May 31, 2011

HTC Flyer vs BlackBerry PlayBook - Speakers (audio quality)

Audio and music is one of the most important things and most tablets with their tiny bodies will get tiny speakers which will give hideous sound.  So how does the Flyer's rear facing speakers do against the PlayBook's front facing speakers?

HTC Flyer
The rear facing speakers sometimes works well on some devices (like the iPad).  But with some devices it just fails.  The Flyer's audio gets loud, but they are very borderline "cracking".  Pair it up with the hideous audio that bounces from surfaces and it's just not that great.  The Flyer gives very sharp audio with minimal bass.  I don't like it.

BB PlayBook
The front facing speakers on the PlayBook deliver very rich and full audio experience.  You could really put them in the category of the iPad level audio quality.  For the audio fanatics the PlayBook will be a good choice.

Both of the systems will do fine if you use headphones.  When it comes to speakers the PlayBook is the clear winner.

Support independent musicians like Ronald Jenkees (Website, Youtube, Amazon) and xKore (YouTube, Bandcamp, Entropy).  The more popular "swagger" fellows already got "money in the bank".

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HTC Flyer vs BlackBerry PlayBook - Battery Life

One thing that pisses me off about most of the electronics industry is that they suggest very long hours.  Obviously it's not easy to determine battery life because of a million different reasons like apps running, light conditions, volume, wifi usage, etc.  So how do I determine battery life? My test was based on something that a lot of people will do which might include watching videos in a long trip on the bus, train, car, plane, etc.

My test settings:
  • 720p HD video Big Buck Bunny
  • Full brightness with ambient light sensor disabled
  • Audio at max volume
  • Wifi On

The results:
  • HTC Flyer - 5:25
  • BB PlayBook - 6:26

HTC Flyer notes:
Every 10 minutes I had to go back to the HTC Flyer and replay the video.  This was so annoying as I had to do it. I had to do that 33 times through the day.  There's no repeat button on the included video player.  There are things that Android OS runs in the background that take advantage of the wifi, this would take some battery life from the system.  However, there's a battery saving mode that begins at 15% which disables some features and therefore prolongs the battery life.

BB PlayBook notes:
The PlayBook was a dream to work with for that test.  There's a repeat button on the video player which allowed me to throw this into the closet and not look at it for many hours.  The BB OS doesn't really have many things running in the background, so that would allow lot's more battery life from the system.

Both of the systems will have a long constant usage time. Make sure you don't disable the light sensor (by default it's ON) and you will get way more battery life than what I got.  As a matter of fact I'm tempted on rerunning my test with the light sensor activated.  If you do less resource intensive tasks you can get very long battery life times.  I'm impressed with these tablets.

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HTC Flyer vs BlackBerry PlayBook - Screen Quality

Both of these systems offers 7 inch screens at 1024 x 600.  So what are some of the differences?

HTC Flyer
The Flyer offers a TFT screen that is superb. It gets brighter than the PlayBook, but along with that it also shows a stronger "yellow" tint.

BlackBerry PlayBook
The PlayBook's WSVGA offers very "cool" colors.  It seems to be better at "blue" colors from what I have seen.  One more thing that I have noticed is that PlayBook is very good at whites and dark colors.  You probably have seen screens that show not so "dark" blacks, in a way they are more like a washed up black colors.  The PlayBook is past that and delivers better blacks than the Flyer can.

Both of these screens will perform well under shade and if you are totally concerned with color precision I have a feeling that the PlayBook will deliver better colors.

Check the latest prices at:

HTC Flyer vs BlackBerry PlayBook - Build Quality

I like how much easier both of these systems are easier to hold than the bigger tablets.

HTC Flyer
Both systems have a 7 inch screen, but the Flyer's body is a bit more horizontal.  This is due to the bezel being thinner above and below when in landscape mode.  The HTC is a bit thicker than the PlayBook but offers round corners.   The aluminum body reminds me a bit of the iPad body.  At first it felt a bit cheap and plastic like, but it's aluminum.  It also is a more "slippery" system than the PlayBook.

