Grading the Tablet's: Best mid range tablet PC

Written by:  • Edited by: Tricia Goss
Updated May 14, 2009
• Related Guides: Dell

Tablet PC's are a device that can clearly benefit all levels of user both at home and at work. Here, having reviewed five of the best mid-range Tablet PC devices on the market today we assess each ones ability to deliver a seamless PC experience and discover which one is the best tablet available.

This is the concluding part of a 7 part article series. To start from the beginning, read “Emerging trends – Enhanced technologies make the tablet PC an excellent business companion".

The following article breaks down the individual characteristics of each tablet PC we have reviewed, looking at eight fundamental categories for tablet PC use: Price, Build, Display, Features, Business readiness, Battery, Wireless and Portability. We conclude with a points total and conclusion of each tablet PC.

Key: 1st = Best (5 points), 5th = Worst (1 point)

Price

1 - HP Compaq 2710p

2 - Toshiba Portege M700-110

3 - Panasonic CF-T7

4 - Motion F5

5 – Dell Latitude XT

Build

1 - HP Compaq 2710p

2 – Dell Latitude XT

3 - Panasonic CF-T7

4 - Motion F5

5 - Toshiba Portege M700-110

Display

1 - Dell Latitude XT

2 - HP Compaq 2710p

3 - Motion F5

4 - Toshiba Portege M700-110

5 - Panasonic CF-T71

Features

1 - Dell Latitude XT

2 - HP Compaq 2710p

3 - Panasonic CF-T7

4 - Toshiba Portege M700-110

5 - Motion F5

Business readiness

1 - Dell Latitude XT

2 - HP Compaq 2710p

3 - Panasonic CF-T7

4 - Motion F5

5 - Toshiba Portege M700-110

Battery

1 – HP Compaq 2710p

2 - Dell Latitude XT

3 - Panasonic CF-T7

4 - Motion F5

5 - Toshiba Portege M700-110

Wireless

1 - Dell Latitude XT

2 - HP Compaq 2710p

3 - Panasonic CF-T7

4 - Toshiba Portege M700-110

5 - Motion F5

Portability

1 - Motion F5

2 - Dell Latitude XT

3 - HP Compaq 2710p

4 - Panasonic CF-T7

5 - Toshiba Portege M700-110

Total score

1st = HP Compaq 2710p (35 points)

2nd = Dell Latitude XT (32 points)

3rd = Panasonic CF-T7 (21 points)

4th = Motion F5 (18 points)

5th = Toshiba Portege M700-110 (14 points)

Conclusions

Best all round Tablet PC

Although beaten by devices in many of the categories, the HP Compaq 2710p is a consistently high end performer in the tablet PC market. Having researched, tested and analyzed the use of many tablet PC architecture for multiple home and business environments in recent years I have yet to see a unit with the all round functionality and ease of use that is delivered by the HP Compaq 2710p.

The new kid on the block, the Dell Latitude XT is close, in fact with a lower price tag it would certainly become the undisputed leader, but for now the best tablet PC when balancing price against performance is the HP Compaq 2710p. It delivers a superb range of functionality, flexibility and excellent design. Of course it’s overriding advantage over the rest of the tablet’s assessed for this study is its fantastic price. Considering the difference between this device and the Dell Latitude XT, and to a lesser extent the Motion F5, this is a brilliant buy. All round performance is on a par with any of the competition and with brilliant visuals, wireless and many other advantageous features the HP Compaq 2710p delivers the best all round tablet PC experience to date.

Best business executive Tablet PC

Looking specifically at office based business requirements and certainly when considering an executive level tablet PC, then there is only one winner. The Dell Latitude XT is a state of the art tablet, its adaptability to touch or stylus is second to none and its display is nothing short of sensational. Dell has put considerable effort into this entry level model and it delivers an exceptional tablet PC experience. However, its one drawback in relation to the rest is the price, which is why for the standard user or business need there are other perfectly adequate tablets at a lower price. But for the executive user or office environment, this is the perfect device. [See image 2]

Best ultramobile Tablet PC

For those looking for specific business sector tablet PC architecture where ultramobility, durability and cleanliness are vital, then the best devices on the market are either the Motion F5 or Panasonic Toughbook CF-T7. The balance is tipped for the Motion F5 because it is extremely lightweight and well designed, making handling and operating on the move effortless. [See image 3]

... and last but not least, to the Toshiba Portege M700 tablet. It may not win many awards, and it is up against tablet PC's with specific niche offerings, i.e. Motion for portability, Dell for design, HP for price, but if Toshiba were to provide better performance or a lighter model then they would have a viable tablet PC offering that could compete with any of those mentioned above.

To read any of the individual Tablet PC reviews click on the links below.

 
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