TabletKiosk recently introduced their newest Sahara Slate PC, the i440D and we had the chance to spend some time with it. The model we have sports a Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz LV processor and is running Vista. I was quite impressed by how fast the wireless connection was and how responsive the pen was. Key factors to look for in a slate tablet considering it has no keyboard and probably will be lugged all over the place.
Front view of the Sahara i440D sitting on its stand. (view large image)
The TabletKiosk Sahara i440D specs as reviewed (tested price $2,295)
|CPU||Intel Core Duo LV 2500 1.83GHz|
|OS||Windows Vista Business|
|RAM||1GB DDR2 RAM|
|Display||12.1" TFT XGA Wide Angle View LCD Dual Mode Active Digitizer / Touch Screen Display|
|Graphics||Intel 945GM Chipset|
|Hard Drive||80GB (5400 rpm) SATA hard drive|
|Optical Drive||with docking solution|
|Battery/power||6-cell Lithium-Ion (3800 mAh)|
Design and Build
Even though the i440D is targeted more toward niche markets like many other TabletKiosk products, I was surprised on how well it could be used as a normal tablet. Not having a keyboard is kind of awkward until you use the dual mode active digitizer/touchscreen display.
Side view of the Sahara i440D Slate PC. (view large image)
The slate tablet also is lightweight, only weighing in a little over three pounds. This makes it very easy to carry around with you while you work. The chassis is solid and the model I reviewed was black and had a nice rubber-like matting around the screen, which gives it grip. It feels similar to the grip on the newer smartphones like the Palm Treo 755p. The i440D is also available in white, but I am sure the black model hides dirt better.
There is no flex in the design, in fact the i440D feels a little rugged. I am sure it could withstand some bumps and bruises. It is very minimalistic, but yet functional.
The i440D has a 12.1" XGA (1024×768) display that has a dual mode active digitizer and touchscreen, which can be changed at the push of a button. The display is nice, it doesn’t have much of a glare, but it is a little washed out especially if you don’t adjust the brightness setting to 100 percent. There isn’t much graininess though and at 100 percent the colors are crisp and bold. However the picture below doesn’t do the screen any justice.
The i440D dual mode active digitizer/touchscreen display. (view large image)
You can change the display orientation to be vertical or horizontal, however you need to use it and the viewing angles are still fine. If you are going to be using your i440D outside than I would opt for the outdoor screen because it really helps readability and gets rid of the glare.
Processor and System Performance
As I mentioned earlier the i440D is powered by a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo LV L2500 processor, which does a fine job surfing the Internet and even running some of the benchmarks. I mean this tablet isn’t meant to be a replacement for your notebook, but more of a niche market model used in fields like healthcare or retail.
Comparison Results for PCMark05
PCMark05 measures the systems performance as a whole: The i440D did well here and put up some competition.
|TabletKiosk Sahara i440D (Intel Core Duo LV 1.83GHz, Intel 945GM Chipset)||2,834 PCMarks|
|HP Compaq 2710p (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||2,453 PCMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||3,473 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||4,171 PCMarks|
|Gateway E-155C (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.06GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,205 PCMarks|
|LG C1 (Intel Core Duo 1.2GHz, Nvidia Go 7300)||2,568 PCMarks|
|Toshiba R400 (Intel Core Duo ULV 1.2GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,187 PCMarks|
|HP tx1000 (AMD Turion X2 2.0GHz, Nvidia Go 6150)||3,052 PCMarks|
|Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,724 PCMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo)||2,860 PCMarks|
|Panasonic ToughBook T4 (Intel 1.20GHz LV)||1,390 PCMarks|
|Asus R2H (900MHz Celeron M)||845 PCMarks|
|Toshiba Tecra M6 (1.66GHz Intel T2300E, Intel GMA 950)||2,732 PCMarks|
In the below results of Super Pi, where the processor is timed in calculating Pi to 2 million digits:
|Notebook||Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits|
|TabletKiosk Sahara i440D (1.83GHz LV Core Duo)||1m 19s|
|HP Compaq 2710p (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo)||1m 39s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo)||1m 10s|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo)||54s|
|Gateway E-155C (1.06GHz ULV Core 2 Duo)||1m 58s|
|LG C1 (1.2GHz Intel Core Duo)||1m 49s|
|Toshiba R400 (1.2GHz ULV Core Duo)||2m 10s|
|Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo)||1m 20s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo)||1m 24s|
|IBM ThinkPad X41t (1.5GHz LV Pentium M)||2m 02s|
|HP TC4400 Tablet PC (2.0GHz Core Duo)||1m 13s|
|Dell Latitude X1 (1.1 GHz ULV Pentium M)||2m 40s|
|Dell Latitude D420 (1.06GHz Core Solo ULV)||2m 11s|
|Toshiba Portege M400 (1.83GHz Core Duo )||1m 19s|
Comparison Results for 3Dmark05
3DMark05 tests the overall graphic capabilities of a notebook, and overall the i440D didn’t do very well, but it is not made for gaming or its graphic capabilities.