BB PlayBook
The more "square" like shape of the PlayBook might be due to the uniform bezel around the system.  The PlayBook is bigger when you compare width and height, but when it comes to thickness the PB is thinner.   When you grab the PlayBook that dark matte rubbery back is excellent to hold.  It won't slip from your hands that easily.

Both systems are good but I have to give to the PlayBook because it's a much better body to hold.  I have dropped the Flyer about 3 times already due to very smooth aluminum finish.  The PlayBook in contrast has that rubbery texture that gives you a firm hold.

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May 26, 2011

HP Customer Service Experience (HP DV6T QE)

For the few that have followed the HP DV6T QE blog posts... you might have seen on the previous video that I started getting some noises from the fan. It seemed like the fan was rubbing against something inside. It was not the normal fan noise... the noise that it was producing was rough.  So I had to contact HP to see if they could help me fix it.

Getting to the HP customer support rep was easy.  Just give them a call and follow the automated system until you reach a human. From then I had a long 30 minute cell phone conversation that finally ended up in a free return to HP for a checkup.

I described the noise as "rough noise from fan" and made them hear it through the phone. Usually if it's a hardware issue there is nothing software can do.  But the service rep wanted to try software anyways.

A few notes:
  • Expect accent (every tech company outsources tech support now)
  • Expect attempts with software fixes (which does nothing for hardware issues)

We first tried to let the rep take over the computer through their remote desktop software and that failed.  Then we did a Bios update and that obviously didn't work.

Due to the accent I didn't know half of the instructions. Somehow we got to FedEx return.  The service rep gave me several different methods of returning the system.  I thought they were going to send me an email with shipping instructions, but it ended up that I had to go to a store and drop it. (That took a second call to figure out).

I showed up at the FedEx store with the laptop and we got it shipped in less than 5 minutes. That part was smooth.

What happens now?  HP will receive the unit, check/fix it, and then return it.  It will probably take around 10 days.

I have mentioned before that the noise is inconsistent.  Sometimes it does make it, and sometimes it doesn't.  I fear that they will check the unit once, the fan won't make any noise, and they will return it telling me that there was no problem.  Then I'll be stuck with a fan that is noisy and I might have to fix it myself.  We'll find out when the system comes back.

May 25, 2011

HTC Flyer - Box Contents And Hardware

I have spent several months following tablets and saw that the HTC Flyer is an Android tablet with both touch and pen input.   It's something completely unique and commendable on part of HTC.  Most Android tablets have the same specs and the same software, basically nothing unique about them.  Yes most of those Android tablets will never be a huge success.  The video above has many of my thoughts and while it's a bit early to make definite statements I think there are pros and cons.

  • Android OS (currently 2.3 but it might get a 3.0 upgrade)
  • Both touch and pen input
  • Good pen input via N-Trig technology (it also has palm rejection)
  • Very bright screen
  • MicroSD card slot (not easy to access)
  • Easy to access volume and sleep/wake buttons
  • Pen is small and has buttons (erase, and highlight)
  • Dedicated pen software for note taking (syncs with Evernote)
  • Soft buttons on landscape and portrait modes (home, settings, back, and scrybe)
  • Tons of apps 
  • GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, Digital compass, 1.5 GHz Snapdragon CPU

  • Speakers are hideous when you put the system on a table
  • Cameras are not great (when compared to the BlackBerry PlayBook)
  • $80 extra if you want the pen
  • The body seems a bit way too smooth (slipping from hands will occur)
  • Android 2.3 is not really a tablet OS (it's made for cell phones, but HTC adapted it to this tablet) 
  • One micro USB port (no HDMI) 

You will be glad to know that the Flyer's pen input is very good.  It's not going to replace your Wacom tablets for pressure sensitivity.  What makes the system unique is that it can be a digital note taking device with many extras.  Due to the software support and speedy system this system is way better than the Asus Eee Note EA-800 that I checked a while ago.

Since I have the HTC Flyer and the BlackBerry PlayBook I can make a few comparison videos.  Both of these systems are 7 inch tablets, so they are in the same category.  Hardware wise it's easy to compare, but software is another story.  Make sure to check the E - HTC Flyer and E - BlackBerry PlayBook tags for more info.


