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Jun 22, 2012

Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Tablet - Touch And Digitizer Pen Input


Gear: Fujitsu LifeBook Digitizer, X230T Accessories, Wacom Tablet PC Drivers, Wacom Gestures Guide.

The X230T's touch and digitizer technology are from Wacom. Frankly, there is nothing new on the X230T when compared to the X220T. But for those interested in more information I'll be glad to provide it.


X230T models:
  • Touch + Pen
  • Pen only.

I got the touch+pen version, which works very well with some programs like Microsoft OneNote. An alternative is Windows Journal, but MS OneNote can do many more things and it handles touch+pen better.

Finger touch
The finger touch responsiveness is very good. There are also a few multi-touch gestures, which are the same as the X220T's. There are a few extras, which I might go into later on. Because of the responsiveness I think this will be a very good Windows 8 tablet.

Digitizer Pen
The digitizer is the same as before. Features of the pen include: tips, a button and eraser. The eraser and the tip do offer pressure sensitivity (256 levels of pressure). You can tweak the settings of each element of the pen through the software.  Hover and palm rejection are also the same as the X220T's.

Accuracy
If you are familiar with Wacom you know what to expect. Very good accuracy on most of the screen, and at the edges the accuracy is not as good.

The X220T was famous for customers complaining about the edge accuracy. The Samsung Series 7 Slate also had the edge accuracy issue, but not as dramatic. The X230T shows the same edge accuracy issues as the X220T and the Series 7 Slate. Of course the issue can be amplified by having bad calibration and by tilting the pen at a low angle.

The way you hold the digitizer is very important. When the pen is at a low angle the pointer will be "pushed away", which is the big problem. The solution is to keep the pen at a more "vertical" angle, which keeps the pointer closer to the pen's tip. Of course we have the tendency of changing the angle of the pen when we draw on the left, middle, and right sides of the screen (we are human). By having the pen at a consistent angle you can get very good results. I have demonstrated the behavior several times in the video.

Yes, Lenovo and Wacom could tell you about the digitizer angle through a disclaimer... but instead you had to come to this blog to find "the information". Which makes me think.... someone owes me money!!! hahahah ;)



How to calibrate:
  • Press Win key.
  • Type "tablet" and select "Pen Tablet Properties".
  • Click "Calibrate" tab, then click "Calibrate" button.
  • From here touch with the digitizer's ti) each of the crosses.
    • Do keep a consistent pen angle.
  • Once done click the "Ok" button.

Your X230T is now calibrated correctly. I hope that helps you, your buddies, your work place, your country, and the entire world.

(146m)

43 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this video.
    This will be my next laptop :)

    ....By the way: Do you plan any other videos? Would like to see more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I do have a few more videos planned.

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  2. Thanks for all these review videos! will you be doing one on the video? -and do know if the Intel 4000 VRAM is configurable (via BIOS/OS ?) -or is it fixed ?

    Cheers

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  3. Hi Jesse,

    How is the rotation of normal X230t should be? Mine seem solid while rotating clockwise, however when the screen is at the normal position (facing me), I can push it a little (counterclockwise) few degree, though not too much to be concerned but just curious to know if it is normal or some false built in here. I sent you an email described in detailed too :)

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hinge does allow a bit of movement counter clockwise, but not much.

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    2. Expect the right side of the screen to wobble 3mm to 4mm when attempting to rotate counter-clockwise. Hope that helps.

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    3. Thanks expert Jesse, your respond clear things out a lot, I like this system a lot :)

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  4. Hi Jesse,

    I would like to know if you use a screen protector. I've just seen an relatively new X220t with streaks and scratches on the Screen. ( Reportedly from the red "eraser" from the pen )

    Sorry for my bad english.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not yet installed my screen protector, but that's a little project for the weekend.

      Damage to a screen with a stylus can occur, even more so if you like to grip the pen a bit hard. If you are careful a screen protector is not needed, but almost no one is careful 100% of the time. The tip of the pen can wear out and create a more "pointy and sharp" tip, which can scratch the screen. The eraser is made of a different material, which seems like plastic, and can eventually scratch the screen.

      I do recommend using a screen protector because when it wears out it will be convenient and less expensive to replace. If you had to replace the X230T's touch layer it could be quite expensive.

      Delete
    2. Photodon Screen Protector video and info.
      http://www.jessebandersen.com/2012/07/lenovo-thinkpad-x230-tablet-photodon.html

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  5. Hi, I just found an article that helps to calibrate touchscreen with more points. It really improves accuracy so I thought you could share it on your blog or make a video. link: http://www.xiirus.net/articles/article-vista-calibrate-your-tablettouchscreen-with-more-points-92oq6.aspx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to check this out eventually. Good one!

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    2. Great! Yet I wonder whether the calibration points need to be even-spaced. If so, you're running into problems with the 1366 resolution of the X230T since you could set the space between two calibration points to 2 or 683 pixels.

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    3. I just tested this with multiple sets of grid points. One of the settings I used was

      tabcal lincal novalidate XGridPts=1,196,391,586,781,976,1171,1365 YGridPts=1,129,257,385,513,641,767

      Why those crooked values. Apparently, the tabcal tool does not allow for either 0 or 1366 as grid coordinates.

      Anyways, DO NOT USE THIS on the X230T. After calibrating with those settings - very careful calibrating, I might add - edge calibration is off even worse.

