This afternoon, I used a book scanner to scan in several chapters from one of my management texts. Next, I created a searchable PDF file for each chapter. Finally, I sat on the couch, with the Tablet PC on my lap, and studied. I used the M4 jog joystick (or whatever they call it) to scroll through the document. I used the markup feature of  Adobe Acrobat 7.0, to highlight sections of interest. Other than the learning curve to make the book scanner to PDF process work, the process was very productive. Now, I can leave my texts on my bookshelf. The weight reduction will help offset the M4 and accessories. I'm glad that I waited for the 14" high-resolution screen. It makes for a bigger tablet, but it sure is nice to have room to work with. I've learned to tilt the screen to avoid glare from overhead lighting. It's not ideal, but I can live with it.

I still have a long way to go to fully migrate my remaining applications and data to the M4, however, I'm greatly encouraged by what I've accomplished this evening.

In the course of setting up the M4, I've discovered many features, some by accident, that I like about the Tablet PC and the M4 in specific. As far as the features I don't like, I've got a list, but I've already crossed several things off.  Fan and power issues remain a challenge. The fan can be loud of you are running in high-power mode. Fortunately, Toshiba has an excellent power management utility. I now have a profile that works for me. I'd like to find a way to keep the DVD drive powered down at all times unless I wake it. This would prevent the door from being opened accidentally and it would save power, too. There is an option to disable power to the DVD drive, however, it is a temporary setting until the next standby, hibernate, or power-cycle. I wish this could be made a part of the power management profile. [hint] At this time, the only real disappointment that I have is in the portfolio case. (My recommendation: don't buy it. I'll explain soon.)

I'm not yet YABHTU, but I'm getting closer. I'll post updates as time permits. Perhaps I'll even invite Kathy back as a guest on a future podcast.

I'll leave you with this powerful feature: the button marked "OneNote" on the side of the M4 serves not only to launch a program, but also as an "instant on." When your tablet goes into "sleep" mode (not standby or hibernate) this button will cause it to resume in a matter of seconds. I like this instant on capability. It makes the tablet operation closer to paper and pencil, especially with OneNote loaded. Somehow, in the course of installing software, Lotus Notes now launches whenever I press the OneNote button. Go figure. I'm sure that there's a setting for this, but I'm not complaining. I would like to see someone develop a pop-up utility for this button that would allow me to choose between two or three applications, including the most recently used application.  That would be helpful. As for the button itself, I would have named it the "instant on" button, however, I don't have the influence of Microsoft.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me emails to offer encouragement or assistance. If any of your end up purchasing an M4, let me know. It would be great to connect.

Discussion/Comments (9):

Random Tablet PC observations for 5/22/05

I just got my M4 on Friday to evaluate for use within the Vet School at UC Davis... So far, I agree with most of your assessments.

Your comments about desktop spam are right on the money. Just for fun (and a use that term loosely), I decided to try ot the Mcafee virus scan (before switching over to NAV). It took registering online and 2 reboots before it would actaully work. Sigh.

I'm trying to fine tune a performance setting as well - CPU power 1, high battery, 1 hr standby -- that would work best for most meetings.

On the topic of microphones, have you located the 3rd one? I see 2 of them on the front panel (left and right of the lid release switch)...


Posted at 05/23/2005 9:15:40 by Chris Brandt

Random Tablet PC observations for 5/22/05

So, what is the problem with the portfolio case? I just ordered my M4 and I got the case with it. I'll be waiting to hear your complaints about the case. I'll let you know if I experience the same complaints when I get my PC next week.


Posted at 05/23/2005 9:48:39 by Paul

Random Tablet PC observations for 5/22/05

My M4 has shipped from Toshiba and should arrive around Wed./Thurs. Needless to say I am very excited about receiving it. I will mainly be using it next fall for taking notes in a college classroom setting. Until I receive mine, I obssesively checking your site for any updates on what you think about yours. It's a huge relief to finally hear from someone that has one, as I made this purchase mostly blind. Continue with the updates please, your doing a fantastic job.


Posted at 05/23/2005 10:08:14 by Jason

TOSHIBA CrossMenu Tip

Hi Eric

in case nobody mentioned it:

I find thoshiba CrosstMenu (thkemrun.exe) most convenient to sit in one of the four soft buttons thus being able to easily adjust the screen brightness'and more, in Tablet mode

Marcus M Sommer

Posted at 05/23/2005 20:10:11 by Marcus M Sommer

Random Tablet PC observations for 5/22/05

Eric, I don't know if you've come across this yet, but if you press and hold down the "scroll" button, you'll get Toshiba's cross-menu utility. It will allow you to launch programs and switch between active ones with your pen. It's not exactly what you're looking for, but it's close.


Posted at 05/23/2005 22:04:12 by Rob Copeland

Random Tablet PC observations for 5/22/05

Hi Eric

one very useful soft touch shortcut [I hope the M4 has the same 4 soft spots like the M200, on top in Tablet portrait mode w/ hinge right]:


which you do NOT access via the CRossMenu link/exe but rather thkemrun.exe in system32.

To configure the soft buttons go to TOSHIBA>TabletPC>Pen Button


Marcus M Sommer

Posted at 05/24/2005 6:48:43 by Marcus M Sommer

Random Tablet PC observations for 5/22/05

Just receivde my Toshiba M4, chosen partly on Erics observations. I like it but I agree with most of the hardware complaints (screen glare etc). I have a question for all you M4 oweners out there: On my M4, the latch for locking down the screen does not pull the screen all the way down, so the springiness of the hinge keeps the screen lifted a few milimeters above the base of the laptop. So when writing in tablet mode the screen bobs up and down. Can be solved by holding it together but that's not really a long term solution. Anybody else see this on their machine? Thanks, Thomas

Posted at 09/20/2005 0:34:40 by Thomas Pedersen

Random Tablet PC observations for 5/22/05

how do I disable the crossmenu coming up so I can use the "enter" Screenbutton in photoshop?

Posted at 12/06/2005 3:03:09 by James+mather

Random Tablet PC observations for 5/22/05

How do you cook eggs on the heat this thing generates??

Posted at 04/24/2006 2:45:16 by Fred

Discussion for this entry is now closed.