When operated in tablet mode, as shown in the preceding photo, it provides a satisfying experience as a touch panel, and for handwriting recognition with its stylus. The user experience in this mode is much smoother and easier to learn than in other tablets I’ve used, and the screen works well for viewing all kinds of content across a wide range of ambient light conditions. The speakers are mounted along the lower edge of the screen, so you still get good sounds in tablet mode. But this also lets you rotate the screen and leave it upright if you want to watch a movie on the notebook (with the keyboard desk to the back, you can obtain a good viewing angle on a tray table or your lap).
The unit starts at a base price of around $1,300 with a Turion T60 processor, 2 GB RAM, a 12.1" 1280x800 display, and 160 GB hard disk. The next photo provides the unit’s dimensions. It features an Nvidia GeForce Go 6150 onboard graphics chipset that can use up to 559 MB of shared video memory. It also includes an integrated Webcam, plus wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless (individual options and related costs vary), and built-in Bluetooth support. The base optical drive is a double-layer 8X DVD±R/RW (with optional Lightscribe). Exact weight or battery life numbers aren’t yet available, but the former is in theneighborhood of 4 lbs. and the latter about 3 hours with the standard battery (a beefier 9-cell model will also be available, that makes an excellent handle when using the unit in Tablet mode).
Students and budget-minded professional or home users should find this an excellent laptop. We certainly look forward to getting our hands on one for testing soon. We’re especially impressed with its looks and design, and hopeful that our experiences once we open its attractive hood will be equally positive.