First Impression – Dell Latitude XT2

dell-latitude-xt2I got my hands on another new tablet PC today. This time it was the Dell Latitude XT2. This is our hospitals convertible tablet of choice. I would have preferred the Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet, but as I have mentioned many times before we are a Dell shop.

The Dell Latitude XT2 is a very elegant looking tablet PC, but was a bugger to configure. The tablet didn’t want to stay connected to the hospitals wireless network. This is in sharp contrast to the Motion J3400 I mentioned earlier this week which grabbed onto our network right out of the box. The problem turned out to be the Latitude’s ControlPoint Connection Manger. I was able to find some information by searching Google after a disastrous call to the Dell customer service line. I had all the right credentials to access the mega-super-extra-special customer service rep, but that turned out to be worth about the same as a hand full of rocks. Anyway, I ended up uninstalling the ControlPoint Connection Manger and restarting Window’s connection manager via MMC. After that the tablet’s connection to the hospital network worked great, but the “Tablet Buttons” that allow the user to operate screen rotation in slate mode stopped working. More research led me to a software bundle called the ControlPoint System Manager. I installed that and the buttons started working, but I lost the digitizer. An additional 30 minutes of googling led me to the N-Trig software bundle, which finally got me up and running. I’m sure all this would have been much easier if the DVD that the customer support website kept referring to was actually in the box. I never did find it.

IMG_0583Now, on to the good stuff. The XT2 is a very nice machine. It is smaller then my Dell Latitude D520 by quite a bit (see photo). The J3400 is similar in size, but looks significantly bulkier. I prefer the look and feel of the XT2. The screen on the Dell is small (12.1”), but very sharp and easy to read. Like the Motion tablet it is much faster then the tablet PCs the pharmacists are currently using.

The tablet came with Windows XP pre-installed which is fine. The inking experience is very nice. The feature I like the most so far is the ability to navigate with either finger-tip-touch or the pen. I can quickly change back and forth by tapping the screen twice with my finger to activate the touch interface, or by tapping the screen twice with the pen to activate the pen interface. This little feature alone kept me entertained for quite a while. It made surfing the internet more of a treat then usual.

Based on the limited time I’ve had to spend with the tablet I have to say it’s a keeper. I actually like it quite a bit more then the Motion J3400. I’ll update you on how well it performed in the pharmacy after I’ve had a chance to put it through it paces. Until then, I have a new toy.

3 thoughts on “First Impression – Dell Latitude XT2”

  1. I would be interested in your comparison of the sunlight readability of the XT2 versus the J3400.

    We have the J3400, but prefer the convertible tablet design because of the integral screen mechanical protection and the keyboard. In general, I find that a keyboard is far better input device compared with any of the current pen, fingertip or handwriting technologies.

    As may be true with the XT2, the J3400 is very fast compared with most TabletPCs or laptops. Our J3400 includes 4GB RAM and a SSD. The OS is Windows 7 Ultimate which is a great improvement over both XT and Vista.

  2. Hi Robert

    I don’t spend much time in the sun because most pharmacy work is performed indoors, but I did take the tablets outside in the early morning sun today. Neither screen is great, but the J3400 may have a slight edge. Both are more readable than my Dell laptop.

    I have found the J3400 to be faster than the XT2 and I prefer using it for certain tasks, but simply like the form factor of the XT2 to give it up. Like you, I prefer the convertible design. I’m jealous that you’re running Windows 7. As soon as I can get my hands on a copy, it’s going straight on the tablets.

    Thanks for stopping by. I took a few photos of the tablet screens while I was outside. If you would like me send them to you just let me know.

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