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I feel so damn dirty with a tablet.

December 6, 2009

So, on Thursday, I got the part needed to complete this awesome new gift that was given to me (by a kickass Air Force vet, I may add). A busted-as-hell convertible tablet PC – an HP Compaq (isn’t… that… uh) tc4400.

Extensa 4420 and Compaq tc4400

My previous computer, the Acer Extensa 4420, well… let’s say I put enough attention into that thing, that it may very well have changed model numbers under my nose with all the changes I’ve made to it. It gets a _lot_ of attention. I’d take it everywhere – to work, then to school, to restaurants, to a friend’s place, to the living room… I went, and it went.

However, for the first time Friday, I left home without it. I only took the tc4400 with me. I’d only had it for a day – I fixed it up and installed Windows on it on Thursday. It’s Sunday now and I’ve found myself only using my “old” Acer in order to get data off it.

A little backstory. A friend gave me this broken-old tablet that evidently was in a bag that fell off his motorcycle while doing 80. Scratched the ever-loving shit out of the top cover, right down to, but not quite into, the display cable. Trashed the hard drive. Cracked the LCD. And, evidently, shorted the power adapter as well. A short trip to eBay and about $11 later, I’ve got a new, questionably-working-but-not-cracked complete display assembly on its way, Another $13 and I’ve got a power adapter. Drop in a new hard drive I had laying around, and an extra stick of RAM (it only had 1x512mb DDR2), and… holy crap, everything worked.

From the moment it turned on and I saw the HP logo gracing the crackling-to-life screen, I loved the thing. It was literally a dream come true. I’d always wanted a tablet PC so I could do paper-like things – like writing and drawing (or at least, trying to) – without paper. Wacom tablets had always intrigued me, but the price tag made me gag. Now, I actually have one built into the screen! A real Wacom tablet (yes, multi-button pen, position-sensing, and it doesn’t detect finger presses). It’s as close to drawing on real paper as it can get, only the paper is backlit.

But the problem is, now my poor Acer is sitting there going “Wtf, mate?”. I’ve all but left it behind with my shiny new tablet. With the only defining difference between the two being that the Acer has an optical drive and Bluetooth (the tablet has neither), and an extra gig of RAM (the tablet has 1gb RAM, the Acer has 2gb), I find myself struggling to find a reason to keep it around! =\

I can’t bring myself to part with it. It’s the first computer I bought brand new, and I’ve put so much time and money into upgrading it – in fact, I’m still in the process of adding a webcam to it, as I find the parts. I’m also fairly certain that if I do sell it, I will sorely regret it in the near future when I tire of the tablet (for anything except its tablet functions, I’m sure). But I don’t see a purpose for it anymore. The tablet fits my work life perfectly, and it’s a godsent for school. It’s light, and it has a pen. What to do with the Acer?!

4 comments

  1. […] here: I feel so damn dirty with a tablet. « FalconFour's Perpetual Musings By admin | category: tablet pc | tags: awesome, awesome-new, compaq, force, may-add, […]


  2. Hi,

    I am very interested in getting a tablet for UNI, I like the Apple iPad and a few others but the problem is the penless touch screens. I know it would be a real pain to take notes without a pen based one. I know this is a fairly old post now but what was the tablet like to work with? Also it looks like windows 7 running on it so, how were the drivers.

    Thanks, Connor


  3. Connor: a little late on the response, but Windows 7 is not officially supported by HP on the tc4400. That being said, drivers are very readily available – chipset, WLAN and GPU drivers are all available straight from Intel, the wired NIC driver is available straight from Broadcom, the Synaptics driver is available from HP for other models for Windows 7, the Wacom Penabled driver is available directly from Wacom, QLB from HP for another model, and so on so forth. Many of these are even included with Windows (although I’ll update every single driver I can).

    I have a surplus tc4400 that has been replaced by a 2740p – I love both of em. I prefer the 2740p for its lighter footprint (also achieved by a ThinkPad X series tablet), but certainly didn’t mind carrying around the tc4400 for 4 years.


  4. Well im getting one with wacom on it too same model.. i also have desktops and laptops that i can’t part with… just simply port each of them together… why not have each shake hands with one another.. that’s how id do it.



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