|Notebook||3D Mark 05 Results|
|TabletKiosk Sahara i440D (1.83GHz LV Core Duo, Intel 945GM Chipset)||443 3DMarks|
|HP Compaq 2710p (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, GMA X3100 graphics)||634 3DMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA X3100 graphics)||812 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA X3100 graphics)||925 3DMarks|
|Gateway E-155C (1.06GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA 950)||500 3DMarks|
|LG C1 (1.2GHz Intel Core Duo, Nvidia Go 7300)||1,392 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook S2210 (1.6GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-52, ATI x1150)||810 3DMarks|
|PortableOne UX (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA 950)||590 3DMarks|
|Toshiba Satellite A135 (1.73GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950)||519 3DMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400 128MB)||2,092 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu n6410 (1.66 GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400 128MB)||2,273 3DMarks|
Tablet PC Features / Pen
Considering the i440D is so easy to carry around, it would be great for note-taking and presentations. It even has a presentation mode in the control panel under Tablet PC settings, where you can also change display, battery status/performance, screen orientation, wireless settings and external display set-up. Who said you need a keyboard to do these things?
Besides the button to switch between touchscreen and digitizer you also have three programmable buttons along the side of the screen that can be programmed to your liking. This is really convenient, especially for pen flicks or programs you use often.
Testing out the pen input on the i440D. (view large image)
The pen input is great. If feels like you are writing on a piece of paper and not glass. The pen is responsive and feels sturdy in your hand. It gets a little scratched up in its silo, but nothing major. The touchscreen is nice too, I would have to say one of the best I have seen. It is accurate and you can use your finger to do anything from opening applications to scribbling down notes.
Obviously since the i440D is a slate tablet it can be carried either vertically or horizontally with no problems. There is no extra weight from the keyboard or an optical drive, but it does come with a nice stand, so these features can always be attached if need be.
For being such a small slate tablet, the i440D has a nice array of features, even better then some mainstream tablets. It has two USB ports, one VGA – 15 pin, one microphone and one headphone, one PCMCIA slot, one eSATA, one Firewire, an RJ-45 and RJ-11 port and a dock connector.
Top view of the i440D with power switch, wireless, Bluetooth and PCMCIA slot. (view large image)
There are no ports on the right side or bottom, so basically what you see is what you get with the i440D. There are a few switches on the top, which are pictured above, the ports on the left, which are pictured below and a few programmable buttons next to the screen.
Left side view of the ports. (view large image)
The battery life on the i440D is good. It really depends on what setting you have the battery set to. It only has a 6-cell battery, but when I had it set to the Balanced power plan I got around four hours of battery life. If you need more high performance from your i440D then obviously you will get less battery life, but nothing major. It only takes an hour or so to fully charge, so you don’t ever really have any downtime and if you get the docking solution you can be powered up all day.
Heat and Noise
I was shocked when it came time for me to test the heat and noise of the i440D. I wasn’t expecting it to be loud or even get a little warm. Then again it doesn’t have a ULV processor, just a 1.83GHz LV processor, which really can work hard. When I ran the benchmarks the fan on this slate sounded like a hairdryer. It even kicked on during normal Web surfing usage and it can be quite loud. I was surprised that such a small PC could make so much noise.
It stays cool during normal usage, but when I ran the benchmarks it warmed right up. Even when I had a few applications open and running it got hot on the back. I mean there is not much to the i440D, so when the back gets hot, you can feel it. The docking solution would probably be ideal for heavy users. Compromising for a little noise and heat is OK with me though because performance wise the i440D is fast and functional.
The speakers on the i440D are about average. They put out decent sound and there isn’t much distortion except for at loud volumes. There are two little speakers on the front and one on the back. So no matter how you carry the slate you can always listen to your favorite music. There is also a microphone and headphone port, which come in handy if you are trying to keep to yourself and get work done.
Check out our hands-on video of the i440D in action. The 12.1" dual mode display is very nice and makes this slate PC worth the money.
There was no bloatware on my Sahara i440D, so I don’t have any complaints. I didn’t even have any annoying security programs like Norton, I did have Windows Security Center updates popping up often though. I was surprised, but my unit is an evaluation unit, so consumers beware you might get some unwanted software, but from the looks of it not much.
The i440D has Intel Wireless 802.11a/b/g, 10/100/1000 Ethernet and Bluetooth. I was impressed on how well the wireless worked. I picked up signals at my home and at the office with no problems. The connectivity was fast and responsive. I don’t think I was disconnected once and I carried the slate from upstairs to downstairs many times. The signal strength always remained strong, which is good for a tablet like this because you know it is going to get its mileage.
Working with a slate PC can be awkward if you are not used to it. Even though it is different not having a keyboard, the pen works great and is accurate. It takes some getting used to, but it gets the job done just as well. In fact the i440D is very functional. It has a good array of features and is lightweight, making it perfect for users on-the-go. Overall the Sahara i440D is a strong tablet with good battery life and the display is amazing. I have never used a touchscreen that responded so efficiently.
- Dual mode active digitizer / touchscreen display
- Pen input accurate and responsive
- Lightweight, easy to carry around
- Plenty of features and tablet programmable buttons
- Fan is a little noisy
- Bottom gets hot when running multiple applications
Pricing and Availability
The Sahara i440D is available now and shipping with prices starting at $2,295. Don’t forget it can be customized to your liking as well. You can purchase the i440D directly through TabletKiosk’s website or through Allegiance Technology and Xtreme Notebooks.