Motion's noteworthy tablet has a Centrino

Tablet PCs in general have performed worse than comparable standard notebook PCs. The Motion M1300 Tablet PC is the first in what will likely be a long line of notebook equals.

Intel's Centrino chip set has made these small devices a lot more functional. In GCN Lab tests, Centrino and the Pentium-M processor'which is a Centrino without wireless capability'performed better than mobile Pentium or full Pentium 4 processors in both speed and battery life. That's exactly what the doctor ordered for handhelds.

The M1300 with a 1-GHz Centrino scored 3,890 on the lab's benchmark suite from Alterion Corp. of Conshohocken, Pa., compared with 3,000 for a baseline 1-GHz Celeron desktop system.

What that means in the real world is that applications won't make users tap their fingers in exasperation while they wait for something to happen.

In Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, a right click brought up the Options menu. Clicking on the screen with the stylus activated the appropriate button without any delay. The screen instantly rotated when commanded to do so.

Battery life was also impressive. Although the lab's new battery life benchmarks are still under construction, we consistently saw four to five hours of operation on a single charge with a typical suite of applications. That's enough to fly across the country and still have some juice left when you arrive.

Old pieces fit fine

The M1300 also had Universal Serial Bus 2.0 ports, which should improve the tablet's mainstream acceptability. If you happen to have any peripherals from the earlier M1200, they also work with the new model.

Motion Computing added an optional $99 keyboard to the M1300'or $129 as an add-on. Company officials have said they are still solidly behind the pure slate-stylus format. Nevertheless, many users still consider a keyboard necessary, so they can buy this security blanket.

For travel, the hardtop cover snapped over the LCD to protect it from damage. Motion's notebook-style keyboard stayed tucked inside the cover when closed, so it wouldn't affect the protection. It added less than a pound of weight.

We found that the keys clicked slightly when pressed'a nice change from most portable keyboards.

As a whole, this system is functional and fast, just what mobile workers need. The M1300 is the first tablet to completely deliver on that promise.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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