This is no doubt the Year of the Tablet computer. As such I began searching some months ago for a tablet I could add to my ever growing list of gadgets, I researched and played with many different devices before deciding on my Asus T91MT. I have had my tablet for a couple of weeks now and it amazes me how many people do not even know they exist when they released almost a year ago! The iPad on the other hand got more press than you can shake a stick at and everyone under the sun knows what it is after just a few weeks.
The following is my list of reasons why Asus's T91MT tablet/netbook hybrid is better than Apple's iPad:
#1 - It is also a Netbook
Touch screens are fantastic, don't get me wrong but honestly some things are much quicker to do with a physical keyboard and a mouse. Having the option to flip my T91MT around and use it as a netbook is a wonderful option to have. Plus I personally feel my device's screen is much safer when I can "close" the screen instead of just sliding it into a case.
#2 - It runs a Full Operating System
The T91MT ships with Windows 7 Home Premium by default and my personal T91MT is currently running Linux Mint 8. While I am not saying the iPad OS is bad, it is a bit limited in the extent of what it can do and what it allows the user to do (doubly so if you don't jailbreak your iPad - until OS 4.0 releases the iPad is still a single-tasking device). The ability to install the operating system of your choice (full desktop operating systems at that) on the T91MT is wonderful and makes it an extremely adaptable device.
#3 - Price
Apple is known for their high hardware prices and the iPad is no exception to this. I purchased my T91MT brand new for 460$ (including taxes and shipping fees). The iPad starts at 500$ and goes all the way up to 800$
#4 - Processor
Like most netbooks the T91MT has an x86 processor in it. This means it can run all of your standard applications you are used to using on a computer. The Z520 chip in the T91MT is clocked at 1.33ghz and has hyper threading, this will easily out perform the 1.0ghz ARM chip the iPad has.
#5 - RAM
The iPad is locked at 256megs of RAM, the T91MT comes stock with 1gig of RAM and it can be upgraded to 2gigs.
#6 - USB Ports
While the T91MT only has two USB ports, that is still two more than the iPad has. Do I really need to emphasize the usefulness of USB ports? Flash drives, cellphones, printers, mice, joysticks...
#7 - VGA Out
I use my netbook for presentations all the time - an external monitor output is a must have for this purpose. The iPad has no form of video out by default.
#8 - Wired LAN
Ever tried to push several gigs of data through a wifi connection? Even with 100% signal strength it is not a fun experience. The T91MT has a wired gigabit network connection, the iPad again lacks any sort of wired network connection by default.
#9 - SD Card Reader
Not a huge deal for some people but having a built in SD card reader is useful for when you want to pull some images off that digital camera's memory card. I'm going to let you guess which device has an SD card reader and which one does not.
#10 - Resistive Touch Screen
This last point will more vary based on personal preference but as a student and future math teacher the main reason I wanted a tablet is so I can take written notes on the default with a stylus. The resistive touch screen on the T91MT allows me to do this while the capacitive screen on the iPad does not allow this with a normal stylus.
These are the top ten deciding factors that lead me to purchasing the T91MT instead of Apple's new device. Did I miss any key points here? If so let me know by leaving a comment below.
I think I may be in the market for a new Eee. Thanks, just what I was looking for :)ReplyDelete
HOW is mint with handling the touch screen?ReplyDelete
Mint works well with the touch screen, the only issue is that due to the GMA500 graphics card I have to choose between having a graphics driver and having a multi-touch driver currently. Look for an upcoming post on why this is :)ReplyDelete
Maybe you should take a look at Gigabyte T1028 touch screen net book, here's the link http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Notebook/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=3197ReplyDelete
You could probably boot an OS from that SD card, as well. Also, I wouldn't doubt that there may be preliminary OS X support for that device, which would theoretically make it what many people wanted the iPad to be- an Apple Tablet.ReplyDelete
Of course, why would you do that if you could get Linux on there in about 5-10 minutes?
Anyway, that's awesome. I'm really considering getting one in the near-future, since the last tablet I bought was all-purpose and blew up on me. So at least this one's a lot cheaper than that one was.
