Crap-Tablet-ous!

June 19, 2005 17:10 by keithkaragan
I've owned a ViewSonic V1100 Tablet PC for a little over a year now, and I have to say that I'm far less than thrilled with the unit.
What I like about it:
  • It wasn't too expensive.
  • It's a slate tablet ... I like that experience, to me it's what a tablet should be
  • It's pretty light.
  • It'll make a nice active picture frame one day.

What I don't like about it:
  • The battery never charged correctly when hook to the AC with it's adapter. I  would have to plug in, pop the battery out and re-insert it for it to charge. Eventually it would not charge any longer. I obtained a new AC adapter and dock, and it charges properly with this set-up ... I've **read** that this has to do with the power supply plug on the unit having some kind of sensor that knows when it's plugged in (it may have this, I don't know) - but the old AC adapter didn't work with the dock either (for charging), and the dock does not use the AC adapter input, rather it uses the docking connections.
  • Initial set-up needed to have a keyboard and mouse attached ... come on, it's a tablet! Is this ViewSonic's short-sightedness or Microsoft's ... I don't know.
  • With a fully charged battery, I have about an hour of time or slightly less if using WiFi ... way too short. The Extended Battery is way way too expensive.
  • At one point, the tablet thought it always on AC power and wouldn't tell me the state of the battery (this lasted a week or two - then remedied itself).
  • The docking station was available at a really good price (recently, not when this unit was current) - It arrived DOA, the CD drive was dead ... I hope the replacement works.
  • When docked, I can hook up an external monitor - cool! Dual monitors on a tablet ... nope! The tablet fits in the dock in portrait mode only (you can change the display setting - but then it's sideways) - the external monitor is unusable in this mode - the image is sideways.Somehow I got it the right way after much tuning ... but wait, the mouse now disappears when moving between monitors until you grab the pen and do something on the tablet's display ... worthless! And since the Tablet sits in the dock in a cradle type arrangement, you can't use the pen on it or it'll undock and cause you to want to smash it to pieces .... Arrrrgh!
  • The plug on the AC adapter is an 'odd' size that I'm having issues finding an aftermarket version for (for in the car) ... seems like everything is a hassle with this unit.
  • ViewSonic hasn't ever updated the drivers for this unit. It's strange that nearly all Windows pcs get regular updates to their drivers and this otherwise flawed unit is somehow rock-solid software wise, and doesn't need updates? Or did the vendor just give up?
  • ViewSonic's support site has very little about the unit, Google turns up far more in the way of issues (not too many solutions though).

I always though ViewSonic products were high quality (monitors at least). This experience has definitely changed my perspective though. I'll be thinking twice on the purchase of other ViewSonic hardware.
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