"Get Some Perspective, People!"4.0 starson by ray-smith
Pros: It does exactly what it's supposed to do.
Cons: Poor marketing effort, apparently, since only a few people seem to know what the X41 Table is supposed to do.
Summary: I've been a CNet fan for years, using their reviews and especially user reviews/comments to make buying decisions for myself and for customer recommendations. However, this recent trend of people with no in-hand product and no concept of the PURPOSE for a product are driving user rating averages down, and as far as I can tell CNet isn't (yet?) weighing the ratings based on the supplied usefulness rating.
Specifically regarding the X41, most negative comments I've read have either had to do with lack of product availability or with perceived shortcomings of the product. So, let me make a few comments of my own as someone who has sold a number of X41 Tablets and would like to get one himself for work use:
* Product availability is fine, at least in Ontario. Has been for a while now, and the US tends to get products before we do so perhaps you're just dealing with bad resellers who aren't familiar with the concept of a ship complete. If you're dealing directly with IBM/Lenovo, they have a different product channel than the channel partners do - try a local reseller next time who you can go yell at in person.
* My condolences to the person who had QC issues with his X41 Tablet, but get a grip. No product line will ever ship out with 0% defects, ever, and from what I can tell neither the motherboard nor hard drive replacements solved your problem, so they weren't likely related to the root cause - yet you're blaming Lenovo for replacing them for you. Perhaps you did get a dud, but it happens, get over it. It's a computer, not a parachute. Nothing's worth a 1 unless all you get is an empty box, maybe with a few random pieces of styrofoam.
* To the guy who (it appears) docked marks from the X41 Tablet because it's an "IBM" and because "IBM" still has "hard drive issues" - I'm not sure when the IBM name on a portable PC became a negative, but you're welcome to your opinion. However, IBM sold their hard drive manufacturing business to Hitachi a while back - and it's been years since I've heard of any verifiable widespread issues with IBM-branded drives, and never the Travelstar drives specifically. What's the point of that comment in relation to the X41 Tablet?
* To those commenting on the hardware shortcomings, specifically the "slow" CPU (ultra low voltage, improved battery life and reduced heat), the lack of an integrated optical drive bay (lower weight, improved battery life), XGA display (?! You'd want SXGA on a 12.1" screen? I have 10/15 corrected vision (30/35 without) and I'm thinking *XGA* might be optimistic), average video chipset (Radeon 7500, I believe, a good business-class choice for a 100% business-class product, reduced cost, increased battery life), etc. My point: the part selections and design decisions IBM/Lenovo made for the X41 Tablet "Just Make Sense" (tm). A 5400RPM hard drive would be an improvement, though, I'll give you that.
Why do I want one? I'm a mobile sales rep who currently spends a lot of time sitting in meetings and taking hand-written notes on paper... I want the X41 Tablet to simplify note-taking and for occasional computer tasks. I have a PC in the office that'll be used for heavier-duty tasks (although it's specced lower than the X41 Tablet, so maybe I *will* use the Tablet for everything work-related). This is one of the few actual real-world uses for a tablet PC - I figure less than 2% of my customer base would be able to make use of a tablet, they definitely aren't for everyone.
The only issue I've heard of personally with the X41 Tablet is that if you take it out of its (optional) protective sleeve and accidently drop it onto a concrete floor from a table it can, well, break. So buy the protective sleeve, try not to drop it, and if you're really worried about it buy the Thinkpad Protection warranty that covers breakage.
Why am I only rating it an 8? Someone (perhaps Lenovo, perhaps someone else) will come out with a better tablet PC - faster, more memory, etc. I'm not docking 2 points for flaws, I'm leaving 2 points free for future enhancements.
Disclaimer: I work for an IBM reseller partner, but we also sell HP, Toshiba and Acer so I don't believe I'm particularly biased in this situation. My personal (and official sales) opinion is that the X41 Tablet is the only good tablet PC on the market at the moment, period. Putting a swivel touch screen on a 15" or 17" notebook makes it an oddity, not a tablet.Updated
I just noticed a couple of errors in my original comments - some models come with ULV CPUs, some just Low Voltage. Also, the graphics chipset is Intel integrated, not a Radeon 7500.