I'm starting to just forget gaming on the PC, anyway, since PS3 is where it's at. Good review- really, Apple should've learned by now not to play the arbitrary lack of capabilities game. If you're in the same market as Linux, you can't just purposely take away features just so people pay more for them. You've gotta' compete, since Linux is as good as you now, and getting much better than you faster than you can anticipate. Not Apple, but the OS.
@Anonymous Mentioning the Gigabyte - the large reason I like my T91MT is that is only 8.9 inches. If I wanted a 10.1 inch tablet/netbook I would go with the EEE T101MT - because it has a better intel gfx card than the gigabyte you link to.ReplyDelete
awesome thanks for the review. My current netbook is wearing out, so I am looking at my options as well. You are right:ReplyDelete
Eh, I'll pass. I'd take my iPad over this thing any day and as far as a tablet computer goes (iPad was never meant to be a tablet computer- in that folks like you are making that comparison, just a compliment to the iPad) there's just no replacing my Modbook.ReplyDelete
Wait, I'm confused if the iPad isn't suppose to be a tablet computer then what is it suppose to be?ReplyDelete
I recently fixed a Toshiba Satellite R15 which has a similar display design. It runs Ubuntu Karmic very well with pressure support in Gimp and MyPaint. The problem wasn't software, it was hardware. The rotating hinge assembly broke and the replacement part was $100 as it had to include all the cables that pass through it. The entire display and most of the base had to be disassembled.ReplyDelete
I think iPad is some sort of absolutely new gadget, can not be compared. Try to compare any laptop and MacBook and then we can talk if apple have troubles creating stuffReplyDelete
@wisemisha I have compared a normal laptop to a MacBook, the MacBook gets blow out of the water spec wise: http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.com/2009/10/macbook-comparison.htmlReplyDelete
Have you thought on posting a tutorial on installing Linux Mint in the T91MT?ReplyDelete
I'll be very pleased.
@R.G.Hernanz HOWTO Posted - http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.com/2010/05/howto-linux-mint-8-on-t91mt.htmlReplyDelete
Thank you very much!ReplyDelete
You don't need a resistive touch screen for writing. My HP TM2T tablet has a capacitive touch screen, and it also allows hand writing. It came with a digitizer pen.
The ipad is just plain limited period.
@Anonymous Read my post throughly, you will see I said with a "normal" stylus. I like being able to grab whatever pen is laying around and using it (With the tip in of course!)ReplyDelete
The Asus eepc T91MT (with poulsbo architecture)
doesn't support more than 1 gigs see :
@Eratum I am using a T91MT right now with 2gigs of RAM... It works fine, just like most all netbooks.ReplyDelete
Pretty much every last reason cited was why I got the T91MT instead of the iPad. I'm also an iPhone aficionado too, and use a Mac desktop too, but the T91MT was the better deal for me. I sure like that it is a netbook and slate all in one, but I also like having a full OS. If Apple ever comes out with a netbook equivalent that runs Mac OS, I'd consider that in the same league, but it would cost a fortune more for sure.ReplyDelete
Jeff, excellent asessment, thank you for the help with linux install. I'm a teacher too, looking to use in school. Cheers!ReplyDelete
iPad is absolute useless...ReplyDelete
with Amazon dropping the price to $408 this is even more of a steal. see http://www.productvibe.com/product.aspx?a=Asus-T91MT-PU17-BK-8-9-Inch-Netbook-Computer/dp/B002UAR8SK&id=921 for more info.ReplyDelete
Great information. I really appreciate it. I just got my T91MT. Does anyone know if you can load apps on it? Do I need to use the Android apps? Any help would be appreciated...I am new to this whole netbook/tablet fun!ReplyDelete
Its a normal computer... Install applications just like you would on any other system.ReplyDelete
It's only $280 today on Woot. Buy! Buy! Buy!ReplyDelete
Yeah i grabbed one off woot the other day too and 2gb of ram off of newegg. I would like to have a droid tablet but there is nothing like a real os.ReplyDelete
LoL look at the wooters coming into the discussion three months late......yeah I just got mine off Woot too!!!ReplyDelete
Hi, can I use android x86 in my t91mt?; where can I find android install for this asus marvel>ReplyDelete