Battery life is, as you might expect - short - however, there are 4 additional expansion bays on the back of this thing that allow you to extend the power from a measly 120 minutes (I got only about 88 minutes, at full brightness) to upwards of 5 hours. Still, I don't see this as a portable tablet. It's certainly not going to make James Kendrick's list of super small mobile computing devices. No one will use this Tablet while standing in line at the airport and forget using it on the plane, except in First Class and only if you have a power outlet at your seat or carry your own productivity juice on board with you. It's simply too big. Still, if you're like me and you want all of the functionality and productive benefit from a Tablet PC in a larger form factor, then this is the type of unit you want.
I have no idea what the pricing will be yet, but if it's within a $1000 of what I paid for my Tecra M4, I'll gladly buy one. I can see Michael Hyatt, rolling his eyes over this one. Talk about distracting in a meeting. Yup. I bet it would be. I don't care. If I want to draw less attention, I'll use my M4 with the small screen. Thinking of my M4. Fan Noise in this unit ... NONE. This thing has a HUGE heat sink on the back of it and air vents on all sides, which allows for convection cooling. Seems to work. I've had this in my lap for over two hours and it's still cool to the touch. There are two clever features that I think are quite innovative. First, the 4 expansion bays on the underside. They are all identical, except that one - the top one- is accessible from the top (in landscape mode). Each expansion bay can hold either a battery or an additional hard drive. I'd like two of the new Fujitsu 200 Gig SATA Laptop drives. (Think: Mobile RAID Array) The top expansion bay has a plastic bezel that detaches which allows it to be used as a second optical drive bay. How cool is that. You don't have to stop watching that DVD just to install a program from a CD.
Finally, there is no external AC adapter. The power pack is built-in and the power cord even stows in a small plastic compartment on the back - sort of like a boom box. (For you kids with iPods, go ask your parents what a boom box is.) Speaking of boom box, the speakers are approximately 2 inches each. Much better than the 0.75" speakers in my ThinkPad. This will be great for portable presenters. No projector required. Screen responsiveness is reasonable but not outstanding. This is not a gaming computer. I think it would be fine for group collaboration with a small video window in the corner, though. I plan to test Skype video with my buddy, Michael Sampson, tomorrow.
What do I think?
So far I'm very pleased. I'm pleased with everything except the fact that I only have this evaluation unit through Monday. Why are manufacturers so stingy with their evaluation units? In any case, I'll continue to test the unit out over the weekend.
UPDATE: I just received an email from the manufacturer informing me that I may post photos taken from a distance, along with my personal reactions to the unit. However, since the production specifications are likely to change I may not post specific details on the web. That's not a great limitation and I'm not prevented from blogging, so I guess I shouldn't complain. An Ultra Wide-screen Tablet PC evaluation, free shipping, and permission to blog. Not bad. I've had other NDAs that are far more restrictive. In fact, I cannot even acknowledge them.
I'll try to post a video clip later today.
[UPDATE: Here's a link to the First-Look Video clip for this amazing Tablet]