May 24, 2011

This Is Why I like Lenovo Systems - HP DV6T QE Loud Fan Noise

A few weeks in with my DV6T QE and I have stumbled upon a rather shitty problem.  The fan every once in a while seems to love to rub against something inside and create massive noise.   This is not the "must cool down" noise that occurs when you run intensive applications.

I love the DV6T QE when it's quiet and behaves like it should.  But this noise is just a little too much for me to ignore.  I have to return the system and hopefully get it fixed, or get the upgraded version. (fingers crossed on the upgraded version).

This is not my first time having problems with computer systems.  Computers break down eventually but having a problem with only 3 weeks of use is not a good thing!

On the video I compared it to the Lenovo ThinkPad X220T which runs very quietly when running a few programs.  Even when I add Intel Turbo Boost and Lenovo Turbo Boost+ the X220T is quieter than the DV6T QE running properly.

I'll request a IdeaPad Y570 and a ThinkPad W520 from Lenovo for a future "proper" comparison between the DV6T QE's fan noise.  I want to know if Lenovo 15 inch systems are quieter than HPs... I'm sure you would also like to know.

May 19, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook - Web Browser File Downloads (music, movies, images, etc)

So you got yourself a PlayBook, or planning to, and now you are wondering if this tablet can download files through websites. The answer is yes. You can download any file (mp3, mp4, jpg, etc). If the website has an "auto download" feature you just have to wait and get your file.  If the website has links then you can press and hold on the link until you it gives you the options to download.  You can rename the files.

Once you have downloaded your files you can open them if they are supported by an App.   If you download an unsupported file you can view/extract them through Windows (wifi file sharing tip).  There's a "downloads" folder inside the PlayBook were you can view all of your files and reorganize them if you need to.

I'm pretty excited to see that Amazon Cloud Player allows me to download my files to my PlayBook.  So I might start using the service a to sync my music files.  I have not decided if I'll use Google's music.  FYI Ronald Jenkees has some good tunes (website, youtube, amazon).

BlackBerry PlayBook - Wifi File Sharing With Windows

Get rid of those hideous cables and enable Wifi File Sharing.  This is a neat feature of the PlayBook that I think is totally worth enabling because it allows me to sync my files wirelessly. 

How to enable Wifi File Sharing:
  • Open Settings
  • Select Storage & Sharing
  • Click Network Identification and ensure that your Workgroup is the same as your Windows workgroup name (WORKGROUP is the default).
  • Make sure to remember your PlayBook Username
  • Turn Wi-Fi Sharing On
  • Add a password through Password Protect (optional)

You should now be able to see your PlayBook under Network in your Windows computer.  You can add, delete, rename files and folders. If you download things on your BlackBook browser you can now easily view those files with your Windows computer. Enjoy!

Using something like Allway Sync on your computer is also a good idea if you want to keep both PC and PlayBook files on the same page.  You can download it at http://allwaysync.com/

BlackBerry PlayBook - Black Screen Of Death Fix (system on while scren is off)

So... I ran into an interesting situation after I tried to restart the PlayBook. Basically the system is on, but the screen is off. I confirmed that the system was on because I could hear the snapshots when you press volume down and up buttons. It kind of freaked me out, but I found the solution.

How to fix the BlackBerry PlayBook? Force a system boot up.
  • Press all the top buttons (Power, volume down, play/pause, volume up)
  • Hold for a few seconds
  • Release the buttons
  • Press the power button

You might have to press the power button twice as you can see on the video above.  That power button is tiny!   Anyways, I hope that helps at least a few of you who run into this issue.

HP DV6T QE - Now With 1080p Display, 2GB Radeon HD 6770M, Steel Gray (SON OF A [email protected]$)

HP just updated their website with new options for the HP DV6T QE including new 1080p displays, 2GB Radeon HD 6770M, and steel gray color, and that FREE Blu-Ray drive.  I wish these features were available when I ordered my system back in March!  I think my system gives me everything I need so I don't have massive "buyers regret".

