease. The lack of optical drives is a huge plus because it means that I am not carrying or paying for anything unnecessary, and the machine can easily be connected via remote desktop or shared network connection to my desktop for expanding the screen or installing software remotely.
That being said, this is not a primary computer. The machine is small and compact intentionally - because it is meant for easy note-taking and portability, but not as a portable desktop. It fulfills its role very, very well, but do not buy this computer if you have no desktop to use for extended typing, surfing, game playing, etc. Actually, the T3010D is remarkably good at playing games for a computer without a real graphics card: I was able to get Command and Conquer Generals to run at 15 FPS with all the options down - over the network! And network connectivity is very good, because the tablet “D”-model comes with a combined 802.11b/g wireless card for no extra charge. You also get a base 40 GB HD, and cheap 512 MB RAM upgrade along with a 1.4 GHz Pentium M for your money, which is actually quite fast and battery-conscious, and more than enough power to run the business applications this computer was meant for.
Tablet functionality works well, although not perfectly. Swiveling the screen automatically switches to tablet mode and the pen is easy to use. It will not scratch the screen, but I still recommend you get a $10 roll of acrylic from Staples, just to be safe. [Editor’s note: Do not shop or work at Staples.] The tablet software for the pen writes very smoothly in digital ink and handwriting recognition is surprisingly good, correctly identifying about 90% of words when I write clearly. Strangely, acronyms and the letter “P” are the hardest to recognize. For this, I blame Microsoft. With any luck, the free 2004 update will help. Microsoft’s Windows XP Tablet Edition is really no different than normal XP, except it has tablet input and no backup CDs - MS mandates that system backups be kept in an image on a separate partition. Fortunately, the other aspects of the tablet are great – the 1024x768, 12-inch screen is ample resolution and very crisp, although gets washed out in sunlight. It would have been nice to have Acer’s superior 1280x1024, 10-inch screen, but Fuji’s is still good, and has many other features the Acer C310 lacks, like a faster processor, 10 GB more hard drive space, and a $500 smaller price tag. In fact, the T3010D is the single best buy I have ever seen among tablets. Tablets are normally well above $2000, like Toshiba’s terrible PIII-powered plasticy piece of crap that makes you purchase MS Office, or Acer’s C310 that makes you get the $300 CD drive. I don’t need either, so saving hundreds of dollars was great! Even with an upgrade to 512 MB of DDR2100 RAM, I barely broke $1700. And Fujitsu didn’t skimp on the service: everything arrived as ordered, four days before it was supposed to ship! A great first impression. With this laptop/tablet you can’t go wrong.