      Before calibration, I needed to place the tip of the digitizer about 0.4 centimetres outside of the screen area to force the cursor to the edge of the screen. After calibration, I require nearly the whole black frame between the screen and the bezel but only for the lower and right screen edge. On top and bottom, calibration is spot on now.

      Some might consider this a trade-off. Well, it isn't for me.

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  6. Warning about windows 8. Intel anti-theft will not work. Remove this BEFORE you install windows 8 or you will have to install windows 7 again to remove it. If bluetooth is off in windows 7 you will not be able to activate it again in windows 8. Fingerprint login from boot will not work. All the nice utilities for power manager will not work.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Jesse

    nice to see your videos. Really great
    i'm a heavy iser of lenovo tablets
    But now I want to change
    i want a lighter tablet
    i've a X220
    Have you so suggestions?
    all the best
    artur

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many slate tablets available these days, they would be lighter than the X220T. Keep in mind that at the moment they are NOT as powerful as the X220T and X230T.

      http://www.prodibox.com/search/label/Slate%20Tablets
      http://www.prodibox.com/search/label/Convertible%20Tablets

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    2. And keep in mind that most of them lack a stylus. The stylus is the one and only thing that made me stick with Lenovo!

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  8. Thanks again for your videos. My corporate computer was just switched out for the X230T (had a T400 before), and I wanted to get some info on what the system was going to be like. Your videos were exactly what I was looking for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad the videos and posts were useful.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the video. When you are using the pen with an application like Journal or Onenote is the touch interface turned off? For example, if your palm rests on the screen when you are writing does it pick-up the palm pressure and mess up your writing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These days I disable the finger-touch completely when I'm doing math. The reason is that accidents happen with the palm. The neat thing is that if I want to use finger-touch then I can reactivate it easily.

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  10. Thanks for the video.

    Does the pen also shoot out when you tilt the pen in the centre of the screen?

    I'm looking for a new laptop and it's basically a showdown between this and the fujitsu t732.

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  11. hi, I have a question about the top eraser not. It is not functionally working anymore. When I want to erase something, I use the top but it write more instead. it functions like the pen tip not eraser. Can you please help me out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hit Win key and type "Pen Tablet Properties." If you can see the program then open it and check the settings. If you cannot see the program then you may need to download and install drivers from Lenovo's or Wacom's website. Sometimes the tablet features can stop working and you may need to Restart your system.

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  12. Will any pen allow you to set up the function of CTRL+ Left click?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Ctrl key is what they call a modifier key, and yes it's possible.

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  13. Hi there,

    Thanks for the video! I just got a x230 tablet. It came with windows 7 and I upgraded to windows 8. The accuracy of the pen is pretty good with OneNote, but whenever I use the pen and seem to hover for a bit, the screen switches back and forth between the desk top and the app screen. I thought this may have been a calibration problem, but I can't find how to do it! Any help?

    Lauren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not have experience with Win 8, sorry.

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  14. If I want to purchase another stylus for my x230t, do I have to purchase a particular stylus? If so, what stylus do I need to purchase.

    Thanks,
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "Lenovo ThinkPad Digitizer" found in Amazon is the same as the included digitizer. However, I would recommend getting a Fujitsu Lifebook Digitizer because you get a very useful second button. More info:
      http://www.jessebandersen.com/2012/07/lenovo-thinkpad-x230-tablet-fujitsu.html

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  15. How do you tell whether the laptop is the Pen+Touch version or the Pen Only version?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ask Lenovo directly. Other than that you better read the product page and ensure that they specified those features, and that way you can demand justice if the company sells you the wrong one.

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  16. I lost my cursor yesterday and phoned Lenovo. They told me to phone Microsoft. Microsoft told me to phone Lenovo. Your instructions solved the problem so thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I'm glad there is room in this world for everyone. :)

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  17. I have had nonstop problems with the pen. Lenovo has even replaced the X230t and the new one has the same problem. The pen will randomly stop working and the only way to make it work is reboot the computer. I have updated the Wacom Drivers and Lenovo Bios updates, but it randomly continues. Lenovo has not been helpful with this issue. They just want to keep changing parts... Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have encountered this problem and a workaround is to force the system to acknowledge the digitizer by enabling and disabling modes of input. The fastest way to achieve this is by toggling on/off the touch input with the rotation button. Check Method 3 of the following page and let me know if this works for you: http://www.jessebandersen.com/2013/03/lenovo-thinkpad-x230-tablet.html

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  18. I have the same system (touch+pen) and I bought it because I came across your website when I was looking for one and your videos are great in helping me decide. However, after 5 months or so, the button on the digitizer is not working and I get an error saying "A supported tablet was not found on the system" whenever I go to "Pen Tablet Properties" (from start menu). Have you encountered this before? how can this be fixed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I encountered it a few times before, but it's very unusual. Usually restarting the system gets it back and working. But we can try several things: 1. Turn system off, and back on. 2. Reinstall drivers from Lenovo's support website. 3. Reinstall drivers from Wacom's support website ( http://us.wacom.com/en/support/legacy-drivers/ ) ensure that you do Tablet PC and select appropriate operating system. 4. Perform a dance ritual (candles help bring the spirits). 5. Buy a new system. I think that should cover it.

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