If you need a laptop close to $1,000 this is a very good system to get, just make sure to add a coupon.


May 17, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook - Multitasking Tip (Showcase mode)

The PlayBook can do really good multi-tasking but this tip is for those that want to take it a step further. This tip will be useful for those that want to play video in the background, switch application, and read or enjoy other apps at the same time.

The problem:
Default multi-tasking behavior pauses apps, which in turn stops audio from playing.

The solution:
Enabling "Showcase" mode allows apps to continue playing even when the app is not in focus.

How to enable Showcase mode:
  • Open Settings
  • Select "General" from the list of option settings
  • Change the Application Behavior from "Default" to "Showcase"
  • Enjoy!

This small little tip makes a big difference in my daily use of the PlayBook.  If you are like me and download video podcasts and music videos instead of audio versions and want them to keep playing in the background this is one way of doing it.

Multi-tasking like this will have an effect on the battery life.  I have not seen a "huge" difference, but a small one.

I hope this helps make your PlayBook experience a bit more enjoyable.

HP DV6T QE - Improve Touchpad/Trackpad

HP makes some really good touchpads but for some reason the DV6T QE default settings were not doing it for me. I changed a few things to make it better including removal of the two touch scrolling, enabled vertical and horizontal single touch scrolling, and lowered the sensitivity.

To access the touchpad/trackpad settings:
  • Hit Windows and type "mouse"
  • Click on "Device Settings" tab
  • Click "Settings..."

Why the changes?
  • Two touch scrolling is a bit picky about the position of your fingers.  Enabling the zone scrolling and making them a bit bigger works better for me.
  • The default sensitivity needs a bit of pressure on your side to work well.  If you lower the sensitivity you can get a smoother experience.

These small changes make a big difference in my user experience. There are many settings but try different thing and see what works for you.  Enjoy!

May 14, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook - soft shell (don't buy it)

Spending $500 on a tablet or any system is a lot of money and you should try to protect your investment.  When I got the PlayBook I knew I was going to end up scratching the back of it and so I decided to get the "soft shell" accessory.  The soft shell fits the PlayBook very well, has access to all of the ports and buttons.  It sounds good and all, but there is a problem regarding the power button.  You cannot press the power button which switches the system between the sleep/resume modes.

This $40 first party accessory is going back to the store.  If you managed to stumble upon this post hopefully this saves you some time, and money.  For now I'll use the included sleeve, but a case to protect the back will come in useful.  I will take your suggestions.

BlackBerry PlayBook - Box Contents and Hardware

After a few days with the PlayBook in my mind I decided to go check it out and I liked it quite a bit. Before I spent $500 on this slate tablet I tried several systems including the iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, and some Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets. There are a few things that attracted me a bit more to the PlayBook than the other systems, mainly the portability.

I'm not a big fan of tablets closer to the 10 inch screen.  Most 10 inch tablets are not easy to hold for long periods of time for things like book reading.  Also the 7 inch screen of the PlayBook allows me to type easily with my thumbs in both landscape and portrait modes.  The Galaxy Tab series are a little thick for my taste.


  • 7 inch system (type in landscape and portrait mode easily)
  • 1GHz OMAP 4430 dual-core cpu gives it plenty of power
  • Smooth interface
  • Very good browser (renders Flash)
  • Mirrored HDMI output
  • Good development tools (WebWorks HTML 5, CSS, native C/C++, Flash and AIR)
  • PlayBook OS apps + Android apps (crackberry.com)
  • Multi-tasking is good (with a little modification it's even better)
  • Speakers are beyond my expectations
  • Bezel gestures are neat (reminds me of my Palm Pre)

  • Keyboard doesn't have auto suggest
  • Small power button (don't know what they were thinking)
  • No expansion slot (ie sd card)
  • Rotation lock could use a hardware slider (like the iPads)
  • As of right now very few accessories that take advantage of the system
  • Price is a bit high ($500 for 16GB wifi version)

In the past I have voiced my opinions against slate only tablets.  Slates are like netbooks without a keyboard and a better touch interface.  I have used the PlayBook for podcasting, book reading, browsing, music, youtube and other things that I can do already with a laptop.  So why get a tablet?  The PlayBook has good battery life, has more viewing space than cell phones, and can be used for "other than pc" tasks.

