Here’s the newest addition to my Tablet PC stable: the HP 2710p.It is a convertible Tablet PC. The display is a reasonably large 12.1″. However, it is light for its size, rated at 3.7 lbs.
As the About page indicates, for the last 11 years I have been an Associate Professor of Computer Science at L.A. Valley College, a community college in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. As faculty, I am issued a laptop. After several years, it was time for mine to be “refreshed”, i.e., replaced.
The HP 6715b is standard issue for faculty. It’s a laptop, not a Tablet PC. The display is 15.4″, which makes this laptop a bit large for my taste. Worse, the weight is a whopping 5.7 lbs. The 2 lbs. difference between the HP 6715b and the HP 2710p may not seem like much, but trust me, it is meaningful. So is the size difference:
A couple of inches may not seem like much, but holding the 2710p is much easier from a size as well as weight perspective.
Don’t get me wrong; the 6715b is a nice laptop. Indeed my wife, who is a Professor of Computer Science (and therefore outranks me at the college as well as in our home), got a 6715b, and justifiably likes it. But this blog is called Mobile Barbarian, and for mobility the 6715b just is a bit too large and heavy for me.
James Kendrick of jkOnTheRun has been lauding the HP 2710p, and I’ve learned to trust his recommendations. As Chair of the college’s Technology committee, I’m considered “faculty leadership” (which probably helps explain the sad state of higher education), so I don’t necessarily receive the standard faculty issue 6715b. I was able to justify a 2710p instead of a 6715b, and the IT and Administration folks were nice enough to accommodate me. Since the 2710p is more expensive than the 6715b, I had to skimp on a few things, like RAM, getting 1GB. No problem. I bought 2GB of RAM on my own nickel for about $70 including tax and shipping, so I now have 3GB of RAM. I also need to buy a case and some other accessories, but again, no big deal. I have a very nice device that I will use heavily teaching computer science and chairing the Technology committee.
But why a Tablet PC? Apart from the fact that I’m obviously partial to them, Tablet PCs are very useful in teaching. I’ll be writing more on this. But for now, I have to finish grading final exams, and then I’m off from teaching for the Summer. But as the Fall semester approaches, you’ll be hearing more about how I use the Tablet PC in the classroom.