Getting Started: Choosing A Slate or Convertible
From Mobile PC Wiki
Getting Started: Choosing A Slate or Convertible Model
Your first decision is what type of Tablet PC to buy. There are two basic choices, a slate or a convertible.
Convertible Tablet PCs
The convertible Tablet PC is, at first appearance, like any other laptop. When open, you can see a difference in the hinge. Most convertibles have a rotating hinge in the center of the chassis. This allows the screen to be rotated and closed over the keyboard with the screen showing. Type like a regular laptop when needed, ink when desired. See models from Gateway, Lenovo, and Toshiba among others.
A slate Tablet PC does not have an integrated keyboard. Keyboard functionality is provided either on-screen with software or by an externally connected device. You don't carry the weight of a keyboard unless you need it. See models from TabletKiosk, Motion Computing, and Electrovaya among others.
Choosing Between A Slate And A Convertible
How to Choose? The decision really depends on how you plan to use your tablet.
Any tablet can convert your handwritten ink into the equivalent of typed text. But if you need to create long or complex documents, a keyboard is necessary for maximum speed. You are more likely to want it built in instead of having to carry and attach it frequently. If you want a tablet as the place for your handwritten notes, interviews, drawing, filling in forms, web browsing or primarily point and click activities, a slate is a great choice.
It can be a little disconcerting to be without a keyboard; it requires a conscious choice to focus on the capabilities of ink to meet your particular needs. Many slate users are true believers. Many folks still have at least one foot firmly planted in the QWERTY world and insist on the convertible. Neither answer is wrong.
User:Bishop 23 November 2006