Some of my little uses:
  • Podcasts, news, music, youtube (media consumption)
  • Full web browsing (unlike some other dominating tablet...)
  • Bed-side tasks (like last minute email, news, book reading via Kobo Books or Google eBooks)
  • Sleep machine (get some ambient "music" and fall asleep quick)
  • Alarm clock (I got rid of my oldish clock and now use the tablet)
  • Software development

Since the system has some good development tools I plan on developing some apps tailored to my needs.  I have seen some good apps on the PlayBook but not very many "great" apps.  For developers that seek to "own space" there is plenty of room in the PlayBook AppWorld.

Most developers will continue to work on the dominant iOS and Android ecosystems.  There is a lot of money to be made by joining these more widespread platforms.  I think that giving a smaller player a chance is a good thing for progress and developer freedom.  When a company has a monopoly they can exert a lot of control over developers and content creators.  (Apple was charging 30% on subscriptions).  So I'm going to join the smaller PlayBook platform for a while.

I mentioned in the video that I'm also looking forward to the HTC Flyer.  The Flyer is another 7 inch tablet but does have pen input via N-Trig and runs Android.  The Flyer should be released within a month and once that occurs I will compare them and decide which one to keep.

More info:

May 11, 2011

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet - Windows Tablet Tips

Windows 7 is not the most touch friendly OS out there, but it certainly can do a lot of things. These are some tips that hopefully help you improve the Windows tablet experience.

Taskbar - Position
Move it to the left or right. For those with touch + pen input you will probably want to do this because of accidental palm clicks. Changing the taskbar position is super useful for "landscape" mode.

Taskbar - Combine when taskbar is full
Windows 7 groups several sessions of the same program and this is fairly stupid because it's better to do "less clicks". When you change the mode to "combine when taskbar is full" or "never combine" the icons are a bit easier to access.

TabTip - Tablet Input Panel On TaskBar
I detest TabTip's inconsistency. Every program in Windows handles it differently and the tab on the side is annoying. So to make it a bit more consistent and less annoying you want to "Show the icon on the taskbar" and get rid of the tab by unchecking "Use the Input Panel tab". Having the shortcut on the taskbar allows you to call the virtual keyboard whenever you want.

Flicks - Navigation and Editing

The default flicks are ok, but you can add a few more that can improve your tablet experience. By enabling "Navigational flicks and editing flicks" you open a new world of manipulating your tablet. You can modify these flicks to do a lot different things so you are not limited to copy/paste/delete/undo.  Play around with it and try different shortcuts.
Oldish S10-3T video

Folder Views
By default each folder type will get it's own "view". Image, document, video folders each have their view and that just screws up a "consistent" touch friendly experience. Make sure that those folders that you want to access in "tablet" mode have the right view and that should make things a little bit easier.

Notification Area
I don't like a clutter of icons anywhere. So by customizing what shows up I get less irritated at trying to press the right icon. Do consider changing UAC because it's so annoying.

Taskbar - Pin Commonly Used Programs
Using the "All Programs" menu to launch your programs is so annoying with touch. To remove this hassle I highly recommend "pinning" commonly used programs to the Taskbar.

Windows Mobility Center
This is a great tool that allows you to access many tablet needs. Lenovo's SimpleTap is useful, but Windows Mobility Center is faster so I will use what's faster. I recommend pinning this program to the taskbar.

Touch + Pen Benefits
The day when they combine both touch and pen input flawlessly it's the day that tablets will become the best thing ever. As of right now the X220T recognizes both touch and pen, but it does one thing at a time. Some programs like Microsoft OneNote are very good at using touch and pen capabilities. Let's hope to see more programs that use that technology.

Those are some of my little tips for Windows 7 tablets in "landscape" mode.  For "portrait" mode the settings will have to be a bit different due to the width limitations.  Grab what works for you and enjoy!

