Mac or PC? Just kidding. Gateway or HP Tablet

So I’ve decided to get a tablet, it just makes so much sense. Have a Cintiq at work and use it way to much, and it looks as though I’m going to need to be very mobile in the coming months so… I’m curious of peoples feedback on the size of the sketch area vs size of the overall tablet and how you guys use it…on the plane, in meetings for rapid visualization, or just for practicing your ellipses and stick figures. Is the extra 2 inches really worth the eye sore? Did I mention I’m a nerd and I cut out two paper frames 12" and 14" and stuck them on my Cintiq for a little research analysis. Frankly they both suck (comparatively) but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

Gateway C-142XL

Unfortunately I have good taste and this thing is just plain ugly, but has a 14" screen.

HP tx2500z

I saw this in person and is tastefully done, classic HP design language, but has a 12" screen.

So whatdoya think?

Check the specs of the machines and compare costs. There are at least a couple of posts already on this. In fact, I responded to a thread this morning asking the same type of question. IF YOU HAD A CHOICE: tablet pc or cintiq???

So, risking sounding like a jerk, I recommend you do some searching on the forums, then try again. I own the Gateway you are looking at so if you have any questions about that specific model, PM me and I will gladly answer them. Good luck.

I also own the gateway. To me, the extra 2" is a good thing. I like the machine and use it a fair amount. Travel with it all the time and run Sketchbook pro and Solidworks primarily.

Check out some of my sketches on my coroflot site.

or two sketchbook tutorials on this site



I looked at the HP tx2500z over the weekend at Circuit City. The case felt horrible, there was a lot of deflection where you would rest the heels of your hands while typing, the screen has that high gloss covering that throws off reflections and a major glare, the stylus pen felt cheap, etc… Frankly, I wasn’t impressed with it at all.

I too am looking at the Gateway C-142XL.

I’m also researching the Toshiba Portege M700-S7005X

The Toshiba Portege M700 only has a 12.1" screen and is priced substantially higher than the Gateway C-142XL, which the C-142XL price includes MS Office and Norton. The M700 comes with XP, which I do like. The C-142XL only comes with Vista, I don’t know if I’m sold on Vista yet?

Here is a link to the Gateway tabletPC forums TechnologyGuide - TechTarget There is a ton of great information in there.

Let us know which tabletPC you end up purchasing.

Jeff, you’re throwing out some amazing sketch work with that Gateway. You’re going to be incredible in a year, keep it up!

How is the 3d modeling (SW) running on your Gateway?


Thanks, I have been working on my native Sketchbook pro work.

I run SW on my Gateway also, as mentioned. I have built come fairly complex assemblies on this machine while out of town for work. The machine keeps up fairly well. Every once in a while it gets bogged down by some large work. The last time I was in Taiwan, I was working on an 800+ feature part and it kept up. This included a fair amount of complex surfacing.


The toshibas hold up well. I just modeled my tecra m7 in 3d for practice with 230 solid parts and it handled it fine.

While I was digging a little dipper I found out that the Gateway C-142XL utilizes a AMD ATI Mobility Radeon X2300 graphics card. The AMD specs say, “Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL ® 2.0”. I’m confused, what do they mean by “supported in”? Does this mean the card HAS OpenGL technology, or does it mean the card can USE OpenGL technology?

AMD specifications page:

Got one.

Decided to grab a gateway. After looking at the HP and the Toshiba, the size of the screen just over weighed pretty much everything else. Plus the specs are pretty damn good for what I’m using it for. I run the Adobe family, Rhino 4, and Alias Sketch, and all run great on this if not better than at the office.

So my first impressions:

-Vista isn’t all that bad, I actually like the slick interface but not to keen on clicking through approvals for installations. I’m sure there are some setting I can adjust.

-Sketching on the tablet in Alias is excellent. I actually like it better than using a cintiq (don’t tell my boss) but sketching on a smaller surface, closer to the desk is much more fluid. I found if you put an 11x17 piece of paper between the laptop and a desk you can rotate and move things around much easier. I’m going to give Artrage a shot again, I used it back when I had a Wacom Tablet and had some good results. I don’t have PS installed yet so I can’t vouch for that but the lack of pen tilt shouldn’t bother me, I think I have it turned off at work anyways. I can see that lack of a keyboard when I’m mobile could be a pain when in photoshop, I’m a quick key power user.

-I hooked my external keyboard up to it while in tablet mode and it felt much more like working on my cintiq, all my quickeys, and ctrl-z! Then I moved to the couch and went keyboardless. It takes a bit to get used to, at least in Alias Sketch, no space bar and and ctrl-z is a bit of a drag. I can only change one of the buttons on the tablet face so that’s a little disappointing. Fatkid or Blaster, have you found a way to change the little thumb pad button to anything else? That’s 5 buttons that could be well utilized in PS. I’m thinking about getting a small external programmable keypad to tote around with me, has anyone had any experience with that?

So I’m extremely happy with my buy. I have to give a lot of credit to Fatkid and Blaster, after reading all of your posts you pretty much convinced me it was going to be a good purchase. So thanks. Eco.iD, I’m not running SW but Rhino runs beautifully and claims to be running open GL, I’m not all that computer savvy so I’m not sure if it’s running it “correctly” but it works for me.

Here’s my first attempt.


Right on! Glad you like it. That is a good first sketch on the tablet!
I would also say get a spinning laptop stand. They sell them at office depot and such. The angle up the screen, raise it for cooling and act as a lazy suzan.



I read that you can uninstall Vista and then install Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. Its a free download, see the link below:

Note, once you click on the link above there is a underlined link in the first paragraph labeled “free download”. Follow the instructions from there. By using Windows XP you will use less RAM and have more for your 3d modeling software (Rhino).

Which model did you get, the C-141X or C-142XL?

Thanks for your detailed review!

I really like my tablet as well, it has become my main machine. I haven’t even turned on my desktop in weeks! I bought a lazy susan at Ikea for rotating the tablet while sketching. I may even add to it so it lifts and tilts!

There are registry hacks to reprogram the buttons on the tablet. I did a google search and found them on one of the tablet pc review forums. When I get home I will try and find the link.

Good call! I have been thinking about going out and getting an animation light table, but those are WAY more expensive than a lazy susan!

The other thing I have thought would be handy is some kind of clip/fixture that you can prop open your screen like a drafting table. I hate drawing on a flat table, and I also find it a pain to drag out my portable drawing board every time I need to sketch at my desk.

So, what’s the best price / source someone out there has found for the C141X and C141XL?

Interested in picking up one of these next month, time to finally go portable.

I found the Gateway/eBay listings-- only one or two listed
NewEgg is a no go (not listed)
and a few other sites are offering the same price as on

Any suggestions / secret connections / great deals ?

take care,

Here’s my tablet ultra hack:
Go to home depot and get a lazy susan for $4 and some of the grippy cabinet liner material for $1.50. Cut the liner to size for both sides of the susan and use double stick tape to attach it. You could just cut out the liner for the corners also. Get a 3 ring binder to place underneath if you want to raise it up and not get big neck muscles from looking down on your tablet.

Still searching…

Is the only place to pick up a Gateway C series directly through Gateway? (or the Gateway eBay marketplace)

Just about ready to make the purchase.

Did someone here suggest phoning into their office, and playing hesitant in order to get free add-ons (2 GB of memory perhaps)

Suggestions welcome-- if not, I’ll just pay the ticket price