Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Daddy needs a new computer, so advice please 

I have a great wife in Mrs. Scholar. When she announced her laptop was simply not good enough -- a hand-me-down from me that is now about seven years old -- I quickly asked if I could buy her a new one. "Oh that's not necessary, because I don't use the newer stuff. You do. Go buy yourself a new one and I can have yours." Other than the drag of clearing off 15 GB of music and Diamond Mind Baseball to a new laptop, that's like the best gift a guy could have.

While in Mongolia I got another case of gadget envy for a tablet PC (Josh's flashing of his at the Westerns one year being the first case). Being able to draw on slides while I present materials in seminars or presentations is my killer app; I don't just circle, I want to draw a graph on the side of my PowerPoint slide, and then I want to save it. (Let's see Landy do that!) But it needs to be a convertible, because most of the time I'm going to do email with something on my lap.

Now my hankering based on the reading of many reviews since I got back from Mongolia has been the Thinkpad X41 from IBM/Lenovo. Looks super, light, and the added feature of having a fingerprint security system just makes my inner geek swoon. But my concern is that it doesn't appear to be able to use all the upcoming bells and whistles in Vista. So my question is: Would you hold out for something that ran everything Vista runs, or would you not worry too much about that (which would mean the Toshiba M400 is a serious option)?