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet and HP DV6T QE - Battery Life

Yes all companies love to state their maximum battery life and you won't get that battery life. To get the stated battery life you would have to run basically nothing, dim down the screen, lower the CPU/GPU speeds, cut off wifi, be in a fairly cool environment, etc. If a company states that their battery can last up to 9.75 hours you really won't get that. Obviously if you do "heavy" things with your computer you will drain the battery life a lot quicker.

With my tests I have figured out that my X220T 6-cell with "average" usage can give me about 5 hours of battery life. Those five hours mean that I can browse the web with a few tabs, watch some Youtube and Hulu and so on. If you do push the system you will get about 1 hour. Lenovo does have that battery slice so you can pretty much double your battery life. The battery in the X220T has improved from the X201T which gave me about 3 hours and 20 minutes with an 8-cell.

HP states that their 9-cell will give about 9.75 hours and that is also BS. I get between 5 and 6 hours with Intel HD graphics on. I have not tried any tests with the discrete graphics but I wouldn't be surprised if I get less than 3 hours.

Osiris Development - BatteryBar Pro
Battery Eater - Notebook Benchmark Tool

May 10, 2011

HP Pavilion DV6T Quad Edition - Not Unbox, Thoughts, Battery Life, Touchad Improvement

It took HP a month + 1 week to deliver this system... but it was totally worth it.   The video has most of the details that I wanted to go over.  For $830 I couldn't be happier.  This is the first pc that I have owned since the Lenovo S10-3T and that seems like a long time ago.

The DV6T QE has a metallic brownish finish that feels very solid. You won't feel flex on the body. That metallic finish attract fingerprints and smudges so be ready to do cleanup every once in a while.

The DV6T Quad Edition has very good specs so I'm happy about that.  There are several Core i7 Sandy Bridge CPUs, AMD Radeon HD 6770M, and can have up to 8GB RAM.  Spec wise it's a solid system.  The specs are enough to play most games and run just about any application.

Speakers and Beats Audio
The speakers don't have a deep bass which I was expecting to get, but they are loud. The included software does enhance audio and when paired with my Bose AE2 headphones  I get a "Beats by Dr. Dre" experience (and I didn't have to spend $300 on their Pro heapdhones).

If you want to turn off/on the Beats Audio you can press the Fn + B

The 15 inch glossy screen of the DV6T QE is not the greatest, but it will suffice for most situations. Viewing angles are not the best out there, there is a "sweet spot".  The screen was one of my concerns due to the 1366x768 resolution.   I have seen higher resolutions on Alienware, Malibal Lotus, and other gaming systems.   I am actually happy to say that the resolution doesn't hurt the system and my eyes can read text very well.  For those guys that love movies the wide screen is going to be sweet.

One correction from the video is that there are 2x USB 3.0, and 2x USB 2.0 ports. I don't have USB 3.0 devices so it might not matter, but I can see USB 3 being used with fast storage devices like SSDs.

Other ports on the system include VGA, HDMI, ethernet, 1 Mic in (3.5mm), 2x audio jacks (3.5mm), card reader slot, Kensington lock, and power. I think it has everything I will need. I'm hoping to see a USB 3.0 docking station/port replicator soon and that I way I can hook peripherals via a single USB 3.0 port.

If you plan on doing dual external screen displays expect trouble due to the VGA port being so close to the HDMI.  You might have to modify the cable.

Webcam and Microphones
I have had minimal usage of the webcam.  It will do fine for most and yes it's "HD" so it will take high res images and video.  Most software actually compresses and limits webcams so sometimes it can feel like it's not an "HD" webcam.  If you try local capture software then you can see the true "HD" feel.  The microphones have a few options via Beats Audio which include Noise Cancellation, Acoustic Echo Cancellation, and Beam Forming (uses angles to stop capturing audio around you).

I like the keyboard quite a bit because it's super easy to use.  It keys are big enough for my fingers and are not super loud when typing.  For those curious about "flex" there is some.  To experience flex you would have to push the keys way hard (push down at the F and G keys).

