I've now finally found some time to blog a bit. As title suggests, I will be about comparing the two ThinkPads. I've been using the Tablet for a few days now, whereas X60s has been used for a year and about 8-10 hours daily. Comparison that follows is of course only a part of my opinion and an impression of the two computers.
Before I begin, here are the specs for both computers:
X61 Tablet, Vista Business 32, 80 GB 5400, 2 GB ram, Intel AGN, SXGA+ 1400x1050 px, 8C + 4C battery X60s, Win XP Pro, 80 GB 5400, 1.5 GB ram, Intel ABG, XGA 1024x768 px, 4C + 8C battery
SIZE AND WEIGHT Both computers are »ultraportable« design, although X60s clearly wins the »ultra« prefix, being both lighter and smaller than the X61T. When both laptops are placed next to each other, size difference is well visible. Before I bought the X61T I was very concerned with the bigger size and weight, but as soon as I started using the Tablet, my fears were gone. At least in the bigger-size regard. Weight is a different matter though. I was mainly using the X60s with a 4 cell slimline battery, only using the heftier 8C when on travels or away from plug-in power. The Tablet came with an 8C battery and I ordered an extra 4C battery. Although the difference in weight with the 4C battery is rather small, when the X61T is fitted with an 8C battery, it's huge. At least if I hold the X60s with a 4C battery in the other hand. So to summarize, if you're thinking of moving to the Tablet version and have previously been using the super-light X60s, you will notice the difference mainly in weight, but less in size. However, both being fitted with a 4C battery, you're going for a very light and compact (ultra)portable. Personally, I was rather pleased differences not being to immense.
TABLET FUNCTIONALITY I had an opinion tablet/touch functions were just another best-seller gimmick or a useful tool for rare industries or professionals only. However, my opinion has changed a bit, once I've discovered the many possibilities of what a digitizer pen can do/perform. Although I still think that I will only be using the tablet functions for about 10% of the time, it can't hurt to have them. For what I know the Tablet will be useful for and that I will be using it for is – Photoshop retouching, taking notes on meetings, drawing engineering schemes and of course for travel – airplane seats being so cramped etc. I might also find other uses for it over time.
Screen The screen on X61T can't really be compared to the one on X60s. Tablet is brighter, color reproduction is much better, viewing angle is absolutely great and of course – this is why I bought the tablet in the first place – the resolution is higher! Screen of the tablet is thicker and way heavier, I guess that's mostly because due to special coatings/materials for touch/pen input.
Keyboard Keyboard on ThinkPads is legendary and both – X61T and X60s keyboards are of same good quality, touch/feel and all that comes with it. I have no other comment on this rather than it's really nice in comparison with Vaio, HP and some others I've tested.
Battery Battery life on X61T is worse than X60s. I guess that there are several reasons for that, but one that I've noticed and is prominent is definitely Vista. The x61T is a new computer and as such, it is indexing many files and folders. Disk is spinning a lot and I suppose this is why battery life is shorter. I am now for instance using X61T, just word 2007 from where I'll publish to WP blog later when I get connected. WLAN is disconnected as well as other wireless devices. When fully charged, the 8C battery with 5 cycles only shows about 6 hours of battery life. The X60s with WinXP, 40 cycles on the 8C battery, with only word running and all the rest turned off, including WLAN, showed 9 hours 30 minutes. Brightness setting on both, the X60s and X61T, is/was set to medium.
It's hard to compare the battery life on X60s and X61T, mainly because OS are different, not all applications installed are the same and also X61T being so "fresh", Vista probably hasn't settled down completely.
Final conclusions I could probably go on with this comparison for a long time. However, I think I need more time to thoroughly test the Tablet, the HDD to stop indexing etc. As for now I am very happy with the purchase and my main concern – size/weight vs. better screen issues – are finally over. I do like the SXGA+ real estate, sharpness and color reproduction far more than about 300 grams weight difference.