The number pad is a little neat bonus that can come in handy for those with 10 key task.  Since I do very little 10 key on the system I have been using those keys as launch shortcuts and some function keys via AutoHotkey.

The function keys are by default media keys (brightness, play, volume, etc) and you must press the FN key to access your F1 through F12 keys.  I like this move because I don't use the function keys that often.

Touchpad and Palm Rest
The touchpad/trackpad is very roomy, has nice smooth surface, left and right click buttons, offer a backlight around it, and you can turn it off/on easily.  With the default settings you might have a few issues like responsiveness.  I highly recommend changing settings so they are on the most sensitive values.  It makes a big difference.  The touchpad does have palm rejection so you won't have problems when typing.  I did change the two touch scrolling to a single finger scrolling and that makes my life very easy.

There is ample palm rest space so if you type with your hands down you will be comfy.  If you are used to netbooks you will love the new space.

DVD Drive or Blu-ray
I don't really care about optical discs.  I download or stream most of my media.  It would be really cool to actually experience Blu-ray quality but I don't usually buy movies.  When I ordered my system they did not have a free Blu-ray drive and now they do.  If it's free I'm adding it.

Battery Life
One big advantage of the switchable graphics is the ability to have have power to do 3D gaming and then switch to a battery life saver with Intel HD graphics when doing more "normal" stuff.  I get a lot of battery life.  I have a 9-cell battery that gives me between 5 and 6 hours and that is amazing considering that this is a 15.6 inch screen.  You won't get 9.75 hours with the 9-cell.  I wouldn't get the smaller more "flushed" 6-cell because I would rather have more battery life.

Lenovo X220T and HP DV6T QE Battery Life

If you are interested in trying BatteryBar Pro check:

Back Cover and Upgrades
When I got the system the backcover was actually on the brink of being opened.  One of the wifi cables was actually preventing the cover to be closed.  (not a huge deal).  With that said it's extremely easy to remove the cover by pushing the battery release.  There are no screws on it. With the cover removed you can upgrade parts like RAM, storage, and wifi. I have a 640GB 7200 RPM HDD on the system that offers plenty of speed, but I want more so I might upgrade to a 2.5 inch SSD (I have my eyes on the OCZ 120GB Vertex III)

Heat and Noise
With the Intel HD graphics on you won't have any heat issues and the fan won't be loud which makes for a very pleasant experience.  For those gamers and 3D application users that turn on the discrete graphics on be ready for both heat and noise.  To deal with heat I encourage getting a laptop cooling pad to ensure longevity of components.  The fan alone in the system is ok, but it's better to be safe.  If the fan noise is too much headphones will come in super handy.

I think that I saved myself a bundle and got myself a good deal.  The original price of the DV6T QE is $1,200 and I paid $830.  I strongly recommend using coupons.  This is not a super portable system like netbooks but it provides plenty of speed for most of the things I want to do.  It's a good system that will be with me for many years.

What can be improved:
More bass on speakers (apparently the DV7T 17 inch version has more).
I would love a dedicated docking station port like Lenovo systems have with their X220T.
Screen viewing angles can be improved


May 5, 2011

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet - Rotation and Securing Latch

The Lenovo Thinkpad X220 Tablet has a "one way only" rotation system and no "securing latch".  The mechanisms are different than the previous generation which is the X201 Tablet.

The positive aspect of one way rotation is that the machine will train the human to rotate it one way only. (hahaha)  This rotation mechanism might be simpler and sturdier than the more "loose" both direction system. You cannot by "by-curious" with the X220T. ;-)

The securing latch is something that most people won't need.  Removing that latch allows for easier transition between laptop and tablet modes.  For the "hardcore running around" type person this should be a concern.  If you for some strange and weird reason have the screen facing down you will notice that the system opens little by little due to screen's weight + gravity.  Shake the money maker and the screen will open a lot.
I hope the video and my little details aid your decision making power to BUY the X220 TABLET.   I have to figure out how to make subliminal messages, and trick you ;-)  muahahaha.